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Old 05-03-2014, 09:19 AM
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Steve F**king Yzerman
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alexandria, VA
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Originally Posted by Top Shelf View Post
Skippable OT extra name trivia about Vasilyevsky...

Vasily, Vasyl, Wassily, Vasili, etc. are Slavic forms of Basil, meaning king. There's a St. Basil (14691557) who actually went by the humorously revelatory name Basil Fool for Christ . I am not making this up.
The surname Vasilyev (Russian: Васи́льев) is derived from Vasily.
--wikipedia

In Russian the letter e sounds like "yeh", which is why Elin should have left his name as Yelin instead of changing it to confuse announcers, why Vasilyev has y in the middle, and why Vasilyevsky needs it also. If we liked Ovechkin we'd call him Ovyetchkin, like the English "Of yet" plus -chkin. Since we don't like him we pronounce his O as "oh" and his E as a hard "eh", like backwoods goobers what don't speak nuthin but Merkin.

The ending -skaya / -skij (commonly spelled -sky by Russians) is just an extra feminine / masculine adjectival ending. The -skij and rare variant -skiy aren't much used because how to say them isn't readily apparent to English speakers, the target audience in this case. The shortening to -ski and -sky for Poles and Russians respectively is not really a rule but a convention that developed to suit the two ethnic groups, members of which historically never would want to be confused for one another. Poles and russkies still feud over who invented vodka (I'm going with Poland)
I learned something today.

I wonder why the names just can't be spelled phonetically, e.g., Syomen instead of Semin, Fyodorov instead of Fedorov, etc.

But I guess names are always being switched up - Russians go from Alexander to Aleksacha to Sacha but I have no idea how they go from Dmitry to Deema. I asked a Russian friend that question once and he countered with "How do you get from William to Bill?" I imagine there's an explanation for both, but it still made me laugh.

Yeah, this is definitely OT. So... I'm excited for the potential Vasya/Guddy combo in Syracuse. </obvious>
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