8Ph.D. student, Department of Russian language and its teaching method, Philological Faculty, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Russia – Lecturer of Faculty of Russian philology, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University of Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.
9Doctor of Philology, Prof. Of Department of Russian language and its teaching method, Philological Faculty, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University).


Food is one of the essential necessities of human life (Fellner, 2013). Khlobkin, an expert in Russian culinary culture, states that food is one of the valuable elements of a nation; secondly, the art of cooking is to turn raw ingredients into a quality dish, and this is a part of a nation's material culture and an indicator of a prosperous civilization (Khlobkin, 2000). In particular, Russian cuisine holds a special place alongside the important cuisines of the world (Pavlovskaya, 2016). It is not difficult to list some traditional Russian culinaronyms such as borshch, shchi, solyanka, okroshka, kulebyaka, kholodets, rasstegay, golubtsy, pelmeni, oladi, vareniki, varenye and kulich among others (Protsenko & Zhivokina, 2015).

Language, as a rule, is regarded as the primary verbal mean of any field, and it helps humans communicate thoughts and ideas. In the culinary context, its nature and special features are communicated with the help of language. With regard to naming in the field of cuisine, one of the things attached to a dish is its name (culinaronym) which is used to describe its culinary features and related facts. As is known, culinaronym is one of the linguistic units which includes a variety of content as well as expressions (Tsujimura, 2018). Every culinary recipe is represented by its culinaronym which is built from the culinary peculiarities related to its dish. Playing a main role in recipe, culinaronym serves to attract the attention of readers.

Serving as the heading of a recipe in cooking magazines (Lazeeva, 2016; Ratmayr, 2013), modern culinaronyms are varied in content. Along with commentary, cooking instruction and photos, culinaronym makes unchangeable text structure in every recipe. Unlike the other parts of recipe, the culinaronym is limited in terms of word length, but it needs to sound interesting, attracting and unique in order to be distinguished from the others. Therefore, the study about the language of culinaronyms contributes to assessing the linguistic role of the title in magazine publications, especially food journals. As is known, cooking magazines are often tasked with introducing new recipes and kitchen techniques to housewives. In order to convey all of these messages through culinary recipes, it is necessary to have the support of non-verbal and verbal languages (Milică & Guia, 2017). The structure of a cooking article includes the title of the article, the guide and the method of the preparation (Gölarch, 1992, 2004; Bator, 2017). The culinaronym, being the first part of recipe (Caroll, 1999; Bator, 2016), plays the important role of connecting, conveying the message and evoking positive emotions about the dish among readers; a culinaronym may even rush readers to try the dish as soon as possible. It can be said that, in order to perform these functions, the name of the dish must be carefully selected. The author should use special tools of language and culinary skills to create an impressive name.

The purpose of this research is to point out elements contained in the modern Russian culinaronyms, to explain the relation of these elements according to the lexicon refering to them.

The relevance is determined by the fact that the language of a naming unite, including a food name, can be explained by its components or elements that occur in its composition. An component analysis of Russian culinaronyms can reveal the naming models in the culinary context and point out culinary percularities by the mean of language.

The novelty of this paper lies in the fact that Russian culinaronyms are systemized by their elements, more than that this is the first time that the concept “culinaronym element” is used and helps explain language specialities occurred in the context of culinaronyms. 

Literature Review

Culinaronym, a familiar element of daily life, is a cultural feature of each ethnic community (Atkin & Bowlar, 2016). From a linguistic perspective, the name of the dish is a noun or noun phrase that refers to a prepared and processed food. Therefore, the name of a dish is studied in many different fields along with languages such as culture, tourism, history and so on.

From the perspective of Russian language, the name of a dish caught the attention of scientists; it became more important when the term Culinaronym was introduced by Leonova (Leonova, 2003). Since then, the term has been popular amongst Russian researchers in the field of naming culinary products.

On the one hand, the terminology of subjects can make its related branch more scientific and reliable. Furthermore, a new term may lead to some problems, that is, the concept and term formation may not be unique if the word formation of the term belongs to one direction of science and its characteristics belongs to another. In this regard, ‘culinaronym’ is no exception because this term consists of the root ‘culinary-’ and suffix ‘-ym’; it has the same pattern with the other terms related to the onomastics (such as anthroporonym, toponym, etc). Consistently, some studies about culinary names have affirmed that ‘culinaronym’ is the term of onomastics (Kovalev & Kozhevniko, 2018; Bektasheva, 2018). Meanwhile, some studies on the same topic suggest that culinaronym has no relation with the ‘onomastics’ (Ashenkova, 2012) because it is regarded as a thematic group (Bakhtina, 2007) which gathers lexicons on the same topic (Kremenetskaya, 2009).

