All Slavic languages: Borrowings of Slavic origin in other languages

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by übermönch, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. übermönch

    übermönch Senior Member

    Warum wohne ich bloß in so einem KAFF?
    World - 1.German, 2.Russian, 3.English
    the only two i can think of is "robot" (from czech) and "Yoghurt", can you think of more? t'should b everyday language words, thus words like perestroika or bolshevik don't count.
  2. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Please pay more attention to correct spelling and capitalization. :)
    Back on topic: Yoghurt sounds Turkish to me.
    "Pistol" is also of Czech origin. It is derived from "píšťala", pipe (musical instrument).
    Vodka is definitely an everyday word for many people. :rolleyes:

  3. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Ï was about to say "vodka" and than Jana's post revealed it, it was the first word that occured to me.

    A few that originate from Polish I can think of right now:

    I think polka as well.
  4. Suane

    Suane Senior Member

    A great theme!
    I found something on the internet...
    These are some words borrowed from Russian:
    balalaika, bistro, cosmonaut, dacha, intelligentsia, mammoth, pogrom, rouble, samovar, soviet, steppe, troika, tsar, vodka
    The meanings are there:

    Here is a list of languages and the words:

    The Slavic nations (Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, etc.) have also made a contribution through the millions of immigrants to the English-speaking nations from that part of Europe. Here are a few:
    • commissar (Russia for "Commissioner"-from the Soviet Period)
    • chernozem (dark soil)
    • polka (Polish word for "Pole".
    • robot (From Karel Capek's play "R. U. R.", based on the Slavic word robota "work" or "slave labor".
    • stroganoff (as in "Beef Stroganoff", named for the family of the developer of Siberia. )
    • troika (Russian for "threesome")
    • tsar (Russian realization of "Caesar")
    • vodka (Russian for "vodka", literally, "little water")
    Word borrowings for Yiddish are not widely used but they are common in the dialects around New York city. A few of them are:
    • knish (a meat-filled pastry)
    • kvetch (from kvetshn, literally, "to squeeze, pinch")
    • -nik (as in peacenik, a suffix meaning "-er, -ist")
    • schlep (from shlepn "drag, haul")
  5. Brazilian dude Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    There are countless borrowings in Romanian, for obvious reasons:

    Here are a few:

    slujbă - service
    nădejde - hope
    hrană - food
    da - yes
    slab - weak
    a sprijini - to support
    ceas - watch/clock
    vreme - weather
    drag - dear
    iubire - love
    slobod - free
    prieten - friend
    zid - wall
    zapadă - snow
    slobozenie - liberty/freedom
    a plăti - to pay
    a citi - to read
    muncă - work
    praznic - holiday
    grijă - worry
    greşeală - mistake
    bolnav - ill
    bogat - rich
    scump - expensive
    haină - a piece of clothing

    Just read any paragraph in Romanian and you'll find many more examples. However, most words (I heard 85%) are of Romance origin and the structure is completely Romance, that's why it's a Romance language. :D

    Brazilian dude
  6. Brazilian dude Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    A few more:

    pizdă - pussy (not the cat)
    a primi - to receive
    gospodină - housewife
    gost - guest
    gol - naked, bare
    poveste - story
    haiduc - "Robin Hood"
    glas - sound, voice

    Brazilian dude
  7. werrr Senior Member

    German words of S. o.

    r Gau (s Gäu)
    e Grenze
    r Quark
    e Peitsche

    English words of S. o.

    BTW, Suane, I think "Polka" is derived from "half", not from "Pole". And Polish origin is more than disputable.
  8. Seana

    Seana Senior Member

    I don't agree with Suen.
    You have mixed meaning the polka - dance with Polka as woman Polish nationality. It isn't the same meaning.
    The polka a 2/4-beat dance of Czech origin should not be confused with the polska. It it originated in Bohemia, and is still a common genre of Czech folk music. It is danced almost each beer-houses and restaurants in Czech. It is very joyful and quick dance. I like it.
    Polkas are played in Hungary as well.

    BTW I have little good advice for Brazilian dude.
    Never, never use the first word you gave above. It is the worst vulgarism in Polish language.
  9. Brazilian dude Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    I know. All I did is I said the word exists. It's up to people to use it or not.

    Pagan is from Latin paganus, a villager.

    Brazilian dude
  10. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Not a word in the proper sense of the word, but it is of Slavic origin, so I will mention it anyway. The ending -nik, as in peacnik, kibutznik etc. is Slavic and it came into English via Yiddish.

  11. Marijka

    Marijka Member

    Lublin/Eastern Poland
    Definitely it isn't the worst one ;) but it is vulgar of course

    Haiduk is a hungarian word ( hajdú = a mugger but also a soldier)

    I would add cossack from Ukrainian "kozak" (козак).
  12. werrr Senior Member

    I checked it again and ... yes, you're absolutely right.
  13. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    The word came from Czech to English as says this source.

