Russian jokes

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Russian jokes (Russian: анекдо́ты (transcribed anekdoty), literally anecdotes), the most popular form of Russian humour, are short fictional stories or dialogs with a punch line.

Russian joke culture includes a series of categories with fixed and highly familiar settings and characters. Surprising effects are achieved by an endless variety of plots. Russian jokes are on topics found everywhere in the world, including sex, politics, spouse relations, or mothers-in-law. This article discusses Russian joke subjects that are particular to Russian or Soviet culture.

Every category has a host of untranslatable jokes that rely on linguistic puns, wordplay, and Russian's vocabulary of foul language. Below, (L) marks jokes whose humor value critically depends on untranslatable features of the Russian language.

A major subcategory is Russian political jokes.

Archetypes[edit]

Named characters[edit]

Standartenführer Stierlitz[edit]

Stierlitz is a fictional Soviet intelligence officer, portrayed by Vyacheslav Tikhonov in the popular Soviet TV series Seventeen Moments of Spring. In the jokes, Stierlitz interacts with various characters, most prominently his nemesis Müller. Usually two-liners spoofing the solemn style of the original voice-overs, the plot is resolved in grotesque plays on words or in parodies of the trains of thought and narrow escapes of the "original" Stierlitz.

Poruchik Rzhevsky[edit]

Poruchik (Lieutenant) Rzhevsky is a cavalry (hussar) officer, a straightforward, unsophisticated, and immensely rude military type whose rank and standing gain him entrance into disproportionately higher society. In the aristocratic setting of high-society balls and 19th century social sophistication with widespread use of the French language, Rzhevsky, famous for brisk but usually unintelligent remarks, keeps ridiculing the decorum with his vulgarities. In the jokes, he is often seen interacting with characters from the novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. The name is borrowed from a character from a popular 1960s comedy, Hussar Ballad (Russian — «Гусарская баллада»), bearing little in common with the folklore hero. Some researchers point out that many jokes of this kind are versions of 19th-century Russian army jokes, and the film contributed to a new series of jokes about Rzhevsky.[2]

Rzhevsky's (and supposedly all hussars') nonchalant attitude to love and sex.

He also gives his best advice to other Russian gentlemen on love matters. The Poruchik believes that the most straightforward approach is the most effective one.[2]

The essence of Rzhevsky's peculiarity is captured in the following meta-joke.
  • Rzhevsky narrates his latest adventure to his Hussar comrades. "...So I am riding through this dark wood and suddenly see a wide, white..." — Hussars, all together: "...arse!" — "Of course not! A glade full of chamomiles! And right in the middle there is a beautiful white..." — Hussars encore: "...arse!" — "How vulgar of you! A mansion! So I open the door and guess what I see?" — Hussars, encore: "An arse!" — Poruchik, genuinely surprised: "How did you guess? Did I tell this story before?"
This topic culminates in the following joke, sometimes called "the ultimate Hussar joke".
  • Countess Maria Bolkonskaya celebrates her 50th anniversary, the whole local Hussar regiment is invited, and the Countess boasts about her presents. "Cornet Obolensky presented me a lovely set of 50 Chinese fragrant candles. I loved them so much that I immediately stuck them into the 7 seven-branch candlesticks you see on the table. Quite fortunate numbers! Unfortunately there is one candle left, and I don't know where to stick it..." — The whole Hussar regiment takes a deep breath... And the Hussar Colonel barks out: "Hussars, not a word !!!"

Rabinovich[edit]

Sholem Aleichem, a famous Rabinovich

Rabinovich, is an archetypal Russian Jew. He is a crafty, cynical, sometimes bitter type, skeptical about the Soviet government, often too smart for his own good and is sometimes portrayed as an otkaznik (refusenik): someone who is refused permission to emigrate to Israel.

