The meaning and significance of some phraseological phrases is clear without unnecessary comments. But the origin of some of them may be incomprehensible without knowledge of history.
The phraseologism “an uninvited guest is worse than a Tatar” in the modern sense means disapproval of a sudden, unplanned visit. That is, the owner needs to get all his supplies in order to prepare a treat, postpone planned tasks and entertain the guest.
The Russian people have always been distinguished by their hospitality and cordiality. And why is there such a dislike for guests, and why is the guest compared to a Tatar? And here the Tatars are a completely civilized original nation, for centuries living side by side with the Russians. Moreover, long-term coexistence has brought the peoples so close that there is a hypothesis according to which Tatar blood flows in every second Russian person.
Who are the Tatars
Ancient Russia suffered a lot from the Mongol-Tatar yoke, every schoolchild knows this. In Russia, all the tribes that raided Russian villages were called by a common word - Tatars. The raids were distinguished by unheard-of cruelty, robbery, and violence. The villages were burned, the inhabitants who survived were taken away to the full, that is, into captivity.
That is, after the "Tatar" there was nothing left, and the second part of the phraseological unit has its own explanation. It remains to find out why a guest who came after hours is more troublesome than the predatory raid of the Mongol-Tatar tribe.
In addition, in the Russian language, on the topic of an uninvited guest, there are proverbs of a completely opposite emotional color - "an uninvited guest is easy, but the invited one is heavy", "glad, not happy, but say: you are welcome." In extreme cases, "there is not even a spoon for the uninvited guest" or "the uninvited guests gnaw bones too."
The meaning of the word "guest"
Analyzing a specific case, there is a need to refer to all interpretations of the word "guest". According to Ozhegov's dictionary, the word "guest" has several meanings, one of which is a merchant. Here it is appropriate to recall the epic "Sadko", where exactly under the name "Varangian guest" is meant a merchant from the Varyags. This is where the concept of "Gostiny Dvor" originates - not a hotel, but a warehouse for storing bulk consignments of goods.
History reflects such a fact when the prophetic Oleg, under the guise of a merchant, that is, a guest, entered Kiev with the Varangian squad, killed the Varangian princes Askold and Dir, who were ruling at that time, and sat down on the board. Despite the fact that Oleg's campaign against Kiev was the beginning of the development of the Old Russian state, and Kiev was captured without a fight, Oleg destroyed all Christian shrines.
Perhaps the uninvited guest means this unplanned visit. Perhaps, but it does not coincide a little in chronology, which does not allow us to make this version the only correct one.
In any case, this proverb has not the slightest relation to the modern inhabitants of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Crimean Tatars, they themselves at one time suffered a lot from the raids of wild tribes.