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Гребешком приглажу хвостик???

0 votes

I'm trying to translate Russian poems by the poet Agniya Barto. Currently, I'm working on the third line of the poem "Лошадкa."

The poem goes like this:

Я люблю свою лошадку,
Причешу ей шёрстку гладко,
Гребешком приглажу хвостик
И верхом поеду в гости.
I know that "приглажу" is probably the perfective aspect of гладить and "хвостик" means ponytail. Putting those two words together (and using context clues), I'm assuming the sentence means something like "I will stroke my horse's ponytail." The problem I have the usage of the word "Гребешком" in the sentence. Based on the -ом ending, I take it the noun is masculine and in its instrumental form. When I google this word, I get results indicating the definition is scallops. What do scallops have to do with combing a pony's tail? 
Is there anyone out there who can help me make sense of this (i.e., why the poet is using the word "Гребешком")?
asked May 22, 2014 by robdavis54 (190 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote

Пригладить/приглаживать = "to give a smooth" (one's hair or like). Гребешок is a diminutive form of гребень. Гребень has a meaning of comb. Nowadays the meaning of гребень as a comb is a bit outdated and we use "расчёска" instead.

So finally "Гребешком приглажу хвостик" means "I'll give her tail a smooth with a comb".

"Гребешки" also has a meaning of scallops as well as some other meanings. For the effective translation I recommend you to use some academic dictionaries where all possible meanings are listed. As for online dictionaries, I recommend multitran.

answered May 22, 2014 by it-ogo (18,220 points)