The article deals with the semantics and the cultural background of the Bulgarian phraseological unit 'God is high, the tsar is far away'. Special attention is paid to its second part because in Bulgarian culture, similarly to all Christian cultures, the identification of God with Goodness is rather obvious, but that of the tsar with goodness may seem unjustified. An analysis is carried out of six semantic models of the phraseological unit in four historical-cultural contexts: (1) the tsar is far away vs. the actual institution of the tsar; (2) the tsar is far away vs. the relationship between God and the tsar; (3) the tsar is far away vs. the image of the tsar in folk culture; (4) the tsar is far away vs. Bulgarian historical figures. The article concludes with examples of contemporary political realization of the unit, connected with the return of tsar Symeon from abroad and his position as the prime minister in the Bulgarian government.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.