Matryoshka doll

Word of the Week!

Posted on Updated on

Again, in honor of doing “Fiddler on the Roof” at our church, i’m choosing a Russian word to balance out the blog a little.  And to give you something other than my Hebrew etymology.  Also, there are 5 daughters, and the word below can incorporate the metaphor described below.

The word is matryoshka, or 


This word is the name for the Russian nesting dolls.  For an interesting read on the dolls and their influence on Russian culture, see here! 
The word literally means “little matron”, coming from the word in its diminutive form for a formal first name.  (see wiki article.) I always thought it meant to “little mother.”  But in doing some research I discovered that the term matroyshka is also used as a metaphor description.  Similar to the onion affect, it means one object within a smaller object concept.  For example, in “Fiddler”, the 5 daughters each reveal a different layer in the incorporation of the changing times.  Almost as how the dolls reveal another new doll inside.
Hope this gives everyone a new perspective on an old tradition! TRADITION!