    I think that the first meaning of "polka" (in Czech) could be a female citizen of Polish, than the spelling was altered to signify the dance described by you. This seems plausible since as Wiki says the dance emerged in nineteenth century and I think the word was known to Czechs much more earlier (we know each other quite long ;)). So this could be the real origin of polka.

    Could any Czech friend comment on this and provide (if possible) the etymology of “polka” in Czech, please?

    Thanks in advance,
  14. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    All (OK, some :)) resources available to me seem to coroborrate Thomas' theory.
    The Duden (the best German dictionary):
    The name was coined around 1831 in Praha to pay homage to the oppressed Poles.

  15. Brazilian dude Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    I took the trouble to check all the Romanian words that I felt (through contact with Slavic languages) were Slavic and haiduc was confirmed to be one by this excellent dictionary:

    Din bg., scr. meaning From Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian.

    Brazilian dude
  16. Suane

    Suane Senior Member

    I didn't make it up, I found it on one internet source. I know about the meaning of polka as a sort of dance, but I don't know if it is borrowed word, and I'm also aware of the meaning of polka or poľka as a nationality, but I don't know if it is loaned also...I really don't know much about it...I just wanted to make you all happy to see it when I had found that...:)
  17. skye Senior Member

    As far as I know there aren't any everyday words that have been borrowed from Slovenian.

    I was once told that the only words that have been borrowed from Slovenian are the ones that describe the phenomena in the Karstic landscape and they are only used as technical terms among the experts (dolina and polje and such).
  18. Paulinne

    Paulinne Member

    czech, the Czech republic
    We've just been discusing this topic wuth my friends... The best known is robet (by Josef Capek) and then "dolar" from old czech "tolar" which was the old´currency (I don't know when :eek:) ) "pistol" from the old Czech gun called "píšťala" and there was one more.... But I can't remember which one..
  19. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia

    Yes, I think that
    hajduk (хајдук) is a Serbian word (and probable Bulgarian as you say) and it is the name for a person who was fighting the Turks during Ottoman empire.

    More words: PAPRIKA - from Serbian (but some dispute that it is of Hungarian origin).

  20. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    In Serbian:

    pizda - sissy
    primiti - to receive
    gospodin, gospođa, gospođica - Mr., Mrs. Miss
    domaćica - housewife
    gost - guest
    go - naked, bare
    gol - goal
    povest - story but also history (in use in Croatia)
    hajduk - haiduk, anti-Turkish highwayman
    glas - sound, voice

    So almost the same words just slightly altered to suit Romanian language :)
  21. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    In Serbian:

    služba - service
    nada - hope
    hrana - food
    da - yes
    slab - weak
    podržati - to support
    sat - watch/clock
    vreme - weather
    drag - dear
    ljubav - love
    slobodan - free
    prijatelj - friend
    zid - wall
    sneg - snow
    sloboda - liberty/freedom
    platiti - to pay
    čitati - to read
    rad - work
    praznik - holiday
    briga - worry
    greška - mistake
    bolan - ill (a bit archaic)
    bogat - rich
    skup - expensive
    haljina - a piece of clothing (a dress)

  22. Brazilian dude Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Briga means fight in Portuguese. :)

    Brazilian dude
  23. czas na zywiec New Member

    Boulder, Colorado
    Polish, Poland
    Spruce comes from the Polish phrase "z Prus," which means "from Prussia." That's where those kind of trees grew and wood would be imported from there.
  24. Juri Senior Member

    Koper, near Trieste
    In autumn, along the Italian-Slovenian border, italian tourists visit the
    "osmizze", where the Slovene winedresser sell off the "old" wine before the new harvest. Maria Theresia permitted them to open wine cellars for direct sell during eight days.(Osem=8).
  25. Stormwoken Member

    Novi Sad, Serbia & Montenegro
    Yoghurt is not of Slavic origin ;) Has its roots in one of the Caucasian lgs.
  26. Seana

    Seana Senior Member


    Hi, Stormwoken

    Would you have a look what I have found in an etymology dictionary about the roots of yogurt word.

    1625, a mispronunciation of Turk. yogurt, in which the -g- is a "soft" sound, in many dialects closer to an Eng. "w." The root yog means roughly "to condense" and is related to yogun "intense," yogush "liquify" (of water vapor), yogur "knead."
  27. Stormwoken Member

    Novi Sad, Serbia & Montenegro
    During my language studies I often found etymological dictionaries a bad source for any serious research (paradoxically, even the specialised ones, like Webster). They often present the target language as the source language on the basis of some silly coincidence.

    I believe you`ve got the right on this one, though, since, from what I know, "Yoghurt" derives from some similar word of a Turkish Caucasian tribe :)
  28. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Hajduk/hajduci WERE Serbians fighting against Turks, but I incline to think that the word comes from Turkish, i.e. this is how the Turks called these "bandits" who lived in woods and mountains and attacked Turks on roads...

