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Words new to me: наслюда, зажора, заувея

May 31, 2013

These words all come up in a description of a difficult sleigh ride to make it to an April 1st birthday.

наслюда ‘thin layer of water above ice during a thaw’ is found in a 1903 Dictionary of the Rostov Dialect (Словарь ростовского говора), on expressions used in the Rostov District in Yaroslavl Province, compiled by a V. Volotskii (or Volotskoi; it’s given both ways).

зажор ‘water running underneath snow during a thaw’ and elsewhere also ‘ice dam’ is marked as regional in Ozhegov. The feminine зажора is given as a regional synonym for the regional зажор in Efremova.

заувея  (also заувей and увей) ‘part of a field that is shaded by an adjacent forest, so that grain grows poorly’ If Dal’ emphasizes the effect of the shade on grain, the same area also sees snow melt more slowly in the spring.

From Pisemskii’s Men of the Forties (Люди сороковых годов, 1869), part 3, chapter 13:

“Vozdvizhenskoe grew more and more charming by the day; whole streams of water already flowed down its high hill; the huge surface of the lake the estate looked out on was already almost entirely covered by a dark blue nasliuda.”

“On the road itself there were zazhory in many places, so that the horses disappeared in them nearly up to their bellies, and after them so did the sleigh with its riders. Van’ka, who was already wet up to his neck, rode in front. Vikhrov stood up whenever his sleigh dipped into a zazhora.”

“When they had put the forest behind them, they had no more than two or three fields to cross; but, alas! – these fields in all likelihood amounted to the most awful path of all they had driven through. Because of the zauveia from the forest, there was quite a lot of snow on them…”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 31, 2013 8:34 am

    Wonderful words! There are only two instances of заувея/заувей in the Национальный корпус русского языка (наслюда occurs only here), and I was not the least bit surprised to see that the other was in Viktor Astafyev, a reliable source of such dialect words (“Мальчик, отогревшийся возле огня, то и дело убегал из заувея за каменный бычок, выглядывал катер, но скоро, обожженный холодным, сырым ветром, возвращался к огню и уныло ронял”); I keep a copy of his long collection of autobiographical stories Затеси on my Kindle for moments when I want to disappear into the Siberian woods and rivers for a while.

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