History of the Word ‘Bomzh’ (‘Bum’)

2019. № 1, 18-36

Menlo Atherton High School (California, USA) (Moscow, Russia), alewabulannikov@mail.ru


The purpose of this article is to describe the origin of the Russian word ‘bomzh’ (‘homeless’, ‘bum’) and its further semantic development . This word was initially the Russian police acronym for ‘Of No Fixed Abode’, with a narrow range of collocations and a limited number of contexts to define the concept, but has eventually become a functional lexical unit (assimilating its stress pattern as well), with its linguistic characteristics being the same as those of nouns of the 4b declension, according to Zalizniak’s classification. Besides, over time, the word has been enriched with several figurative meanings, informal expressive stylistic features, and a great number of derivatives.