New Russian socio-political phraseology: development trends

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The results of observations on stable expressions limited to socio-political topics, extracted from modern publicist texts, are presented. The relevance of studying the new phraseology that appears and functions in media texts is due to the need to comprehend the society transformations and changes in socio-political realities. The purpose of the research is to characterize expressions in institutional relations, nominating power relations, and the phenomena of conflict communication as new phraseological units of the political sphere. The article introduces the new material: most of the studied phraseology have appeared relatively recently in the Russian language, is not recorded in dictionaries and was extracted from media texts and the National Corpus of the Russian language. In order to determine the model of phraseological nomination, the authors used the method of component analysis, and in order to formulate the meaning - the method of context analysis and reconstruction of the set expression meaning. Phraseological units that call public actions, social actors, forms of communication were analyzed. It is concluded that the emergence and functioning of the analyzed phraseological units in speech are due to the fact that the speaker or writer solves some pragmatic problem. In the socio-political environment, his intention especially often stems from the need to select effective speech means for performing the communicative tasks of recruiting (according to this principle, the names of public actions are developed to involve a larger number of participants), ranking (phraseological groups with grading concepts of the same row are used) and hedging (indirect nomination reduces the communication conflict).

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In the second half of the 20th century, in the polemics on the status of phraselogy, the view was expressed that “phraseology in the linguistic system is a by-product <...> Phraseological expressions enter the language without creating a phenomenon essential to the language” (Nikitin, 1968: 68). However, over the past fifty years since then, a broad understanding of phraseology has been established, which allows to include not only metaphorical expressions, but also combinations with direct meaning, and there are many of them among journalistic clichés and publicist phraseology in general. They will be the subject of our attention in this article.

It is believed that the phraseological fund of the Russian literary language contains mainly colloquial and vernacular units, and native speakers, learning it at school, tend to think that phraseological units are a tribute to the past, atavisms, archaic phenomena, parts of the folk speech and do not notice the new set expressions, adding to the slang, vernacular, and literary language.

N.A. Zavyalova says the same, noting that idiom “is often placed on the periphery of modern linguistic knowledge, it is usually associated with the past rather than with modern everyday life” (Zavyalova, 2013: 62). However, she objects: “On the contrary, in our view, phraseology is used to describe the sharpest fragments of everyday life, it marks the pain points of modern society” (Ibid.).

The media language clearly demonstrates the tendency to metaphorization through introducing set expressions characterizing socio-political phenomena. Such linguistic units have always ensured the standardization of the language of the journalistic sphere, as evidenced by many scientific works considering the units of media language (cf. the analysis of the combinations freedom of speech, freedom of choice, open door policy (Yusupova, 2017: 90–91), etc.).

The phraseological fund of the Russian language accumulates evaluative meanings, including those representing relations between a person and the state. At the beginning of the 21st century, there appeared set expressions with institutional semantics, naming phenomena, processes, events, connected with the conflict. Phraseological expressions fix mental units, which are in the linguistic culture.

New phraseology is constantly in the focus of linguists’ attention. The “Dictionary of the Russian Language of the Coronavirus Era,”1 prepared by St. Petersburg researchers, collects new vocabulary that appeared in just one year of the pandemic, including expressions, which have acquired the status of phraseological units. These are, first of all, expressions with institutional semantics (vaccine race, vaccine diplomacy, etc.), since they name well-known phenomena and are actively replicated in media texts.

Linguists, identifying and describing new phraseological expressions, note: “The process of transition of a free word combination into a phrase is reduced, which gives the researcher an opportunity to observe phraseologicalization in real time” (Churilina, 2020: 132). A.V. Zhukov, in his report on phraseological units potentiality, speaks about the lack of study on this issue (Zhukov, 2018: 372), which indicates the relevance of the phenomenon, which is actively addressed to (Walter, 2011; Generalova, 2021; Guselnikova, 2011; Grigorenko, 2018; Eliseeva, 2000; Zykova, 2015; Melnik, 2019; Mokienko, 2002; Sviridova, 2013; Shipitsina, 2010 and others). Linguists record groups of neophrases in different spheres: in Internet communication, where a computer sublanguage was formed (Buzarova, Sasina, 2006; Eremina, 2012, etc.); in health care during the coronavirus pandemic (Kozlovskaya, 2020; Chernova et al., 2021), in education (Zavarzina, 2016), etc. Meanwhile, researchers have noted similar processes in different languages (Blagoeva, 2005; Gasek, 2019; Druzhilovskaya, 2015; Shulezhkova, 2019; Blagoeva et al., 2018; Cáceres-Lorenzo, 2021; Gregor, Tomášková, 2017, etc.).

