Slovak: Bo še [śe] usram


Senior Member
Some time ago I asked a Slovak sales assistant at a gas station for help, and he refused me saying something like "bo se usram". I do not remember the full phrase, but I understood that he didnt want to become dirty (indeed, it would be possible). However, is the word "usram", which he used, a regular word in Slovak, or is it obscenic / improper / vulgar / not to be used publicly, etc? In Polish it's clearly vulgar, related to excrements, and I would never use it in front of the client, so I'd be keen to know if this word is a 'false friend', or the guy was plainly rude.

Thank you very much for your help.
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  • morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Hello jasio. In which part of Slovakia did the said situation happen?

    "Bo se usram" means nothing to me. What the Sales Assistant could possibly say was "(Nie), lebo sa zaseriem" (or if it was a careless speaker, he might say "(Nie), 'bo sa zaserem." In Slovak, generally speaking, such utterance would also not fall into the category of "polite" expressions.

    srať = (rude) to defecate
    zasrať sa = (rude) to get oneself (one's clothes/hands/...) dirty
    usrať si / zasrať si = (rude) to expel a flatus through the anus


    Senior Member
    Thank you.

    It was at the north, close to the Polish border, perhaps next to Zuberec, where we spent several winter vacations. It was perhaps 15 years ago, so I don't remember well, though I remember to recognize the "srat'" stem, which has the same meaning in Polish. I wonder now, if I would have recognised it, if he indeed said 'zaserem', with the vowel in the middle. Anyway, I believe that some Polish influence on the local dialect would only be natural in this area. "sa, se, si" would all sound like reflexive voice for me in this context though, so actually I can't tell.


    Maybe the sales assistant spoke Polish with you, even if he was Slovak.

    bo się usram
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    Senior Member
    Maybe the sales assistant spoke Polish with you, even if he was Slovak.
    Considering a relative proximity of Polish and Slovak languages, and the fact that the situation took place close to the state and national border, where on the Polish side local dialects demonstrate some Slovak features and I would expect a similar phenomenon on the Slovak side, I can neither deny nor confirm. At the time I was pretty sure that he was speaking Slovak during the whole conversation, but I cannot exclude an option that he thought to be responding in Polish, although, in fact, he wasn't.

    In general, I would expect that in this situation a native Polish speaker would use another nasty word, of a completely different origin, referring to sexual activities rather than to defecation - albeit it's as much illogical as it sounds. ;-) However, I cannot even exclude an option, that locally, in the South of Poland, the defecation word is used (like in Slovak) rather than a sexual word (like in the rest of Poland). Isn't it a language continuity? ;-)
    „Bo še usram“ is an Eastern Slovak dialect, definitely not formal Slovak as morior invictus points out.
    Bo (dialect) = lebo
    še (dialect) = sa. Note: Pronounciation of „še“ is quite similar to Polish „się”, however linguists usually write „še“ as „śe“ to differentiate it from Slovak soft consonant „š“. Some examples: hnivac śe = to be (e.g. Prestaň śe už hnivac. = Stop being angry already.), ubrudzic śe = to get dirty (e.g. Ubrudzil mi śe od nafty. = I got dirty from [the] motor oil [=diesel fuel].)

    Usram (dialect) is derived from verb srac (dialect) + prefix u-; it is first person singular future tense and means “will get dirty”. Verb srac is generally used with three meanings (both rude):
    1) to get dirty (from something) [always non-sexual], e.g. Usram śe od nafty. = I will get drity from motor oil. (Slovak: Zašpiním sa od nafty.)
    2) to fart, e.g. usrac sebe = to fart (Slovak: prdnúť si); Učiteľ sebe usral jak slon. = Teacher farted like an elephant. (Slovak: Učiteľ si prdol ako slon.)
    3) akin to English fuck [however always non-sexual] in expression such as Srac na vas = Fuck you! (Slovak: Srať na vás), Ser naňoho! = Fuck him. (Slovak: Ser naňho.).


    Fox05 wrote it precisely. I want just to confirm that East Slovakian dialects (especially Šariš) dialect are the closest to Polish and š is usually transcribed by linguists ś like in Polish. Otherwise, in Northern part of East Slovakia lives a national minority called Gorals whose dialect is even closer to Polish.