This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Word To Ponder Today: pochemuchka.

Pochemuchka is a Russian word. We don't have an English equivalent for it, but the word has been known in England since some experts at the BBC suggested that it was one of the most difficult words to translate into English.

On the whole my attitude when it comes to words is the more the merrier.

But pochemuchka...

Pochemuchka means someone who asks a lot of questions. Actually, a pochemucka probably asks too many questions.

You get people like that all over the world, of course. They're often rather small and just about half way between enchanting and infuriating.

In English we call these small questioners children; the bigger people who ask too many questions we call adults.

And, you know something?

On the whole I'm rather proud that English doesn't have a word for pochemuchka.

Word To Ponder Today: pochemuchka. The word was inspired by a well-known Russian children's book titled Što ja vídel,which means What I saw. It tells the story of a highly inquisitive little boy, Alyosha Pochemuchka. The word comes from the Russian počemú, which means why.


  1. I wish I knew this word when my daughter was in those inquisitive years.
    It would've been so much more fun to use pochemuchka than Whyer, Whatter, Hower, etc.!

    1. Mt father still talks about the time when I was very young when we had the WHY Christmas!

  2. I am very much a pochemuchka about the situation in Russia/Ukraine at the moment. A very apposite word today when John Kerry and Lavrov are having a chat in London....

  3. Let us hope that everyone is a pochemuchka and makes a point of finding out the thousand real truths of the matter before he or she does something stupid.

  4. In one of my science classes at school, my nickname was "But Sir," because (apparently) I had a habit of constantly putting my hand up and saying "But sir" to everything the teacher had just said, usually followed by an irritating question or a direct contradiction.

    1. I suppose it was nice for the poor man to know that someone was listening with such interest.
      Though he was, possibly, slightly regretful that it was you.