Serbo-Croatian: bog te ne ubio


Senior Member
Žena stenje, hukće, prevrće se. Smiri se, bog te ne ubio, kažem joj. Taman mi san na oči, a
ti me probudiš.

smiri se, bog te ne ubio: dali to znači: "calm down, so that god won't kill you" ili znači: "calm down, God won't kill you, (so why all this fuss)" ili nešto sasvim drugo?
  • QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    Initially I thought smiri se, bog te ne ubio would be equivalent to smiri se, bog te nije ubio (Calm down, God didn't kill you). But I was wrong about that and deleted the above comment.

    This is a quote from Tvrđava by Selimović, correct?

    I checked with some Bosnian friends and it's more along the lines of If you calm down, God won't kill you. Apparently, it's a phrase used by older Bosnians when they're serious or upset at someone, but it seems antiquated and funny to the younger generation. A friend said it was almost like a curse directed toward someone who's not obeying. She even chuckled a little bit when I asked about it. :)
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    It roughly means: Calm down, damn it!
    With that said, I don't think it can be translated precisely. It is like a curse ("Bog te ubio!") but, then again, it's being negated ("Bog te ne ubio"), which makes it not as harsh.

    Just for laughs: Bog te ubio da te ne ubije
    It does sound paradoxical, doesn't it?


    Senior Member
    QuasiTriestino, yes, the sentence is taken from Tvrđava.

    alexl, It does sound funny!

    Hvala svima, čak i onima koji ću još odgovoriti :)


    New Member
    Just like Alex said, my grandmother would often say "ubio te Bog da te ne ubije" as a kind of generic intensifier phrase. Like if she was yelling at some kids, "Sta to radite, ubio vas Bog da vas ne ubije" is sort of like "what are you damn kids doing".