lpetrazickis (lpetrazickis) wrote in linguaphiles,

However, we are brigands, robbers, or possibly marauders

On a lark, I'm translating the lyrics of this song from the classic 1969 Soviet "Bremen Musicians" cartoon.

I'm having a little difficulty tackling the "Ах, и не выносим нежностей телячих, Но любим мы зато телячьи души" line. There's clearly some wordplay going on in the use of "calf-like"/"veal", but it's not an idiom I'm familiar with.

Is "calf-like mercies" - "нежностей телячих" a standard expression? Is it a pun on "body" - "тело"?

Why do they love the souls of veal? Is "calf" a slang term for crime victim similar to "pigeon" or "mark" in English? If so, does a veal's soul equate to their bodily possessions?

Here's what I have so far:Read more...Collapse )
Tags: russian
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