Pood (Russian: пуд, tr. pud, IPA: [put]), is a unit of mass equal to 40 funt (фунт, Russian pound). Plural: pudi or pudy. Since 1899 It is approximately set to 16.38 kilograms (36.11 pounds). It was used in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Pood was first mentioned in a number of 12th-century documents. Unlike funt, which came at least in the 14th century from Middle High German: phunt, Old East Slavic: пудъ pud (the earlier unattested form *пѫдъ pǫdŭ) is a much older borrowing from Old Norse: pund which in turn came through the mediation of Old English: pund from Latin: pondus “weight”.Together with other units of weight of the Imperial Russian weight measurement system, the USSR officially abolished the pood in 1924. But the term remained in widespread use at least until the 1940s. In his 1953 short story “Matryona’s Place”, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn presents the pood as still in use amongst the Khrushchev-era Soviet peasants.
Its usage is preserved in modern Russian in certain specific cases, e.g., in reference to sports weights, such as traditional Russian kettlebells, cast in multiples and fractions of 16 kg (which is pood rounded to metric units). For example, a 24 kg kettlebell is commonly referred to as “one-and-half pood kettlebell” (polutorapudovaya girya). It is also sometimes used when reporting the amounts of bulk agricultural production, such as grains or potatoes.
An old Russian proverb reads, “You know a man when you have eaten a pood of salt with him.” (Russian: Человека узнаешь, когда с ним пуд соли съешь.)
The expression Сто пудов – “Hundred poods” means “very large amount”. In modern colloquial Russian it is used in a generic meanings of “very much” and “very”, as well as “most surely”; The adjective ‘stopudovy’ and the adverb ‘stopudovo’ are also used in the latter meaning.
Also used in Polish as idiomatic/proverb (commonly forgotten old original/strict meaning): “nudy na pudy” (Polish for: “unsupportable boredoms”, originally: “boredoms [that could be measured] in poods”)
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