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Kristin Savage

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The Russian language has been called many things, including “difficult” and “mysterious”. Indeed, understanding the language Russians use in their daily life might be hard for someone who doesn't know the multitude of slang words used in the language. Here are the twenty frequently used Russian slang words to get you started:

1. Бабки [babki] – “Money”

The literal, somewhat rude meaning is “grandmas”, but the actual meaning is usually “money” or “bucks”. Here’s an example:
Бабки есть? [Babki yest'?] – “Got some money?”
This word is mostly used in casual talk, so you will never hear it from someone speaking in an official manner. In fact, the word бабки is also used by criminals both large and small. If you watch some modern Russian movies or TV shows, you will notice that the majority of law-breakers use this word for money rather than using the usual деньги [den'gi] .

2. Тусить [tusit'] – “To hang out”

The word тусить doesn't have a literal meaning and is always used as a verb that means “to hang out” or “to party”.
Мы тусим. [My tusim] – “We're hanging out.”
Most Russians love hanging out with their friends or family. The word тусить can be used in almost any situation to describe the action of hanging out with other people, but you should still keep in mind that it's a slang word.

3. Чувак/Чувиха [chuvak/chuviha] – “Dude”

Чувак and чувиха literally mean “dude” and “dudette”. Чувак can also mean “guy”, “pal”, “mate”, and so on, while чувиха can also mean “gal”.
Чувак со мной работает. [Chuvak so mnoy rabotaet.] – “The guy works with me.”
The feminine version of the word dates back to the 1920s, but during that time, it meant “prostitute”. It went more mainstream during the 1960s and has since become a common slang word along with its masculine counterpart.

4. Чёрт [chiort] – “Devil”

The literal meaning of чёрт is “devil”, but it is more commonly used as an exclamation similar to “Shoot!” or “Damn!”
Чёрт, я забыла об этом. [Chiort, ya zabyla ob atom.] – “Shoot, I forgot about it.”
The word чёрт is used both by young and old alike. It is not a swear word, so you will hear people often exclaiming that just like English-speakers use “damn” or “shoot” in unfortunate situations.

5. Хавать [havat'] – “To eat”

The word хавать only has one meaning – “to eat”. But this verb takes on a more casual form as it is a slang word.
Идём хавать. [Idiom havat'.] – “Let's go eat.”
There are many synonyms in the English language that mean the same thing – “to eat”. They include: grub, pig out, chow down, and others. As long as it's a casual word or phrase for eating, its equivalent will probably be хавать in Russian.

6. Бухать [buhat'] – “To drink”

Unlike English, the Russian language actually has a slang word for the verb “to drink” and this word is бухать.
Пошли бухнём. [Poshli buhniom.] – “Let's go drink.”
There are some other variations that have the same base including бухой [buhoy] (“drunk”) and набухаться [nabuhatsa] (“to get drunk”).

7. Грузить [gruzit'] – “To bore with too much talking”

Literally, it means “to load”, but as a slang word, грузить means “to overload mentally” or “to bore with too much talking” or “to confuse”.
Хватит меня грузить! [Hvatit menia gruzit'!] – “Stop overloading me!”
When someone keeps boring you with their long and endless story or tries to load you with their troubles, you can always use the word грузить to express how you feel and ask them to stop.

8. Бомба [bomba] – “Amazing”

This word is very similar to the English word “bomb” and they actually have the same meaning. However, бомба also means “the bomb” or “amazing” when used casually.
Это место просто бомба! [Ato mesto prosto bomba!] – “This place is the bomb!”
More often than not, using this word to show your awe of something will express your feelings quite well as it is best applied in situations when you've been blown away (in a good sense). By the way, did you know that Russian is one of the most popular, Бомба languages in the world?

9. Достал/Достала [dostal/dostala] – “To be annoyed”

The literal meaning of this verb is “to reach over and get”, but the slang form is just as common and means “to be annoyed”.
Ты меня достал! [Ty menia dostal!] – “You've annoyed me!”
By using this verb, you can show that someone has annoyed or irritated you quite a bit.

