IdiomIdiom (n): a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.
In all three of my novels I gave my Russian speakers a definite Slavic flavor by having their dialogue employ regional idioms. On one of my 'visits' to Belarus I shopped at a book store in Minsk. Among the thousands of titles was an illustrated handbook of Russian idioms Not only were the sayings presented in both English and Russian, but it also contained cartoons depicting each. This book became my official source for much of my 'authentic' dialogue.
|A Book of Russian Idioms Illustrated - by M. I. Dubrovin|
Massey and Sam Leave HomeIn the first chapter of Ikons: Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker, Massey convinces his brother Sam to leave their village by calling him one of the timid dozen. In other words, he called Sam a coward.
|Don't be a coward, Sam.|
|Too much confidence|
Boris Talks to PetrMy main speaker in idioms was Boris Lukavich Koscik, Akulina's father. I sprinkled sayings throughout his dialogue resulting in his defining voice. Boris' favorite catch phrase was, "or so they say." For example in Banners: For God, Tsar and Russia, when Akulina questioned him concerning his unsuccessful meeting with the leader of the Old Believers' Boris complained, "It's like throwing peas against the wall, or so they say."
|It's no use talking to him|