1. To get out of your skin

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

Giving it your best is not enough for Russians, so you should literally jump out of your skin to achieve your goals!

2. To eat a dog on this issue

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

You have always dreamed of becoming a qualified expert in a particular field, but haven’t yet made any considerable progress? Then you should try to eat a dog as Russians do (not actually true - we hope!).

3. A mountain has fallen off your shoulders

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

To experience tremendous relief - like a huge weight being lifted from your shoulders. Makes sense.

4. To lead by the nose

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

In case you want to fool somebody, just take them by the nose and lead the way. Gypsies at Russian fairs led animals - usually bears - using rings in their noses, forcing them to do tricks. Luckily, this doesn’t happen anymore.

5. Let us return to the sheep

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

This is a Canonical Russian appeal, asking people to get back to the point.  

Surprisingly, this phrase was thrust into the Russian language from the anonymous French farce of 15th  century “La Farce de Maître Pathelin.” In the story, a shepherd steals a few sheep from a tailor, who in turn sues the thief. In court, the two start arguing, so the judge says: “Can we return to the sheep?!”

6. To throw pearls in front of pigs

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

An extremely useless pastime.

This phrase comes from the Evangel and goes something like: “Do not give holy things to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls in front of the pigs, so that they do not trample them with their feet and, turning, do not tear you apart.”

Read more: 10 Russian words impossible to translate into English