- Ждать у моря погоды
“To wait for the weather by the sea.”
To sit and wait for a change that might never come. Usually people tell each other this to encourage someone to stop waiting futilely.
- Выносить из избы мусор
“To take trash out of the house”
That is usually said with condemnation for someone letting everyone know of problems that should be kept and resolved inside a family.
- Игра не стоит свеч
“The game isn’t worth the candles.”
Meaning that something isn’t worth the effort. It comes from the card players who referred to a bet so small, that the even the win would cost less than the candles used to illuminate the room for the game.
- Взять себя в руки
“To take yourself in your hands”
A Russian way to say, put yourself together and wo/man up!
- Работа – не волк, в лес не убежит
“Work is no wolf, it won’t run away into the woods.”
It’s a great saying to use when you need a break from all the work.
- Бальзам на душу
“A balm for the soul.”
Something really pleasing, especially if some upsetting things have been happening before.
- Кот наплакал
“What a cat has cried”
Cats aren’t known as very sentimental creatures, so that simply means not much.
- Под лежачий камень вода не течёт
“Water does not run under a lying stone.”
There are lots of saying in Russian to tell that only hard work pays. This one is more like, “If you don’t do anything, nothing will change.”
- Базара нет
A popular gangster slang born in the 90s, it’s a way of saying that you agree and there is nothing more to talk about on the matter.
- У него семь пятниц на неделе
“He has 7 Fridays in a week”
Somehow, this refers to a person who never keeps his promises and changes his mind all the time.
- Брать с потолка
“Take something from a ceiling”
To make information up, without any real data.
- У страха глаза велики
“The fear has big eyes.”
My personal favourite, this means when you are scared of something, your mind will make it bigger and scarier than it really is.
- Быть не в своей тарелке
“To not be in your own plate.”
This means to feel uncomfortable in an unknown environment.
- Руки в ноги и вперёд!
“Legs in hands, and ahead!”
This is a funny one meaning “Go!’ or ‘Put yourself together and go’.
- С Богом
Calling for God to be by one’s side. People say it to themselves or each other when they set out for something big.