Category Archives: What they don’t tell you in school

Fit in like a local: describing awesome and awful things in Russian

Learn Russian as it is actually spoken: Russian slang and colloquial expressions explained with examples

It’s great to know how to say good or bad in Russian, but sometimes you just need a stronger word to describe you elation or frustration.

Клёво /klyovah/ or круто /krootah/

An expression of approval or great satisfaction. E.g. Мы круто погуляли вчера.–Wr had a great time yesterday!

Отпад /atpat/

Awesome! Amazing! E.g. Отпад! Ты сам это сделал? – Awesome! Did you do it yourself! Отпадные кроссовки!- Great trainers. ‘Отпадis derived from the word ‘падать’, i.e. something that makes you fall.

в осадке/v asahtke/, or выпасть в осадок /vypast v ahsahdahk/-

The opposite to ‘отпад’ – to be guttered, shocked or extremely upset. E.g. Я выпал в осадок, когда узнал, сколько это стоит! — I was shocked when I learned how much it cost!

Прикинь /preekeen/

Check it out! Can you imagine. E.g. Прикинь, я буду папой!-Canyou imagine? I’m going to be a Dad!

Прикольно /preekol’nah/,

Funny, cool, interesting

приколист /preekahleest/

Someone with a great sense of humour, someone who jokes, a prankster

Прикалываться /preekahlyvatsah/

To make jokes, to mess about. E.g. Не обижайся, я просто я прикалываюсь. -Don’t be upset, I’m just joking.

Зачёт /zahchot/

Well done. Good job. E.g. Вы хорошо поработали! Зачёт! -You’ve done a good job. Well done!

Зачётный /zahchotnyj/

Cool, nice, great.

Уау/wow/, упс/oops/

Exclamations borrowed from English, which effectively substituted Russian Ого /ogo/ and Ой /oy/. E.g.Уау, какая тачка! –Wow, what a car!

Рулить /ruleet/

Another borrowing from English to rule. To be the main one, the most interesting, attractive, simply the best. E.g. Его фильм рулит! His movie rules!

Попасть /pahpahst/

To get into trouble. E.g. -Меня уволили. -Ну ты попал! -I’ve been fired. -Oh, you’re in trouble.

You can also say попасть на деньги- get into financial difficulty or get tricked out of money

Блин /blin/

An exclamation to express you’re frustration. There is hardly a more common expression to use when things don’t go your way than блин. E.g. Блин, ты снова опаздываешь! – Man, you’re late again!

Фигня /fignya/

A thing, stuff, something unimportant or slightly unpleasant. E.g. Я не знаю, что это за фигня.- I don’t know what that thing is. Что за фигня? Ты снова не в офисе? – What’s the hell? You’re not in the office again!

Фигово /figovah/

Bad, unwell. E.g. Когда мне фигово, я прихожу сюда. – When I feel down, I come here.

Фу /foo/

Yuk! Urgh! An interjection to said when you have seen, heard or tasted something that you think is extremely unpleasant. E.g. Фу, как противно. -Ugh how disgusting!

Канитель /kanitel/

Problems. У них какая-то канитель с компьютерами- They are having some problems with computers.

Кадр /kahdr/

Funny or strange person. E.g. Ну ты кадр! Рассмешил меня! -You’re a character. You made me laugh!

Валенок /valenahk/

Quite the opposite of кадр. Not a particularly clever or interesting person. E.g. И ты поверил ей? Ну ты и валенок! -And you believed her? You’re the worst! The original meaning of валенок is a traditional Russian winter felt boots.

Понты /pahnty/, понтовый /pahntovyj/

Bravado, swagger, showing off. E.g. Я тебе хорошее предложение делаю, а ты мне понты кидаешь! – I’m making you a nice offer, and you’re giving me the high-hat.

Отстой /ahtstoy/

Something that sucks, something really bad. E.g. Фильм вообще отстой! – The film really sucks.

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