What is the meaning of lapochka, Russian term in Nine Perfect Strangers?

Eve Edwards September 23, 2021

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Nine Perfect Strangers reaches its dizzying conclusion this month, as we bid goodbye to Masha (Nicole Kidman) and Tranquillam House.

The Hulu series saw its premiere on 18 August 2021. Episodes aired Wednesdays weekly on Hulu, coming to UK screens two days later via Amazon Prime.

After eight ominous and hallucinogen-filled episodes, Nine Perfect Strangers wrapped up the first (and looks like only) season on 22 September. Although the series reached a “satisfactory” ending, some viewers are still scratching their heads over Masha’s term of endearment, “lapochkha”.

The following story contains spoilers for Nine Perfect Strangers.

Nine Perfect Strangers — “Random Acts of Mayhem” – Episode 101 — Promised total transformation, nine very different people arrive at Tranquillum House, a secluded retreat run by the mysterious wellness guru Masha. Carmel (Regina Hall), shown. (Photo by: Vince Valitutti/Hulu)

Lapochka’s usage in Nine Perfect Strangers

Since the first episode aired, Nine Perfect Strangers viewers have been acquainted with Masha Dmitrichenko’s endearing term, “lapochka”.

Masha, a Russian-American wellness guru, uses the term to refer to her guests at Tranquillam House.

As Masha’s manipulations come to light, the term takes on a more sinister meaning. This reaches a climax in episode 7 (15 September), as Carmel Schneider (Regina Hall) uses the term about Masha herself.

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So, what is the meaning of ‘lapochka’?

Lapochka is generally defined as a Russian term of endearment. It is typically used when referring to a loved one, relative, children or young people.

Some synonyms in English include “darling”, “sweetheart”, “lassie” and “honey”.

Although this term is used affectionately by Russian speakers in Russia and beyond, it’s fair to say Masha’s usage of the term in Nine Perfect Strangers has given viewers the creeps.

Nicole Kidman on playing Russian character Masha

Nicole Kidman, born in Australia, plays Russian-American character Masha Dmitrichenko in Nine Perfect Strangers. Despite the fact the show is filmed in Kidman’s home country, she had to maintain an unnatural accent for Masha throughout filming.

In fact, Kidman kept Masha’s accent for the entire filming period to help her stay in character. She says she made the choice because “it felt good, felt right”.

For Regina Hall (playing Carmel), she said: “It was a little surreal, to be honest. [Nicole] walked in and she was Russian! I did not hear Nicole’s real voice until we wrapped. She didn’t break.”

  • READ NEXT: Who sings the Nine Perfect Strangers theme song?

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Eve spends her days writing about everything culture-related. From celebrity news to music, film and television, Eve covers all bases. When she’s not writing you can find her making music or mastering the art of homemade pasta.