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Word in focus

чувак  [choo-VAK] (masculine noun) – dude, man, guy

А кто этот чувак? Ты его раньше здесь видел? = Who is that guy? Have you seen him here before?

У тебя что, чувак, совсем крыша поехала? =  Dude, are you nuts?


Хлопать ушами - do nothing (while it's necessary to take action)

Хлопать ушами   - to do nothing (while it's necessary to take action); to listen without understanding

На лекции надо слушать, а не ушами хлопать: экзамены на носу. = You should listen during the class, not just sit there doing nothing: the exams are coming soon.

А где была полиция? Ушами хлопала? = And where were the police? Doing nothing?


Literally the idiom means "to clap one's ears"!



На волосок от смерти - within a hair's breadth of death

На волосок от смерти  - within a hair's breadth of death; very close to death


Во время войны он трижды прошёл на волосок от смерти. = During the war he was within a hair's breadth of death three times.

Когда охотники наткнулись на неё, она была на волосок от смерти. = When hunters came across her, she was within a hair's breadth of death.




У чёрта на рогах - very far away

У чёрта на рогах  - very far away; in a shit hole

Как же мы доберёмся до них? Они живут у чёрта на рогах. = How are we going to get to their place? They live in a shit hole.

Этот магазин на другом конце города, у чёрта на рогах. = This shop is at the other end of town, so far away!


Literally the idiom means "on devil's horns".


бросать слова на ветер - to waste one's words

Бросать слова на ветер   - to waste one's words; to speak at random; not to keep promises

Не верь ему, он просто бросает слова на ветер. = Don't believe him, he's just speaking at random.

Сергей не бросает слов на ветер; если он обещал что-то - сделает. = Sergey always keeps his word; if he's promised something, he'll do it.


Literally the idiom means "to throw words to the wind".


Кот наплакал - very little

Кот наплакал  - very little; hardly any; next to nothing


У меня денег - кот наплакал. = I hardly have any money left.

В холодильнике еды - кот наплакал! Надо срочно идти в магазин. = There's almost no food in the refrigerator! We need to urgently go to she shop.


Literally the idiom means "(as much as) the cat has cried". Apparently, Russian cats cry very little... :)