Just Another Day

"Any idiot can handle a crisis, it's day to day living that wears you out." - Chekhov

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Чертов

For the non-Russian speakers: Chertoff's name is a derivation of Devil. The Russian word for devil, not necessarily The Devil but can also mean A Devil, is Chert (pronounced 'chort'; in children's or learners' books, it would be written чёрт with the 'ё' signifying an 'o'-like sound instead of 'e'). Chert is also used as a curse similar to the English use of the word 'Damn!' The ending 'off' is simply a family-name marker from the old genitive case deriving from expressions akin to the old naming mechanism in English, e.g., Michael Chertoff would have meant something like Michael of the Devils a long time ago. Now, it is just a family name but...

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