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Interested in this word!

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Rosehip:
I'd all but forgotten about this slavic custom of referring to God not as "Bog", but as "Bozhenka". This form was often used in the villages or by the babushkas. The evangelical pastors of the mission of which I was formerly a part would strongly discourage against it, telling the babas that it was terribly irreverent and inappropriate. But, their battle was almost in vain, for to the grannies, God, more often than not, continued to be addressed lovingly as "Bozhenka" even, gasp, during prayers.

Can someone tell me about the use of this word? Is it truly, in your opinion, disrespectful and inappropriate, or was its use merely misunderstand and misinterpreted by the American "missionaries" whose understanding of Ukrainian culture was blurry at best?

Heorhij:
I don't think the babushkas meant any disrespect. Unfortunately, this word was used very extensively by militant anti-theists in the former USSR in a sarcastic context. But when old pious women use it, I don't see anything evil. Linguistically, it really is a very tender, affectionate form of the noun "Bog."

Rosehip:
Thanks, Heorhij! Now, I didn't know this about its sarcastic use during the Soviet years. Do you have a source (in Russian) wherein it is being used derisively? I am just very interested in this sort of thing. If it's too hard to find a source, that's okay!!

LizaSymonenko:

As children we often referred to God (Boh), as Bozya....a tender form of the name....just like mother is mama, and father is papa, Boh is Bozya.  Its a term of endearment.

Besides, I feel that God will "take" it as it is meant.  If someone calls to him with love, trust and respect, I fully believe He will interpret it, as such.

How often do we hear "Oh my G_d!"  A million times a day?  These people aren't even thinking of God when they are saying this.  These phrases, I think God, does not look at with kindness.

Rosehip:
That's true too, Liza. And, in the Russian translation of the NT, doesn't Jesus say "Bozhe moy, Bozhe moy" on the cross?

But in Ukraine, people said, "Bozhe!" or "Bozhe moy!" all the time too. So, it seems to be a part of many cultures. They also said, "Slava Bogu" a lot too. I guess that would be the equivalent of someone saying "thank God". I remember the Americans being so impressed at the rate ordinary people on the streets said "Slava Bogu"-they thought it showed a great deal of piety on the part of the Ukrainians...

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