Slang in the Context of Georgian-Russian Linguistic Relations

One of the most special spheres of Georgian-Russian linguistic relationship is slang vocabulary. As a result of consideration scholarly literature along with the known Russian words many "new" Russian words have been revealed, although of not less interest is the fact that quite a number of Georgian words have been evidenced in Russian slang [Kurdadze, 2009]. The present paper deals with mutual relationship of borrowing the words. It is shown how Georgian jargon uses Russian lexical borrowings and vice verse, how new borrowings from Georgian are utilized in Russian jargon.

A great number of both Russian and etymologically non-Russian slang lexical units are found in Georgian jargon proceeding from the Russian language socium of Georgia. Some of them are rather transparent and at first glance present barbarism, though according to the specificity of their usage and spreading area they belong to slang. For example: zadni - "back" and from here: "dazadna", "went back"; "took the car back"; krisha - "roof" and from here: "guard", "protector"; strelka - "an arrow" and from here: "meeting", "date", etc. Some of slang units aren't so transparent in order to link their origin with Russian language and for determination of their origin special research is needed. In common dictionaries the origin of this or that Georgian slang word is indicated but not always, and sometimes not in sequence, irregularly.

Thus, for example, only from the "Big Georgian-English Dictionary" we learn that slang lexical unit padagrevi, which means "a present", comes from Russian but in the same dictionary nothing is said about the origin of grevi which also means "a present", also comes from Russian, and actually is a variant of padagrevi.

In Russian these words have the following definitions: padagrev has the meaning of financial assistance according to the dictionary of Russian slang issued in America and it also links it with the Russian verb form "подогревать ⁄ подогреть":

"ПОДОГРЕВ -а, m., crim. Financial support. See подогревать.

ПОДОГРЕВАТЬ  ⁄   ПОДОГРЕТЬ, crim. To support with money (lit., to warm up). • А на эти деньги подогреешь наших.  "Here's a contribution for the support of our boys".  ПОДОГРЕТЬ БРАТВУ, idiom. crim. To support imprisoned fellow criminals from a general fund. • На то и есть общяк - подогревать братву. "That's why we keep a general fund, to support our brothers in prison" [Shlyakhov. . .  1999].

            In the dictionary of jargon issued in Russian these words have different meaning: "ПОДОГРЕВ, а, m, drags. Consumption of drags...; ПОДОГРЕТЬ, ею, еет, perfective aspect, smb. To give somebody something mainly drags in free"[Nikitina, 2003].

The word grev presented in the same dictionary has similar definitions: "ГРЕВ, а, m., 1. Material assistance to the members of a team in prison... 2. Drags, alcohol..."[Nikitina, 2003].

It is true in Russian dictionaries there is some difference in definition of these words, but still they can be united in the content of presenting something, given away something. These words have been established in Georgian with this meaning. Georgian jargon easily mastered both of these lexical units and derived from them verb forms: ugreva, daupadagreva - "he/she gave something as a present to him/her". For naming the first of them ugreva we are based on live speech and definition of daupadagreva is given from the dictionaries: "daupadagreva" - "he/she gave something as a present to him/her" (cf. "grevi" and "padagrevi") [Bregadze, 2005]; "daupadagrevebs (daupadagreva, daupadagrevebia) Rus c will give smb smth (ingratiating present)" [Big... 2006].

Thus, it becomes evident that Georgian slang word grevi is of Russian origin.

Naturally, it is impossible in the frames of one paper to reveal a complete corpus of vocabulary coming from Russian or other language in the Georgian slang. This is a time-consuming work; it will continue in future as well as the revealing, description and study of slang words in general will continue.

This time we will consider the origin of some Georgian jargon words to Russian. Such are: ambali: "ambali means "tall"[ Bregadze,2005; Big... 2006]. 

The word "ambali" comes from Russian slang. According to the Dictionary of Russian slang issued in America it means a strong, thickset fellow, thug and muscleman. "АМБАЛ, -а, m.,neg. A strong, thickset fellow, thug, muscle-man. • Муж у неё уж больно амбалистый"Her husband is awfully brawny" [Shlyakhov. . .  1999];

Mandrazhi, samandrazho: "mandrazhi - excitement (of a sportsmen); samandrazho - dangerous (see "mandrazhi")" [Bregadze,2005]. This word also comes from Russian slang, cf.: "МАНДРАЖИРОВАТЬ, ую, ует, imperfective aspect. To be afraid of something..." [Nikitina, 2003];

Ramsebi, is found in plural form in the following expression: "ramsebi ar agerios don't confuse anything" [Bregadze,2005]. This word also comes from the Russian slang where it is also found in the plural form in different idioms:

