развесистая клюква

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Russian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Supposedly in reference to a French writer's description of Russian cranberry plants (which in the wild grow only a few centimeters tall) as tall shrubs or trees. Attested early 20th century.

Nabokov pointed out that the expression literally translates to “highbush cranberry” (Viburnum opulus) in English, but in Russian (unlike English) it appears absurd because Russian uses entirely different terms for tall shrubs in the genus Viburnum (кали́на (kalína)) and dwarf plants in the subgenus Oxycoccus (клю́ква (kljúkva)).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [rɐzˈvʲesʲɪstəjə ˈklʲukvə]

Noun[edit]

разве́систая клю́ква (razvésistaja kljúkvaf inan (genitive разве́систой клю́квы, nominative plural разве́систые клю́квы, genitive plural разве́систых клю́кв)

  1. (idiomatic, ironic) Ignorant stereotypes and tall tales, especially in Western depictions of Russia.
    • 1998, Алексей Козлов, Козёл на саксе:
      В созна́нии европе́йцев, а осо́бенно америка́нцев, всё простра́нство за «желе́зным за́навесом» представля́лось тогда́ не то пусты́ней, не то тайго́й с медве́дями, цыга́нами, во́дкой и икро́й, коро́че ― с разве́систой клю́квой.
      V soznánii jevropéjcev, a osóbenno amerikáncev, vsjó prostránstvo za “želéznym zánavesom” predstavljálosʹ togdá ne to pustýnej, ne to tajgój s medvédjami, cygánami, vódkoj i ikrój, koróče ― s razvésistoj kljúkvoj.
      At that time, Europeans and especially Americans imagined all the land on the other side of the Iron Curtain as either devoid of habitation or as a taiga containing bears, gypsies, vodka, and caviar, which is to say stereotypes born of ignorance.

Declension[edit]

See also[edit]