The meaning of the word "cursed" in Russian

Time passes, and with it changes life and human society. Language as a means of communication is also not static - it is constantly evolving. In everyday life there are new words, at the same time, others are falling out of use, adding to the dictionaries of outdated terms. "Cursed" - one of the examples of such archaisms in the Russian language.

Indeed, today the majority of Russians are unlikely to be able to clearly explain the meaning of the word “cursed”. Nevertheless, it is often found on the pages of works of the classics of Russian literature: Chekhov, Ostrovsky, Nekrasov, Lermontov, Bunin, Pushkin, etc. From this it follows that in the XIX century this adjective was in use. So what did our ancestors mean by it?

Meaning of the word "cursed"

Referring to the etymology that studies the origin of words, we learn that the term we are interested in goes back to the Old Slavonic language and is derived from "kayati" - "repentance."

Thus, the word “damned” was used to designate a sinful, damned, unholy, outcast person. Accordingly, it served as a synonym for evil forces: the devil, demon, Satan, devil.

meaning of the word damned

However, the dictionaries note that colloquially, the meaning of the word "cursed" also had a swearing meaning. They were “rewarded” with someone for unsightly offenses or they were used to describe extremely unpleasant situations and phenomena: a damned wind, a damned need, etc.

Illustrative example

In the annals of our history remained Prince Svyatopolk, whom popular rumor dubbed the Cursed. He was the son of Vladimir, the Grand Duke of Kiev, who ruled at the end of the tenth century. Having learned that Svyatopolk has committed, we will better understand the meaning of the word “cursed”.

synonym for word cursed

The Tale of Bygone Years, the earliest surviving chronicle of arches, tells in particular about the internecine war of the sons of Prince Vladimir, which broke out after his death.

According to this literary monument, Svyatopolk, who received from his father the principality of Turov, wanted to establish himself in Kiev. To this end, he ordered the killing of his brothers: Gleb, Boris and Svyatoslav, for which he was nicknamed Damned, forever remaining in history as an example of unrepentant fratricide.

From here it is easy to find synonyms for the word "cursed": damn, scoundrel, despicable.

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