Nowadays, the phraseological fund of the media language is significantly renewed, which is due to the transformation of the society and changes in socio-political realities, freedom of public opinion and an increase in the degree of conflict in communication, so further we characterize set expressions nominating power and socio-political realities. The focus will be on the differences in nominative density of certain parts of socio-political phraseology. The novelty of the study lies in solving the important scientific problem of studying the patterns of new phraseological expressions formation and determining their status in the modern language.

The aim of the research is to characterize the expressions that appeared in the sphere of institutional relations, naming the phenomena of conflict communication, as new phraseological expressions of the political sphere.

Methods and materials

The methods of research are conditioned by the specifics of the material – set expressions naming political realities of conflict relations, which appeared in the Russian language mainly in the 20th century and are actively functioning in the media. Most of the studied phraseology has appeared in the Russian language relatively recently and, accordingly, is not recorded in dictionaries, so it was extracted from media texts under the method of continuous sampling, as well as with the help of a search query from the texts of the National Corpus of the Russian Language2 and other sources. The qualimetric method was used to evaluate the repeatability of the expression in a certain meaning and thus revealing its reproducibility in speech. In order to determine the model of phraseological nomination, the authors applied the method of component analysis, and in order to formulate the meaning, they used the method of contextual analysis and reconstructed on its basis the meaning of the set expression. Thus, new phraseological units were described, most of which are not recorded in dictionaries and are waiting for their description in lexicographic sources.


The results of the study confirm the hypothesis that neo-phraseology is created and takes root in the language under the influence of the internal logic of its development. This is evidenced by the systematic creation of set expressions and their euphemistic potential.

The results of the study also confirmed the assumption about the pragmatic function of new phraseological expressions in the language of socio-political relations. Moreover, the mechanism of creating a number of expressions, in particular the names of protest events, indicates the manipulative potential of idioms, which are used to romanticize the conflict, leveling negative phenomena accompanying protest events. Thus, through introducing new phraseology, a number of communicative tasks (engagement, ranking and hedging) are solved.


Phraseology in the service of political technologies: involvement in public actions

The most vivid among the phraseogroups of the new period is conflict idiomatics.

Let us compare the set expressions of different years, naming public actions against the authorities or the reforms and initiatives put forward by them. Salt, copper, plague, cholera, potato... – these adjectives characterize the well-known riots in the history of Russia of the 17–19th centuries, depending on what was the cause of the protest against the authorities. Thus, the nominations of protests, created on the basis of metonymic transfer of meaning, indicated what these events were in connection with.

Then, interestingly, the noun riot was predominantly replaced by the word revolution. Singing, orange, saffron... – these are revolutions of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and their names are based on a different type of nomination, so without knowing the information about the attributes of these events (singing folk songs during marches, orange flags, the same color bandages on the clothes of protesters, yellow-orange (saffron) clothes of Buddhist monks as protest leaders), it is difficult to determine what they are associated with. Whereas the names of historical riots before the beginning of the 20th century were dominated by pragmatic characteristics expressed by the idea of correlation with the object of disagreement, the names of contemporary protests clearly romanticize an event that is by no means romantic in nature. The new idiomatic expressions are based on an oxymoron, since the expression denoting social clash and actualizing the semantics of hostility, contains an adjective which outside the “conflict” context evokes usually positive associations, cf: “...people with blooming heart and singing soul;”3 “Once Arkanov with Gorin and Pevzner did a program for ‘Rero’ and together they wrote a beautiful ‘Orange Song,’ sung by young Irma Sohadze: ‘orange mother, orange father... sing orangely’;”4 “Saffron shade radiates light and warmth, what shades can it be combined with in the crafts, what do you think?”5 At the same time, the meaning of the lexeme revolution ‘a radical change in the socio-political system, which, unlike reform and social evolution, is characterized by a sharp break with the previous tradition, usually a violent transformation of public and state institutions, as well as the totality of events that result in such changes’6 highlights the semes that represent actions aimed at conflict: ‘a sharp break,’ ‘violent transformation,’ the contraposition semes ‘in contrast to reform and social evolution.’ The semantics of hostility is “levelled” by the combining the noun revolution with adjectives, which most often have no connection with conflict and hostility, neither in their meaning nor in their compatibility with other words.

