Russian proverb of the week

Не так страшен чёрт, как его малюют

With accent marks:

Не так стра́шен чёрт, как его́ малюют.


The demon is not as scary as he is depicted.


This proverb is said to encourage the one who experiences excessive anxienty or fear of the unknown.

In the old days, parents were scaring there children saying that if they do not obey, the scary demon would take them. However, in fact, nobody has ever seen those demons anywhere.

This proverb teaches as not to be afraid of the constructs of our own mind or mind of others.

It is believed that the expression is primordially Russian, although later it passed into other European languages. In Russia, it has been known since the XVIII century.

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2 comments on “Не так страшен чёрт, как его малюют

  1. A pity that черт is not spelled as чёрт… other than that, this is simply WONDERFUL.
    Would like to make a donation, but PayPal is horrible and I deleted my account…
    Is there any other way?
    Please keep up this great work!

    • Очень по-русски says:

      Hello A,

      It is very very common for Russians to omit the dots above the Е. You can see the correct spelling in the version with stress marks.

      But you are probably right, we should use Ё where possible.

      We have a donation page on Yandex: It is supposed to accept all bank cards (amount you enter is in rubles).

      Thanks for the comment, it motivates. 🙂

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