For my twentieth entry in the A to Z blog challenge, I’m returning to a Russian word: tovarishch. The word was appropriated during the Bolshevick uprising in 1917 to designate egalitarian standing within the Communist party. This one should be familiar to anyone with middling knowledge about the Cold War, as there was a great fad for painting people “Commies” by calling them this name in the 80s.
Even earlier, a 1937 film Tovarich, painted the comical situation of an impoverished Russian noble couple trying to survive in Paris, so the word has some history on the US side of the globe, too.
It’s used once in Dust to Blood as an appellation between Russian associates to recall their recent party affiliation and underline a subtle connection between the characters that wouldn’t necessarily be apparent to Anne, an American without the cultural context to understand the codes in operation in their culture.