Why Do Russians Find The Word "Pedestrian" So Amusing?

Why is it that people who speak Russian seem to find the English word “pedestrian” amusing?

Does this word translate into something funny/obscene in Russian?


In Russia, pedestrians amuse you!

Sorry, I got nothing. :frowning:

Very likely because it’s close to педераст (pederast), the general term - and by that I mean not particularly offensive or bigoted - for ‘homosexual’.


Does the word “helicopter” have any connotations in Russian?

It might, but my Russian slang dictionary is packed tight in a box pending the last leg of the move I just went through.

That’s interesting. Does it come from the same root as the English word, which means male-male pedophile?

Seeing as how English borrowed the word from Greek, my money’s on ‘yes’. I don’t want to derail the thread with a debate on the meaning of the word itself, but I would like to say that from what I gathered in chasing the etymology down, the word doesn’t imply strictly pedophilia.

Are these pedestrians of the Red Sea variety?

Of course we find the word “defect” amusingly similar to “defecate”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Only if your name is Bevis or Butthead. Henh, henh.

[quote=“Olentzero, post:3, topic:565340”]

Very likely because it’s close to

Pederast is from the Greek paido - boy, + erastes - lover, literally a lover of boys, and this was the primary meaning in English. It later acquired the secondary senses of one who practices anal intercourse; a male homosexual.

(Information from OED Online).

Yeah, but these ‘boys’ ranged in age up to - as I understand it - the early 20s. The focus was more on the age difference rather than the age of the object of affection/lust. Also there seems to have been an element of mentorship to it, at least as far as the classic Greek civilization was concerned.

Neptunian Slug, you wanna finish that thought?

ETA Beavis. But I’m just feeling pedantic tonight.

Huh, Tapatalk must have fritzed on me. Basically, all I said was that your explanation seemed to be plausible. I just never got the impression from any of my Russian friends that there was anything humorous about the word.

Or Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson

Just a data point: In France I often hear people use the word “pédé” to refer (offensively) to a homosexual. I’ve always assumed it too derives from “pederast.”