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Readers from Slavic countries, I need your help!

Discussion in 'Blade Discussion Forum Archive' started by Sergiusz Mitin, Dec 15, 2000.

  1. Sergiusz Mitin

    Sergiusz Mitin

    Nov 25, 1999
    What is the name of the blade in your language?

    The reason why I'm asking is the search for this word etymology in Slavic languages. In Polish blade is "g³ownia" - "£" we read similarly to English "W". The official synonym is "klinga" but some people say this word came from German "klinge". I'm not quite sure about this because in Russian the blade is "klinok" (written in Cyrillic of course). And this is derivative from "klin" - wedge in English, no way borrowed from German.

    I'm very curious what the name "blade" has in another Slavic languages. If you have any more info in this matter I would be very grateful.

    Sergiusz Mitin
    Lodz, Poland
  2. MIKLE


    Jan 28, 2000
    In Ukrainian language (you could know it, Sergiusz) the name of a BLADE is approximately the same as in Russian. Writing is really the same, but pronunciation is little bit different. I would transcript it not "KLINOK" but "KLYNOK". I mean that in "LI" L is "soft" and in "LY" L is "hard".
    Among my vocabularies I have only two Slavic: Polish and Czech. My Czech vocabulary gives two names of a blade: "CEPEL" and "OSTRI" with "corners" on "C" and "R" letters (I do not know how such "corners" are called in English).
    It is quite sad, but it seems me that except several guys from Poland and Czech Republic we have no forumies from Slavic countries.
    Nevertheless - good luck at your searching [​IMG]

  3. Sergiusz Mitin

    Sergiusz Mitin

    Nov 25, 1999
    Many thanks! [​IMG]
  4. Mike Hull

    Mike Hull

    Nov 25, 2000
    SM,try Ted @ [email protected] he is from Poland,moved to USA 1980's,speaks both languages fluently.Tell him Mike sent you.

  5. littleknife


    Nov 29, 2000
    The best place to look at in is an etymological dictionary of the Polish language. You may also wish to consider a comparative dictionary of the Slavic languagues.
    About the 'klinok': for 'blade' stays not only 'klinok' but also 'lezvie' in Russian. 'Lezvie' also means 'edge' in Russian. The same situation exists in contemporary Bulgarian: the word 'ostrie' means both 'blade' and 'edge'.
    I agree that it is very sad that there are so few Slavic forumites. But I should add that the same is valid for any other East-Europian country too.
    Best wishes:
  6. littleknife


    Nov 29, 2000
    I have just searched several on-line dictionaries and found that the English 'wedge' is 'klin' in several Slavic languages, inlcluding Russian, Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian. On the other hand in some other Indo-European but non-Slavic tongues the words for 'wedge' are similar but this does not necessarily means direct borrowing from them. E.g. the German 'Keil' , the Latin 'cuneus' and the Italian 'cuneo' all mean 'wedge' as the Slavic 'klin'. Maybe all are derivatives of the same proto-Indo-European word. I don't know. You should ask a linguist.
  7. MIKLE


    Jan 28, 2000
    The major meaning of the words "LEZVIE" in Russian language and "LEZO" in Ukrainian is "an edge" not "a blade". Confusion of these ideas is common among "average" people, "real" knifenuts never do that [​IMG]

    My Czech vocabulary gives the same names as for "a blade" and for "an edge" [​IMG]

    Is it happened among English-speaking people to confuse "a blade" and "an edge" ?

  8. dePaul


    Aug 8, 2000
    Mikle, there is no confusion. Blade is called "cepel" (with a hook on c) and edge is "ostrí" (with a hook on r).

    However, those names are only used when specifying the different parts of the knife.

    In common language, on the street, this specification is not necessary and therefore the word ostri is used in both cases.

    It would be similar to using the name "hand", meaning either hand or arm. In english speaking countries people make a distinction between hand and arm. But in Czech language people only say hand refering to both hands and arms!! There is of course a specific name for both hand and arm, such as in medical terminology. Hand: Ruka, Arm: Paze (with a hook). I assume it´s the same in other slavic countries?

    BTW, I live in Sweden but I was born in Czech Republic.

