Insults

for use by the ideologically informed

Copyright 1999, 2000 by Hugo S. Cunningham

First posted 990216
Latest minor update 2008/0909

Explanation of Russian transcription used here.

References from "Ozhegov" are translated from S.I. Ozhegov, Slovar' Russkogo Yazyka ("Dictionary of the Russian Language"), Russkij Yazyk, Moscow, 1988.

These insults were used by Soviet journalists and politicians, especially during the Stalin years. Additional historic entries (especially colorful ones) are welcome at the Cyber-USSR E-mail box.

Entries are in English alphabetical order.

Russian
(noun)
(adjective)
EnglishRemark
administrirovanie administration by fiat Ozhegov-- "running something in a bureaucratic manner, formally, without considering reality"; another charge against Khrushchov (1964).
(contributed by Lars-Erik Nelson)
avantyurist

avantyurizm

avantyura
adventurist, adventurer

adventurism

adventure
agentagent (spy)
agentura

agentura innostrannyx specsluzhb
agents (plural), spy agency

agents of foreign intelligence services
primirenchestvo appeasement From Ozhegov: "Unprincipled policy of opportunism in the workers' movement, directed at smoothing out class contradictions in the interests of the bourgeoisie.".
BenderovecBanderist? Stepan Andreyevich Bandera (1909-1959), West Ukrainian nationalist, imprisoned by Poland 1934-1939, by Nazis 1941-1944. From exile in Munich directed anti-Soviet guerrillas from 1945 to early 1950s.
basmachBasmatch anti-Soviet rebel in Central Asia, 1920s.
Supposedly from Uzbek (Turkic) word, "basmachi", but I cannot confirm this.
Chrnye Sotni

chernosotenec
chernosotennyj
Black Hundreds

Black-hundred
In Tsarist times, name adopted by thugs commissioned by monarchist "Union of the Russian People" to engage in pogroms.

Extreme reactionary
shantazhblackmail (from French "chantage")
zver'beast; brute
bonapartist?Bonapartistgeneral suspected of plotting a coup
burzhuj
burzhuaznyj

burzhuaziya
bourgeois

bourgeoisie


(a French word)
From Ozhegov (1988)--
"ruling class of capitalist society, owning the means of production and living off of surplus value, gained by the exploitation of hired labor"
nacionalist

nacionalizm
bourgeois-nationalist

bourgeois-nationalism


From Ozhegov (1988) --
"Reactionary bourgeois and petit-bourgeois ideology and policy, directed toward the incitement of national enmity under the slogan of national superiority and defending national interests, and in practice serving the interests of the exploiting classes; appearance of a false feeling of national superiority, national exclusiveness."
Contrast with virtuous "patriotism"
Curiously, a similar distinction was made by the counterrevolutionary propagandist G. Orwell.
buxarinec
buxarinskij
Bukharinite Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (1888-1938) -- a moderate rival of Stalin's; had opposed Collectivization. Shot after show trial in 1938.
bundist?Bundist Bund -- A Jewish social-democratic party, despised by Jewish Communists for both separatist and democratic tendencies.
kannibalizmcannibalism
kapitalist
kapitalisticheskij
capitalist
kar'era

kar'erist
career

careerist
klass
klassovyj

klassovaya bor'ba

iz"yatie ostatkov vrazhdebnyx klassov
class (social)

class struggle

removal of the remnants of hostile classes
nekaya [familiya]
nekij Ivanov
a certain [surname]
a certain Ivanov
[implies that Mr. Ivanov is a vaguely repellant specimen]. (used in 1960s)
(contributed by Lars-Erik Nelson)
agent CRUCIA agent CRU -- Central'noe Razvedyvatel'noe Upravlenie
rastlennyjcorrupt, unscrupulous (utterly)
zagovorshchik

zagovor
conspirator

conspiracy
kosmopolit

kosmopolitizm
cosmopolitan, Jew (See also "rootless cosmopolitan")

cosmopolitanism


According to Ozhegov (1988) -- "reactionary bourgeois ideological tendency, which under cover of slogans like 'world government' and 'world citizenship' denies the right of nations to independent existence and state sovereignty, national traditions and national culture, patriotism."
Contrast with virtuous internationalism
kontrrevolyucioner
kontrrevolyucionnyj

