Russian slang is a unique and often misunderstood cultural phenomenon. It’s not just “bad words” that people use to sound cool or tough, it’s an entire language of its own. In this blog post we will explore 10 examples of Russian slang so you can finally understand what your friends are saying when they hang out with their buddies!
1. Хрен знает
Translation: “horseradish knows”
Meaning: It is unknown. A great response to a question you don’t know the answer to.
Translation: “milk probability”
Meaning: It’s very unlikely that something will happen. No matter what you say to your Russian friend they’ll probably think the opposite of whatever you are saying is most likely going to happen. This is because Russians tend not to be negative about anything and always look at life with an optimistic point of view.
3. У меня крыша съехала
Translation: “Me roof has come off”
Meaning: I’m pretty upset about something that happened. Russians are very passionate people and tend to express their emotions strongly at all times! They also might be using this phrase because of the old saying “the sky is falling”, which means they think it’s really bad but there isn’t anything you can do about it so just deal with it. This idiom comes from the book Chicken Little by American author, James Whitcomb Riley. It was first published in 1895 under the title A Story That No One Can Beat. The story talks about a young chicken who believes that the sky is falling when in reality, an acorn falls on her head.
4. Нахал ты какой-то
Translation: “you’re such a rascal”
Meaning: You are being annoying and it’s probably not intentional but you still need to stop doing whatever it is you are doing! Russians tend to be very straight forward with their language and don’t beat around the bush too much. They like things simple and direct even if it sounds rude or makes people uncomfortable at times. If someone says this phrase they aren’t always upset about what you did; sometimes they use this expression as a joke when something happened that was funny or surprising! Just make sure you know the context of when it’s being said before you get offended.
5. Смысл жить тому,кто верит
Translation: “Meaning to live is who believes”
Meaning: It doesn’t matter if something bad happened or not, just always have a positive outlook on life! Russians are some of the most optimistic people in the world and they even tend to look at negative things that happen as good things because there was an opportunity for growth or improvement. You can expect this phrase from anyone who seems like they are constantly smiling! Even though it sounds strange coming from someone with grey hair- Russian grannies love using this expression all day long!
6. Холостяк ищет судьбу
Translation: “bachelor is looking for fate”
Meaning: A single person who has trouble meeting someone new. If you are a young Russian guy or girl and don’t have many friends of the opposite sex, this phrase might be used to describe your situation by one of your buddies! Russians tend to meet their significant other through family members or during school so singles in Russia can get kind of lonely sometimes without much support from anyone around them. Don’t worry though- if you’re reading this blog post then there’s certainly hope that you’ll find love someday too!
Meaning: Its slang for ‘money’. If you are walking around the streets of Moscow and get stopped by a shady character asking if you speak English, then there’s certainly a good chance that he wants your money! He might use this slang word to confuse tourists who don’t know any Russian. If someone asks for “бабки” they’re most likely not really an official police officer or part of some mafia gang either- so keeping calm and getting away from them will be the best thing to do in this situation.
This is one way criminals try to trick people out of their hard earned cash… but what about other ways Russians might say it? It turns out that grandmothers everywhere love using this expression when talking with their grandchildren because they think the kids will just give them whatever they ask for! If you’re a young student going to visit your grandma’s house, then she might use this expression while asking if you want a new toy or some candy.
Don’t be fooled by the innocent way it sounds though- Russians will always mean what they say so don’t expect any hidden meanings when someone tells you that word!
8. Наш мир – не скотину любят
Translation: “our world is not cow loving”
Meaning: In Russia it’s very common for people who drink alcohol together to play drinking games where everyone takes turns saying something about themselves and their life. The host of the party might start by saying something like “my name is-” and then everyone else has to finish their sentence with some sort of variation of this phrase. For example:
“My name is John and our world is not cow loving.”
It’s a silly way for people to get to know each other at parties but it probably won’t be understood in most countries outside Russia!
9. Кто начинает, тому и конец
Translation: “who starts- that one also finishes”
Meaning: It doesn’t matter who started an argument or fight between two people because whoever is going through with the conflict will always end up being the loser. No one wins in these types of situations so it’s best to just walk away from them before someone gets really hurt! Russians are very intelligent people and they’ll do anything to solve a problem peacefully, even if that means admitting defeat or shame for their actions.
10. Жить как полевые цветы
Translation: “to live like field flowers”
Meaning: The phrase can mean two main things depending on how its used. First of all -no matter where life takes you- it’s important to stay humble and keep a good attitude about everything. Secondly, the way these flowers grow is in complete harmony with their surroundings so people who live this way will never have any problems or stress that might come from travelling around too much.