The casual and topical Russian word for rain, дождь, became a top mystery for Twitter users worldwide yesterday.
The growingly hot weather in Eastern Europe was interrupted by a rainfall in region on Tuesday, July 20th. This event lead to the Cyrillic word “дождь”, which means rain, to instantly become one of the top Twitter trending topics. Every minute, 10+ tweets containing the word would appear. This is the first time when a Cyrillic word has been featured in Twitter’s trending topics.
As a result, Twitter’s English-speaking audience had an overwhelming interest for the unknown word, which resulted in rumors and funny guesses by more than 70 million users, with some tweets saying:
What is дождь?
#дождь is a time when the vodka falls from the sky and polar bears begin to walk on the red square with AK47
дождь is Putin’s new pet name
I know what is Дождь! Follow me!)
Rumors that “дождь” is a new Russian nuclear bomb or a new phone which is better than iPhone 4 had also started circulating.
By the end of the day, the word дождь had a viral flashmob-like effect in Twitter.
Even the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, posted a tweet containing the word дождь:
Evening news on one of the central TV channels in Russia even reported on this funny case.
So why was a plain subject as the rain such a popular topic among Russian-speaking twitterers? Well with so many people being as exhausted by the unusually hot weather, they were so ecstatic to see some rain coming to cool things down and so started to instantly tweet about it as soon as the first rain drops hit the ground. And with more than 200,000 Russian-speaking Twitter users tweeting about it at the same time, it made the other 69 million and 700,000 Twitter users take notice.