Waterloo and Vauxhall Vauxhall

I like the Russian word for railway station, vokzal. This is apparently because a Russian parliamentary delegation visited the UK to see this fabulous new invention, the railway.Their hosts from the House of Commons took them over the river to the nearest station, Vauxhall in South London. When the Russians asked what it was called, meaning the type of building, they got the reply 'Vauxhall'. So vokzal to this day means railway station in Russian.

Editorial note: This is a popular explanation of how the word might have entered the Russian vocabulary but there is no proof that this situation actually took place. It is much more likely that the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens passed on their name. Vauxhall became a synonym for pleasure gardens, one of which was situated in Pavlovsk in Russia. It became the destination of the first Russian railway line. So the word vokzal, originally used for 'pleasure garden', got transferred to the meaning 'railway station'.

Sent by: Mark


Anonymous 2009-10-15

The name comes from the "Vauxhall Gardens" constructed in Pavlosk, 2 miles beyond Tsarskoe Selo, in order to make the railway line, recently built by Czar Nicholas 1st, less costly to run. Vauxhall Gardens was an 18th century London pleasure gardens and the name was used by Torre, an 18th century impresario, when he opened an attraction in Paris. So popular did it become that the French adopted 'Vauxhall as a generic for 'pleasure gardens' and it moved to Russia where it gave its name to Russian railway stations.

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Caroline, UK 2009-06-24

"Ananas" is derived from the Guarani word for pineapple. Guarani is the South American language spoken in Paraguay, and both the fruit and its name were brought to Europe by the Portuguese.

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Tatiana, RF 2009-06-11

Hmm ... talking about languages connection what about the word - Ananas (pineapple)?
And it's the same in German, Russian and French.

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Paul, Vauxhall 2009-04-30

...and vauxhall is actually a corruption of Fawkes Hall (named after a relative of Guy Fawkes) which was a large house situated in the area. The house was used to store the gun powder of Guy Fawkes

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Rob 2008-07-19

I totally agree with Perückenmacher, though connecting Vokzal and Volkssaal is too much for my understanding of Russian. But there are a lot of German words in Russian anyhow. For example: Russian Buchgalter (German Buchhalter, accountant), Russian Burgomistr (German Bürgermeister, mayor) or Russian Kartofel' (German Kartoffel, potato). Funny, that Russian has a second word for potato: Kartoschka.

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Maria 2006-05-24

Vokzal can be transliterated as German Volkssaal which means 'hall for (common) people'. You see, Russian is closely connected with German.

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Ute 2006-02-03

I believe the Russian for hairdresser is parikmacher, which, if you know German, means literally Perückenmacher, wig maker.

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Dyson Ann 2005-06-14

In Russia, the most celebrated musicians considered it an honor to perform at a railway station. The Russian word vokzal resembles the abbreviated vokalny zal which means "vocal hall", that is the scene of concerts. The main Russian railway stations in Moscow and St. Petersburg hosted the famous bass Fyodor Chaliapin and such well-known singers as Anastasia Vyaltseva and Varya Panina. The leading Russian companies were invited to perform works by Russian and foreign composers. The Waltz King Johann Strauss gave frequent guest concerts at the Russian railway stations.

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