Aug 31, 2016

Etymology Expeditions: Nadsat Slang

Did you know that Wiktionary has a dictionary of Nadsat slang? You can click on the link to check it out, but here are a few of my favourites:

Appy polly loggy, apology. A highly exaggerated way of pronouncing 'apology.'

Bezoomny, crazy. Origins in Russian. I think this sounds like a word for crazy should. 

Cancers, cigarettes. Obvious,right?

Eggiweg, egg. Juvenile mutation of 'egg.'

Horrorshow, good, excellent. This just fits the novel so well. It's not just made up by sticking horror+show together, but taken from Russian хорошоxorošó, "well", "good."

Oddy knocky, on one's ownодинокий odinókij, lit. "lonesome"

Pretty cool, right? What's your favourite?


  1. That's neat. Thank you. Some one had thought horrorshow was from anticipating words would flip over, like how in the U.S. bad now means good, in spoken youth slang.

    Back in the 1800s some one predicted that literally would come to mean figuratively.

    I used to wonder if the singer Origa used Latin and Japanese in her singing, but now I think she uses only Russian and English. Her work for the Ghost in the Shell TV anime is surely the most beautiful science fiction singing on the net.

    As a language person, someday you could read Robert Heinlein's award-winning The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Editor's title) The first person narrator uses colonial sentence structure, with a mash of Russian and other words.

  2. Hmm, I think I've only seen the movie version. I'll have to google Origa. Sounds like perfect writing music... The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is actually on my Sci Fi Classics list. Maybe I'll hunt it down after I finish Stand on Zanzibar.


Hello, stranger. What's on your mind?