"kiss the lock"

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by Gavril, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    An old acquaintance of mine, whose native language was Russian, told me that on one occasion she went to class not knowing that the class for that day had been cancelled. If I recall right, she said that she "arrived to kiss the lock" of the closed classroom. She explained that "kiss the lock" was her grandmother's expression (and therefore presumably a Russian expression, though it might have been made up by her grandmother herself).

    Is "kiss the lock" (or similar) an expression that any of you are familiar with in Russian? If so, what contexts is it most commonly used in?

  2. cheburashka Gena Senior Member

    Нашел в словаре, что выражение "целовать (поцеловать) замок" означает прийти к кому-либо в гости и не застать хозяев. Но лично я никогда раньше его не слышал. Наверное, это выражение не очень часто используется в русском языке или же оно распростанено только в некоторых регионах.
  3. Maroseika Moderator

    I'd say this expression is not very popular, although I heard it many times. The context is very simple: to come somewhere and find the door closed (office, shop, friends apartment or whatsoever).
    As for its origin, I suspect it is from what is called "Odessa slang". Is not your old acquaintance a Jew?
  4. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Yes. She was also born in the Ukraine (when it was part of the USSR).
  5. cheburashka Gena Senior Member

    Только наверное не "closed", а "locked".
  6. gvozd Senior Member

    I've heard 'to kiss the door' (целоваться с дверью).
  7. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Hi Gavril. There is a very similar expression in Polish -- pocałować klamkę (to kiss the doorknob). Ukraine was a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, at least a part of it, so it may be something typical of the Ukrainian Russian -- a calque from Polish.
  8. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    I also only heard "kiss the door". I would ask the question on the Ukrainian forum too, to see if there is an expression like this.
  9. Roger1 New Member

    вообще это выражение распространено не только для русского сегмента, но и белорусского, украинского, польского и т.д. языков. Встречается почти повсеместно, хотя используется может и не часто. Могу подтвердить что очень часто оно используется в польском языке, а его вариант это "pocałować klamkę": http://pl.wiktionary.org/wiki/pocałować_klamkę
  10. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hi Roger1,

    I put your post into Google Translate (I'm not fluent in Russian :)), and it says

    = " this expression is common not only for the Russian segment, and Belarussian, Ukrainian, Polish, etc. languages."

    Does распространено mean "common" in the sense of "frequent" (= people use the expression frequently), or in the sense of "shared" (= all of these Slavic languages use the expression)?

  11. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Just to be sure, does the expression "kiss the lock" exist in Russian, or is only "kiss the doorknob" used? My original informant translated the phrase as "kiss the lock", but she may have been aiming for a more idiomatic translation into English (as opposed to an exact translation).
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  12. Maroseika Moderator

    It exists in both versions - поцеловать замок/дверь. Maybe there is also поцеловать ручку двери, but I hav enever heard it. Looks like too long for a colloquial expressions. Maybe it exists only in Polish where it is one word - klamka.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012

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