kontrrevolyuciya
counterrevolutionary

counterrevolution
rasstrelshooting
death penalty
smertnyj prigovor death sentence
oborona

oboronchestvo
defense

defense-ism, defensism
(obsolete: 1910s, 1920s)
-

From Ozhegov: "A policy of defending a bourgeois state and the interests of the national bourgeoisie, advocated by bourgeois parties and opportunist parties of the Second International [Non-Communist socialists] at the time of the First World War under the slogan 'defense of the fatherland.'"
This term disappeared with the start of the Great Patriotic War.
vyrodokdegenerate
demagogiyademagoguery
prezrennyjdespicable, contemptible
uklonist

uklon
deviationist (left- or right-)

deviation
dogmatik
dogmaticheskij
dogmatist Someone who would call Lenin an "opportunist"
medicinskij(?) zagovor;
zagovor medikov
Doctors' plot 1953: Leading Soviet doctors were arrested on charges of planning to murder Comrade Stalin. See "killers in white coats." The actual phrase "Doctors' plot," however, may be an invention of anti-Soviet propaganda.
dvurushnikdouble-dealer
vrag naroda enemy of the people
vosxishchenie enjoyment (eg. of something counterrevolutionary)
e^kspluatatorexploiter
l'stecflatterer
frakciya

frakcionnost'
faction

factionalism
"faction" does not always carry negative connotations, eg, later, the "Red Army Faction" of German progressives

"factionalism" -- disagreements in a subordinate Party organization, where neither side is favored by the senior Party organization.
fashist
fashistskij
fascist
letunflitter
someone constantly quitting one job for another, in search of easy pay increases.
Term employed during drive for "labor discipline" (1938-1940)
formalizmformalism
Sometimes contrasted to virtuous "Socialist Realism"
Ozhegov: "A trend in esthetics, art, literature, criticism, and other fields, opposing itself to actual tasks of social life, giving primary meaning only to form in complete separation from content."
fronda;
frondrstvo
frondr
(1) la Fronde
(2) (squabbling)
Frondeur
(squabbler)
(1) noble and bourgeois opponents of royal absolutism in France, 1648-53
(2)by derivation, Ozhegov:
[a bookish insult]
"Opposition to something for personal or group reasons; dissatisfaction with the present, limited to efforts to contradict and annoy"

bandagang
gromila goon, pogromist also, a non-political term for "burglar."
rvachgrabber of more than one's share of goods at workplace;
Term employed during drive for "labor discipline" (1938-1940)
nizkopoklonstvogroveling [before the West] Belief that some aspect of Western technology or society is superior to that of the Motherland
(a term often heard during the post-WW II drive against "cosmopolitanism").
prozhektrstvohare-brained scheming a charge made against Khrushchov, to justify his overthrow (1964).
(contributed by Lars-Erik Nelson)
namnikhireling
xuligan

xuliganstvo
hooligan

hooliganism
gienahyena
bezdel'nik idler, good-for-nothing Term employed during drive for "labor discipline" (1938-1940)
imperialist
imperialisticheskij
imperialist
razvedka intelligence agency
specsluzhba intelligence agencyfrom "special'naya sluzhba" ("special service")
politikanintriguer
proiskiintrigues
vrach-ubijcakiller-doctor In the "Doctors' Plot" hysteria (1952-53), Kremlin doctors were accused of trying to kill Stalin.
ubijcy v belyx xalatax killers in white coats In the "Doctors' Plot" hysteria (1952-53), Kremlin doctors were accused of trying to kill Stalin.
kulakkulak Wealthy peasant or other opponent of Collectivization (originally from word for "fist," perhaps because they supposedly grasped money in a tight fist)
likvidator

