Odessa etymology

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Jul 20 15:03:41 UTC 2002

   Greetings from Odessa, on a vacation where I get on the internet to see how much money I've lost.

ODESSA ETYMOLOGY--My tour guide today said that Odessa has no fresh water source, and the name "Odessa" is "no water" backwards in French.  This sounds like folk etymology; not even Google seems to have this one?

THE KYIV BEET & KYIV BURP--Kiev's answer to THE ONION.  See www.geocities.com/thekyivbeet.  The other one is listed only at kyivburp307 at hotmail.com.

WOMAN WITH A KITCHEN KNIFE--Nickname for the ugly Soviet statue in Kiev (Motherland), supposedly their answer to the Statue of Liberty.

TO LIVE IS GOOD.  TO LIVE GOOD IS BETTER--My tour guide said this was a saying in Soviet days.

BANDURA--"is a Ukrainian folk instrument which looks somewhat like a misshapen lute but sounds somewhat like a harp."  Only one OED hit, with the Ukraine not mentioned.

DREIDEL--The Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine has 400 items of Judaica, including a Scroll of Esther.  Not one dreidel!...No Jewish Museum anywhere around here.

BABI YAR--A menorah was finally placed on the site in 1991, fifty years later.  The site happens to be near a destroyed Jewish cemetery.  A communications plaza is now built on the Jewish graves.
   The Soviets, under pressure, put an ugly statue on the wrong site in 1976.  No mention of Jews was on the plaque.  One Ukrainian writer was killed at Babi Yar, so the Soviets put up a large cross.  Amazing.

WALLET TRICK--As I was walking down the street, I saw a wallet on the ground.  Someone near me picked it up.  Then a man came and asked me, in English, if I found his wallet.  Hey guy, you got the scam wrong, because the wrong guy picked it up!  I was told that the "wallet scam" is famous all over the Ukraine, but I don't know if there's a particular name for it.

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