|OK you have just stepped off the Aeroflot plane arriving in Moscow and you are in the Immigration Hall. When asked where you are arriving from say London. Don't say Carluke. Here's why|
Horsey's tale of the arrival in Moscow of the English ambassador, Jerome Bowes, records the insulting cry of 'karlik' or 'carluke' with which the Russian crowd greeted him after he had dismounted from the horse provided for him claiming that it was unworthy of his status.
It is probable that the crowd used it on this occasion since the English equivalent is recorded by Horsey.
But 'carluke' is obviously Rus. karlik? a dwarf.
Horsey seems to have noted one of the insulting remarks in an approximation to the Russian pronunciation; for this purpose he chose a short phrase that his ear could most easily grasp. At the same time Horsey's informant gave him the English equivalent of one of the other cries of derision provoked partly no doubt by the unorthodox costume of the Englishman (probably doublet and hose).
The dwarfs at the tsar's court wore Western costume before it was generally accepted.
So be warned - If the policeman hears you say 'karlik' or Carluke you might just end up being frisked for contraband black puddings and haggis. !
(From the article "Russian Words in Sixteenth-Century English Sources" by H. Leeming with kind permission
The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 46, No. 106 (Jan., 1968) )