"РАМСЫ, ов, pl.** Раскидывать рамсы. Tell something... **Навести (развести) рамсы. To learn about something, find out something...** Попутать рамсы.. Make a mistake" ... [Nikitina, 2003];

The word Stosi in Georgian is evidenced in the following expression: "stosi mi(h)qavs - is a leader, in the avant-garde" [Bregadze,2005]. It must also come from the word stosi found in the Russian jargon: "СТОС, а, m. - playing cards" ... [Nikitina, 2003];

Chmori: Along with the word chmori we present its noun and verb forms: "chmori - useless, coward, wasteful; chmoriki - is the same as chmori", but with Russian affectionate diminutive suffix (-ik); daachmora - "he/she oppressed him/her". (Cf. "chmori"); "dachmorika - "he/she oppressed him/her"; "he/she spiritually suppressed him/her" (cf. "chmori" and "chmoriki")" [Bregadze,2005].

This word also comes from the Russian slang, we present its Russian variants:  "ЧМО, n. and m., neglect. 1. Man, morally squalid. ЧМО - a bad man / possible etymology - an abbreviation of "man, morally squalid". . . deabbr. ЧМО - "Man from the Moscow region. Originally used in the meaning of "hick". . . 2. Army. Degraded, the fallen soldiers in hazing of a new recruits by older soldiers. . ." [Nikitina, 2003; Shlyakhov. . . 1999].

In Russian it is also evidenced "chmok": "ЧМОК, [-а, m., youth, neg.. A worthless or unpleasant person. • Отойди отсюда, чмок, видеть тебя не хочу. "Get out of here, you schmuck! I don't want to see your face" [Shlyakhov. . .  1999].

Other forms derived from this word are also found: "ЧМОРИТЬ, рю, рит, imperfective aspect, smb. "Scoff at smb., Ridicule smb." [Nikitina, 2003].

According to the Russian slang dictionary issued in US the meaning of this word is to make someone afraid: "ЧМОРИТЬ/ЗАЧМОРИТЬ, youth. To frighten, terrify. • Рэкетиры его совсем зачморили, требуют деньги, грозятся избить. "Those racketeers have got him completely terrorized with their demands for money and their threats of violence." [Shlyakhov.  1999].

There is also small difference in definitions of the Russian word "chmoshnik" according to the above mentioned dictionaries: "ЧМОШНИК", а, m. The same as ЧМО  1. ЧМО. ЧМОШНИК - morally depresses man..." [Nikitina, 2003]. According to the dictionary issued in the US "ЧМОШНИК, , m., youth, neg. An unpleasant, dirty person. • Этот чмошник загадил всю квартиру. "That slob has messed up the whole apartment" [Shlyakhov. . .  1999].

The word "chmoshni" is defined almost in the same way according to the mentioned dictionaries: "ЧМОШНЫЙ, ая, ое. Unpleasant, disgusting (about man)" [Nikitina...2003]. Cf.: "ЧМОШНЫЙ, ая, ое, ая, ое, neg. Unpleasant, dirty. • Там у вас чмошня компашка, туда не пойду. "Those friends of yours are such slobs, I wouldn't want to go to their place." [Shlyakhov. . .  1999].  

The word khaniga also comes from Russian and has the same meaning in Georgian slang that in Russian: "khanyga - accustomed to drinking, degraded (the lower depths)" [Bregadze, 2005]. Cf.: "ХАНЫГА, -и, m., neg. A drunkard (cf. хань). • Этот ханыга уже пьян с утра. "That boozer has been drunk since this morning."

On its part in Russian khanyga is derived from the word "khan", which means a drink. "ХАНЬ, -и,  f. A drink. • Давай сначала сделаем, а потом будем хань глотать. "Let's do the job first, and then we'll have ourselves a drink." [Shlyakhov. . .  1999].

In spite of a small number of the above mentioned examples, it is clear how much influence Russian society and its conversational speech have on the Georgian slang. The former soviet unity (an army, prison and former relations) determined the existence of common forms of jargon. We can't say that such relations have been totally ceased today. This is evidenced from jargon words entered into Georgian from the post soviet period. Namely, muzon (pl. muzons) - music, cf.: "muzon, a, m. music" [Nikitina, 2003].