This following example explains Vladimir Putin's remark about "comrade wolf" in relation to the politics of the United States[4] that many non-Russians found cryptic:

Vovochka[edit]

Vovochka is the Russian equivalent of Little Johnny. He interacts with his school teacher, Maria Ivanovna (shortened to Marivanna; a stereotypical teacher's name). "Vovochka" is a diminutive form of Vladimir, creating the "little boy" effect. His fellow students bear similarly diminutive names. This "little boy" name is used in contrast with Vovochka's wisecracking, adult, often obscene statements.

Vasily Ivanovich[edit]

Vasily Chapaev.gif

Vasily Ivanovich Chapayev (Russian: Василий Иванович Чапаев), a Red Army hero of the Russian Civil War, in the rank of Division Commander, was featured in a hugely popular 1934 biopic. The most common topics are about the war with the monarchist White Army, Chapayev's futile attempts to enroll into the Frunze Military Academy, and the circumstances of Chapayev's death; officially, he was gunned down by the Whites while attempting to flee across the Ural River after a lost battle.

Chapayev is usually accompanied by his aide-de-camp Petka (Peter — Петька), as well as Anka the Machine-Gunner (Anna — Анка-Пулемётчица), and political commissar Furmanov, all based on real people.

Being well known in Russian popular culture, Chapayev, Petka and Anka were featured in a series of Russian adventure games released in the late 1990s and early 2000s.[citation needed]

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson[edit]

Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes

A number of jokes involve characters from the famous novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about the private detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend Doctor Watson. The jokes appeared and became popular soon after the The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson film series came out on Soviet TV in late 1970s - mid-1980s. In all those movies the characters were brilliantly played by the same actors - Vasily Livanov (as Sherlock Holmes) and Vitaly Solomin (as Dr. Watson). Quotes from these films are usually included in the jokes («Элементарно, Ватсон!» — "Elementary, my dear Watson!"). The narrator of such a joke usually tries to mimic the unique husky voice of Vasily Livanov. The standard plot of these jokes is a short dialog where Watson naïvely wonders about something and Holmes finds a "logical" explanation to the phenomenon in question. Occasionally the jokes also include other characters - Mrs. Hudson, the landlady of Holmes's residence on Baker Street, or Sir Henry and his butler Barrymore from The Hound of the Baskervilles and detective's nemesis Professor Moriarty.

This joke won the 2nd place on World's funniest joke contest.

Fantômas[edit]

Fantomas early film poster.jpg

Some older jokes involve Fantômas, a fictional criminal and master of disguise from a French detective series Fantômas, which were once widely popular in the USSR. His archenemy is Inspector Juve, charged with catching him. Fantômas' talent for disguise is usually the focus of the joke, allowing for jokes featuring all sorts of other characters:

New Russians[edit]

New Russians, (Novye Russkie, Russian: новые русские) i.e. the nouveau-riche, arrogant, stupid and poorly educated post-perestroika businessmen and gangsters, were a very popular category of characters in Russian jokes in the 1990s. A common plot is the interaction of a New Russian in his archetypal black-colored Mercedes S600 with a regular Russian in his modest Soviet-era Zaporozhets after having had a car accident. The New Russian is often a violent criminal or at least speaks criminal argot, with a number of neologisms (or common words with skewed meaning) typical among New Russians. In a way, these anecdotes are a continuation of the Soviet-era series about Georgians, who were then depicted as extremely wealthy. The physical appearance of the New Russians is often that of overweight men with short haircuts, thick gold chains and crimson jackets, with their fingers in the horns gesture, riding the "600 Merc" and showing off their wealth.

— How did you get here, old fella?
— I had an old Zaporozhets car, and I put my war-trophy Messerschmitt jet engine in it. While driving on a highway, I saw a Ferrari ahead and tried to overtake it. My speed was too high, I lost control and crashed into a tree. And how did you get here?
— I was driving my Ferrari when I saw a Zaporozhets overtaking me. I thought that my car might have broken down and was actually standing still. So I opened the door and walked out...
Compare with German Manta jokes.

