бессеребник

English translation: unmercenary

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Russian term or phrase:бессребреник
English translation:unmercenary
Entered by: koundelev

14:07 Jun 1, 2008
Russian to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Slang
Russian term or phrase: бессеребник
новоявленные миллионеры охотно рассказывают анекдоты о самих себе, полагая в душе, что они на самом деле остаются все теми же парнями-бессеребниками
Simon Hollingsworth
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:23
unmercenary
Explanation:
бессеребРЕник

disinterested; (альтруистичный) unselfish
Selected response from:

koundelev
Local time: 14:23
Grading comment
Thanks to all for your help. I enjoyed reading this discussion.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +4unmercenary
koundelev
4 +1penniless guy/lad/bloke
beermatt
3 +1...still thinking themselves to be same old broke and goodhearted fellas.
Tevah_Trans
3 +1altruistic guys
erika rubinstein
2 +2unselfish fellows
Rachel Douglas
4nonpossessor
Anton Konashenok


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
unmercenary


Explanation:
бессеребРЕник

disinterested; (альтруистичный) unselfish

koundelev
Local time: 14:23
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Thanks to all for your help. I enjoyed reading this discussion.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Rachel Douglas: This vote is for "unselfish", which George posted before I did. "Selfless" is the same as "unselfish", but the latter sounds more colloquial, I think, which suits the context.
56 mins
  -> Thank you! I just followed Dahl both in spelling and meaning...

agree  Vanda Nissen
1 hr
  -> Thank you!

agree  Andrey Belousov (X): You got that right./ ... and the Russian spelling - too.
2 hrs
  -> Thank you! I just followed Dahl both in spelling and meaning...

agree  svetlana cosquéric
5 hrs
  -> Thank you!
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28 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +2
unselfish fellows


Explanation:
Just in case...

Most of the contexts on Yandex make it sound as if бессеребник is a variation on, or a mistake for, бессеребренник (бессеребрянник?), as in Saints Kosma and Damian, who took no money for their healing work and other good deeds - did everything pro bono. Or, are others saying that бессеребник is a separate word, meaning penniless? It would be interesting to hear a clarification of the disinctions among all of these.

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Note added at 30 mins (2008-06-01 14:37:11 GMT)
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Oh, sorry! - I hadn't seen George's post, which included "unselfish". But I'll leave this because of the note I wrote, in case it's helpful.

Rachel Douglas
United States
Local time: 06:23
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 24

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Arkadi Burkov: В данном контексте фраза "новоявленные миллионеры", как мне кажется, косвенно указывает на то, что бессребреник используется скорее в значении penniless guy
3 mins
  -> OK, thanks.... Still, maybe Simon has more context from surrounding sentences, to make sure.

agree  Yuri Geifman: it does sound like бессребреник is being used in the sense of "having no silver", but I think that's a clear case of incorrect usage by the writer - I don't know of a slang term like this, was just making a point about incorrect usage
23 mins
  -> Interesting. So, there is a "slang" term бессеребник meaning "pauper", but it gets mixed up w бессеребренник? Yandex has "Косма + Дамиан" 11 times w бессеребники, 28 w бессеребрянники, 500+ w бессеребренники. I guess the first two are mistakes.

agree  Vanda Nissen
1 hr
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31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
altruistic guys


Explanation:
...

erika rubinstein
Local time: 12:23
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 15

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  salavat
7 mins
  -> thank you
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
бессребреник
nonpossessor


Explanation:
Originally, the word "бессребреник" appears mostly in Christian texts to denote a certain kind of asceticism (reducing one's possessions to the bare minimum). "Nonpossessor" is porbably the closest equivalent in similar English texts (or "nonpossessive" if you want an adjective).
Outside of the Christian interpretation, one may as well interpret "nonpossessor" as simply a person who possesseth not a thing :-)


Anton Konashenok
Czech Republic
Local time: 12:23
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 24
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
penniless guy/lad/bloke


Explanation:
"...that they're actually still the same penniless guys/lads/blokes they used to be..."

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Note added at 13 mins (2008-06-01 14:20:34 GMT)
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Well, Jack beat me to it! If you decide to use this solution, he gets the points!

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Note added at 2 hrs (2008-06-01 17:02:59 GMT)
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to Anton: (space for answerer's response is full)
That's possible. I'm trying to remember what work of Russian literature we were dealing with where the term popped up... that was over 20 years ago....

beermatt
Local time: 12:23
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Anton Konashenok: no, that's different, see my note to Jack // well, maybe your teacher meant "penniless by choice" (ascetic, that is) rather than one in dire straits?
1 hr
  -> Jack's withdrawn his suggestion, so I can't. So my (native speaker) school Russian teacher was wrong? I distinctly remember getting "poor" or "penniless" or "pauper" as the translation for the term. Couldn't find it in a dic. now, so this was from memory.

agree  Andrey Belousov (X): I share your view - True, but NOT in this context/ The mighty - Russian!
7 hrs
  -> Well, at least I'm not totally off track in general. That's a relief - thanks! Oh yes, the many traps and pitfalls of this truly wonderful language...

neutral  koundelev: Even native speakers can err. Look it up at the Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language by Vladimir Dahl
11 hrs
  -> Ah, thanks, that's a source I hadn't thought of. I'll take a look.

agree  Arkadi Burkov: В этом контексте очевидно, что автор хотел сказать именно "без гроша за душой" (penniless). Кроме того, я бы поостерегся использовать словарь Даля, когда речь о современном употреблении русского языка современными авторами.
14 hrs
  -> Spasibo! Mozhet byt', tak zhe kak u menya i u moego prepodavatelya, u avtora nepravil'noe predstavlenie o znachenii slova. O Dale: Mozhet byt', esli by avtor snachala posmotrel v slovar' Dalya, my vse mogli by zhit' bez takoy diskussii... khotya interesno
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1 day 4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
...still thinking themselves to be same old broke and goodhearted fellas.


Explanation:
slightly long, but maybe it conveys the meaning?

by the way, doesn't the Russian word have two Нs? "бессребреННик"?

Tevah_Trans
Local time: 06:23
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 7

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Anton Konashenok: Lovely! And no, the Russian word only has one H.
5 hrs
  -> Thanks Anton! Funny, I always thought it had 2 Нs. Наверное мой русский устарел так же, как и словарь Даля :)
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