Until recently, the nature of this term had not been properly studied in Russian linguistics. However, in one of our studies, it has been proven that culinaronym does not belong to the onomastics branch (Phan & Shaklein, 2019). If there is a relationship between ‘culinaronym’ and ‘onomastics’, it is that they have the same pattern in forming their terms.

In 2015, the dictionary about food vocabulary and their metaphor compiled by Borovkova and her co-authors (Borovkova et al., 2015) reveals that with regard to the inner word form, some traditional Russian culinaronyms imply culinary features that cannot be understood in modern Russian language due to the long-term existence of those lexicons. From this dictionary, the original meanings of traditional Russian culinaronyms are shown in the table below:

Table 1.
Traditional Russian culinaronyms and their original meanings (made by the authors’ this article)

Traditional Russian culinaronyms and their original meanings

The table shows that traditional Russian culinaronyms relates to culinary characteristics which can be found in some modern Russian culinaronyms. The etymological aspect of traditional Russian culinaronyms can play a key role in pointing out the component structure in modern Russian culinaronyms.

The study about Russian culinaronyms by their structural analysis is unexplored due to the fact that this object may be partly found in some studies on culinary context. In current Russian studies, culinaronym is considered as an obligatory part of culinary recipes (Tayupova et al., 2019). In these studies, the name of the dish is considered as the title name of an article that introduces the recipe (Moisenya, 2018; Tayupova et al., 2019). With regard to the meaning of culinaronyms, studying recipes as a kind of intimate communication has shown that the part of the dish's name is usually based on the model such as ‘only people + the name of the food’ or ‘the name of the food + the proper name of the person’ (Shipilova, 2018). Moisenya was thirsty more broadly the meaning of the culinaronym such as composition, shape and color (Moisenya, 2018). Meanwhile, Lazeeva sheds light on a variety of meanings in the context of cooking magazines: processing, shapes, utensils, authors' name, names of place, time and borrowed word (Lazeeva, 2016). A study on the semantic structure of the name of the dish conducted by Novikova et al. (2019) has shown that culinaronym is a word combination containing many elements. An overview of the study about culinaronyms in food journals shows that culinaronyms is only a small object of those studies due to which they are not systematically described. The advantage of these works lies in the fact that the basic meanings have been pointed out by the meaning contained in culinaronyms. Most previous researches do not highlight the elements included in culinaronym systematically and make correlations between those elements.


With the descriptive qualitative method, namely component analysis, we have determined the culinaronym components occurring in modern Russian culinaronyms, such as ‘Gold menu from our readers’ Золотыерецептынашихчитателей, ‘The school for chefs’ Школакулинара, ‘Michael’s kitchen’ КухонькаМихалыча and ‘The matchmaker in the kitchen’ Сватынакухне. Then, the elements pointed out from the first step are classified by their thematics. Along with lexical meanings, other linguistic tools, such as semantic, syntactic features, metaphor, personalization, will be used to show all the culinaronym components in the naming of Russian dishes. In order to clarify special phenomenon between language and food, the study also considers the other parts of the recipe such as authors' commentary, images and cooking methods. To show out the relation of pointed elements the compare method between the lexical and sematic meanings of culinaronym emements is used.

Results and Discussion

Elements in Russian culinaronyms

After conducting a survey of the modern Russian culinaronyms, the elements discovered are given below:

  1. Group of culinary components.
  2. The first group is classified as an elementary group of components in modern Russian culinaronyms because they properly reflect the nature of these components related to the kitchen. Based on the components of traditional Russian culinaronyms (shown in table 1) and some preliminary results of culinary studies, the components in modern Russian culinaronyms were identified in this study as follows:

    Table 2.
    Group of cuisine components in modern Russian culinaronyms (made by the authors’ this article)

    Group of cuisine components in modern Russian culinaronyms

    The components in this group sound very familiar because they occur in names of some dishes we enjoy daily. Element group of components has in every language in the world. The connection between the components in this group is the physical and chemical properties used in food processing. If you compare the changes of these components with those in traditional culinaronyms, it can be assumed that the two culinaronym systems have the same semantic culinary meaning such as method cooking, form and color. However, the advantage is in favor of modern Russian culinaronyms because they also reflect the external factors influencing the culinary life in the different stages. These changes inside the system of naming dishes help make sense to their own language.

