Russian Word of the Day: Наесться-to be full, to eat one’s fill

Наесться- nayest’sya

Я наелся (for males)/наелась(for females)- ya nayelsya/ naelas’

When you see the prefix “HA” plus the reflexive ending “ся” it has the meaning of to have one’s fill of something.  Add it to the word есть which means to eat and you get the very genius and useful word наесться. It’s typically said in the past tense or if you, for some reason, have an insatiable appetite you might say, “Я просто не могу наесться” (I just can’t get enough food). Some of my most favorite Russian verbs use this construction.  I’ll post them some day.

Babushka Zhana. The sweet little babushka that I lived with in Moscow for a few months.

Oh the many tummy aches I’ve had at a Russian table in my life because I had not yet learned the key to refusing food.  When I first lived in Russia, I lived with a little babushka that I was paying rent to.  She would feed me every night.  I didn’t speak Russian hardly at all at the time.  Our communication consisted of me looking up a word in the dictionary, me trying to pronounce it and her trying to guess what I was saying. Because I was new to the whole language learning thing I made the mistake of thinking I could just look up a word in English and its translation would convey the meaning I wanted perfectly.

So it was a major epiphany when I learned how to say “Нет, спасибо. Я наелась” (No thank you, I’m full).  Up until I learned that genius word, babushka would try to give me more and more food and I would say, “Нет, я полная”. Полный does mean full but not in the sense of being full of food.  I was actually saying to babushka “No, I’m plump.” Which was also true but was not conveying to her that I wanted her to stop giving me food so that I could hopefully become less plump.


1 thought on “Russian Word of the Day: Наесться-to be full, to eat one’s fill

  1. Bahaha, saying “I’m plump” is kind of super adorable. 😀 What a useful word though (and grammar lesson (now I can impress my fellow students… “impress” might be a bit strong…)).

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