Samovar vs scimitar

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Samovar and scimitar are two words that are often confused. We will examine the difference between the definitions of samovar and scimitar, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A samovar is a Russian tea urn, usually highly decorated. The samovar holds heated water. Traditionally, samovars were heated by coal or charcoal, but modern samovars are powered though electricity. They may be made out of a variety of metals such as tin, bronze, silver or gold. The word samovar is borrowed from Russian, it translates as self-boiler.

A scimitar is a curved, short-bladed sword. Scimitars were widely used during the Ottoman period, throughout the Middle East. It is believed that the word scimitar was derived from the Persian word shamshēr, which translates as paw claw, related to the  French word cimeterre and the Italian word scimitarra.


Without the help of the co-curator’s voice in my ear, I would simply never have noticed (to give an example from the current Russian revolution exhibition at the RA) ‘the way the samovar reflects the vessels on the table’ or have known that ‘those Soviet banners were probably painted by icon-painters’. (The Spectator)

Putin received a print of the scroll in Japanese style titled Putyatin’s Arrival while he presented to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a Tula copper samovar made in 1870 and a painting by Igor Razzhivin. (Sputnik News)

Cao Cao stood at the bedside and looked like a guard holding a scimitar. (The Epoch Times)

I occasionally have story subjects snap at me, but not with a beady eye and a sharp beak shaped like the scimitar that medieval Turks used to swing at Crusaders. (The San Diego Union-Tribune)