    Analysis of culinary components shows that the author of culinaronyms used special linguistic methods to specify the culinaronym and to express the basic components related to the cuisine.

  3. Time component
  4. Based on the results of the component in the name of Russian food, it shows the following meanings of time.

    Speed: The component referring to the speed in cooking indicates the shortest time to make a dish. This is shown by the vocabulary in this group which appears in the Russian culinaronyms as follows: скорый ‘fast’, экспресс ‘speedy’, быстрый ‘fast’. The frequency of these words is relatively high so that they can form a naming model for dishes that can be prepared quickly. In order to illustrate the above, the following examples can be consider as they demonstrate the name of the dish with the component of time: экспресс-картошечка ‘express potato’, салатик Простой ‘salad Simple’, ленивая пицца ‘lazy pizza’, ленивые пельмени‘lazy dumplings’, быстрый салат с креветками ‘quick salad with shrimps’, ленивые хачапури ‘lazy khachapuri’, ленивые вареники с картофелем ‘lazy dumplings with potatoes’ and салат Простушка ‘salad Prostushka’.

    In addition to the words expressing fast cooking, in Russian culinaronyms, the cooking speed is also expressed from the semantics perspective under the consideration of the cooking comment accompanied with the recipe. Thereby, we have determined this group of lexicons implying speed: простой ‘simple’, простейший ‘simpler’ and ленивый ‘lazy’. Obviously, if exposed to these words for the first time, the reader will find it difficult to grasp the meaning as well as the intention of the name. The discovery of this culinaronym element is based on the comment in the recipe (as in the case of простой, простейший) (Phan, 2019).

    Cooking duration: This component represents the exact time it takes to cook a dish. The advantage of this component is that it reminds the chefs to make that dish in the recommended time because it is the ideal duration for the preparation of the dish; that is to say, the time recommended in the name will help perfect the dish, while helping cooks to improve the technical skills to be able to perfect the dish during preparation. In Russian, this time component can be found in the following names: 15 минут 8 часов ‘15 minutes 8 hours’ and that name is interpreted as follows (15 minutes for preparation and 8 hours for tempering). For суточная ‘one day and night’, the time in these culinaronyms is the time taken to marinate the salted fish before use.

    Mealtime: This component implying the time for having a meal can be shown in the following culinaronyms: сытный ужин ‘hearty dinner’, багет - утренний хит ‘Morning hit - baguette’, завтрак бульбаша ‘breakfast bulbasha’, суп Вечерний ‘soup Evening’. It can be noted that the lexicons used in these names represent the time of the day or the mealtime. For example: завтрак ‘breakfast’, обед ‘lunch’, ужин ‘dinner’, утро ‘morning’, день ‘lunch’, вечер ‘evening’. The use of this component in the culinaronyms reflects compliance with the necessary nutritional values in each dish because adherence to diet and health values is a prevalent trend in many parts of the world, including Russia (Smirnova, 2016).

  5. Human component
  6. Human-oriented component is a matter of interest in many scientific areas. From a linguistic perspective, humans are a very important element in the study, formation and contrast of linguistic elements (Zolotova et al., 1998). With regard to Russian culinaronyms, there are facilities that reflect the human element which expresses the subjectivity in the language.
    As is known, proper names in culinaronyms, appearing in numerous studies in different languages, is not a new phenomenon in Russia because in the 19th century, some Russian culinaronyms had proper names in their naming patterns. For example: ‘Napoleon cake’, ‘Befstranov’, ‘Guriev porridge’, ‘salad Olivie’, ‘salad Sezar’, ‘Soup Peter I’. The culinaronyms are recorded to show the relevance of the figures mentioned in the name that are very popularity not only in Russian society but also in some Western countries. Meanwhile, nowadays, there are a lot of Russian culinaronyms containing proper names. For example: Шарлотта от Татьяны ‘Charlotte from Tatiana’, торт Надежда ‘cake Nadezhda’, Медовухи от Юляши ‘Mead from Julia’ and салат Лекин ‘salad Lekin’. These proper names in culinaronyms denote names of authors who want to share their recipes with others.

