Aleite lanites. What is a lanita?

In poetry, the phrase “aleant lanites” is found. What is a lanita? Now this word is not used in colloquial and literary speech, but in the poetic it is quite possible.


To understand the context in which the “lanita” is used, the meaning of the word, its origin, should be referred to dictionaries and examples from ancient writing. The word is Old Slavic, means cheek.

what is lanita

Related to the Slavic olnita, which means a curved part of the body. The sound and writing is similar to Ukrainian, Serbian, Slovenian and Czech (Slovene laníta, Czech lanitva). Refers to the Old Slavic. These words and phrases are used in poetry to create a hill, solemnity.


Having the goal of creating a glorifying work, the authors sought to replace discordant or having a commonly associative orientation of the word to Old Church Slavs: ramen instead of shoulders, right hand instead of right hand, etc. Poets of the 18th and 19th centuries were not embarrassed by the then obsolete turns of the Russian language.

On the contrary, in antiquity a noble veil was felt, a sort of verbal patina. As a bottle of a hundred-year-old wine from the reserved cellar is delightful and reverent, these words acted then and continue to act now.

Lanites word meaning

MVLomonosov used this word in the ode: “And the sweet tears to the watering pan irrigates.”

A.S. Pushkin and M.Yu.Lermontov - in the love lyrics. Agree, it would be strange to devote a nymph line about red cheeks. There will be an association with a cook or a laundress working in conditions of high temperature. And what is a lanita? This is completely different! Something noble, devoid of vulgarity. Therefore, Pushkin finds another comparison: “roses of fiery lanit”. And Lermontov - "Lanit calm fire scarlet."

Holy Bible

Some biblical expressions require clarification. In Psalm 3: 8, we read: "You strike in the cheek." In Isaiah 50: 6 we find: "I have betrayed ... my cheeks to those who strike." During the translation of the Bible from the Greek by Cyril and Methodius into the Slavic language, no one needed to explain what lanita is. The word was used in ordinary speech and it was clear to everyone.

This is indicated by the surviving literary monuments.In the explanatory note to the “Word about the regiment of Igor's”, we read about those of a different appearance: “And in the vestments of the women’s dress, and the sheeting color of the waxy, and the eyes of the black-headed”. That is, "they change into women's clothes, paint their cheeks and eyes."

what is lanita

Matthew 26:67: "... others struck Him against the lanites. ”- a description of the beating of Christ. “Whipping along the cheeks”, although it bears the same meaning, but is completely devoid of a hill worthy of a Savior.

So it becomes clear what lanita is. In ancient texts, these are cheeks, cheekbones. And now poets sometimes use this word for a romantic poem. It's nice to hear it from the mouth of young writers. This means that the language is not only developing, but also has firmly taken root. Feel free to use almost forgotten words. After all, the new is well forgotten old.

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