Origin, meaning, features of the use of the expression "Spread the thought over the tree"

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Origin, meaning, features of the use of the expression "Spread the thought over the tree"
Origin, meaning, features of the use of the expression "Spread the thought over the tree"

The great and mighty Russian language! How many secrets and complexities you have. So many unknown and interesting things you hide in yourself. Deep meaning and exciting stories are hidden in stable Russian phrases, incomprehensible to new generations.

From the school bench we are in search of the meanings of words, expressions and works. We are looking for morality in fables, hints in fairy tales and what they can teach us. Proverbs, sayings, excerpts from the works of famous writers that have become aphorisms - all of them open our eyes to the artist's vision. However, sometimes, not knowing some of the features, people interpret stable phrases incorrectly. But it is thanks to such mistakes that the Russian language becomes richer and more interesting.

In this article, we will explain one of the phrases contained in this passage.

The first interpretation of the line from the work "The Tale of Igor's Campaign"

What does it mean to "spread the thought over the tree"? This passage can be interpreted in two very different ways. The meaning of the expression "spreading thought over the tree" will also change. Let's analyze the set phrase based on this.

When interpreting the word "mouse" the translators transformed it into "thought", since their sound is very similar. If you do not go into details, then such a replacement seems quite logical and fits well in meaning. With such a transformation of the word, the lines in question have the following meaning: to rant, to verbose, to be distracted by irrelevant details. Therefore, this set expression is used when talking about unnecessary details that distract from the main idea and affect, like branches of a tree, secondary topics.

Second value

In the following interpretation, the definition of the expression is completely different, since from the Old Slavonic protein it is “mys”. If the author meant this forest animal, then the lines from his work can be read differently. It turns out in this case as follows: "Boyan the prophetic, when he wanted to lay down a song, spread like a squirrel on a tree, a gray drag on the ground, a gray eagle under the clouds." The author did not mean at all what many now understand. He said that when composing the song, Boyan mentally covered the whole world, running through a tree like a squirrel, being on the ground like a gray wolf, and flying under the clouds like an eagle.

spread the thought on the tree

It is worth noting an interesting point. The Old Russian lexeme "mys" in the meaning of "squirrel" was used in Russia, namely inPskov province, right up to the 19th century.

As we can see, one word changes the whole meaning of the statement. But due to the fact that the interpretation of “mys” as a thought is more familiar and close to many, we will analyze a stable phrase based on this interpretation.

Origin and translation

The line "spread with thought on a tree" appeared thanks to the well-known works of D. S. Likhachev, V. A. Zhukovsky and N. A. Zabolotsky. They translated The Tale of Igor's Campaign in this form. We saw these lines in school textbooks as well.

expression to spread thought on a tree

The work-monument of ancient Russian literature "The Tale of Igor's Campaign" really needed translation and adaptation to the modern Russian language, as it was written back in 1185.

Where can you find the expression "to spread the thought over the tree"

This phrase, like many other fixed expressions, has replenished our vocabulary. We meet it in the print media, the Internet, fiction, hear it on radio and television. It is possible that someone even uses it colloquially.

spread the thought on the tree meaning

You can even imagine two classmates or students using this unusual phrase when discussing someone's work: “How does a teacher miss the obvious? After all, he does not know the topic at all. He "floats" in it! Spread the thought over the tree. Just like Boyan in The Tale of Igor's Campaign, which we read not so long ago!

Synonyms and antonyms of the phraseologism "spread the thought over the tree"

To reveal the meaning of the expression in question as fully as possible, we will select the most appropriate stable turns in meaning, which are widely heard by many. These are well-known phraseological units “pour water” and “beat around the bush”. They are used in speech when talking about those who talk empty talk, in whose conversation important information is missing, who “spread their thoughts along the tree.”

what does it mean to spread thought on a tree

Let's choose a stable phrase opposite in meaning to the expression under consideration. An excellent antonym is the saying "brevity is the sister of talent." A concise but capacious narrative often tells us more than "water".


Let's summarize. In this article, we learned that the line in question from the monument of ancient Russian literature was translated incorrectly. However, at the moment it is actively used in modern Russian. We found that the expression "to spread the thought over the tree" has more than one meaning. We found two interpretations of a stable phrase taken from the Tale of Igor's Campaign. We learned why the work was translated in this way, and who worked on it.

In order to better reveal the meaning of the line in question, we have given synonyms and antonyms. Mentioned where this expression is used. Knowing the meaning of this stable turnover, you can correctly insert it into your speech, surprising others with a rich vocabulary, your well-read and broad-minded.

The analysis of this phraseologism led us to the following conclusions. Sometimes errors in interpretation give us newsustainable turnover, that is, they enrich us. A lot depends on translators. By misinterpreting them, they can change the whole meaning of a part of the work. In this case, readers could mentally imagine how the hero Boyan, composing a song, in his imagination covers the whole world. He, like a squirrel, runs up a tree, like a wolf, walks on the ground, and like an eagle, flies under the clouds. The picture is very large.

the meaning of the expression spread the thought over the tree

However, due to incorrect translation, the reader is deprived of the opportunity to imagine all this. But there is also a positive side to this error. And this, as we have already noted, is the enrichment of Russian speech with a new phraseological unit. And as you know, steady turns make our speech bright and accurate. Instead of saying “stop sharing unnecessary information, get down to business”, you can briefly but succinctly say “stop spreading over the tree!” Thus, we will show our erudition and expand the horizons of the interlocutor.

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