Tsar Gorokh

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Tsar Gorokh (Russian: Царь Горох) is a character from Russian folklore, a fictional tsar whose name literally means "pea". The exact origin of the name is unknown.[1]


Appellations to this name are used in a number of expressions as a reference to times immemorial, such as "during the times of Tsar Gorokh". It is used in some preambles of Russian fairy tales . In common speech it often bears an ironical sense, as an indication to unbelievable or obsolete circumstances.[2] Referenced in the first pages of "Crime and Punishment" to indicate Raskolnikov's peturbed thoughts.

Actual character[edit]

There is a number of narratives, folklore and literary, where Tsar Gorokh is an actual character, rather than a time frame reference.


  1. ^ "Кто такой царь Горох?" ("Who Is Thar Gorokh?"), Анатолий ЖУРАВЛЕВ, доктор филологических наук, заведующий отделом этимологии и ономастики Института русского языка РАН, «Учительская газета», №40, October 6 2009 (in Russian)
  2. ^ A footnote in "A Life Under Russian Serfdom", by Savva Dmitrievich Purlevskii, Boris B. Gorshkov, 2005, ISBN 963-7326-15-4, p. 44
  3. ^ War of Mushrooms, fairy tale
  4. ^ Wikisource: Tsar Gorokh by P. Vyazemsky, (in Russian)