Тяжелее карандаша ничего не поднимаешь


Senior Member
Chinese - Cantonese
This question follows from my last thread. A man found his career as a reporter. Here it comes:

Мать не могла поверить, что я могу получать деньги за "писанье". Мать и теперь говорит: "У тебя, сынок, работа нетруданая - тяжелее карандаша ничего не поднимаешь.

Mum could not believe that I can earn money (за+ acc.) because of ?? writing. Mum even?? now always says "My little son, you have an easy job ...???

1. Mainly I can't understand
тяжелее карандаша ничего не поднимаешь.
What does it mean?

2. (...)

3. (...)
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  • Honeythunder

    Russian, Ukrainian
    "Тяжелее карандаша ничего не поднимаешь" (literally "you don't lift anything heavier than a pencil") means that in his mother's opinion his job is easy. "Писанье" - is sort of a verbal noun (отглагольное существительное), though it is not correctly formed (describing the professiоnal activity it should be: "писательство; the process - "письмо"). The wrong noun form emphasizes her somehow derogatory attitude towards his job (so she could not believe that he was making money doing "some writing") . There's a stereotype among elderly working class people that the term "job" (работа) has to imply physical labour. Otherwise, if you're doing some intellectual work, you're not really working hard.
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