взять под козырёк


New Member
English - English

Could you please help me find a good English equivalent for this phrase: взять под козырёк

The context is a news article about the semi-privatisation of the health services.
Надо развивать страхование в медицине. Чиновники взяли под козырёк

My guess is that it means something like 'jumped at the opportunity to do it'?
  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hello ailashes, and welcome to the forum. It's always helpful to have the complete sentence and source, because often there is context that helps us better understand the meaning, though here it's pretty clear as it is. I'm assuming this is your context: "Сказал В. Путин в послании: надо развивать страхование в медицине. Чиновники взяли под козырёк и кинулись развивать. Но только не государственное страхование, а частные страховые компании. Хотя те просто паразитируют на деньгах налогоплательщиков». (source: aif.ru)

    The idea is that someone gave them an order, and they submitted to or acknowledged the order because it was their duty, as subordinates, to carry it out. It's the military salute acknowledging your subordinate status, a sign of respect. So in my view, "jumped at the opportunity" is not quite right, it's not enthusiasm, it's "do as you're told". Putin said "jump" and they said "yes sir, how high?" - that sort of sense.

    So I'd say: the civil servants touched their forelock(s) and ... You could, of course, keep the metaphor and say "saluted" or "gave the salute", but as the civil servants are not military people, I'd prefer the version I suggested - a sign of obedience to a command.
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    Senior Member
    = "послушно приступили к (исполнению|работе)/бросились/кинулись исполнять", the officials (dutifully|obediently) threw themselves/rushed/leapt (in)to work.
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