10. Всё ништяк. [Vsio nishtiak.] – “It's all good.”

“When I went to Russia, I couldn't understand what this phrase meant at first. But once they explained it to me, I started using it more often in my daily conversations. “It's a really fun phrase,” says Neightan White, travel blogger from IsAccurate.
The phrase всё ништяк is the equivalent of the phrase “it's all good”, but the Russian version has a more casual tone to it.
Я разобрался. Всё ништяк. [Ya razobralsia. Vsio nishtiak.] – “I've figured it out. It's all good.”
Use this phrase to show that everything is fine and you are feeling good.

11. Мне до лампочки. [Mne do lampochki.] – “I don't care.”

If you take it literally, it won't make any sense as it means “to me to the lightbulb”. But this phrase actually means “I don't care”.
Мне до лампочки, придёт он или нет. [Mne do lampochki, pridiot on ili net.] – “I don't care whether he comes or not.”
You could say that this is a very expressive way to show your indifference to something.

12. Мне фиолетово. [Mne fioletovo.] – “I don't care.”

This phrase is very similar to the previous one and actually has the same meaning.
Да мне фиолетово вообще. [Da mne fioletovo voobshe.] – “I don't really care.”
You can use this phrase and мне до лампочки interchangeably.

13. Офигеть! [Ofiget'!] – “Wow!”

There is no literal meaning for this word, but it means something along the lines of “wow” or “I can't believe it”.
Офигеть! Никогда не ожидала. [Ofiget'! Nikogda ne ozhidala.] – “Wow! I never expected that.”
There is a Russian word фига [figa] that originated from a similar word in German and was the equivalent of the English F-word. Офигеть is just one of the many words that spawned from the word фига and are now widely used all across Russia and some other neighboring countries.

14. Кайфонуть [Kayfonut'] – “To have a pleasant pastime”

This verb originates from the word кайф [kayf] which is a slang term for “pleasure”. Consequently, кайфонуть means “to have a pleasant pastime”.
Я кайфонул. [Ya kayfonul.] – “I had a nice time.” or “I enjoyed myself.”
Originally, this word was used to describe the state one experiences being on drugs, but then its meaning transformed into a more acceptable one. You can use it for anything from enjoying chocolate to having a good time hiking. Try using it during a language exchange.

15. Давай побазарим! [Davay pobazarim!] – “Let's have a chat.”

Literally, you could say this means “let's do marketing”. However, the actual meaning is something along the lines of “let's have a chat”.
Давай выйдем, побазарим. [Davay vyidem, pobazarim.] – “ Let's go out, have a chat.”
More often than not, you will hear this phrase used by criminals, though normal casual chats may also have it here and there.

16. Да не гони! [Da ne goni!] – “Seriously?”

You would think that this phrase means “don't go/drive fast”, but it actually has four other meanings similar to each other.
Да не гони! Серьёзно? [Da ne goni! Seryozno?]– “I can't believe you! Seriously?”
The meanings vary from “you are saying something unreal” and “I don't/can't believe you” to “you are saying something I believe is not true” and “stop lying”.

17. Да ну нафиг! [Da nu nafig!] – “ I don't want it.”

As you may have noticed, this is one of the variations with the word фига. The phrase means “I don't want it” or “‘eff it”.
Да ну нафиг! Не буду я это делать! [Da nu nafig! Ne budu ya ato delat'!] – ”’Eff it! I won't do it!”
You could also extend the meaning to “‘eff it, I don't want to deal with it”.

18. Нифига себе! [Nifiga sebe!]– “Wow!”

Yet another useful variation of the aforementioned word, нифига себе is actually quite similar to офигеть and means is used to show your “wow” reaction to something.
Нифига себе! Он это реально сделал! [Nifiga sebe! On ato real'no sdelal!] – “Wow! He really did it!”
You can use this phrase every time you are awed or surprised by something, but if you are looking for a less striking phrase, ничего себе [nichevo sebe]
is a nice alternative.

19. Это полный зашквар! [Ato polnyi zashkvar!] – “This is too much.”

