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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

THE WORD'S WORTH: Wealth of Words to Say You're Short of Money




There are those of us who find it hard to live within our means all year long, but there is something about the holidays that puts even greater strain on the wallet. I don't even have to wait for the January credit card bills to know that ? ?Ж?Щ??*...Ѓ...Ж?" - or that I went on a spending spree.


The first time I heard this word - which combines the word for purse, Щ??*...?Щ, with the prefix ?Ж", meaning to disperse - I made a mental note to introduce it into this column. And now, in my post-Christmas penniless state, I suddenly have cause to remember it.


This is, of course, not the only way to express breaking the bank. I have known plenty of Russians who are willing to spend more than a month's salary on one dinner party, so they need plenty of words to communicate their temporary state of bankruptcy.


?Ж"∞Ж"Ж?Ѓ?", a word the bard Vladimir Vysotsky used to sing with characteristic grit, is another that will do nicely in this context. Or, more simply, they can ∞???Ж?" ??* І*_"LЃ _Ж ?*?*? (throw all their money to the wind) or ??????ЩЖ?" ??* І*_"LЃ ?Щ??"" ?Ж..."--, let all their money slip through their fingers.


In these final days before my credit card bills arrive, I can still feel good about this seasonal spending spree. After all, І??Ж ..."∞Ѓ? ???????, or the soul loves a wide open range.


Every now and then it does the soul good to ??????Ж?" ??? І? Щ??*©ЩЃ (to squander down to your last thread) and ???Ж?"?? ? ??? ?Ж?" ??ІЃ...Ж, or end up in what your mother bore you - which is even less than the proverbial shirt on your back. But perhaps a few days from now I will be reciting the Russian expression ????Ѓ?" Ѓ І??ЖЩ ??**? (even an idiot knows how to live beyond his means) or the catchier ∞Ѓ??L?, ???...Ѓ??L? ІЖ ???ґЃ??L? _* ?*?_??": You can't bring back the broken, poured, or spent.


There is no other option, for those of us who spend like a fool, than to take a lesson in stinginess, or to learn to be a bit more ?Щ???©, or cheap.


Luckily, there are any number of handy Russian expressions to aid in this endeavor. Why not start the day with a new mantra, such as ...???* ?Щ????Ж??, ?*? ?????Ж?? - it's better to be cheap than extravagant. If that doesn't suit you, you can always go with ∞*?*ґ...Ѓ????" - ...???** ∞?LЖ????? - economy is better than wealth, or Щ?? Щ??*©Щ? _* ∞*?*ґ??, ??? ?Ж? Щ??*©ЩЃ _* ???Ѓ? (anyone who doesn't save a kopek isn't worth a farthing).


If I keep repeating these things to myself, maybe before next Christmas I will learn to ???ІЃ?" Щ?_-- ? Щ?_-Ж?Ѓ, or make ends meet.