Animals[edit]

Jokes set in the animal kingdom also feature characters, which draw their roots in the old Slavic fairy tales, where animals are portrayed as sapient beings with a stereotypical behavior, such as the violent Wolf, the sneaky (female) Fox, the cocky coward Hare, the strong, simple-minded Bear, the multi-dimensional Hedgehog and the king of animal kingdom, Lion. In the Russian language all objects, animate and inanimate, have a (grammatical) gender - masculine, feminine, or neuter. The reader should assume that the Wolf, the Bear, the Hare, the Lion and the Hedgehog are males, whereas the Fox is a female.

Pap.svg

Animals in Russian jokes are and were very well aware of politics in the realm of humans.

Often animal jokes are in fact fables, i.e., their punchline is (or eventually becomes) a kind of a maxim.

The Golden Fish[edit]

Carassus carassus gold.JPG

Aside from mammals, a rather common non-human is the "Golden Fish", who asks the catcher to release her in exchange for three wishes. The first Russian instance of this appeared in Alexander Pushkin's The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish. In jokes, the Fisherman may be replaced by a representative of a nationality or ethnicity and the third wish usually makes the punch line of the joke.

A similar type of joke involves a wish-granting Genie, the main difference being that in the case of the Golden Fish the Fisherman suffers from his own stupidity or greed, while Genie is known for ingeniously twisting an interpretation of the wish to fool the grantee.

Drunkards[edit]

Policemen[edit]

These often revolve around the supposition that the vast majority of Russian and Soviet militsioners (now called 'politzia') (policemen) accept bribes. Also, they are not considered to be very bright.

Ethnic stereotypes[edit]

Imperial Russia had been multiethnic for many centuries and this fact continued through the Soviet period, and continues still. Throughout their history several ethnic stereotypes have developed, often shared with those produced by other ethnicities (usually with the understandable exception of the ethnicity in question, but not always).

Chukchi[edit]

Choris, Tschuktschen.jpg

Chukchi, the native people of Chukotka, the most remote northeast corner of Russia, are the most common minority targeted for generic ethnic jokes in Russia — many other nations have a particular one they make fun of (cf. Irish jokes in Britain, Newfie jokes in Canada or Belgian jokes in France and the Netherlands). In jokes, they are depicted as generally primitive, uncivilized and simple-minded, but clever in a naive kind of way. A propensity for constantly saying "odnako" — equivalent to "however" depending on context — is a staple of Chukcha jokes. Often a partner of Chukcha in the jokes is a Russian geologist.

Chukchi do not miss their chance to retaliate.

Chukchi in jokes, due to their innocence, often see the inner truth of situations.

Ukrainians[edit]

Stamp Soviet Union 1961 3k Ukrainians.jpg

Ukrainians are depicted as rustic, stingy, and fond of salted salo (pork back fat), and their accent, which is imitated in jokes, is perceived as funny.

— Are you carrying any weapons or drugs?
— What are drugs?
— They make you get high.
— Yes, salo.
— But salo is not a drug.
— When I eat salo, I get high!

Ukrainians are perceived to bear a grudge against Russians (derided as Moskali by Ukrainians)

Georgians[edit]

Armenian Suren Spandaryan (left) and Georgian Joseph Stalin in 1915

Georgians are almost always depicted as stupid, greedy, hot-blooded or sexually addicted, and in some cases, all four at the same time. A very loud and theatrical Georgian accent, including the grammatical errors typical of Georgians, and occasional Georgian words are considered funny to imitate in Russian and often becomes a joke in itself.

In some jokes, they are portrayed as rich, because in Soviet times, Georgians were also perceived as running black market businesses. There is a funny expression, that usually in police reports they are termed as "persons of Caucasian nationality" (Russian: лицо кавказской национальности). Since the Russian word for "person" in the formal sense, (Russian: лицо), is the same as the word for "face", this allows a play on words about "faces of Caucasian nationality". In Russia itself, most people see "persons of Caucasian nationality" mostly at marketplaces selling fruits and flowers. Many jokes about Georgians are being recently retold in terms of "New Russians".

