With the «Russian words» series you can learn new Russian words and practice your listening and reading skills with the audio and transcript. Today’s word is “исподтишка”.

The audio examples of this lesson are recorded at three different speeds: slow, adapted (slower than normal) and normal.

Description (описание): [нареч.] исподтишка́

Meaning (значение):

in an underhand way, on the quiet, on the sly

Download the audio file of this lesson

Etymology (этимология):

[предлог] из + [предлог] под + [нареч.] ти́хо (quietly)

Synonyms (синонимы):

[нареч.] тайко́м (without smb’s knowledge, in secret, surreptitiously)
[нареч.] укра́дкой (by stealth, stealthily, furtively)
[нареч.] втихомо́лку (without saying a word, on the quiet, on the sly)
[нареч.] втихаря́ (on the sly, secretly)
[нареч.] незаме́тно (unnoticeably)

Examples (примеры):

  1. Оста́вшиеся без парко́вочных мест автовладельцы ста́ли исподтишка́ прока́лывать конкуре́нтам ши́ны и выбива́ть стёкла.
    Left without parking slots car owners began surreptitiously piercing the competitors tires and beating glass.
  2. Недово́льство обще́ственности подогрева́л ещё и тот факт, что дире́ктор проводи́л свои́ реше́ния исподтишка́.
    Public discontent was also stirred up by the fact that the director made his decision on the sly.
  3. Я исподтишка́ продолжа́ла её разгля́дывать, впро́чем, э́то исподтишка́ бы́ло ни к чему́, и́бо она́ на меня́ не обраща́ла ни мале́йшего внима́ния.
    I secretly kept examining her, however, this “secretly” was for nothing, because she did not pay me any attention.
  4. Несмотря́ на запре́ты, лю́ди продолжа́ли исподтишка́ лови́ть ры́бу в экологи́чески небезопа́сном райо́не, а на ма́леньких база́рчиках торгова́ли ра́нними овоща́ми и клубни́кой, вы́ращенными на со́бственных огоро́дах.
    Despite the prohibitions, people secretly continued to fish in environmentally unsafe areas, and to sell on small markets early vegetables and strawberries grown in their own gardens.
Russian Pod 101

3 comments on “Исподтишка

  1. I just discovered your podcasts last night, and I love them!

    This expression reminds me of the English phrase “under the table,” as in “to pay someone under the table.” The English phrase doesn’t mean *generally* secretive, though; as far as I know, it always specifically refers to paying someone or carrying out a business transaction without reporting the transaction to the government, especially the IRS (the US government tax agency).

  2. Oops! I just realized that my previous comment may have made no sense — why I made the mental connection with that one English expression. Never mind. ))) I still do love your podcasts, though.

    • Everyday Russian says:

      Hello Karen,


      Whether it makes sense or not, your comment is interesting. ))
      And thanks for your warm words.

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