This phrase could be used both for saying “this is too much” and for saying “this is insane”. However, the first definition is more widespread.
Это полный зашквар! Я не знаю, что делать. [Ato polnyi zashkvar! Ya ne znayu shot delat'.] – “This is too much! I don't know what to do.”
You can also say it to somebody who did something insane, overdone, or complicated.

20. Ты спалился! [Ty spalilsia!]– “You got spotted!”

The last word on our list literally means “you burned yourself”, but that's actually not what it is used for. Ты спалился is the equivalent of “you've been busted” or “you got spotted”.
Ты спалился на экзамене. [Ty spalilsia na ekzamene.] – “You were busted on the exam.”
More often than not, you will use it to say that you saw someone or another person saw someone doing something they weren't supposed to be doing (like watching movies when you should be studying for the exam).

Final Thoughts on Russian Slang

All in all, using Russian slang words will not only allow you to sound more natural but will also help you understand songs, movies, and other types of entertainment. This is definitely not a complete list of all the Russian slang words you may encounter while having conversations with Russians, but these twenty are the most commonly used ones and you can start learning them first. (2)

Kristin Savage

Translator and Freelance Writer

Kristin Savage is a blog writer at Studicus and specializes in marketing and copywriting.

Speaks: English, German, Dutch

View all posts by Kristin Savage


How do you say cool in Russian? ›

Круто ('kru-to') / Cool

Just as universal as 'cool' is, kruto can be used in many social situations.

What are Russian slang words? ›

The Kinds of Slang Words in Russian
  • Класс! - Great! ...
  • Крутой - Cool. ...
  • Кайф - pleasure, fun, enjoyment, a high. ...
  • Кайфовать - to have fun, to enjoy. ...
  • Здорово - great, awesome. ...
  • Тусить - to hang out throw a party. ...
  • Хавать - to eat (more or less) ...
  • Чёрт - shoot, dang it.
21 Feb 2020

What does the word Russian mean? ›

Definition of Russian

1a : a native or inhabitant of Russia. b : a member of the dominant Slavic-speaking ethnic group of Russia. c : a person of Russian descent.

Is there a Russian word for friend? ›

The most popular way to say "friend" in Russian is друг (DROOK) for a male friend and подруга (padROOga) for a female friend.

Do Russians say bro? ›

By the way, young Russian guys often use бро (bro) or “bro” the same as it's used in English..

What does ))) mean in Russian? ›

))) means “LOL.” That's the first thing that you should know about Russian text messaging. Typically, instead of “normal” emoticons, Russians use brackets.

How do you say bruh in Russian? ›

Translation of "bruh" into Russian

братан м. р.

What does Bomba mean in Russian? ›

8. Бомба [bomba] – “Amazing” This word is very similar to the English word “bomb” and they actually have the same meaning. However, бомба also means “the bomb” or “amazing” when used casually.

How do you flirt Russian phrases? ›

Start by taking an online Russian course to learn more.
16 Top Phrases Used When Flirting In Russian.
Я обожаю тебяI adore youYa obozhaju tebya
Я тебя люблюI love youYa tebya lyublyu
Я хотел бы узнать тебя получшеI want to know you betterYa hotel by uznat' tebya po lutsche
11 more rows
16 Jan 2021

What does Blat mean in Russian? ›

In Russian, blat (Russian: блат) is a form of corruption, which is a system of informal agreements, exchanges of services, connections, Party contacts, or black market deals to achieve results or get ahead. A similar term, "protektsiya", literally means protection, but with more incline to patronage.

Who are Russians descended from? ›

The ancestors of modern Russians are the Slavic tribes, whose original home is thought by some scholars to have been the wooded areas of the Pinsk Marshes, one of the largest wetlands in Europe.

Do Russians descend from Vikings? ›

Russians are primarily descended from Slavs. However, Russia itself was created by a group of Vikings known as the Kievan Rus. Therefore, Russians have some Viking DNA in their ancestry. However, the original Vikings who founded Russia were absorbed into the native Slavic population.

What does Oi mean in Russian? ›

In Russian, oy (ой) is often used as an expression of various degrees of surprise. In the Scandinavian languages, Oi! or the Swedish variant, Oj!, is commonly used as an exclamation of surprise, like "Oh" or "Whoops".

