Danger's my middle name.
February 21, 2011 8:31 PM   Subscribe

Someone I met once mentioned to me that her name, Judy, meant "catastrophe" in Russian, her mother's native language. Is this true? Do I have the details wrong? What Russian word was she talking about?
posted by i_am_a_fiesta to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It definitely doesn't mean that, but чудо (CHU-do) sounds vaguely similar and means "wonder" or "miracle."
posted by nasreddin at 8:47 PM on February 21, 2011

(That's "do" pronounced "d-schwa")
posted by nasreddin at 8:50 PM on February 21, 2011

I don't think this is literally true, because there's an exact equivalent for Judy/Judith in Russian — Юдифа/[ju'difɐ]. It's an old-fashioned name.

As far as negative word "Judy" sounds like in Russian, I vote for жуть/[ʐutj], "horror."
posted by Nomyte at 9:17 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Russian word for catastrophe is a cognate. It sounds nothing like Judy. nasreddin may be right about what your friend meant.
posted by resiny at 4:38 PM on February 22, 2011

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