“Judge into the soap!”

The days when the Russkies dominated the world in hockey are long over.  In the second half of the 20th century, the Soviets won an overwhelming majority of Olympic medals in the sport and invented a highly orchestrated, tactical style of play that forced the scrambling North American old guard to change its style of play. Now teams like St. Petersburg’s SKA (which stands for “Army Sport Club”) play a dirty, sloppy version of the game that you would sooner expect to see at a high-school match in some concrete arena in the Rust Belt.

The cheering, however, is world class.  I won’t go into the murky expanses of the rude cheers fans yell in mat (the Russian cuss-word dialect), but I will spend a moment on the popular chant, “Sudyu na miylo!,” which means, “Judge into the soap!”

As you might expect, this phrase is offered up in disagreement with a referee’s call.  What’s not so clear is where this phrase actually comes from; my inquiries have turned up several different variations:

1.  One version holds that the ref has tainted himself with his unfair call and needs to be washed clean, wash his hands of the fiasco, wash his mouth out, or any such variation on this theme.

2.  One oft-tread example of blue humor is premised on the idea that you should never bend over to retrieve a fallen bar of soap in the prison showers (“Don’t drop the soap …”).  This joke is told in Russian, as well, and one version of the etymology of this phrase includes the thought that the ref should bend over to pick up the soap, exposing his rear for a rather swinish form of retribution.

3.  The most substantial explanation involves the production of soap.  As anyone who’s seen Fight Club knows, you make soap from fat, including human fat.  The basic idea is that if the judge makes an incorrect call, he ought to be killed and his fat used to make soap.  Some go further to say that in ancient times, athletic teams did just this with crooked refs, then bathed with the resulting product.

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One Response to ““Judge into the soap!””

  1. My fellow on Orkut shared this link and I’m not dissapointed that I came here.

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