Hello, dear student! Today I'd like to tell you about the words, which are seemed to be odd even for Russian-speaking people - you should memorize them, know the cases of usage and try not to find out the sense of their origin and usage - this is the Russian language.
1. Шарашкина контора [Sharashkina kantora] - Kind of crooks unit, organization or company (a fly-by-night operation).
Шарашкина контора - is the place which has got not so good reputation, people are deceived here and not welcomed. In one word, the service or organization, where it's better not to go.
Этот юрист и его сотрудники настоящая шарашкина контора. Никогда больше к ним не пойду! [Ekhtat yurist i evo satrudniki nastayashaya sharashkina kantora. Nikagda bol'she k nim ni pajdu] - This lawyer and his colleagues are real crooks, I will never go there again!
2. Ёлки-палки [Yolki- Palki] - Cripes!
Ёлки-палки - the phrase that people use in their speech to express different emotions: anger, surprise, bad luck. I can't refer this phrase to bad ones, but it was usually used by people from working class, from villages.
Ёлки-палки, что же ты наделала, разбила мамину чашку! [Yolki- palki, shto zhi ty nadelala, razbila maminu chashku!] - Oh my God/Cripes, what did you do, you broke mum's cap!
3. Баба- яга [Baba Yaga] - Kind of Russian heroine from fairytales, an old woman, who usually looks ugly.
Баба-яга (костяная нога) -- is the character from Russian fairy tales, usually negative one - old, ugly, dirty woman, who always misbehaves, does bad things, knows witchcraft and flies on a broomstick. Sometimes she eats people. She lives in a forest, in a hut on the chicken legs. Today, people name this way in their speech not very attractive, ugly people, untidy and dirty.
Она совсем не ухаживает за собой. Настоящая Баба-яга [Ana safsem ni ukhazhivaet za saboj. Nastayasshaya Baba- yaga] - She doesn't care for herself at all. The real witch (Baba Yaga)