Armenians[edit]

Armenians are often used interchangeably with Georgians, sharing some of the stereotypes. However their unique context is the fictitious Radio Yerevan, usually telling political jokes. Many jokes are based on word play, often combined with the usage of Southern accent and consequent misunderstanding between the characters.

Estonians and Finns[edit]

Estonians and Finns are depicted as having no sense of humour and being stubborn, taciturn and especially slow. The Estonian accent, especially its sing-song tune and the lack of genders in grammar, forms part of the humour. Their common usage of long vowels and consonants both in speech and orthography (e.g. words such as Tallinn, Saaremaa) also led to the stereotype of being slow in speech, thinking and action. In the everyday life a person may be derisively named a "hot Estonian fellow" (or, in similar spirit, a "hot-tempered Finnish bloke", a phrase popularized by the 1995 Russian comedy Peculiarities of the National Hunt) to emphasize tardiness or lack of temperament. Indeed, Estonians play a similar role in Soviet humor to that of Finns in Scandinavian jokes.

Finnish political scientist Ilmari Susiluoto, also an author of three books on Russian humor, writes that Finns and Russians understand each other's humor. "Being included in a Russian anecdote is a privilege that Danes or Dutchmen have not attained. These nations are too boring and unvaried to rise into the consciousness of a large country. But the funny and slightly silly, stubborn Finns, the Chukhnas do."[9]

Finns share with Chukchi their ability to withstand cold:

Jews[edit]

Jewish humour is a highly developed subset of Russian humor, largely based on the Russian Jews' self-image. These Jewish anecdotes are not the same as anti-Semitic jokes. As some Jews say themselves, Jewish jokes are being made by either anti-Semites or the Jews themselves. Instead, whether told by Jews or non-Jewish Russians, these jokes show cynicism, self-irony and wit that is characteristic of Jewish humour both in Russia and elsewhere in the world (see Jewish humor). The jokes are usually told with a characteristic Jewish accent (stretching out syllables, parodying the uvular trill of "R", etc.) and some peculiarities of sentence structure calqued into Russian from Yiddish. Many of these jokes are set in Odessa, and to some extent the phrase "Odessa humor" is synonymous with "Jewish jokes," even if the characters don't have Jewish names and even their religion/ethnicity is never mentioned. To Russians, it's sufficient to begin a joke with "So, an Odessan woman gets on the bus...", and her Jewishness is understood by the listener.

Chinese[edit]

Everyday Life in Old China 13.jpg

Common jokes center on the size of the Chinese population, the Chinese language, and the perceptions of the Chinese as cunning, industrious, and hard-working. Other popular jokes revolve around the belief that the Chinese are capable of amazing feats by primitive means, such as the Great Leap Forward.

A good deal of the jokes are puns based on the fact that a widespread Chinese syllable (spelled "hui" in pinyin) looks very similar to the obscene Russian word for penis. For this reason since about 1956 the Russian-Chinese dictionaries render the Russian transcription of this syllable as "хуэй" (huey) (which actually is closer to the correct Chinese pronunciation). The most embarrassing case probably is the word "socialism" (社会主义; pinyin: shè huì zhǔ yì), rendered previously as шэ-хуй-чжу-и.

Russians[edit]

Russians are a stereotype in Russian jokes themselves when set next to other stereotyped ethnicities. Thus, the Russian appearing in a triple joke with two Westerners, German, French, American or Englishman, will provide for a self-ironic punchline depicting him as simple-minded and negligently careless but physically robust, which often ensures he retains the upper hand over his less naive Western counterparts. Another common plot is a Russian holding a contest with technologically superior opponents (usually, an American and a Japanese) and winning with sheer brute force or a clever trick.

Typhoon iced.jpg

Puns[edit]

Like everywhere else, a good deal of jokes in Russia are based on puns.

