Why is a gasoline bomb called a Molotov Cocktail and where did the term originate?

There are a couple of theories of origin for the term Molotov Cocktail, but the Molotov name probably comes from Stalin’s premier and foreign minister, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov

It was while he was minister of defense that Russians started the policy of using petrol bombs as an anti-tank weapon so that in any situation, they would have some sort of defense, even if ammunition were low.

However, it must be noted that Molotov’s original surname was Scriabin. Just as Stalin adopted a name for its meaning, Scriabin chose Molotov, the Russian word for hammer, to be his new last name.

So it could be that the gasoline bomb got its name from the tool and not the man.

Regardless of how the Molotov cocktail got its name, the double meaning has a certain explosive impact.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “Why is a gasoline bomb called a Molotov Cocktail and where did the term originate?”

  1. Actually the term Molotov’s Cocktail as a name for a petrol bomb is the response to the Soviet bombing campaign of Finland in 1939, where the then Soviet minister announced, that Soviet planes are merely dropping Bread Baskets to the starving Finns. So, as a response, Finnish troops started serving Soviet tank crews with cocktails.

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