In a number of new phraseological expressions, we can identify several models of nomination of political protest events based on the transfer of meaning with the key component revolution/revolt/march. Let us consider further examples, some of which have already been described in the “Ideographic Dictionary of Social Vocabulary”7 and for new nominations we will make definitions.

The metonymic model implies the transfer of meaning on the basis of the relatedness of the concepts appearing in the conceptual complex of the phraseology and expressed by the lexemes constituting the set expression. The noun (riot, revolution, march) acts as a permanent component, while the second component (an adjective or a dependent noun in the indirect case with a preposition) acts as a concretizer, and this variable element in the phraseological complex marks a variety of realities and concepts.

  1. The variable position in the phraseological unit is often replaced by designations of attributes and symbolic accessories: headbands, ribbons on clothing or the color of clothing: the white-ribbon revolution (“repeated mass political demonstrations of Russian citizens organized by the opposition in 2011–2013 against the results of the State Duma and presidential elections; a white ribbon was one of the symbols of the protests”8); the pink hat revolution (“mass protests in the USA against 45th President Donald Trump, elected on January 20, 2017; one of its symbols being the pink hat”9); the above-mentioned orange revolution (the symbol was orange ribbons). The reference to clothing as a marker of the status of protesters, group identity can serve as a definition of revolution: the revolution of mink fur coats (mink revolution) (“mass political demonstrations in Moscow organized by the opposition in 2011–2013, due to the participation of the rich class”10), saffron revolution (the symbol was the color of the clothes of protesting Buddhist monks), jeans revolution (cornflower revolution) (“mass protests in Belarus against the results of the 2006 presidential elections in Belarus”). With regard to the latter example, we should note that it is difficult to determine from the context whether the protest action was called jeans action because of the similarity of the color of jeans with cornflower (cf. the second (or first?) name) or because of the participation of men, who were dressed mostly in jeans. In 2020, there was a new expression calling the protests in Minsk, which the media used in several variants: “Shiny march”/shiny march/“shiny” women’s march/shiny women’s solidarity march. The most commonly used is the two-component version shiny march ‘opposition protest action in Minsk against the results of the presidential election, when female participants were asked to come in shiny, bright clothes:’ “Near Komarovski market in Minsk a so-called ‘shiny march’ of the opposition began, according to eyewitnesses. <...> The march is called ‘shiny’ because of the bright clothes – the organizers urged those wishing to take part in the march to come in bright shiny clothes with colorfully decorated posters.”11 In Yandex, this expression has already accumulated 2 million queries, so, we believe, there is reason to record it as a new phraseological expression.
  2. Identification with a social group can be represented in new phraseological expressions by nominations characterizing:
    • the composition of the participants, for example, gender: women’s march (“mass protests in the United States against 45th President Donald Trump, elected on January 20, 2017”12); nationality: Russian march “protest marches and rallies of representatives of Russian nationalist organizations and movements in various Russian cities and CIS countries, timed to coincide with National Unity Day on November 4”13); ideology: the dissenter march (also called march of millions, see below);
    • number of participants (hyperbolized): march of millions: “a protest organized by the opposition on May 6, 2012 in Moscow, against Vladimir Putin’s inauguration.”14
  1. The transfer of meaning by proximity can be based on including phytonyms in a set expression, since flower images, in addition to referring to the attributes of the protest action, introduce the semantics of beauty and fragility, correlating with the purposefully promoted ideas of the “beautiful,” opposed to the “bad, ugly,” and “living,” supposedly opposed to the “callousness of the authorities:” revolution of roses/rose revolution “peaceful mass protests in Georgia in November 2003, the main motive of which was alleged fraud in the parliamentary elections of November 2, 2003; at one of the demonstrations participants marched with roses in their hands;”15 tulip revolution “mass protests in March 2005 in Kyrgyzstan that led to the revolution and overthrow of the president of the republic;”16 jasmine revolution “mass protests in Tunisia in January 2011 resulted in a change of power;”17 cedar revolution “peaceful mass protests in 2005 in Lebanon for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from its territory.”
