Blood from a stone

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by Apa2001, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Apa2001 Senior Member

    English, as spoken in New Joisey
    Hello!
    What would be the Russian for "Blood from a stone?"
    Thanks,
    Apa
     
  2. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Kровь из камня

    (what does it mean?)
     
  3. gvozd Senior Member

    Context please. For example, "У него зимой снега не допросишься" will work. To be more precise, if you talk about difficulty of extracting something from something - "выжать воду из камня".
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  4. Apa2001 Senior Member

    English, as spoken in New Joisey
    Here is the context; The boss wants you to do more and more work. You can only do so much, they say;"You can't get blood from a stone."
     
  5. morzh

    morzh Banned

    USA
    Russian

    You have to provide context.
    The general meaning is "to do something that is nearly impossible to do", but in the context it may invoke various Russian sayings.

    Like, what Gvozd said will work here:

    I was trying to get him to loan me some money, but it is like trying to get blood from a stone. - Я попътался попросить у него взаймъi, но у него зимой снегу не въiпросишь

    In other situations different saying will do.
     
  6. morzh

    morzh Banned

    USA
    Russian
    You can say in this case:

    Я же не железнъий. - I am not made of iron.
    Meaning - I only can do so much, I am not a machine, I am only human.

    Or, if you are informal with your boss, you can say to him:

    - Слушай, я же не старик Хоттабъiч. (Starik Hottabych is a genie from a popular Soviet child book, who can do just about anything).

    or you can simply state without resorting to idioms:

    - Въi требуете от меня невозможного. (You are asking for impossible)

    Also, if you want to indicate that there are limits to a human performance, you can say:

    "Я же не лошадь!" (lit. - I am not a horse) - said in situation (but not limited to those) when one is asked to do too much work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  7. gvozd Senior Member


    Morzh, your limp keyboard will confuse a non-Russian speaker.

    It should be Я же не железный
     
  8. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    My dictionary says it has quite different sense. Yes, it is something very difficult to do, but what exactly this "something" is?
    So my dictionary says it is to squeeze a drop of pity from a pitiless person, like in:

    ‘You're a talented chap. You're not a blackmailer.’ ‘Oh yes, I am,’ said Norman. ‘...you can't get blood from a stone...’ (I. Murdoch, ‘An Accidental Man’) — - Вы человек талантливый, вы ведь не шантажист. - Нет, я именно шантажист, - сказал Норман, - ...и вы меня не разжалобите...

    So it might у начальника нет ни капли жалости. Looks like the idiom has changed its sense recently?
     
  9. morzh

    morzh Banned

    USA
    Russian
    Freedict

    >>>get blood from a stone also get blood out of a stone to do something very difficult
    Jesse tried to get a loan from her parents, but that's just trying to get blood from a stone.




    Phrases.org.UK

    >> You can't get blood out of a stone


    Meaning

    You cannot extract what isn't there to begin with.
    Origin
    First recorded in Giovanni Torriano's Second Alphabet, 1662:
    "To go about to fetch bloud out of stones, viz. to attempt what is impossible."





    ---------

    When used in situations where it is difficult to ask someone of something, then yes, otherwise this idiom is not limited to these situations.


    PS. I tried to type "ьi" and my Cyr/Lat did not switch, so "i" became "и"
    Sorry.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  10. morzh

    morzh Banned

    USA
    Russian
    Also, as you can see from Apa's usage, he is not talking of squeezing something from the boss (so the boss having no compassion is not the context here), but squeezing something from the person himself, who cannot do what's asked of him:
    >>The boss wants you to do more and more work. You can only do so much, they say;"You can't get blood from a stone."

    So you cannot turn "я не могу етого сделать" into "my boss has no pity".
     
  11. zekecoma New Member

    Houston, Texas
    English - American
    I thought the saying was "You can't squeeze blood from a stone"?
     
  12. morzh

    morzh Banned

    USA
    Russian
    Either one exists. Both "squeeze" and "get".

    Just google it.

    As a matter of fact , googling "get" version gives you about 400K hits and "squeeze" - 100K. Srtange, huh?
     

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