19 September 2008

New Innovations in Vocabulary

How many ways can you think of to spell a basic egg dish? I can think of three.

omelette
omelet
omlet

I had never seen the third spelling until today, as I was reading about Soviet collectivization and dekulakization in the 1930s.

Where, you ask, do 'omlets' factor into basic political movements under Stalin?

Any guesses?

"In Belyi raion, members of one brigade 'took eggs and cooked themselves an omlet' while expropriating one prosperous peasant."

Thank you, Shelia Fitzpatrick (author of 'Stalin's Peasants: Resistance & Survival in the Russian Village After Collectivization') for the new spelling of omlet. It's cute.

Also new to my vocabulary is the (apparently) Russian measurement of grain, the 'pud'. My northern Virginian roommate says it sounds like the name of a sort of large footprint. Research (Googling around) confirms that a kilogram is about 6.1% of a pud. Cool.

ALSO if you flip the second letter of 'omlet' upside-down, you get another word I really like.

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