Eggs[edit]

Madonna Lily Egg.jpg

A Russian slang for 'testicle' is 'egg' (yaitso). A large variety of jokes capitalizes on this, ranging from predictably silly to surprisingly elegant.

Religion[edit]

Russia-Moscow-Cathedral of Christ the Saviour-8.jpg

Some religious jokes make fun of the clergy. They tend to be told in quasi-Church Slavonic, with its archaisms and the stereotypical okanye - a clear pronunciation of the unstressed /o/ as /o/. (Modern Russian or "Muscovite" speech reduces unstressed /o/ to /a/.) Clergymen in these jokes always bear obsolete names of distinctively Greek origin and speak in basso profundo.

Other jokes touching on religion involve Heaven or Hell.

Afterlife[edit]

Russian military jokes[edit]

Probably any nation big enough to have an army has a good deal of its own barracks jokes. Other than for plays on words, these jokes are usually international. In the Soviet Union, however, military service was universal (for males), so most people could relate to them. In these jokes a praporschik (warrant officer) is an archetypal bully of limited wit.

A. Dmitriev illustrates his sociological essay "Army Humor" with a large number of military jokes, mostly of Russian origin.[10]

There is an enormous number of one-liners, supposedly quoting a praporschik:

The punchline "from the fence to lunchtime" has become a well-known Russian cliché for an assignment with no defined ending (or for doing something forever).

Some of them are philosophical and apply not just to warrant officers.

Commander and intellectual trooper:

(A persistent theme in Russian military/police/law-enforcement-related jokes is the ongoing conflict between the representatives of the armed forces/law enforcement, and the "intelligentsia", i.e. well-educated members of society. Therefore, this theme is a satire of the image of military/law-enforcement officers and superiors as dumb and distrustful of "those educated smart-alecks".)

Until shortly before perestroika, all fit male students of higher education had obligatory military ROTC courses from which they graduate as junior officers in the military reserve. A good deal of military jokes originated there.

Comparative nuclear fireball sizes.svg
- Comrade praporshchik, there is no temperature like -400 degrees!.
- What would you know, it's a brand new, secret device.

Sometimes, these silly statements can cross over, intentionally or unintentionally, into the realm of actual wit:

Russia-Moscow-VDNH-Rocket R-7-1.jpg

It also can be jokes about Russian nuclear-missile forces and worldwide disasters because of lack of basic army discipline.

There is also an eternal dispute between servicemen and civilians:

Black humour[edit]

Chernobyl humour[edit]

Medical humour[edit]

Medical jokes are widespread. Usually, they consist of a short dialogue of doctor or nurse and patient.

The phrase "The doc said 'to the morgue', to the morgue it is!" (Доктор сказал «в морг» — значит в морг!) became a well-known Russian cliché meaning that something unpleasant must be done.

Doctor dismisses patient after curing

University students[edit]

The life of most Russian university students is often associated with many people coming from small towns and living in dormitories. State universities (the only type of universities in existence in Soviet times) are notable for carelessness about the students' comfort and the quality of food. Most jokes make fun of these "interesting" conditions, inventive evasion by students of their academic duties or lecture attendance, constant shortage of money and sometimes about alcoholic tendencies of engineering students.

Students' nutrition[edit]

Students' drinking[edit]

Study[edit]

Also, there are a number of funny student obsessions such as zachetka (a transcript of grades, carried by every student), halyava (a chance of getting good or acceptable grades without any effort) and getting a scholarship for good grades.

A large number of jokes are about an exam; these are usually a dialogue between the professor and the student, based on a set of questions written on a bilet (a small sheet of paper, literally: ticket), which the student draws at random in the exam room and is given some time to prepare answers for. Even more jokes use the fact that many (or even most) students really study only when the exam is in the near future (in one or two days), saving time for more interesting activities such as parties, videogames and so on.

