from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. In Russian tales, a hag who lives in hut that stands on chicken legs and who flies through the air in a mortar, using the pestle as a rudder.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Slavic баба (baba, "grandmother"), and Yaga, a probable diminutive of Jadwiga.


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  • A little girl  goes to see Baba Yaga, the witch who lives in the forest in a house that walks about on chicken legs. Baba Yaga keeps her there and when the little girl escapes Baby Yaga chases her - she flies about in a mortar and uses a pestle to propel it forward. The girl has an ally though, in the doll which lives in her pocket; and who instructs her to throw a comb over her shoulder when the witch gets closer - which turns into a forest - and then a handkerchief - which turns into a river. This delays the witch long enough for the girl to return safely to her home and her family. 

    July 13, 2015