likvidatorstvo
liquidator

liquidationism
(obsolete: 1910s, 1920s)
-

From Ozhegov: "Opportunistic Menshevik movement in the RSDRP (1907-1912), advocating the dissolution ("liquidation") of the revolutionary, illegal party of the proletariat and rejecting the necessity of revolutionary struggle.'"
pomeshchiklandlord (agrarian), feudal estate owner
lentyajlazybones Term employed during drive for "labor discipline" (1938-1940)
lodyr'loafer, idler Term employed during drive for "labor discipline" (1938-1940)
xolujlickspittle (lackey)
lyumpen-proletariat lumpen-proletariat (from Marx, in German. German "Lump" = "beggar, ragamuffin, cad")
from Ozhegov (1988):
"In capitalist society: a declassed stratum of people, having broken connection to productive activity (criminals, bums, tramps, beggars, and the like)"
vzbeshivshayas' sobaka;
beshenaya sobaka
mad dog
Men'shevik
Men'shevistskij
Menshevik Moderate socialist rivals of Lenin's Bolsheviks, 1905-1923
proizvolpersonal (mis)rule
izvergmonster
MusavatistMusavatist member of the Musavat, a "bourgeois-nationalist" party in Azerbaidzhan, before the Soviet takeover in 1921.
ne^pmanNEP-man petty capitalist, grudgingly tolerated during 1920s N.E.P. era, but always despised by the Party faithful.
gnezdo nest, eg of spies, counterrevolutionaries, etc.
ob'ektivizm objectivism
(obsolete: 1910s, 1920s)
From Ozhegov: "False objectivity, viewing social phenomena as historically inevitable, not demanding evaluation from class and party positions, and not susceptible to transformation, active modification. Example: 'bourgeois objectivism'"
Notes: (1) As something reprehensible, this often refers to the belief that capitalist development is beneficial, especially in poorer societies without a large proletariat. It does not refer to scientific Communism.
(2) The young Ayn Rand almost certainly heard this term during her university studies in Russia. We do not know if she had the Russian version in mind when choosing the name "objectivism" for her own materialist, atheist, and pro-market philosophy.
opportunist
opportunistskij
opportunist Someone who would call Lenin a "dogmatist."
Someone favoring accommodation with the bourgeoisie over proletarian revolution.
tuneyadec

tuneyadstvo
parasite (persons only, not animals)

parasitism
melkaya burzhuaziya

melkoburzhuaznyj
petit bourgeoisie

petit-bourgeois
from Ozhegov (1988)--
"class of small proprietors, living by their own labor, sometimes also with hired workers"

a vague (not defined by Ozhegov), all-purpose put-down, often applied to groups competing with Party for revolutionary or leftist supporters, ranging all the way from Nazis to Bakuninite Anarchists and foreign Trotskyites, and everywhere in between.
May originally imply those who, misled by their own precarious status as small proprietors, get sidetracked from supporting capitalism's overthrow by the Vanguard of the Proletariat, the best guarantee of the future for all but a handful of super-rich exploiters
petlyurist?PetliuristFollower of Simon Vasil'evich Petlyura (1879-1926), Ukrainian nationalist, allied with Poland 1919-1920.
pogrom

pogromshchik
pogrom, race riot;
communal disturbance (India)
inciter or participant in pogrom
From Ozhegov: "Reactionary-chauvinist outbreak against some ethnic or other group of the population, accompanied by destruction, looting of property, and mass killings."
Note from the Ideology Dept.: In the West, the term "pogrom" became associated with anti-Jewish riots in Tsarist Russia. While condemnation of Tsarist reaction is proper, obsessive concern with rootless cosmopolitans is potentially reactionary.
otravitel'?poisoner
pol'skij panPolish pan "pan" ("mister" in Polish) is also a title of nobility
narodnik
narodnicheskij

narodnichestvo
populist

populism


Ozhegov--
"Social and political movement in the the second half of the 19th Century, advocating and attempting to achieve the idea of peasant democracy and the [direct] transition of Russia to socialism from peasant society, avoiding Capitalism."
Soviet historians respected 19th Century "Narodniks" as early revolutionaries, but had no use for modern ones; reliance on petit-bourgeois peasants was superseded by "scientific socialism," meaning Marxism-Leninism.
provokator

