Russian Word of the Day: Морда-mug/snout


This week’s theme is fun words for body parts. None of the words are vulgar.  You can find those carved into the walls of Metro cars. Some of the words featured this week can have a more harsh meaning. I trust that my readers will realize that there is a particular time and place to use these so as not to offend anyone.

So the literal translation of морда is a snout, like an animal has. So if you refer to a human as having a морда you can imagine it’s not very nice.  However, between friends this term can be used jokingly.

One of my Ukrainian friends was staying with me and we decided that together we would call our other Ukrainian friend who was in Ukraine.  When we started to talk Sasha had still not turned on his video so my friend said, “Давай Саша, дай нам морду смотреть”  “Come on Sasha, let us see your mug”.

Obviously this was said among friends and no one took offense.  Neither of these friends was ugly nor had a complex about being ugly.  These are basic social skills that transcend language.

But if for some reason you really want to explain just how ugly someone is you could use the following idiom:

“У него морда кирпича просит” “He has a face that could stop a clock.” Literally “His snout is asking for a brick”.

But be careful if you say that to someone they just may дадут тебе в морду. “Punch you in the snout”.

And I will not be held responsible for any damage done because of offensive uses of this word.

2 thoughts on “Russian Word of the Day: Морда-mug/snout

  1. Как насчет выражение “сделать морду кирпичом”? В таком нет ничего обидного, правда?

    1. Правда. Это просто выражение.

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