    As far as PAPRIKA is concerned, I do believe it is rather Hungarian than Serbian word.

    As a matter of fact, I don't believe there ara ANY original Serbian words in other languages. Serbian itself was very influenced by Turkish and Hungarian, too... I bet you Serbians here, did not know that bunda and Chizma are Hungarian and not Serbian words?;)

    Thanks, Seana for this explication. Yoghurt IS a Turkish word since it is a Turkish drink. All Balkan countries have it too, (both the word and the drink) thanks to Turks. As a matter of fact, I also had it recently in a Kurdish restaurant!
  29. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    This would be KEFIR, wouldn't it?;)
  30. Juri Senior Member

    Koper, near Trieste
    Also the cigarettes has been known in Europe for the first time after
    the Turks raised the siege of Vienna.It happened twice, in the 16th and 17th century; it was perhaps in the longer second siege, more than two months, before the situation has been resolved by the Polish troops of king Sobieski.
  31. Stormwoken Member

    Novi Sad, Serbia & Montenegro
    Actually, you`re right. I`ve double-checked that one since. I must have confused it with kefir or koumiss. My mistake :eek:

    Regarding the non-serbian words, neither "soba" (room) nor "glumac" (actor) are of Serbian origin. :)

    Here are some excerpts from a seminary paper on slavic borrowings in English one of my colleagues did last year:

    Words borrowed from Russian:

    balalaika, bistro, cosmonaut, dacha, intelligentsia, mammoth, pogrom, rouble, samovar, soviet, steppe, troika, tsar, vodka, cantonist, chainik, dedovschina, katorga, kurgan, kurtka, Lysenkoism, muzhik, palochka, pravda, sambo, samizdat, sharashka, tatary, titlo, zaum, BAM, banya, bylina

    Technical, special

    chernozem, tokamak, Mir, polnya, rasputitsa, pood, verst


    doukhobor, chlysty, lippovan, Lipovan Lipovans, Molokan, raskol, raskolnik, skoptzy, yurodivy

    Political, administrative

    agitprop, apparatchik, bolshevik, Cheka, commissar, DOSAAF, Duma, dvoryanstvo, FSB, glasnost, Kadet, KGB, kniaz, kolkhoz, kulak, krai, Leninism, MGB, Menshevik, MVD, Narkompros, nyet (as in Mr NET), NEP, NKVD, nomenklatura, obshchina, oblast, okrug, oprichina, perestroika, Politburo, propiska, silovik, SMERSH, soviet, sovkhoz, Sovmin, Sovnarkhoz, Spetsnaz, Stalinism, Stavka, tsardom, ukase, zampolit, zemschina, Zemsky Sobor, zemstvo


    blintz, borsch, kasha, kumis, kvass, pelmeni, pirogi, shashlik, sirniki, vareniki


    babushka, sputnik, steppe, Troika (triumvirate), Troika (dance), troika (sled), tundra, taiga

    Words borrowed from Ukrainian

    balaclava, cossack, hetman

    Words borrowed from Czech

    howitzer, pistol, polka, robot, semtex

    Words borrowed from Polish

    horde, mazurka, babka, kielbasa, polka, rendzina, sejm, spruce, szlachta, vodka

    Words borrowed from Serbian

    vampire, slivovitz

    Words borrowed from Croatian


    I know that this list needs some corrections here and there, but I thought someone might find it useful.

    It is worth noticing that most native speakers of English probably know 5 out of 200 of these, since many of, for example, Russian words listed here are only used when describing a notion specifically related to Russia and have absolutely no other meaning in English whatsoever (think Sovkhoz, bylina and the like). Many of these can be found in dictionaries of English, nontheless. I`d be really neat if speakers of other languages would care to tick off all the words they know, just for comparison. =)
  32. werrr Senior Member

    I think "slivovitz" is from Czech via German.
  33. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    If the word šljiva (plum) is also Czech, and šljivovica Czech national drink, then this makes sense.
    But as far as I know, šljiva is a typical fruit of Serbia and šljivovica is an alchoholic drink made of it. As a matter of fact, what is vodka for Russians, whiskey for Irish, tequila for Mexicans, metaxa for Greks, šljivovica is for Serbs.

    I alwazs thought that Czech national drink is beer...:confused:

    What does Cravat mean? Which Croatian word is? i reallz cannot recogniye it in its English version.
  34. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    In Czech, it is slíva, and slivovice is a very popular drink, in particular in Moravia - in the region adjacent to Austria. I think you could call it a typical/national drink in those areas. The etymological materials I have consulted are split between Czech and Serbian in this particular question.

    Read here about kravata (with music! :)).

