The Russian Military, Cucumbers & Shaving Brushes!

Despite being Russian terms, all current and ex-soldiers will be able to appreciate the following:

  • Ogourets: a soldier in their first six months of service (literally, a cucumber – referring to the colour green, which signifies inexperience).
  • Pomazok: a soldier who has served more than one year and is therefore released from certain menial tasks (literally, a shaving brush).
  • Chelovek-amfibiya: a soldier on dish-washing duty (literally, an amphibian man).
  • Khoronit’ Okourok: a pinishment for soldiers who drop their cigarette butts on the ground; when even one such butt is found all soldiers are woken up in the middle of the night and forced to spend hours digging deep holes to bury individual butts.
  • Lekarstvo Ot Lyubvi: two years of army service (literally, a cure for love, meaning girlfriends rarely wait for soldiers to come home).


de Boinod, A.J. (2007) Toujours Tingo. London: Penguin Books Ltd. pp.288-289.


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