    Have a nice day, regards dePaul [​IMG]
  9. Son of Triglav

    Son of Triglav Banned BANNED

    Dec 17, 2000

    Sergiusz, in Slovenian language, the word for a blade is " rezilo " , it comes from words " rez " =cut and " rezati " = to cut. An egde of a knife,axe etc is called " ostrina ".From adjectiv " oster " which means sharp.
    In Serbian/Croatian language, blade is called " seæivo " (sechivo) and the edge of a knife (and other bladed objects) is called " oštrica " (oshtrica).
    As for term for a wedge, word " klin " is used both in Slovenian and Serbian/Croatian languages.

  10. Sergiusz Mitin

    Sergiusz Mitin

    Nov 25, 1999
    I agree with Mikle, IMHO this is pretty improper use of word "lezvie" in Russian to name the blade, primarily it should mean "edge".

    A very similar thing occurs in Polish, some people say "ostrze" (RZ we read like ¯) having in their mind the blade though "ostrze" in Polish is directly the edge.
  11. slon


    Aug 3, 1999
    OK, some czech words: blade is èepel (cepel) [chepel], edge is ostøí (ostri) [ostrzi:], knife is nùž (nuz) [nu:zh]
  12. David1967


    May 10, 1999
  13. malex


    Nov 16, 1998
    Russian criminal slang dictionary gives the interesting definitions for a "per'o" ("feather" in English) as a knife or razor and a "p'ika" ("pike") as a pointed sharp object intended for stabbing. Synonym for "p'ika" is "zat'ochka"
  14. littleknife


    Nov 29, 2000
    Mikle and Sergiusz:
    I agree that it is improper to confuse the different meanings like in the case of the Russian 'lezvie'. There is only a "little" problem: languages not always evolve the way it seems to be logical. I just pointed out that the REAL Russian usage does not necessarily makes a formal distinction (i.e. uses different words) for the two different meanings ('blade' and 'edge'). Probably this is the reason why 'klinok' is used to mean 'blade' too, originally it means 'wedge'.
    The same situation exists in the contemporary official Bulgarian usage where 'ostrie' means 'blade' OR 'edge' OR even the 'point' of the edged tool/weapon. I think when people use the same FORMS for depicting different MEANINGS they do not necessarily confuse the different meanings just in these cases the process of distinction is switched rather to the sentences than to the words themselves.
    Different languages divide the "field of meanings" different way and even that is evolving/changeing with time.
  15. littleknife


    Nov 29, 2000
    Maybe it seems that I would like to be a "smarta$$", but let me add some more to the things being said before.
    Several years ago anthropologists discovered that a native tribe in Amazonia uses the same word for depicting the 'green' and the 'blue' colors. Somebody came out with the hypothesis that these people have a genetic defect which unables them to see the difference between these colors. Later on additional studies found that they have completely normal human color vision, just their language does not use different words for these two colors. On the other hand for example the contemporary Russian language uses two different words for the pale blue ('goluboy') and the intense, deep blue ('siniy').
    The arctic Inuits have dozens of different words for the different forms of the snow.
    I am sure if you search amongst the different Bulgarian dialects you will find exemples for using different words for the concepts of 'blade', 'edge' and 'point'.
    I also remember reading Russian poems and novels where 'lezvie' is used by the authors to mean blade, in these cases sword blade.
    I am sure they knew what they were talking about. It is a different matter that how "logical" or "correct" is such a usage: by the time it could become a norm. The same thing happened for example to the existing Slavic languages too: all of them are somehow "corrupted" forms compared to the proto-Slavic language. Of course some of them have rich written record, rich literature, so you can find among them more elaborate ones, but this is not necesserily due to the more unambiguous word - meaning relations. The same level of unambiguity could be reached by using less words provided they are used in a different grammatical frame.
    Sorry for these long "lectures" but I wanted to point out that the 'sloppiness' in the word level distinction between 'edge' and 'blade' doesn't necesserily means sloppiness in their conceptual distinction too. What I agree with you that this COULD LEAD to such a sloppiness.

  16. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod

    Apr 6, 2000
    All languages use these kinds of shifted meanings, sometimes for "poetic" purposes. For example, we are corresponding on "Blade"forums, even though the topics are not specifically about "blades", that is, the cutting portion only, but actually about the whole knife, handle and all.


    from Aleksandr Blok, "Na pole Kulikovom":

    Govorit mne drug: < < Ostri svoj mech, ... > >
    My friend says to me: "Sharpen your sword ..."

    Here /ostr-/ is a verb, to sharpen.


    The first time I came across "lezvie" it was clear from the context that it meant a razor. I hadn't realized that the usage was metaphorical.

    [This message has been edited by Esav Benyamin (edited 12-18-2000).]

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