russian hat




It Explains Everything

It Explains Everything




What’s in a word? Well, in my line of work – a lot.

For instance you don’t want to say Silver when you mean Gold or Stop when you mean Go and as I sit in my appointed seat as close to the action as you can be without actually having to break sweat, I think a lot about words and when/where and how they should be used.

Take the Russian word (spelled phonetically) Raz-mink-a or the plural Raz-mink-ee…definitely my ‘word of the Olympics’ – so much fun to say and in fact am bringing it back home to use with my skaters. It means practice but sounds like a made-up word Mike Myers might use. I love it.

I also am a big fan of kooky translations from one language into another. Warm-up is a term used for a period of time that skaters are on the ice prior to competing – and looking at the translation in the dictionary from English into French – it’s a toss up between ‘rechauffement’ and ‘echauffement’ . Until someone finally corrected me, I frequently would say en francais: “The re-heating period has now ended.” Sigh. Not the only mistake I have ever made.



I have a friend – who shall  not remain nameless: Grier and he and I share the same fascination with words and while I was busy, you know working in Sochi, he was executiv-ing all over the place and provided me with some great (and often hilarious) translations which I will share here:

‘I have no idea what it means, but an Absinthe on the drink menu called   “fairy Checking Account”…?’

Menus are often the best place to find kooky translations like ‘Chicken Run’ on a menu in Khosta which caught my eye and frankly sounds  like a heads up to the main course. Here are some of Grier’s award winning entries along with his explanations.

Photo notes:


  1. The Buzara soup is a wonderful sampling of the old kids game “which of these doesn’t belong?”…
  2. Buzara Soup
  1. For an appetizer, I was sorely tempted to try the “Tiger Shrimps of Baterflyay”…especially since it notes that the shrimp are in sesame sunflower seeds (Two things caught my attention here: a. This would require either very, very  small shrimp or very, very  large sesame sunflower seeds; and more importantly, when did we start interbreeding sesames and sunflowers?). Added bonus that shrimps and seeds “move in lemon sauce”… hmm…  Any idea what ‘Baterflyay’ is? Canadian maybe?
  2. Shrimp Appetizer


  1. For a main course, under menu the heading “Hot Dishes from Meat and The Bird”, and as a former smoker, I was dying to try “Chicken of tobacco”…
  2. No Smoking!


At a restaurant the other night – there was a salad which listed ingredients including ‘gas station’. Now that’s just plain silly; until I was told that the word in Russian for ‘gas station’ and ‘dressing’ is the same. Seriously people, you need to fix that one at the very least. At the same restaurant, another salad was described as the ‘testiest’. You bet I stayed away from that one – you certainly don’t ever want or expect cranky romaine on your plate.

Grier – I hate to say it but you would have won this round in our 5 Olympic Game Kooky Translations competition if it weren’t for a late entry from a Russian friend who knew about our quest:

Beverage to avoid Beverage to Avoid









Razminkee makes perfect!  Grier – keep at it – I am sorry you lost this round!

Better luck in Rio 😉

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