  2. The substituting component in the metonymic model of the idiom can name the place of protest actions. Thus, the idioms Arab Spring and Arab Winter denote political protests in the Arab countries, which are “a wave of anti-government popular uprisings that began in the Arab world in 2010 and led to coups, civil wars, civil uprisings, and mass protests in the Middle Eastern countries.”18 Another idiom Bolotnaya revolution correlates with the Russian political reality, the substituting component denotes one of the locations with which the events are connected – it is “multiple mass political protests in Russia, which took place from December 2011 until March 2012, against the results of the State Duma and presidential elections; one of the main venues was Bolotnaya Square.”19
  3. The time of the protest action in the figurative meaning is represented in the phraseological unit snow revolution, where the component snow indicates the winter period – “mass political rallies of Russian citizens organized by the opposition in winter 2011–2012, against the results of the State Duma elections.”[20] Temporal markers may also appear as a reference word in a set expression, indicating the duration and stages of the protest event: the Arab Spring and the Arab Winter. Note that this group of idioms has the potential to expand thanks to the variability of the substantive component (winter, spring, autumn, etc.) with a common repeated descriptor (Arab). Here are some examples from the media and scientific literature: “The ‘Arab Spring’ has turned into the ‘Arab Summer’ and will continue into the hot autumn. Muammar Gaddafi will probably hold out against the NATO air force for some time;”21Arab Winter. In a decade, however, euphoria has been replaced by disappointment. Instead of faith in their own strength and hope for change for the better, residents of the countries affected by the ‘spring’ saw an increase in instability, extremism and terrorism..,”22 etc. Moreover, these expressions are also used in scientific literature: “Chapter 4.The nasty ‘Arab Autumn:’ Yemen in 2014–2015. 1. The Arab Spring in Yemen: from revolution to revolution (2011–2014).”23 We note that in the example from the scientific text the expressions are formatted differently: “Arab Autumn” – with quotation marks, and Arab Spring – without them, although, according to our observations, in scientific texts the first variant of formatting is used more often.
  4. As part of a set expression created on the basis of metonymic transfer, there may be an indication of the instrument of protest organization, in particular the technological platform used for communication – to direct the actions of the participants: the Twitter revolution (variants: Twitter revolution) is “a protest action organized and regulated through the social network Twitter as a tool to inform the participants.”24 Cf. also the reference to technology; for example, during the protests in Belgrade in 2000, one of the participants rammed a bulldozer into the fence of the television center, which resulted in the coup that led to the change of power, called the bulldozer revolution: “The stalemate provoked mass riots in Belgrade. They went down in history as the ‘bulldozer revolution’ and led to the overthrow of Milosevic...”25
  5. The form of protest underlies the set expression singing revolution ‘the protest actions which took place in the Baltic Republics from 1987 to 1991, aimed at the secession of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from the USSR and
    the establishment of their state independence.’ The series of protests began at the Song Festival and later one of the forms of peaceful protests was the singing of folk songs: “In June 1988, the so-called singing revolution took place in Tallinn – badges depicting the white, blue and black Estonian flag were distributed at the Song Festival.”26
  6. It is indicative that the nominations of the protest movement are created using ideological tools: the opposition relies on value categories, on an idea, which should serve as a center of attraction, a marker of group ideological identity. Thus, the revolution of dignity (Euromaidan) “a mass protest in Ukraine against the current government, which began in 2013 in response to the Ukrainian government’s suspension of signing an association agreement between the Ukraine and the European Union, which evolved from a peaceful protest into a struggle for regime change by force”27 is a set expression that represents the call for European integration through a constructed reference to one of the ethical values – dignity. The appeal to the supreme value – life (march for life/march for our life) – is found in the names of social and political actions held in different countries and organized against various kinds of threats to human life: abortion (march for life), the sale of weapons (march for our life): “Tens of thousands of Americans traveled from all over the country to Washington for the annual March for Life, a major anti-abortion event;”28In addition to tens of thousands of Frenchmen, several pro-life groups from the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Italy and Portugal joined the March for Life;”29Hundreds of thousands of US residents came to Washington to participate in the massive March for Our Lives. Schoolchildren, their parents, teachers, community activists and ordinary Americans will demand that the U.S. Congress pass legislation to tighten gun control in the country and, ideally, to ban the sale of firearms as soon as possible30 and others.

