NABOKV-L post 0022972, Wed, 20 Jun 2012 09:11:27 -0400

[I suggest that this thread end here, because it is no longer related to VN. Thanks -- SES]

Spasibo dlya correction. Yes, now that you say it, I used to know the work suka. I haven't really engaged seriously with the Russian language since - bozhe moi - 1974. Of course I wasn't serious about the going to battle for nigger - on the other hand, I think political correctness has gone too far when the curator of the Huntington Library's exhibit on the Transcontinental Railroad (and it's glorious - go virtually if you can't get out here for it) has to erase the ger from a horse blanket - the horse's name was Nigger - probably because he was a black horse - and shortened it to Nig. The image may be online.

I may write a letter to the editor of the L.A. Times after all. Again with thanks for the good-humored response from

On Jun 18, 2012, at 11:28 AM, David Powelstock wrote:

On Sun, Jun 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM, Carolyn Kunin <> wrote:

But back to your female dogs. The proper English translation of sobaka is bitch. It is a touchy word, I know, but hasn't quite achieved the forbidden status of the so-called N-word (nigger, for those who aren't aware).

This is incorrect. Sobaka, although grammatically feminine, is the sex-neutral term for 'dog.' To specify 'bitch' in Russian (as in dog-breeding and insults) one uses suka.

Personally I am hoping to revive the nigger in its correct usages, which I believe has had a legitimate use in the past and should not be under the taboo that currently keeps it in exile.

I would wish you good luck, but in a world where one must choose one's battles this is one battle I can't imagine choosing, and I wouldn't want to encourage you.


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