Fanati - a strange man; the one who knows some issues thoroughly, a fan (of sport or music), cf.: "ФАНАТ, а, m. 1. Strange man . . . 2. Posit. Clever, thinker, erudite." [Никитина, 2003]. In the Dictionary of Russian slang issued in the US the other meaning of the word Fanati is also found, namely, a sport fan: "ФАНАТ, -а, m. A sports fan (from фанатик). • Вчера фанаты устроили драку после матча. "The fans got into a fistfight after yesterday's match" [Shlyakhov. . .  1999].

This is one layer of the Russian lexical flow in Georgian slang.

Now we want to provide those Georgian lexical units which have been confirmed in the Russian slang.  Naturally, their existence is conditioned by those factors which were considered above.

Russian slang and scabrous expressions are rather diverse and distinctive. They have been long studied both in Russia and abroad. The interest of the Russian linguistic lexicological circles to the Russian slang is quite understandable but not of less importance is also the interest of other countries to this issue because slang manifests the nature and character of this or that nation openly, without disguise. The attitude of this or that people to other peoples is seen in the slang. 

In the Russian slang of special attention is the fact as to how they refer to Georgians or how they address them. It has ironical color. This attitude is expressed by means of Georgian vocabulary. Such is a Georgian word katsi (a man) in the form of vocative case: katso. This example is taken from the dictionary of the Russian slang issued in the US. It is noteworthy that in this dictionary katsi is not correctly identified with the Georgian word "megobari" (a friend).

        "КАЦО, m., indecl. A Georgian (from the Georgian word for friend). ♦ Где этот кацо живёт? "Where does that Georgian guy live?" [Shlyakhov. . .  1999].

It is interesting to note that a Caucasian is generally referred to with the Gerogian word khachapuri (cheese-cake). In the Russian slang Georgian word khachapuri is represented with the Russian ending -ik - "ХАЧАПУРИК" and means a Caucasian. The compiler of the dictionary also gives other jargon words, namely, "ХАЧА", "ХАЧЕК", "ХАЧИК". Here it is also given such slang word as "ХАЧЬЁ, -я, cf., as collective noun for southerner, Caucasian" [Elistratov, 2008]. As is seen, the latter example is used in the meaning of collective noun and denoted southerner, Caucasian.

In this case actually two words are used to denote the southerner, Caucasian: one in Georgian "khachapuri" - "ХАЧАПУРИК" and another is an Armenian anthroponym "ХАЧЕК", "ХАЧИК" and it is possible collective name "ХАЧЬЁ", be connected with it. Though we consider that the word "ХАЧА", used in the same meaning must be connected with the Georgian word khachapuri. It must be obtained by shortening of the word "ХАЧАПУРИК".

Georgian anthroponyms are also used for referring to a Georgian. For example affectionate diminutive forms of various Georgian names are used, e.g.: "ГÓГИЯ, nom., ironic. Georgian. Elistratov, 94" [Nikitina, 2003]. While interpreting this lexical form it is written: humorous-ironic. The names: Gogi, Givi, Vano also have humorous effect.

Slang nickname of some Georgians who live and work in Russia or man of Georgian background are also created with humor, irony, to be more precise, mockingly. In this case sometimes Georgian word rhymed with the surname of this man is utilized:

"РКАЦИТЕЛИ (Rkatsiteli), unchanged, m., hum.-ironic. Sculpture Zurab Tsereteli" (Record 1999) [Nikitina, 2003].

In connection with the sculpture Zurab Tsereteli other expressions are also noteworthy. Namely, "ПЁТР ЦЕРЕТЕЛЕВИЧ" is called a monument to Peter the great in Moscow whose author is Z. Tsereteli; "ЦЕРЕТЕЛИЗАЦИЯ" means that the monuments sculptured by Zurab Tsereteli are in abundance in Moscow. Of particular interest is illustrative interpretation of this slang which is done in a style of announcing "complete and unconditional capitulation". "ЦЕРЕТЕЛИЗАЦИЯ" - complete and unconditional Tseretelization of entire Moscow" [Elistratov, 2008].

In connection with the same lexical units the word "ЗАРЖАВЕЛИ" confirmed in the Russian language is of interest. It denotes a Georgian. In view of the lexicographer this word is obtained by the combination of the Georgian surname of Tsereteli type with the Russian verb form. The lexicographer does not mention the Russian verb though give a riddle which must be also found in slang language and according to its content the verb "ЗАРЖАВЕТЬ" (to rust) should be meant: "ЗАРЖАВЕЛИ" - Georgian. The assonance of the end of the typical Georgian, proper names (like "Tsereteli" etc.) and Russian verb forms, is played up; often used in the context of a riddle: "What will be a Georgian surname if the nails are put in the water?" [Elistratov, 2008].

