Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Arkady

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 29 Apr 2002

> Carrie wrote:
> When I took Russian in college, we were counseled
> always to use the informal "mama" rather than the
> proper "mat'" ... the profs never told us what the
> actual phrase was.
> Mine didn't either. The closest they came was "Vash
> mat'," meaning "Yo' mama," but humorlessly. I think I
> once found out the verb but the wind done took it.
> Cheers,
> Sally
The Yugoslav languages, closely related to Russian, have the same (or very similar) expression. It is one of, if not the, most common obscenities used and it means exactly what Carrie suspected it does. I don't know why the more formal word for mother is almost invariably used in this context and rarely in others. (In Croatian and hence probably in Serbian & Bosnian at the least, the words for mother are "majka" (pron.
"my-ka", roughly) and "mater", the latter being the more formal one).(In Croatian, they often throw in "pas", meaning dog/bitch, as an adjective
: "[offensive verb] ti pas mater")


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