The metaphorical model is the transfer of meaning based on the similarity of the concepts included in the conceptual complex of the idiom and expressed by the lexemes that make up the set expression. This model of nomination is less productive. It is embodied in several expressions, among which the phraseological idiom colored revolution (pl. colored revolutions). In speech, the idiom is a hyperonym for all types of new phraseological expressions that contain the word revolution (see above: jasmine revolution, singing revolution, etc.), and it is no accident that the plural is actively used: “The ‘bulldozer revolution’ in Yugoslavia, which overthrew Slobodan Milosevic, took place over 16 years ago. It gave rise to a chain of similar events in the former Soviet Union, called ‘colored revolutions:’ ‘rose revolution’ in Georgia, ‘orange revolution’ in Ukraine, ‘tulip revolution’ in Kyrgyzstan...”31

The expression velvet terrorism “non-violent intimidation to achieve any (more often political) goals”32 is probably created by analogy with the long-existing phraseology velvet revolution “civil peaceful uprising in Czechoslovakia in November – December 1989, which led to the removal of the Communist Party from power and the dismantling of the socialist regime.”33 The comparison of peaceful methods of struggle and soft tissue is actualized in the nomination, which, being fixed in speech, later formed the basis of the second and third meanings of the phraseological expression velvet revolution, not yet recorded in dictionaries:

– ‘any protest against the official state power using peaceful methods of struggle:’ “Then there was a velvet revolution in Belgrade, Milosevic lost power and soon found himself in the Hague, where his death began under the care of Hague doctors and judges;”34‘Velvet revolution’ began in Armenia in spring 2018 with Pashinyan’s ‘My Step’ action;”35

– ‘any protest without the use of violent methods;’ “ ‘Velvet revolution’ at the Moscow Art Theatre did not take place. But with the active participation of M. Prudkin and M.M. Yanshin there was a revolution... ‘Old men’ gathered at Yanshin’s apartment and agreed to call O.N. Efremov to direct the Moscow Art Theatre;”36The Velvet Revolution. 15 years ago Alan Templeton became famous among paleoanthropologists for his serious attack on the theory of ‘mitochondrial Eva’ proposed shortly before that37 and others.

In the course of our study of new phraseology naming conflicting political events, we found that the most common model of nomination of modern forms of protests can be called a metonymic transfer of meaning, where the main word (revolution/riot/march) expresses the meaning ‘form of sociopolitical protest,’ while the dependent word romanticizes the conflict event (singing, jasmine, tulip, orange, dignity, pro-life, etc.). More often, even in the case of so-called peaceful actions, the event involves violence (“In Minsk the detentions of participants of the ‘shiny march’ began38), which the actors present as insignificant, cf: “The purpose of the revolution (we are talking about the singing revolution. – T.L., A.S.) was achieved at the cost of relatively few victims: fourteen defenders of Vilnius TV tower and one KGB officer were killed during the events of January 13, 1991 in Vilnius, seven people during the barricades of 1991 in Riga, eight Lithuanian custom officers and policemen were shot at the border of Lithuania with the Belarusian SSR on July 31, 1991 and some single victims.”39

The systematic-gradational potential of “nests” of phraseological units

The rows have different densities, cf. the small row: the first power, the second power, the third power, the fourth power, the fifth power with the preceding group, impressive in the number of constituent units.

The above row of idioms with numerals clearly shows that phraseological units, which form a group with a common repeating component (power) present in all idioms, may additionally have a second basis for systemic organization in the form of a strict correlation of other, non-repeating components in their composition. In this case, it is a set of quantitative numerals. In other words, the units of this group are held together by two factors at the same time: the common substantive component power and the strictness of the series of numerals.

Interestingly, the first three possible units of the series are rarely encountered in speech, i.e. it is impossible to recognize the combinations *first power, *second power, *third power as really functioning set expressions, since there is not enough evidence of their usability, despite the fact that the speaker or the writer, who appeals, as a rule, to the most “stable” unit of this system of linguistic signs (the fourth power), has an understanding of what social structures are meant. Let us note that the following example describes the entire “line of powers,” but only one expression is used: “Literature cannot apply for the first four positions of power. S. Averintsev, E. Yevtushenko, V. Astafyev were people’s deputies (legislative branch) – this had no consequences. A. Pristavkin and E. Sidorov worked in executive branch – they did not break a curse with a whip. There is no place for a writer in the judiciary – he is not an accuser by nature, but a defender – a private and preferably honest person. The fourth power (the media) doesn’t handle writers with much ceremony.40

