NOYTA

Noyta ????? is the Russian word for mail, and can be found on many Russian stamps and Soviet stamps.

Noyta actually isn’t a real word – because Russia has a different alphabet to the USA and most of Europe, it’s just what the word looks like in the Roman alphabet. The correct spelling in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet is ?????, which is pronounced as ‘Pochta’.

Russia adopted the use of stamps to pay for its mail quite a bit later than the rest of the world – the Russian government first decided to use stamps in 1858, nearly two decades later than they were first introduced in Great Britain. The first stamps were quite expensive, costing 10 kopeks, but lower denomination stamps (1, 3 and 5 kopeks) soon appeared to help to standardise pricing for international mail.

The first Russian commemorative stamps were produced in January 1913, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.

Stamps continued to be used during the Soviet Union. On the whole, Soviet stamps were typically more colourful than their Imperial Russian predecessor, typically because of advancing in printing technology, but also as a small part of the effort to show how advanced a country the USSR was. Commemorative stamps were popular in Soviet Russia as well, and stamps commemorating Soviet space exploration were especially popular. In the example shown, which commemorates the first flight into space by Yuri Gagarin, you can clearly see the words ????? and CCCP (the Cyrillic Russian spelling of USSR, which stood for Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik, or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

If you are a stamp collector, then you may be interested to know that it is actually very easy to find and buy examples of Russian and Soviet stamps – online auction site eBay has an entire section dedicated to them.

Other uses of the word ????? (Pochta, or Noyta) include in the name of the Russian postal company Russian Post (????? ??????), who employ almost 400,000 people, and have a reputation for not being very reliable any more, and in ?????? ????? (Adskaya Pochta or Hell’s Mail), which was a satirical magazine published by Fyodor Emin in 1769 – the magazine was essentially a series of correspondence between two demons exposing the corruption and exploitation of Tsarist Russia.

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