Russian word 'допотопный' = 'before the flood'

Maxine

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допотопный (dopotopnyi) до basically translates here to before and потопный(потоп) to flood, so it basically means before the flood, many Russian people use it when they want to call something or talk about something that is very old, but Russian language (or rather mindset on language) is actually a bit complex in that sense, so people don't even realize that they basically say before the flood before they take the word apart to до and потопный , but well that is probably also the case with some English words aswell like founded = found dead. I only recently noticed that and wanted to share, it might kind confirm that flood didn't happend a long time ago or this word here talks about mud flood.
 

kentucky

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‘Antediluvian’ would be the English equivalent, I‘d suppose.

My dad, although not particularly religious (but a traveling man), enjoyed sharing stories about King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (”known to be the most beautiful woman in the world”, he’d say) and he’d often talk about ’antediluvian’ times. It’s unfortunate that I could‘t comprehend what that meant back then. I still wonder if he ever really comprehended the depths of the stories that were passed on to him, to be sure.
 

SuperTrouper

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It's quite interesting to look at this term in other Slavic languages. While in both Croatian and Serbian "prepodoban" literally means "antediluvian" (prije potopa / pre potopa). If we take prefix "pre" out of the word, in both languages "podoban" means "suitable" or "eligible". A curious thing is that in Serbian "prepodoban" or "prepodobni" (as here) is also used to describe Orthodox saints and clergy, as in "venerable", or those who became "Godlike". I'm not sure, but this could also apply in the Russian Orthodox Church.
 

UnusualBean

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Well wouldn't you know it, the Chinese character 昔, which means "the past", "ancient", or "the old times", is formed with a flood over top of the sun.

Somewhat related are 州 and 島, which mean "state/prefecture" and "island" respectively. The first is little islands in a river; the second is a combination of "bird" and "mountain".

Really sounds like there was a time where the sun disappeared and a huge flood turned mountaintops into islands. If that Ngram Viewer thing has any validity to it, then that time appears to have been around the 18th-19th century (just like the Russian word).
 
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Maxine

Maxine

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It's quite interesting to look at this term in other Slavic languages. While in both Croatian and Serbian "prepodoban" literally means "antediluvian" (prije potopa / pre potopa). If we take prefix "pre" out of the word, in both languages "podoban" means "suitable" or "eligible". A curious thing is that in Serbian "prepodoban" or "prepodobni" (as here) is also used to describe Orthodox saints and clergy, as in "venerable", or those who became "Godlike". I'm not sure, but this could also apply in the Russian Orthodox Church.
Yes, in Russia reverends in church are called преподобный (prepodobni), that's actually pretty interesting.
 

Tigermouse

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допотопный (dopotopnyi) до basically translates here to before and потопный(потоп) to flood, so it basically means before the flood, many Russian people use it when they want to call something or talk about something that is very old, but Russian language (or rather mindset on language) is actually a bit complex in that sense, so people don't even realize that they basically say before the flood before they take the word apart to до and потопный , but well that is probably also the case with some English words aswell like founded = found dead. I only recently noticed that and wanted to share, it might kind confirm that flood didn't happend a long time ago or this word here talks about mud flood.
I think both the mud flood and the so called biblical flood both happend. The first being after a global event that caused a knock on affect concluding in the flood. I am planning to start a thread on this subject as it is not so complex and I have a few possibly new insites into this that might be interesting. The mud flood of more recent times may be the result of the 1812 mist that enshrouded large parts of the world and may have caused some kind of over saturation of the earth. Along with a mass plant die off the land just liquified....perhaps.

Also the english language is full of words that when broken down can be quite dark in ther're nature.
 

difference

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@Maxine, About the word "допотопный" - I've actually realized the same thing a couple of months ago, even started to use it intentionally when describing the old world buildings. Just didn't thought it was worth a separate thread as I had nothing else to add.
It'd be great to know whether elderly people have any other associations with the word aside from just "very old".
 
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Maxine

Maxine

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@Maxine, About the word "допотопный" - I've actually realized the same thing a couple of months ago, even started to use it intentionally when describing the old world buildings. Just didn't thought it was worth a separate thread as I had nothing else to add.
It'd great to know whether elderly people have any other associations with the word aside from just "very old".
That's what i mean, originally people used this word to describe something before the flood, but a few generations after we now forgot the original meaning of it and don't even notice that this very word actually talks about something flood.
 

codis

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The meaning of words do change - possibly enforced sometimes.
Some examples from German and English, which derive from an identical source.
For a native German speaker, there are so-called "false friends", similar words with deviating meanings:
become --> bekommen (get, obtain)
clean --> klein (small)
small --> schmal (narrow)
For the second example (clean/klein), the text of an old German prayer is preserved, using "klein" in the meaning of "clean".

OTOH, an example of the supposedly enforced change:
Dmitri Khalezov wrote an extensive document about the 9/11 attacks, arguing the buildings were brought down with a buried thermonuclear device.
He argues the term ground zero, used at early media reports, slipped through the censorship, so to speak. Up to then, the term had exclusively been used for nuclear explosions. He spends several dozen pages of his document tracing down copies of dictionaries (and backdated dictionaries !) to prove the definition of this term was diluted afterwards to make the official 9/11 media documents sound unsuspicious.
A PDF can be be found at wikispooks.com/wiki/File:911_The_Third_Truth_v2.pdf, not sure if it is still the same document I read then (intentionally no direct link).

Back to the main subject, it is now probably hard to prove which flood is (or was originally referred to) with допотопный.
 

Andrinus

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There is a similar term in german: "vorsintflutlich" , with
  • 'vor' = before
  • 'sintflut' = the great flood, with 'sint' referring to 'Sünde' / 'sin' (.. the punishment aspect)
  • 'lich' = indicatating the word as adjective
 

HulkSmash

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@ShemTov Love the map. I think looking at these geology maps can give many clues regarding our past floods. This is evidence that proves the existence of a crazy huge flood, imo. I was doing some research after reading our other thread regarding the Union mine in Nevada and started looking at the geological maps of Nevada. What I always thought curious about the Nevada basin is how the ridgelines/mountains/buttes in the entire state are all in northeast to southwest direction. The geologic map also showed that sand predominated in between the 'ridges'. This smells like massive flood to me. I think that map data is one of our biggest strengths when discussing this theory of major floods.

Sorry that I can't seem to get an image of the Nevada geology map to show what I mean. I seem to be challenged right now...
 
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space966

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I lived in Soviet Union, and yes, sometimes people said about old things, maybe copied from Russians, prieštvaninis, which means before flood, prieš - before, tvanas - flood, tvaninis is more adjective.
 

Beanieboo111

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I think it is also fair to elaborate on the meaning the word “допотопный” carried it the context I which it was used. In USSR it was used to refer to objects as outdated, old, anachronistic. Am example would be “this watch of your seems like antidiluvian”.
This of course doesn’t change the fact the a form of deluge was stuck in people’s collective memory, and perhaps the fact that some technology prior to deluge existed. The antiquity seemed to have equated to technological inferiority in people’s minds but that could easily be a product of indoctrination. Again the important part here is that the deluge intimated itself in collective memory and manifested in language.
 

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