The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

The letter "P" is in the first volume of the dictionary?

Are you wondering why words beginning with the letter "P" are in the first volume of the Dictionary? Good. We can explain. The thing is that the Russian word for putrid is "gniloe." (It sounds like this: g-KNEE-loh-yeh. The letter "G" comes near the beginning of the Russian alphabet. In fact, it is the fourth letter. And so "putrid" belongs in volume 1. There you have it.

If you are foolish enough to look it up under "Sivash," you will find it on page 135 of volume 5. Your knuckles will be rapped and you will be told to call the sea by its proper name and go back to volume 1.

(Eighteenth-century dictionaries can be cranky.)

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