This spring, a ruckus roiling US-Russian relations was one for the history books: It was the first spat that involved a children’s playground taunt.
It began when US President Biden said “Um, yes” when a journalist asked if he thought Russian President Putin was a killer. Then, in Moscow, a journalist asked Putin for his response. After wishing his American counterpart good health – “будьте здоровы!” – Putin recalled his rough and tumble St. Petersburg childhood. “Я вспоминаю, в детстве мы во дворе, когда спорили друг с другом, говорили так: “Кто как обзывается – тот так и называется” (“I recall that when we had fights with each other in the courtyard, we’d say [literally] whatever you call someone is what you are.”)
English-speaking journalists frantically thought back to their childhoods and rendered this as: “Takes one to know one” or “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”
Don't have an account? signup
Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567