We should also take a closer look at the expression fifth power, which is recorded in the “Dictionary of New Words and Meanings” as ‘publicist – about corrupted and mafia structures.’41 At the same time, various meanings are ascribed to this expression in speech: ‘the blogosphere,’ ‘the world of ideas,’ and so on. “But there is a higher power, from my point of view, this is the power of ideas (there is even such a notion as ideocracy). This power is called the fifth.”42 The phraseological unit fifth power is interesting because it is a potential member of an implied series based on a numerical sequence, and with its ‘potentiality,’ which usually means unrealization, it functions in speech. The semantic power of the categories of number and counting has sufficient potential for emerging a unique phenomenon: the expression fifth power exists primarily as “emptied linguistic form,” which is constantly waiting to be filled, and which, quite painlessly for itself and the prospects of its existence, temporarily makes its “form resource” available to speakers who wish to offer their version in discussing governing principles and influential players in the socio-political sphere. Examples show that the speaker can assume under the fifth power the church, the idea, literature, etc.: “Apparently, both the yellow ‘fourth power’ and the musty official religiosity (it would be terrible to become the ‘fifth power’ first of all for the Church itself!43The fourth power (the mass media) does not handle writers with much ceremony: it assiduously proves that there was literature, and now there is not. We will protest, but we will not go to take over ‘Ostankino.’ We won’t. It’s not a literary method, either. We need the fifth power, although the cart of modern life seems to be rolling without a fifth wheel. Where to – that is the question.44

In addition, any series can be sporadically supplemented with other phraseological units at the expense of occasional elements (sometimes authorial), for example, cf. with regard to the commented material the expression the sixth power in the book of Valery Agranovsky: “And the sixth power (you are absolutely right) is corruption.”45 Obviously, such expressions are singular and have a completely different linguistic “weight” (status), incomparable to the stable position of the other two nominations.

Note that the number of nominative implementations is due not so much to the possibilities of language as to the multiplication of realities for which names were required.

The euphemistic potential of phraseological expressions representing the language of public diplomacy

Another peculiarity of phraseological expressions, long appreciated by linguists, is predetermined, on the one hand, by their euphemistic potential, and on the other hand, by the permeability of journalism, its openness to alien, foreign, elements from other styles. Scientific terms and nominations specific to the official business language are increasingly penetrating media texts. Thus, among the clichés that make up the journalistic linguistic standard, a cluster of phraseological expressions, linking up with the language of public diplomacy, is increasingly developing. In this case, the hedging function comes to the fore. This peculiarity of phraseology correlates with the orientation of politics and diplomacy towards reducing the conflict of communication. Here is an example of the phrase which officials often use: adequate response – ‘the reaction of official state bodies to political pressure from other participants in political, usually international, communication; pressure response, which forces an interruption of pressure attempts:’ “The President of Poland signed the law ‘on the demolition’ of Soviet monuments, the Duma promised an ‘adequate response;”46As Przydach reported, in connection with Belarus decision ‘to expel two more Polish diplomats’ Warsaw ‘reserves right of adequate response’ to Minsk;”47The unfriendly steps of the Australian ruling circles will not go without an adequate response from our side.”48

It is inconceivable that an adequate response would be a support given as a thank-you for someone else’s favor, although in fact it is also a response, and also adequate (‘appropriate to something’), but the neutral expression we analyzed applies exclusively to a conflict situation, as evidenced by the close conjunction marking the prior actions of the other communicator as aggressive and unjust: adequate response to ignoring/to escalating repression/to increasing military activity/to the deployment of tanks/to the confrontational policy.


Thus, the new phraseology, changing under the influence of extralinguistic factors, meanwhile preserves and develops the tendencies determined by the internal logic of language development:

  • media language is replenished with phraseological expressions of a special quality, namely, such set expressions that have euphemistic potential;
  • idioms form systems, where we can observe a kind of integrative mechanisms that allow to look at these groups as systematically organized;
  • reviewing the space of modern socio-political idiomatics, one can state the addition of separate thematic groups, in particular the fund of designations of socio-political actions;
  • phraseological expressions have manipulative potential, which is successfully used as a tool for political technologies; in order to romanticize the protest events, which can lead to tragedy both directly during the event (death, injury, etc. of the participants) and in the future (military actions, economic recession, etc. in the country), names based on the transfer of meaning by relatedness and similarity with the concepts that cause positive associations are used.