Cowboy jokes[edit]

ARTrussellCfullsize.jpg

Cowboy jokes is a popular series about a Wild West full of trigger-happy simple-minded cowboys, and of course the perception is that everything is big in Texas. It is often difficult to guess whether these are imported or genuinely Russian inventions.

In a saloon.
— The guy over there really pisses me off!
— There are four of them; which one?
(The joke narrator imitates the sounds of three shots)
— The one still standing!
Variant - The guy over there have saved my life yesterday, I am really grateful to him <...> - The one that has fallen!
Two cowboys are standing at crossroads in a prairie.
— Fuck, Bob! (Voice-over: Where does this road lead to, Bob?)
— Shit, John! (Voice-over: It leads to Texas, John)
— Fuck, Bob! (Voice-over: Hell, we don't need to go to Texas, Bob!)
— Shit, John! (Voice-over: Don't swear, John)
— OK, what the hell was that, Bill?
— Oh, that's Uncatchable Joe. Nobody has ever managed to catch him, Harry.
— Why? Is he so fast, Bill?
— Nope, it's just because nobody needs him, Harry. (variant: nobody cares about him)
The "Uncatchable Joe" (Russian: Неуловимый Джо) has become an ironic nickname in Russia for various difficult-to-find persons (not necessarily unimportant ones). It is suggested that the nickname and the joke originated from a 1923 satirical novel An Uncatchable Enemy. American Novel by Mikhail Kozyrev (ru:Козырев, Михаил Яковлевич) which contained a funny song about a Joe who was uncatchable because no one needed him.[11]

Jokes about disabilities[edit]

Jokes set in mental hospitals are just as common in Russian humor as in the humor of other cultures. However, "punitive psychiatry" was part of Soviet political repressions, and this method purportedly continues in today's Russia (see article "Psikhushka"). Therefore, in Russian humor jokes about the mentally ill often have a political subtext.

A lecturer visits the mental hospital and gives a lecture about how great communism is. Everybody claps loudly except for one person who keeps quiet.
The lecturer asks: "Why aren't you clapping?" and the person replies "I'm not a psycho, I just work here."

A large number of jokes, arguably unparalleled among other nations, are about people with acute dystrophy. The main topics are extreme weakness, slowness, leanness, and weightlessness of a dystrophic patient.

Some of them originated in the infamous Gulag camps. Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his Gulag Archipelago (as well as other writers about Gulag) wrote that dystrophy was a typical phase in the life of a gulag inmate. He quotes the following Gulag joke.

In order to deny international rumors, Stalin allowed a foreign delegation to inspect some Gulag camps. As a result, a foreign reporter wrote "a zek is lazy, gluttonous, and deceiving".
By a misfortune the same reporter landed in a gulag as an inmate himself. When released, he wrote "a zek is lean, ringing, and transparent" (Russian: tonkiy, zvonkiy and prozrachny).

Other ones depict scorn of working-class people to intelligentsia, who were most often physically underdeveloped.

Taboo vocabulary[edit]

The very use of obscene Russian vocabulary, called mat, can enhance the humorous effect of a joke by its emotional impact. Due to the somewhat different cultural attitude to obscene slang, such an effect is difficult to render in English. The taboo status often makes mat itself the subject of a joke. One typical plot goes as follows.

A construction site expects an inspection from the higher-ups, so a foreman warns the boys to watch their tongues. During the inspection, a hammer is accidentally dropped from the fourth floor right on a worker's head... The punch line is an exceedingly polite, classy rebuke from the mouth of the injured, rather than a typically expected "#@&%$!". For example the injured worker might say: "Dear co-workers, could you please watch your tools a little more carefully, so as to prevent such cases and avoid work-place injuries?" In another variant of the joke the punch line is "Vasya, please desist in pouring molten tin over my head."

