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Words new to me: хлап

October 30, 2012

Obsolete card-playing term. Apparently a jack, now a валет, was once a хлап (stem-stressed), while король and дама were краль and краля. The relevant entries in Dal’ have idioms like ни хлап, ни краль, meaning ни то, ни се, neither one thing nor the other. Both краля and хлап show up in chapter 51 of Laughter and Sorrow (Смех и горе, 1871) in one of the ecclesiastical denunciations written in the extra-formal variety of the clergy register.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2012 8:35 am

    And as I guessed before looking it up in Vasmer, хлап is equivalent to холоп ‘slave, serf, lackey’ and is from Old Church Slavic хлапъ (though the Russian word is borrowed from Czech chlap).

    • October 30, 2012 10:06 am

      And if we doubted Vasmer, we can see what his erudite successor Seminarist gives as the etymology of холоп/хлап.

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