Also by preserving the ending of Gerogian surname -dze and play on words there was obtained "МАРМЕЛАДЗЕ", unchanged, m. **Valeri Marmeladze, with irony. The singer Valeri Meladze. I am a young man, 1997, #38 [Nikitina, 2003].

Russian jargonisms are often produced by the endings of Georgian surnames and Russian words, namely, -dze ending. For example, one of the words denoting one of the varieties of monkey - chimpanzee with the ending -dze denotes Georgian: "ШИМПАНИДЗЕ - Georgian" [Elistratov, 2008]. Also the compound word "ЦЕЛКОЛОМ", is found with the ending -dze, which directly means the breaker of the whole and in the slang this lexical unit denoting a Georgian, though generally it also has the meaning of ladies' man: "ЦЕЛКОЛОМИДЗЕ - 1.Georgian. 2. Ladies' man" [Elistratov, 2008].

Russian slang uses Georgian ending -dze in other cases too, namely, a silly man is denoted with the following lexical unit: "ТУПИДЗЕ". This slang unit is named along with the following jargon words: "ТУПАК", "ТУПАРЬ", "ТУПОК - stupid, silly man" [Elistratov, 2008]. The word vermouth, the name of the aromatized wine is found with -dze ending "ВЕРМУТИДЗЕ - vermouth" [Elistratov, 2008].

There is also found an example with -dze ending which denotes the laziness, unwillingness to do anything: "ВЛОМИНАДЗЕ - laziness, unwillingness" [Maklovski...1999]. It is true in interpretation of this example there is no mentioning of either Georgian or Caucasian, but according to the ending it is obvious that it is connected with the form -dze deriving Georgian surnames. It is also noteworthy that folkloric specimens are presented with this example referring to Georgians and the heroes of these folkloric specimens are Georgians, a certain Givi, Gogi and Vano. These personages are homosexuals. There are fife folkloric specimens. We present only one as an example but it gives an idea as to how Georgian is presented in this dictionary:

"- Дети, разберите предложение: "Гоги и Гиви пошли мыться в баню".

- Здесь Гоги - надлежащее, Гиви - подлежащее, баня - местоимение, а помыться - предлог" [Maklovski. . . 1999].

Also in Russian slang the word "МУДАШВИЛИ" derived from the ending of the Gerogian surnames -shvili is found in a negative meaning: "МУДАШВИЛИ" denotes imbecile, idiot. This word is rather widespread, it is found in two different dictionaries of the Russian slang.

            "МУДАШВИЛИ, m., indecl., joc. A fool, an idiot (from мудак and typical Georgian surname formative -швили). ♦ Что хочет этот мудашвили? "What does that idiot want?" [Shlyakhov. . .  1999]; according to the other dictionary this word also denotes a fool, and a Caucasian : "МУДАШВИЛИ - simply a fool - in Caucasian performance. То же самое - МУДАК, МУДИК, МУДИЛО, МУДОФЕР, МУДОТЯП, МУДОЕБ" [Maklovski. . . 1999].

The first part of this word has many variants and according to these dictionaries it is connected with slang words: "МУДА", "МУДЕ" which are interpreted as male genital organs; its figurative meaning is the trifles of life [Kolesnikov...1996; Shlyakhov...1999].

It is noteworthy that in the Russian slang dictionary the Georgian short variant of Jacob Koba: "КОБА is Stalin's party nickname..." [Maklovski...1999]. By the way, this word is interpreted by slang word "кликуха" that means nickname [Shlyakhov...1999]. This example is taken from the dictionary of sexual slang. In our view the authors' intension was to show Stalin as a voluptuous person. That is why they purposefully consider Koba as slang and put this word in such dictionary. In Georgia it is well known that Koba is a pet name for Jacob and a nickname of Stalin's revolutionary period. And the authors of the Russian slang dictionary as we mentioned considered Koba as jargon and supplied this lexical unit with a long entry according to which Stalin is of Armenian background and is rather lecherous personality who is even accused of incest. Of course all this reflects negative attitude to Georgia and Georgians.

In Russian slang we can find other words with ironic meaning. It is so when the name of a popular American musical group "Bon Jovi" is changed on Georgian Borjomi (the name of the famous Georgian mineral water) which sounds close to it: "БОРЖОМИ, unchanged, hum. "American band Bon Jovi, very popular among girls of the whole Union (CIS). MC, 07.08.1992 + I am young, 1995, № 6; I am young, 1997, № 45 "[Nikitinа. . . 2003].

