Can you read a Russian word for me?
June 13, 2006 3:23 PM   Subscribe

PYCCKO! To my Russian friends! What does this pin say, and what does it mean?

Here is the pin, it came from my Uncle in england when he visited russia. I don't understand it. and I can't search for the meaning very easily
posted by joelf to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It says "Leningrad."
posted by languagehat at 3:27 PM on June 13, 2006

Also... the device on the left is a mockup of the medal awarded for the reception of the Hero of the Soviet Union award... (Subtly different from the slightly-less-prestigious Hero of Socialst Labor award).
posted by cadastral at 3:45 PM on June 13, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks my Russian Friends!
posted by joelf at 4:11 PM on June 13, 2006

Also... the device on the left is a mockup of the medal awarded for the reception of the Hero of the Soviet Union award...
...the reason for which was that Leningrad was one several 'hero cities,' for its resilience during the German siege.
posted by kickingtheground at 4:57 PM on June 13, 2006

Of course, it isn't called "Leningrad" any more. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, they changed it back to its historical name of "Petrograd" (i.e. St. Petersburg).
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:04 PM on June 13, 2006

No, they changed it back to Saint Petersburg (Санкт-Петербург). It was only Petrograd from 1914 to 1924.
posted by languagehat at 5:29 PM on June 13, 2006

But the debate on what to call it occasionally continues to crop up. My host mother in St. Petersburg made annoyed noises whenever anyone brought up Solzhenitsyn; how can anyone take him seriously, she asked, when he actually suggested renaming the beautiful city of St. Petersburg Nevograd?

My host father was a proponent of changing it back to "Petrograd," himself. I got the vague impression that it was one of those "Russian cities should have Russian names" things. They are the only people I ever met who actually discussed any of this at all seriously. Everyone else just called it Piter.
posted by posadnitsa at 8:47 PM on June 13, 2006

Wow, I'd never heard that "Nevograd" thing. I googled it and discovered that though there are a couple of places where nutty old Solzh is said to have proposed it (Когда - то Солженицын предложил переименовать Ленинград не в Петербург и не в Петроград, а в Невоград)—I'd sure like to see an actual citation—it's been taken over by a pretty unsavory crew (M-board: НЕВОГРАД - White Power hardcore).

Aha, here's an article about the name of the city that says:
Начало дискуссии положило письмо в газету "Смена" пользовавшегося в то время большей популярностью писателя-диссидента А. Солженицина. В нем автор заявил, что не следует, по его мнению, возвращать городу название "Санкт-Петербург", так как "оно было в ХVIII веке навязано вопреки русскому языку и русскому сознанию"...

Письмо Солженицина повлекло за собой многочисленные отклики, в которых ленинградцы, да и жители других городов предлагали свои названия для "безымянного" города. Помятуя о том, что русские люди никогда не страдали от фантазии, не стоит удивляться разнообразию наименований, которыми добрые сограждане хотели наградить наш город: Петрополь, Невоград и т.п.

The discussion was started off by a letter to the newspaper Smena ['Change'] by the dissident writer Solzhenitsyn, who at that time [1991] enjoyed greater popularity; he announced that the city's name should not be changed back to "Sankt-Peterburg," since "it was foisted on [the city] in the 18th century, contrary to the Russian language and Russian consciousness."

Solzhenitsyn's letter attracted many replies, in which Leningraders, as well as inhabitants of other cities, proposed their own names for the "nameless" city. Bearing in mind that Russians have never suffered from fantasy [?], one should not be surprised at the variety of names which our good fellow citizens wished to bestow on our city: Petropol, Nevograd, and the like.
So it sounds like it wasn't Solzh himself who proposed it, though it was in response to a letter of his.

Hmm, googling the Latin-script equivalent I find:

When the WWI started 90 years ago, there was a discussion if the name should be changed to Petrograd or to Nevograd. The former version proved more popular in official circles, because it was first used by Pushkin in "The Bronze Horseman".

I wonder if there's any truth to that? Interesting stuff; thanks for bringing it up!
posted by languagehat at 6:31 AM on June 14, 2006

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