The emergence and functioning of the analyzed phraseological expressions in speech are conditioned by the fact that the speaker or the writer solves some pragmatic task. In the socio-political environment, its intention usually comes from the need to select effective speech means to fulfill the communicative tasks of recruitment (the names of public actions are developed according to this principle to involve more participants), ranking (phrase groups with graded concepts of one series are suitable for this) and hedging (indirect designation allows to reduce the conflict of communication).


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4 Kio, I.E. (n.d.). Illusions without illusions. National Corpus of the Russian Language. (In Russ.) Retrieved November 10, 2021, fromОранжевую+song

5 Yakimova, E. (2021, July 7). Color theory – Saffron shade. School of Decoupage and Decoration. (In Russ.) Retrieved November 10, 2021, from

6 Morkovkin, V.V., Bogacheva, G.F., & Lutskaya, N.M. (2017). The big universal dictionary of the Russian language (p. 1002). Мoscow: Slovari XX veka Publ. (In Russ.)

7 Shchetinina, A.V. (2018). Ideographic dictionary of Russian social vocabulary: State, power, internal politics. Yekaterinburg: Azhur Publ. (In Russ.)

8 Shchetinina, A.V. (2018). Ideographic dictionary of Russian social vocabulary: State, power, internal politics (pp. 701–710). Yekaterinburg: Azhur Publ. (In Russ.)

9 Shchetinina, A.V. (2017). The lexicon of civil protest in linguocreative consciousness. Socio-Cultural Space of Russia and Abroad: Society, Education, Language (issue 6, p. 179). Yekaterinburg: Azhur Publ. (In Russ.)

10 Ibid.

11 RBC. (2020, September 19). The “brilliant march” of the opposition began in Minsk. (In Russ.) Retrieved November 10, 2021, from

12 Shchetinina, A.V. (2018). Ideographic dictionary of Russian social vocabulary: State, power, internal politics (p. 703). Yekaterinburg: Azhur Publ. (In Russ.)

13 Shchetinina, A.V. (2018). Ideographic dictionary of Russian social vocabulary: State, power, internal politics (p. 708). Yekaterinburg: Azhur Publ. (In Russ.)

14 Shchetinina, A.V. (2017). The lexicon of civil protest in linguocreative consciousness. Socio-Cultural Space of Russia and Abroad: Society, Education, Language (issue 6, p. 180). Yekaterinburg: Azhur Publ. (In Russ.)

15 Ibid. (p. 179).

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid. (p. 180).

19 Shchetinina, A.V. (2018). Ideographic dictionary of Russian social vocabulary: State, power, internal politics (p. 702). Yekaterinburg: Azhur Publ. (In Russ.)

20 Shchetinina, A.V. (2018). Ideographic dictionary of Russian social vocabulary: State, power, internal politics (pp. 708–709). Yekaterinburg: Azhur Publ. (In Russ.)

21 Novaya Gazeta. (2011, July 17). Arab Summer. (In Russ.) Retrieved November 10, 2021, from

22 Shvartsman, V. (2020, December 17). Storm in the deserts. (In Russ.) Retrieved November 12, 2021, from

23 Grinin, L.E., Isaev, L.M., & Korotayev, A.V. (2016). Revolutions and instability in the Middle East (p. 102). Мoscow: Moscow Editorial Board of “Uchitel Publ.” (In Russ.)

24 Leontieva, T.V., & Shchetinina, A.V. (2021). Dictionary of topical vocabulary of unity and enmity in the Russian language of the early XXI century (p. 343). Yekaterinburg: Azhur Publ.

25 Okunev, D. (2020, October 7). 20 years ago Milosevic’s regime fell in Yugoslavia. Gazeta.Ru. (In Russ.) Retrieved November 13, 2021, from

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About the authors

Tatayna V. Leontyeva

Ural Federal University named after the First President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7213-1582

Doctor of Philology, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Mass Communication Languages, School of Public Administration and Entrepreneurship, Graduate School of Economics and Management

19 Mira St, Yekaterinburg, 620002, Russian Federation

Anna V. Shchetinina

Ural Federal University named after the First President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9085-8697

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor of the Department of Mass Communication Languages, School of Public Administration and Entrepreneurship, Graduate School of Economics and Management

19 Mira St, Yekaterinburg, 620002, Russian Federation


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