    People tend to eat together instead of having meals alone. Therefore, each person's eating space is associated with the other members of his or her family such as parents, siblings, spouses and children (Ishige, 1987). This relation has been recognized in Russian culinaronyms when the dish was introduced as a shared memory with family members. This phenomenon is reflected in the following Russian culinaronyms: суп довольный муж ‘a satisfied husband’s soup’, сырные мишки для внучат ‘cheese bears for grandchildren’, мамин борщ ‘mother’s borsch’, папина радость ‘father’s joy’, бабуленькин пирожки ‘grandma’s pies’, торт для папули ‘cake for daddy’, тушенная по рецепту свекрови ‘stewed according to the recipe of mother-in-law’, пирож как у мамы ‘cake like mum’s’ and кулич как у мамы ‘Easter cake like mom’s’.

    Analysis of the human element in modern Russian culinaronyms has shown the roles of the human element in the culinary context as follows:

    • Individual inherited cooking results (food);
    • Individual food preparation; and
    • Personal recipe infusions.

  7. Free component (author component)

The interesting thing about analyzing the components in modern Russian culinaronyms is to point out a special component which is called free component or an author component, as they share the personal messages that authors want to convey to the reader; these are not related to the components listed above. From a linguistic perspective, the difference in this component is that it contains syntactic features expressed as predicate relation, exclamation marks (question marks, exclamations). This component breaks down the notion of traditional naming which includes words or phrases. Through the use of free component in modern Russian culinaronyms, the authors are able to express their individuality and their own emotions from the messages. Here are some examples of Russian culinaronyms containing free components: знакомая незнакомая ‘unfamiliar acquaintance’, счастье бульбаша ‘bulbash happiness’, с легким паром! ‘with light steam!’, Ешь и хочется ‘Eat and want more’, угощу я целый цвет ‘I will treat the whole world’, лето красное, будь со мной! ‘summer red, be with me!’, крокеты необычные ‘unusual croquettes’, торт не надо до слёз ‘cake, no need to shed a tear’, всегда удачный ‘always successful’, сим-сим, откройся! ‘sim-sim, open!’, и моё сердце замерло! ‘and my heart froze!’, улыбайся! ‘smile!’, спасение хозяек ‘saving the hostesses’ and свиcтать всех на палубу! ‘hang everyone on the deck!’.

By using syntactic features to name dishes, the author conveys emotions to the reader as well as a special message (it can be a culinary fact or non-culinary one). Moreover, the emotions conveyed in those culinaronyms are positive and optimistic and reflects the spirit of cooking (Jurafsky, 2014). Generally, ‘individual’ naming aims to get positive expectations and culture surrounding the object (Dohra et al., 2020).

Culinaronym elements and their general qualities

Firstly, it can be noted that culinaronym component, being a separate sematic part, refers to culinary process or its related features. In modern Russian culinaronyms, culinaronym component can constitute the following: group of culinary component (ingredient, form, cooking method, color, stiffness, filler food and taste), time, human and author component. This classification is both reasonable and complete, reflecting each individual feature of the elements. The previous studies about culinaronyms only listed the names of the elements but were not generalized into separate factors. Accordingly, in this study, the characteristics of the groups of elements included in modern Russian culinaronyms have been generalized. The elementary group of components includes elements that are only determined in cuisine. Although, in this study, time and the human factor are conditionally related to the content of food, they are two multidisciplinary factors. This is the reason why they are arranged as pragmatic ones. As for the author component, it is different from the other elements in syntactic function, as using the element of author leads to transmitting emotions to readers.

Secondly, with regard to linguisitc tools used to identify the components of culinaronyms, we realize that these elements are also manifested by other language means such as metaphor and personality. This makes a difference compared to other studies on culinaronyms researched by Tayupova et al. (2019), Moisenya (2018) and Lazeeva (2016). The factors in these studies were determined by the lexical or semantic meaning of the components.

Meanwhile, diversification of language tools has shown the expression of style in modern Russian culinaronyms in which occur the other language means such as semantics and metaphors.

On analyzing the personification in Russian culinaronyms, one can distinguish such groups of adjective referring to human’s character. For example: умный пирог ‘smart cake’, весёлые рожицы ‘funny faces’, опьяняющая корочка ‘intoxicating crust’, умное соленое пирожное ‘smart salty cake’, умные блинчики ‘smart pancakes’, пьяные ребрышки ‘drunk ribs’, весёлые горки ‘funny slides’, хитрые котлеты ‘cunning cutlets’, etc. In these examples, it can be noted that adjectives are used to describe the human character. The use of adjectives in Russian culinaronyms is associated with certain recognizable meanings. Therefore, this allows us to set the following nominations related to culinaronym components:

Table 3.
Adjectives with personalization in modern Russian culinaronyms (made by the authors’ this article)

Adjectives with personalization in modern Russian culinaronyms

The most commonly used artistic method in the name of food is a metaphor. Metaphors can be found in some modern Russian culianronyms such as солнце на ладони ‘the sun in the palm of the hand’, солнце на тарелке ‘the sun on the plate’, рассвет на островах ‘the dawn on the islands’, мишка в джакузи ‘the bear in the jacuzzi’, рулет: кошачий глаз ‘roll: cat's eye’, ласточкино гнездо ‘swallow’s nest’ and коровки на лугу ‘cows in the meadow’.

