Global Politics

Understanding Putin-isms

That is a reference to an old TV show from the 1970s and it sort of means mind your own business, it's intended to be a laugh line. a lot of this is difficult because when Putin is giving a press conference, he lets slip an endlessly supply of folk expressions. And you have to figure out where this stuff comes from. (There's one particular phrase he used that's kind of curious.) He was asked if he was tired and he responded, of course I could as some people used to say stick my alls in the walls and lie down on my side. That means an all was used to make shoes and because it could get easily lost, a shoemaker would stick it in a piece of wood. So it means at the end of the day sticking your tools on the wall and lying down to go to sleep. (You translated this as hang up your hammer and hit the hay, etc. Putin has some others which are difficult to translate). I think the most vivid one was when someone asked him about his wealth and he said his wealth was all the experiences and riches of his term as president but as to the rumors of material wealth, they just picked out of their nose and smeared it on pieces of paper. It's a good sense of what he thought of those news reports. We'll see if Medvedev will use such phrases too, and so far he hasn't.

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