NABOKV-L post 0014295, Thu, 7 Dec 2006 02:58:55 +0300

Fw: [NABOKV-L] kinboot - Russian "vira"
Kinbote: camouflage or coincidence?Kinboot, -bute, -bot. A wergeld or man-boot paid by a homicide to the kin of the person slain.

Dear Abdellah,

The Russian equivalent of "kinboot" is vira. Interestingly, this obsolete, yet existing word (it is in the Dahl dictionary, and even in the Oxford Russian-English dictionary where it is translated as "wergeld") is close to both "Vyra" (the name of VN's family estate) and "Vera" (the name of his wife). It is also close to the Latin vir.

May I switch to another subject and ask you a question about "Camera obscura." And I mean not Nabokov's novel of that title (which was changed to Laughter in the Dark in the English version), but Hildebrandt's. Didn't you (or anyone else on the List) read it by chance? The book is said to be a Dutch classic that Marx (into whose family history I recently did some research) had been reading in order to learn Dutch.


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