It’s Wednesday and you know what that means – It’s time to learn some Russian!
It’s no secret that the tradition of naming banknotes is quite strong among Russians and many of these familiar names have deep historical roots. Let’s take a look at some of the most common Russian banknotes in circulation at the moment.
• 1 ruble – tselkóvy (целковый), meaning “entire” or “whole” (целый)
• 5 rubles – pyatyórka (пятёрка), pyaták (пятак), pyatachyók (пятачок)
• 10 rubles – chírik (чирик), chervónets (червонец) or desyátka (десятка)
• 50 rubles – poltínnik (полтинник) also referred to as poltishók (полтишок), pyótr (Пётр) from a picture of a monument to Peter I shown on a bill
• 100 rubles – stólnik (стольник), sótka (сотка)
• 500 rubles – pyatikhátka (пятихатка), originally pyatikátka (пятикатка)
• 1,000 rubles – kosár (косарь), shtúka (штука) or a hybrid shtukár (штукарь), tónna (тонна) (mostly in St. Petersburg)
Some of these definitions (chírik, pyatikátka, kosár) comes from Russian jail slang, and are considered vulgar in daily speech – so use with caution!
It’s little things like this that make me fall even deeper in love with the Russian language)) In the US there are some people who refer to banknotes by the President/Founding Father on the particular bill, for example:
• $1 - George Washington
• $2 - Thomas Jefferson
• $5 - Abraham Lincoln
• $10 – Alexander Hamilton (he was not a President)
• $20 – currently Andrew Jackson (as of April 2016 the US Treasury announced its plan to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill! She was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and armed scout and spy for the US Army during the American Civil War, and one of the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors”.
• $50 – Ulysses S. Grant
• $100 – Benjamin Franklin (He was not a President)
…and the list goes on!
So, does your language have any interesting nicknames for its banknotes? Or perhaps an interesting story? Let me know below!