On the etymology of ment

2011. № 2 (22), 47-67


The article deals with the history of the Russian word ment and analyzes different views on its origin. In particular, arguments are presented against the most common hypothesis that russ. ment comes from pol. mente ‘soldier.’ A new etymology is proposed instead; it relates russ. ment to pol. męt; the Polish word has the figurative meaning ‘dregs of society, rabble’; in Polish criminal slang it can designate policemen.