Moreover, in Russian culinaronyms, there is another type of metaphor called ‘false’ or ‘zero’. For example: улиточка из пряного сала ‘spicy lard’, икра из баклажанов ‘eggplant-caviar’, огуречная икра ‘cucumber-caviar’, салат-икра ‘caviar salad’, мясные улиточки ‘meat snails’, шоколадная колбаса ‘chocolate sausage’. Unlike the usual metaphor, certain ingredients in these culinaronyms are ‘false’ because they are not in the dish itself. The essence of this metaphor lies in the fact that the ingredients named in the culinary names are absent, playing the role of attracting readers’ attention. In culinanonyms such as ‘eggplant-caviar’ and ‘cucumber-caviar’ there is no caviar, but these dishes are made in the form of caviar. According to calinaronym’s component, ingredients such as caviar do not fulfill the nominative function of the composition but of its external form. From this, we can derive the following definition of the ‘zero metaphor’: a ‘false’ or ‘zero’ metaphor is the transfer of a culinaronym’s component to another one (most often from the ingredient to its appearance).

Table 4.
Types of metaphor in modern Russian culinaronyms (made by the authors’ this article)

Types of metaphor in modern Russian culinaronyms

Thirdly, the correlation of the components in Russian culinaronym is shown as follows: the culinaronym can be a combination of components, including at least one ingredient, the same thing was found in the study of the elemental name analysis by Novikova et al. (2019). It can be noted that the same lexicon can play different components in different culinaronyms due to a special language tool or changes of words (zero metaphor). In one culinaronym, the component can refer to an ingredient, but in another one, it can denote the shape of a dish. Rotating components can also be found in some Russian culinaronyms that include proper names. Due to the long development process in language, proper nouns, such as Napoleon or Sezar, have been generalized nouns. This phenomenon conditionally happens with proper nouns in which case a proper noun is transformed into a common noun (Podonskaya, 1988). Another reason why these nouns become common nouns is that when these dishes become popular, copying the food-related phenomena is also defaulted as a general phenomenon. For example, the word Napoleon is also used to describe the shape of food such as Napoleon salad. The phenomenon of using a person’s name as a common noun also appears in Russian culinary magazines.

Finally, one lexicon can have double components in itself. For examples: завтрак за 10 минут ‘breakfast for 10 minutes’ and ужин за 20 минут ‘dinner for 20 minutes’. In these culinaronyms, breakfast and dinner conditionally belong to the time component, mealtime to be exact. At the same time, these lexicons also relate to the culinary component due to the fact that in context of culinary magazines, these culinaronyms can be understood as the food prepared in the particular time (short period of time, in this case in). The meaning of the name of such dishes refers to the physical element more than it does the meal itself. Therefore, some components in culinaronyms can share the same lexicon in a single culinaronym.

Types of lexicon with culinaronym component

Figure 1. Types of lexicon with culinaronym component.


Culinaronyms in culinary magazines is becoming more and more diverse in content and form as cohesion is being created between the author and the reader. The language in these culinaronyms represents a breakthrough in conveying messages, as they tend to convey emotions. This shows that they have broken the rule in naming the traditional culinaronyms. Despite the diversity and abundance of quantity and content, the culinaronyms are still clear and systematic because it is manifested by the clear and independent existence of semantic-structural components within modern Russian culinaronyms. Thus, this research has identified the following components in modern Russian culinaronyms: the group of culinary components, time, people and authors' component. Theoretical findings of culinaronym’s components can make the language of culinary deep and contribute to naming objects. Moreover, their sophistication and creativity lies in the fact that they can interact and interchange with each other thanks to the combination of language and cuisine. This combination can lead to various effects such as amusing, attention seeking and surprising. It can be said that in the field of naming dishes, this study is a systematic analysis about culinaronym components, each of them has their own culinaronym meaning under the correlation.