Russian WORDS of the Day: мерзавец, негодяй, злоумышленник

Missing poster for Dasha Popova

To wrap up our week of posts about the kidnapping of Dasha Popova in Rostov I decided to have a grand finale of all the colorful words that have been being used to describe Dasha’s kidnapper. All of them, as you can imagine, are not very flattering.

ЗлоумЫшленник-zloumYshlyenik–culprit, calculating criminal

The story went that Alexander Maximov had come up with a plan to kidnap Dasha.  Злоумышленник describes him well.  He purposely chose the daughter of wealthy local businessman and planned to grab her on her way home from school.  The roots of the word are зло meaning ‘evil’ and -умышлен- meaning ‘intention’.  It is an old word and you don’t find it very often but in most of these articles it can be translated as ‘the culprit’. So what do we know about our culprit?

“Злоумышленник Александр Максимов еще в советские времена был судим за убийство.”

“The culprit, Alexander Maximov, served time in Soviet times for murder”.

Yikes. It makes sense that people were calling him the following…

МерзАвец- myerzАvyets-creep, vile creature

So the story went that the culprit’s plan was not going how he had calculated. Dasha came home with a girlfriend that day.  Together they went to a little shop to buy something.  As fate would have it Dasha left her bag in the shop and Maximov snatched the bag and used it as his chance to lure her in. He called out to the girl that she forgot her bag

Alexander Maximov, the kidnapper

” Даша побежала обратно за пропажей, а мерзавец двинулся за ней.”

“Dasha ran back to get the thing she forgot and the creep moved after her”

НегодЯй-nyegadyAy–scoundrel, villain

He then put Dasha in the trunk of his car where he kept her for 8 days and gave her just enough water and bread to not die. One headline reads:

“Малышка попала в больницу из-за того, что негодяй неделю морил ее голодом”

“The little girl had to go to the hospital because that scoundrel over the course of a week exhausted her with hunger”.

Some lady heard/saw her in the trunk and called police and this story had a happy ending.  I’m glad that we didn’t have to use the words педофиль (pedophile) or извращенец (pervert) in this story.  When these things happen in America there is usually a horrific story of sexual assault to go with it. But Maximov insists, according to his confession, that:

“Я ее не бил, не прикасался даже!”

“I didn’t hit her, I didn’t even touch her.”

He won’t be touching anyone now. See why here.

Alive and reunited.

Despite the vileness of this kidnapper, this story had a happy ending. Dasha was reunited with her family.  And finally on a happy note we’ll end this week of depressing words of the day.

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