(L) Another series of jokes exploits the richness of the mat vocabulary, which can give a substitute to a great many words of everyday conversation. Other languages often use profanity in a similar way (like the English fuck, for example), but the highly synthetic grammar of Russian provides for the unambiguity and the outstandingly great number of various derivations from a single mat root. Emil Draitser points out that linguists explain that the linguistic properties of the Russian language rich in affixes allows for expression of a wide variety of feelings and notions using only a few core mat words:[12]

As an ultimate joke in this series, the goal is to apply such substitution to as many words of a sentence as possible while keeping it meaningful. The following dialog at a construction site between a foreman and a worker retains a clear meaning even with all of its 14 words being derived from the single obscene word khuy. Russian language proficiency is needed to understand this. Word-by-word:

Okhuyeli?! (Have [you] gone mad?!) Nakhuya (why) dokhuya (so much) khuyni (of stuff) nakhuyarili (you have loaded up)? Raskhuyarivay (unload [it]) nakhuy! (out of here)
Khuli?! (What's the problem?) Nikhuya! (No way!) Nekhuy (No need) raskhuyarivat (to unload)! Nakhuyacheno ([It] got loaded) nekhuyovo! (quite well)! Pokhuyarili! (Let's go)

Possible, but incomplete translation:

— Fuckheads, why the fuck did you fucking load so fucking much of this shit? Unfuck it the fuck out of here!
— What's the fucking problem?! Fuck no! No fucking need to unfuck! It got fucked up fucking well! Let's fucking go!

After this example one may readily believe the following semi-apocryphal story. An inspection was expected at a Soviet plant to award it the Quality Mark, so the administration prohibited the usage of mat. On the next day the productivity dropped abruptly. People's Control figured out the reason: miscommunication. It turned out that workers knew all the tools and parts only by their mat-based names: khuyovina, pizdyulina, khuynyushka, khuyatina, etc. (all of these are loosely translated as "thing"); the same went for technological processes: otkhuyachit (to detach, cut, disconnect), zayebenit (to push through, force into), prikhuyachit (to attach, connect, bond, nail), khuynut (to move slightly, throw, pour), zakhuyarit (to throw far away, to put in deeply) etc.

Another story, possibly apocryphal, relates that during the time of the Space Race the CIA placed a bug in a Soviet rocket factory to gain intelligence about the manufacturing process. After 6 months of listening-in the Americans had learned that Soviet rockets seemed to consist of only two parts, called khuy and pizda, and that one goes into the other.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beumers, Birgit (2005). Pop culture Russia!: media, arts, and lifestyle. ABC-CLIO. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-85109-459-2. 
  2. ^ a b c d Emil Draitser, Making War, Not Love: Gender and Sexuality in Russian Humor (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.) ISBN 0-312-22129-0, p.120 — a review in Journal of Folklore Research
  3. ^ D. Kalinina (2007) "Gusary Deneg Ne Berut" ISBN 5-699-19696-X
  4. ^ "Putin takes swipe at hungry America's 'Comrade Wolf'", Times Online, May 10, 2006
  5. ^ "Dictionary of Russian slang & colloquial expressions", by Vladimir Shlyakhov, Eve Adler, 2nd edition, 1999, ISBN 0-7641-1019-5
  6. ^ [1] a page from the Chudak magazine (retrieved March 7, 2014)
  7. ^ "История в анекдотах" ("A History in Jokes"), by Mikhail Melnichenko, February 15, 2008 (retrieved March 7, 2014)
  8. ^ "Напуганный человек", from book by Leo Yakovlev (Лео Яковлев), "Суфии: Восхождение к истине" ("Sufists: An Ascent to Truth")
  9. ^ a b Soviet nostalgia lives on in Russian anecdotes, Helsingin Sanomat, 9/5/2006
  10. ^ Дмитриев А. В. Социология юмора: Очерки. М., 1996, article "Army Humor" (Russian)
  11. ^ A Large Dictionary of Russian Nicknames, by Harry Walter and Valery Mokiyenko (2007) ISBN 5-373-00435-9, p. 193
  12. ^ Emil Draitzer, Making War Not Love, p. 37

In English[edit]

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Other[edit]

External links[edit]