What does Droog mean in Russian? ›

"Droog" is Russian друг "close friend".

What does davai mean in Russian? ›

Updated on October 28, 2019. Davai (давай) literally means "give" in Russian. However, the word is used in many expressions with different meanings, the most popular of which is "come on." In this article, we look at ten different ways to use давай.

What do Russians call their mom? ›

A mother (person that give birth to another human being) would be called “мама” (mama).

What do Russians call their older sister? ›

Relatives and family in Russian
EnglishRussian with Transliteration
sisterсестра [sistrá]
elder sisterстаршая сестра [stárshyja sistrá]
younger sisterмладшая сестра [mlátshyja sistrá]
stepsisterсводная сестра [svódnaja sistrá]
73 more rows

What do Russians call their sisters? ›

> How do you say "Sister" in Russian? That would be сестра (sestra).

What does 3 mean in Russian? ›

Russian numbers: 1 to 10

1 - один ("a-deen") 2 - два ("dva") 3 - три ("tree") 4 - четыре ("chye-tir-ye") 5 - пять ("pyat")

How do you say Girl in Russian? ›

How to say girl in Russian - Translation and Examples - Word девушка

How do you say LMAO in Russian? ›

"Под столом" (от смеха). I think that "ору" is very close to "lmao". "Lol" doesn't change, just say "лол" too.

Is bruh a real word? ›

Bruh is an informal term for a male friend, often used as a form of address. For example: Hey, bruh, can you pass me the remote? While bruh has been recorded in Black English dating back to the 1890s, bruh spread as an interjection variously expressing surprise or dismay since at least the 2010s.

What does Zaybal mean in Russian? ›

It has a very rude meaning, the first one “zayibal” is a swear word, which is derived from Russian “yibat” - “to f*ck”. “Zayibal” is a prefect form of the infinitive, so it can be literally translated into English like “have f*cked”.

How do you pronounce this word bruh? ›

How to Pronounce Bruh? - YouTube

Can a nuclear bomb destroy a whole country? ›

Depending on its impact radius, even a Tsar bomb cannot destroy a whole country. Only a small country such as Vatican City or Monaco with land areas of 44 ha and 202 ha respectively can be completely destroyed using a nuclear weapon.

How big an area would a nuclear bomb effect? ›

A 1,000-kiloton nuclear blast might produce third-degree burns up to 5 miles away, second-degree burns up to 6 miles away, and first-degree burns up to 7 miles away, according to one estimate from AsapScience. People up to 53 miles away could also experience temporary blindness.

How many tsar bombs does Russia have? ›

Russia possesses a total of 5,977 nuclear warheads as of 2022, the largest stockpile of nuclear warheads in the world; the second-largest stockpile is the United States' 5,428 warheads. Russia's deployed missiles (those actually ready to be launched) number about 1,588, second to the United States' 1,644.

What do you call your Russian girlfriend? ›

Russian sweet adjectives to call your girlfriend

Here's a list of extra Russian pet names for your girlfriend that she'll appreciate: Родна́я – rodnaya – dear. Хоро́шая – khoroshaya – good. Дорога́я – dorogaya – another word for dear, but Родна́я is more strong.

What do you call your boyfriend in Russian? ›

Милый/милая are used only when addressing or talking to one's partner.

How do you tell a Russian girl you love her? ›

Я люблю тебя. Ya lyublyu tebya. “I love you.”

What's the Russian word babushka mean? ›

Russian, grandmother, diminutive of baba old woman.

What does Blin mean Russian? ›

блин • (blin) (minced oath, colloquial, exclamation) dammit!, darn!, shoot! (

How do Russians express anger? ›

Here are the most common angry Russian phrases you can use to tell people what to do (or not to do!).
Проваливай (Provalivay)
  1. Исчезни (Ischezni) — “Get lost”
  2. Отвали (Otvali) — “Get off”
  3. Убирайся с глаз моих долой (Ubiraysya s glaz moikh doloy) — “Get out of my sight”
  4. Уходи отсюда (Ukhodi otsyuda) — “Get out of here”
10 May 2020

Who were the original Russians? ›

The First Recorded People of Russia

One of the first “historically recorded people” to enter the region were known as the Cimmerians. Appearing around 1,000 B.C., this warrior-like group “entered the steppe region as conquerors,” and quickly subdued primitive tribes to their rule (MacKenzie and Curran, 12).

