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In Master and Margarita, Koroviev (or Korovyev) is part of Woland's entourage. In various scenes, he is called by his nickname - Fagot:

The magician sat down. ' Tell me, my dear Fagot,' Woland enquired of the check-clad buffoon, who apparently had another name besides ' Koroviev,' 'do you find the people of Moscow much changed? '

As far as I know, this is a translation from Russian фагот which means "bassoon", a musical instrument also known as fagotto, faggot, fagott or fagot, which you can see below:

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Of course, for a modern English reader this might have a different, pejorative meaning which also ranges from "old woman" to "homosexual man" (South Park had a whole episode about it).

Earlier, Koroview described himself as an "ex-church choirmaster", he is also apparently very tall and skinny, just like the instrument - is there anything else to his name?

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    It's rather Koroviev that is a fake name, Fagot probably is connected with his past.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 19:43

2 Answers 2

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There's no canon information. There exist several random guesses, listed on Russian Wikipedia; none of which has any meaningful proof either textually or authorial-intent wise (although most guesses there pertain to either prototypes or the Korovyev name, not "Fagot" - and those seem equally baseless).

To me personally, "Bassoon" as far as looks seems the only one that makes reasonable sense among those listed.

Please note that any sort of attempt to link the name "Fagot"/"Bassoon" to history fail to note that the character is implied to be rather old, and the instrument itself (and its Italian/German "fagot" name) only hails from 1700+.

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As far as i remember he was always in suits and well-dressed. I thought that maybe his name might derive from French, "se fagoter" well dressed or proper

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    – Community Bot
    Commented Aug 5, 2023 at 13:40
  • I don't think that he was so well-dressed, if anything his clothes were quite mismatching or even damages (like his half-broken glasses). But "se fagoter" then could be used jokingly (like calling a big guy "little")
    – Yasskier
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 3:42

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