Russian Swear Words You Need To Know (2024)

The Russian slang language is the perfect canvas for some of the best swear words in the world. The flexibility of the language allows people to make use of the limited vocabulary and transform it and join existing words to form all sorts of profanity. But leave that to the pros for now and get started with the basic swear words that you are very likely to hear in Russia. After all, if Russia’s greatest poet Pushkin used them in his poems, why can’t we?
Did you know you can now travel with Culture Trip? Book now and join one of our specially curated small-group tours to adventurous destinations around the world.
These slang terms are subject to change, however most of these “beautiful” Russian words are sometimes definitely what not to say in a formal context.


Literal meaning: scum; jerk

How to use it: This one of the less drastic swear words to use and has been used in Russia since the 14th century. The root comes from the word ‘to drag’, so the person who is called a svolach’ is something that was dragged in with the garbage. Think it of it as the equivalent of ‘what the cat dragged in’, used to name a person who did something nasty or unpleasant.


Russian Swear Words You Need To Know (1)

Become a Culture Tripper!

Sign up to our newsletter to
save up to 500$ on our unique trips.

Russian Swear Words You Need To Know (2)

How to use it: Another word hailing from ancient language; its original meaning of ‘vulva’ distorted over time. It is among the words that have existed in the Russian language for almost as long as the language itself. Pizdets is the general description of a situation that went very wrong, so it can be used on its own as an exclamation or in a sentence: Vot eto pizdets!


Literal meaning: d*ck

How to use it: A very multifunctional word that is usually used in various phrases and has a variety of derivatives. We don’t really know when and how this word appeared, but research suggests that ancient Slavic people would use it. Usually, the situations never have anything to do with the male reproductive organ. The context is similar to the word ‘f*ck’. For example, Иди на хуй (‘Idi na hui’) means ‘Go f*ck yourself’ and Хуй знает (‘Hui zna-et’) means ‘Who the f*ck knows?’


Literal meaning: sh*thead

How to use it: A derogative term that can only be used for males. It originated from the old Russian word, meaning a castrated pig. Some sources suggest that it originated from the Sanskrit word meaning ‘idiot’. Which makes the theory sound likely because that is essentially the meaning it has currently. So if any aspect of a man’s behaviour can be classified as inconsiderate, he may be referred to as a mudak. Unless you want to remain friends with that person, of course.


Literal meaning: condom

How to use it: To start with, the word can be used as a street name for condoms, although it is not exactly the first word you would go for. It’s a fairly new term coming from the English ‘condom’, which is why the two w0rds sound similar. Basically, the word is used in reference to a displeasing person but is fairly vulgar.


Literal meaning: arse

How to use it: What started as a swear word has over time become a sometimes playful, endearing term that can be used among loved ones. Although you wouldn’t want to say it to a child and have them repeat it. In the right context, it can become rude and may be misinterpreted.

Russian Swear Words You Need To Know (3)


Literal meaning: f*ck

How to use it: Unlike the ‘f*ck’ written above, this is the verb form. It takes root from words in ancient Indian languages meaning to copulate. In the figurative meaning, it refers to a person being annoying, screwing around or just being generally unpleasant. It is used in the common expression zhizn’ ebet meya, which means’life is f*cking me’.


Literal meaning: b*tch

How to use it: Just like its English equivalent, the original meaning of the word means a female dog. Now it is used as a derogative term for women, often used by women themselves. There are also some contexts when it can be used toward men as well, although those hardly work outside of a sentence. It can be used in an endearing way when a special suffix is added, making it sound cute. So the derivative suchka can be used as a playful term among women. Again context is key.


Literal meaning: sh*t

How to use it: Quite literally means sh*t, so it can be referred to when necessary. It originates from a Slavic word that means ‘cow excrement’; the word has the same root as cow-related words, such as beef. In other instances, it is used as an exclamation of disappointment at a time of crisis. There is also a usage when ‘gavno’ can refer to something bad, like bad work that someone completed.


Literal meaning: wh*re

How to use it: This is a favourite swear word in Russia. It was previously used freely, but in the 19th century made it to the list of restricted words. The root of the word means ‘wander around’, referring to a woman who sleeps around. The original meaning refers to a woman of an ancient profession but actually isn’t used in that sense. It is more of an exclamation that can be used separately or as part of a sentence, akin to ‘f*ck’. It is considered very rude, you definitely would rather say good morning beautiful to a Russia lady.

Russian Swear Words You Need To Know (4)

We hope that you learned how to be cool in speaking Russian slang, and just remember that these are dirty common sayings and not proper travel phrases.
Read more about the Russian language with our article on beautiful Russian last names and their meanings.

Russian Swear Words You Need To Know (5)


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Read Next

History A Guide to Cautionary Russian Proverbs and What They Mean History The Soviet Union’s Best Heart-Throbs and Pinups History Zhenotdel: The Soviet Union's Feminist Movement History Unusual Facts About the Soviet Union History A Soviet Pilot Went Missing in Afghanistan and Was Found 30 Years Later History Russian Last Names and Their Meanings History The Mystery Behind Russia's Buddhist "Miracle" Sports Incredible Photos From the Longest Bike Race in the World Restaurants The Best Halal Restaurants in Kaliningrad
Russian Swear Words You Need To Know (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg Kuvalis

Last Updated:

Views: 6006

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg Kuvalis

Birthday: 1996-12-20

Address: 53157 Trantow Inlet, Townemouth, FL 92564-0267

Phone: +68218650356656

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Knitting, Amateur radio, Skiing, Running, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Greg Kuvalis, I am a witty, spotless, beautiful, charming, delightful, thankful, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.