What is the black population in Russia? ›

Afro-Russians (Russian: Афророссияне, romanized: Afrorossiyane) are people of African descent that have migrated to and settled in Russia. The Metis Foundation estimates that there were about 30,000 Afro-Russians in 2013.

Who were the first humans in Russia? ›

The first human settlement on the territory of Russia dates back to the Oldowan period in the early Lower Paleolithic. About 2 million years ago, representatives of Homo erectus migrated from Western Asia to the North Caucasus (archaeological site of Kermek on the Taman Peninsula).

What was Russia called in ancient times? ›

Rucia, Ruzzia, Ruzsia were alternative spellings. During the 12th century, Ruscia gradually made way for two other Latin terms, "Russia" and "Ruthenia". "Russia" (also spelled Rossia and Russie) was the dominant Romance-language form, first used by Liutprand of Cremona in the 960s and then by Peter Damian in the 1030s.

Is Russia named after Vikings? ›

Modern Russia derives its name from the Kevian Rus', the ancestors of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The name Rus' comes from an Old Norse word for 'the men who row. '

What ended the Viking Age? ›

What does shumikha mean in Russian? ›

Shumikha (Russian: Шумиха) is the name of several inhabited localities in Russia. Urban localities. Shumikha, Kurgan Oblast, a town in Shumikhinsky District of Kurgan Oblast Rural localities.

What does Gopnik mean? ›

(derogatory) In Russia, Eastern Europe, former Soviet republics, and other Slavic countries, a member of a subculture of young people of lower-class low-income backgrounds, mostly millennials, who usually live in the Russian suburbs.

What is the Russian word for gangster? ›

Translation of "gangster" into Russian

бандит м.

What does Zaybal mean in Russian? ›

It has a very rude meaning, the first one “zayibal” is a swear word, which is derived from Russian “yibat” - “to f*ck”. “Zayibal” is a prefect form of the infinitive, so it can be literally translated into English like “have f*cked”.

Why do Russians wear adidas tracksuits? ›

What's the deal with Russians, squatting and wearing Adidas suits? Those people are called gopniks. So basically, gopniks are part of a subculture in Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries that come from lower class suburban areas.

Why do Russians wear track suits? ›

In Russia, where the weather can be quite cold in winter and unpredictable in other seasons, tracksuits are often seen as a more practical alternative to jeans or other heavy clothing.

Is Slavic an ethnicity? ›

The term "Slavs" designates an ethnic group of people who share a long-term cultural continuity and who speak a set of related languages known as the Slavic languages (all of which belong to the Indo-European language family).

How do you say demon in Russian? ›

"demon" in Russian
  1. volume_up. демон
  2. бес

What does Fenya mean in Russian? ›

Fenya (Russian: феня, IPA: [ˈfʲenʲə]) or fen'ka (Russian: фенька, IPA: [ˈfʲenʲkə]) is a Russian cant language used among criminals. In modern Russian language it is also referred to as blatnoy language (Russian: блатной язык), where "blatnoy" is a slang expression for "professional criminal".

How do you say bandit in Russian? ›

Translation of "bandit" into Russian

головорез м.

How do you say Girl in Russian? ›

How to say girl in Russian - Translation and Examples - Word девушка

What does davai mean in Russian? ›

Updated on October 28, 2019. Davai (давай) literally means "give" in Russian. However, the word is used in many expressions with different meanings, the most popular of which is "come on." In this article, we look at ten different ways to use давай.

How many Russian words do you need to know to be fluent? ›

I think 3000 to 3500 words or more may be more realistic a word count for level 1 to take into count the case endings. I think 20000 words in Russian is going to be a minimum and 30000 to 50000 words would be a more comfortable fluency level.

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