  35. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    How interesting... So Cravat is kravata? And it is not Serbian word???? And English people really use this word?:confused: :eek: What about the good old "tie"?
  36. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Kravata is a Czech word, Krawatte is the German one, cravate the French one, cravatta the Italian one. The word has apparently taken roots in English as well but it is not very common - chances are that an English native without an exposure to some of the above wouldn't know what it is.

    EDIT: Click.

  37. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Why did you put this link?:confused: I thought you linked to English dictionary so I can look for the word cravate by myself... Look here. This is what I get when I put the word cravate. It seems that Oxford dictionary does not contain this word... Or I got it wrong?:(
  38. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Oh, sorry. It was not a permalink (i.e. when you click on it, you won't see what I do - and your link does not work for the same reason). Please type in cravat. It is there. :)

  39. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    My fault.:eek: I typed cravate instead of cravat. Now it's ok.

    ????This is really amazing... Where do they come from???
  40. Stormwoken Member

    Novi Sad, Serbia & Montenegro
    Wow, that was an exaustive article :D
    Basically, it does not derive from any Croatian word, but the nation lent its name to the item. It usually denotes a specific type of the tie. Its primary meaning is "band or scarf worn around the neck"

    I heard that Glumac was from Czech, but that was only one source, not confirmed since. To me it doesn`t sound quite Serbian, and is certainly not derived from any of our words. :confused:

    Soba is from Hungarian "szoba" :)

    A question for speakers of other Slavic lgs: What are the words for "salary" and "to pay" in your language?

    Please open another thread.
  41. werrr Senior Member

    That's nonsense. "Glumac" is'nt Czech word (and "G" is quite unusual phone in Czech).

    In Czech:
    salary = plat, výplata
    to pay = platit

    A topic for another thread.
  42. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Hmmm... Glumac...Considering the famous Czech film school, no wonder that Serbian borrowed this word from Czech...:D
  43. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

  44. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Although their are some Slavic words in Romanian, as Brazilian dude pointed out...the majority of them have Latin synonyms (except da and some others). Romanian is in fact of 85 % Latin and is still undergoing changes to relatinasize the language. :D

    gospodina = menajeră
    zid = mur/perete
    harnic = laborios
    zapada = nea
    slujbă = oficiu/ceremonie
    nădejde =

    hrană = mâncare
    a sprijini =
    a susţine

    vreme = (timp)
    drag = dulce (dulcea mea)
    iubire = amor/patima
    prieten = amic
    slobozenie = autonomie/libertate
    a plăti = a achita
    muncă = lucru
    praznic = sarbatoare
    grijă = preocupare
    greşeală = eroare
    bolnav =
    bogat = prosper/luxos
    scump = costitor
    haină = vesmant
  45. Brazilian dude Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Very nice list, Robbie_SWE.

    Brazilian dude
  46. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Thank you Brazilian dude! Here's some words from your second list:

    a primi = a obtine
    gost = invitat (or the Turkish borrowed word musafir)
    gol = dezbracat
    poveste = palavra
    glas = voce

  47. Brazilian dude Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Palavra, really? This one I didn't know. It means word in Portuguese. Maybe istorie (in Romanian) could be used as well.

    Oh, I see now that Romanian palavră is like English palaver.

    Brazilian dude
  48. cecoll Member


    I want to add two words that I have noticed while watching some Romanian advertisements: :D

    ochi (eyes)
    grija (care)

    Those are 100 % match to our language and to other slavic languages i think! I wonder if the first one have a Latin equivalent too? By the way the very fact those words are used in romanian language means that they are used to describe something that Latin words cant express...correct me if I`m wrong. :rolleyes: There's gotta be a reason why one word is prefered to be used instead of another?! I hope some romanian guy will explain that to us! :p Do they just sound nice or are they just some old words that romanian people want to get rid of? :confused:
  49. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    The reason why ochi is similar to all the Romance languages is because it derives from Latin :mad:

    How Slavic languages have obtained it, I really don't know!

    ochi = eye from Latin oc(u)lus

    (fr. oeil, it. occhio, sp. ojo etc...)

    The word grija does come from the Bulgarian griza, but words like prudenta and precautie are used as synonyms.

    Cecoll, it is true that Latin lacked some words that Romanians had to borrow from their neighbouring countries ex: da (yes). But sorry to say it, Romanians are trying to get rid of these words, because they are very old-fashioned. The Romanian language is currently changing due to the millions of Romanians living abroad in Latin countries. When they come back to Romania, they take new words with them and start using them regularly. The 10 % of the Romanian vocabulary which is of Slavic origin is diminishing.

    Hope this cleared some things up! ;)
  50. Brazilian dude Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Robbie, from your posts it seems to me that you have something against Slavic words. Is that something to be ashamed of? My native Portuguese has tons of words of Arabic descent and I have absolutely nothing against them.

    Brazilian dude

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