Stereotypes exist anywhere and Russia is no exception, so some Russian words used to mock the other nations are a bit strangeNatalya Nosova
People everywhere like to make fun of other nations. Unfortunately, national and cultural differences sometimes generate animosity that leads to stereotypical and rude nicknames used to ridicule other groups.
In Latin America, if you’re Caucasian, you might be referred to as gringo. Meanwhile, the French like to call
The name “Yankee” is quite common, and the British first used this for Americans during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). Today, the entire world, including Russia, continues this tradition in order to ridicule Americans. But what’s with the mysterious Pindosy? That’s a tough one.
According to the most popular version, this nickname is quite old, and in the 18th-19th
Fine, but what does this have to do with Americans? The word
The word became associated with stupid and ill-bred, yet cunning and dangerous people (and it was also a bit reminiscent of several Russian curse words). So, Russians made the word a nickname for the Americans, who they didn’t like at all.
Of course, this is an exaggeration. While frog legs are a delicacy of French cuisine, they are quite an exotic one, and few French have tried this dish. Still, other nations go ahead and mock the French for this. Russians are not the only ones – in the 19th century the British press portrayed France’s Charles X as “King of frogs,” and the Americans today still use this word to denigrate the French.
Russia and Germany have had a long (and a bit troublesome) relationship, so there’s no surprise that Russians have pejorative nicknames for Germans. To begin, the Russian word for Germans,
In the Middle Ages, when Germans visited Moscow, the locals were disappointed with the inability of their guests to answer in Russian. Since medieval Russians rarely ever saw foreigners and were no
Food nicknames again! While not every Frenchman eats frog legs, delicious pasta is truly something that every Italian
Makaronniki literally means “macaroni people.” This type of pasta is also very popular in Russia, so it’s not so nasty a nickname, and can even be considered mildly friendly in a poking-fun sort of way.
If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.
to our newsletter!
Get the week's best stories straight to your inbox