Frequently Georgian words are used ironically with different meaning, namely, "tamada" (toastmaster) is called ridiculously a young woman who rules the roost at the table: "ТАМАДА - a maiden ruling the roost at the table. The same - МАССОВИК-ЗАТЕЙНИК (entertainer) [Maklovski...1999].

The ironical attitude towards Georgians and Caucasians is manifested in slang expressions created with Russian and other foreign languages, e.g. "ДЖОРДЖИЯ-БЕНЦ, ДЖОРДЖИИ-БЕНЦ" Caucasian, mainly Georgian firm in Moscow [Elistratov, 2008]; and Georgia is ironically referred to in the abbreviation "FRG (Federal Republic of Georgia)" [Elistratov, 2008] similar to German Federal Republic.

The same ironic meaning have some Russian words which denote Georgia or some of its regions: such is the word denoting Georgian tea "ГРУЗИНКА - Gerogian tea" and set expression "Abkhazian bouquet", which in Russian slang denotes several venereal diseases in one person at once : "БУКЕТ АБХАЗИИ - " A bouquet of Abkhazia" - [Elistratov, 2008]. By the interpretation of the author of the dictionary this jargon word comes from the name of vintage wine - "БУКЕТ АБХАЗИИ".

The irony in regard to Georgians is seen not in separate Georgian or Russian words but in whole set expressions: "МЫ, ГРУЗИНЫ, НАРОД ГОРЯЧИЙ, СЕМЕРО ОДНОГО НЕ БОИМСЯ" (We, Georgians, are passionate people, seven against one) [Elistratov, 2008].

It should be mentioned that in the Russian slang several Georgian words are also found which do not reveal ironic attitude in relation to Georgians, namely: "БАТОН" which denotes father, senior, the leader. It is indicated that it might derived from Georgian "batono", vocative case of "batoni" (mister, gentleman; long loaf) though this word is not interpreted correctly, namely, it is translated into Russian as "отец" (father): "БАТОН -  father, senior in rank, chief, distinguished man, leader. Perhaps from Georgian "batono" - Father "[Elistratov, 2008]. The word "baton" in Russian slang has other meanings too, namely: pretty woman, strange, friendless person: large bag, etc. These meaning are not linked with Georgian by the lexicographer and for us too it is hard in this case to link this lexical unit with Georgian "batoni".

An interesting situation is in connection with the word Khanuma (female name of one of the famous play's hero mach-maker, the play also is called "Khanuma") or deida Khanuma (aunt Khanuma) evidenced in Russian slang: namely, "ХАНУМА (or ТЁТЯ ХАНУМ) - ХАНА, the end, failure" [Elistratov, 2008]. These words have no connection with either with the play "Khanuma" or Georgia. According to the lexicographer's indication in this case by coincidence of "ХАНУМА" and other word "ХАНА"  existed in the Russian slang we get these slang expressions. The word "ХАНА" means end, finish, fall and the name "ХАНУМА" was known in Russia from the Russian variant of the play "Khanuma" staged by G. Tovstonogov.

It should be noted that in the Russian slang we can find the interjections of Georgian origin such as: «ВА», «ВАЙ», «ВАЙМЕ», «ВАХ» which express both positive and negative emotions. The lexicographer remarks that they are derived from expressive exclamations of Caucasian people. As has justly pointed out by the lexicographer, the interjection "ВА" is the short variant for "ВАЙ": "ВАЙ usually expresses disapproval, rejection, bitterness, etc. "[Elistratov, 2008].

We only add that it is possible that such expressive exclamations besides Georgian be found in other expressions of Caucasian peoples as interjections but all these interjections are Georgian. This is well seen in the composition of the interjection «ВАЙМЕ» - vaime. It is composed of two parts: vai and me, the second part of which is the personal pronoun of the first person "me" in Georgian.

It is noteworthy that in the Russian slang with the meaning of the same interjections is also used the usual anthroponym "ВАХТАНГ" which in lexicographer's view is a contaminated form: "ВАХТАНГ" is the same as ВАХ. Contamination of ВАХ and proper Georg. name "ВАХТАНГ" [Elistratov, 2008].

According to the presented material, it is evident that the Russian words in Georgian slang belong to various spheres of slang vocabulary. No ironic attitude is revealed in them in relation to the Russians and Russia. However, Georgian words evidenced in Russian slang mainly indicate ironic, derisive and scornful attitude to Georgians, Georgian reality and Georgia. Obviously, this does not mean that the examples given here reflect the attitude of the entire Russia to Georgians but in one part of the society, the user of this slang, such relation towards Georgians really exists. Though Georgian lexical units are also found in the Russian slang in which the ironic attitude towards Georgians and Georgia has not been revealed.


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