Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by Chekhov_Reader, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Chekhov_Reader New Member

    English - UK

    In Fat and Thin (Толстый и тонкий) Porfirii begins to address Misha like this after he has discovered his superior rank:
    Очень приятно-с! Друг, можно сказать, дества и вдруг вышли в такие вельможи-с! Хи-хи-с

    I was just wondering what the significance of the added -с was in these cases? Does it connote extreme politeness?

  2. Ёж! Senior Member

    I would not call these «словоерсы» manifestations of politeness in this case, they are rather what is called «угодничество» in Russian: a desire to please in whatever dirty way one could think of. Porfirii exactly emphasises Misha's higher rank; he probably sincerely believes now that Misha became another species of creature than Porfirii is, without thinking much about the matter.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  3. Chekhov_Reader New Member

    English - UK
    Again, thank you very much!
  4. Half Nelson New Member

    English - England
    I think I remember learning that the C is short for Сударь (sir), so it's perhaps a bit like yessir - an abbreviated salutation to one's superiors.
  5. Ёж! Senior Member

    Yes, it is. You can search the forum for «словоерс» to find more details...
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  6. Lotto74 Member

    Ekaterinburg city - Russia
    Russian - Russia
    This is correct, but this suffix was usually used by persons willing to demonstrate their very low position relating to the person they were speaking to. For example, it was widely used by service personnel (waiters, shopkeepers, etc.), and in many aspects it was similar to the modern Japanese honorific suffix "-sama". If an officer (like in Chekhov's texts) uses this suffix while talking to his superior, it means self-abasement of high degree.
  7. rdimd Member

    Latvian, Slow Russian
    Just wondering, absolutely out of the topic, does Latvian ending '-s' also feel like 'self-abasement of high degree'? Or, more likely, just a curious thing?

    I'll explain, in Latvian ending '-s' is added to nouns and names, so instead of 'My name is Andrey Petrov', 'Mani sauc Andrejs Petrovs' is used. And, more important, in documents 'Andrejs Petrovs' is used, therefore, a resident of Latvia has appealed in court to register his newborn under the name Miron rather than Mirons.

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