provokaciya
provocateur

provocation
The classic example is a police spy who incites violence in an opposition group, so that the government will have an excuse to suppress them
chistkapurge
vzbeshnnaya volch'ya svora rabid wolf-pack
revizionistrevisionist Marxist (eg Edouard Bernstein) who believes economic improvements and democratization in some capitalist countries make reform preferable to revolution and civil war; Social Democrat.
otshchepenecrenegade
revanshistrevanchist From French "revanche" (revenge).
Anyone (eg Germans, Poles, or Finns) claiming lost territories from the Soviet Union or its allies. Originally, Frenchmen seeking to recover Alsace-Lorraine from Germany 1871-1914.
I have since been told that the French word sometimes has a less bloody connotation than the English "revenge"; it may mean something sporting like a rematch in Chess.
bezrodnyj kosmopolit rootless cosmopolitan a Jew during Stalin's last years, 1948-1953
(See also "cosmopolitan")
diversant

diversiya
saboteur, diversionist

sabotage
sabotazhnik

sabotazh
saboteur

sabotage
samurajclass enemy in Japan ("Samurai") In Stalinist prose, the word is intended to be insulting, like "Polish pan" (q.v.)
merzavec

ot"yavlennyj merzavec
scoundrel, villain

inveterate scoundrel
korystnyj selfish, self-interested
progul'shchik shirker, truant Term employed during drive for "labor discipline" (1938-1940)
klevetnik?

kleveta
slanderer

slander
social-fashist
social-fashistskij
social-fascist a Social Democrat, except when the Party is promoting a "popular front" with all left-wing parties.
spekulyant

spekulyaciya
speculator (financial)

speculation
raskol'nik

raskol
splittist

split (in political movement)
shpionspy(from French "espion,"
through German "Spion")
zhulikpetty swindler, thief (contributed by Lars-Erik Nelson)
zastojstagnation Late 1980s term by supporters of Perestroika for the Brezhnev years.
Of course, the Party faithful would have even more pungent terms to describe the outcome of Perestroika.
prisposoblenecsycophant
terroristterrorist
titoist?Titoist Josip Broz Tito, Communist guerrilla leader of Yugoslavia, declared independence from Stalin in 1948.
predatel'traitor
izmennik
izmennik rodiny
traitor
traitor to the Motherland
trockist
trockistskij
Trotskyite Lev Davydovich Trotsky (1879-1940) was Stalin's earliest and most hated rival for leadership of the Party. Exiled abroad in 1929, assassinated in 1940 by NKVD.
trocko-fashist
trocko-fashistskij
Trotsky-fascist
trocko-fashistskaya giena Trotsky-fascist hyena
nevynosimyj smrad unbearable stink
gnusnyjvile
vlasovecVlasovite Used as synonym for "traitor."
Lt. Gen. Andrej Andreevich Vlasov (1900-1946), captured by the Germans in 1942, attempted to form an anti-Soviet "Russian Liberation Army" in alliance with Germany, but Hitler had no interest in sponsoring a friendly anti-Communist Russia
Vejsmannist- Mendelist- Morganist? Weismannist- Mendelist- Morganist epithet used by Trofim Lysenko to denounce genetic scientists.
August Weissmann (1834-1914)
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)
Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945)
volyuntarizm voluntarism Term used by N.S. Khrushchev's opponents to justify his overthrow in 1964.
From Ozhegov (1988) --
"1. Reactionary tendency in idealistic philosophy, ascribing to divine or human will the basic role in the development of nature and society, denying objective reality and necessity. 2. In politics and social life: subjective and arbitrary decisions, ignoring objectively existing conditions and reality."
belogvardeec
belogvardejskij
White-Guard"Whites" opposed the "Reds" during the Russian Civil War (1918-1921).
vreditel'wrecker originally referred to crop pests
yarmo kapitalisticheskoj e^kspluatacii yoke of capitalist exploitation
zinov'evec
zinov'evskij?
ZinovieviteGrigorii Evseyevich Zinoviev (1883-1936) was a rival of Stalin's for the party leadership. Executed in 1936 after show trial.
sionist
sionistskij
ZionistCan be synonym for Jew, especially since 1948

See additional distinctive insults by Moscow show-trial prosecutor
Andrej Ya. Vyshinsky

See some other (non-insulting) distinctive Soviet phrases and quotes.

A new "Dictionary of Russian Insults":



Insults and ideologically distinctive language
from allied socialist countries

The People's Republic of China, especially during the "Cultural Revolution" (1966-early 1970s)

Cuba's Fidel Castro
(only limited development so far)


Non-political curiosities

Dictionary of Nigerian scams
http://www.dochotrading.com/laddish.html


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