Matsur - cat, tsimborka - girl: interesting words from different regions of Ukraine

Albina PanchenkoLife
Interesting Ukrainian dialectisms

You can spend your whole life learning Ukrainian, communicating only with it, reading books and calling yourself an expert, and then go outside your region and "sprinkle" on the words "tormozok," "filizhanka" or "kastrushchik". And no wonder, because different parts of our state have been influenced by Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian and who knows what other cultures in the course of history. Let's take a short linguistic journey.


Perhaps no other region can boast such an array of unusual and very striking words. Here are a few of them:

  • "Grizachka"

What does this word remind you of? Perhaps a dog picking on your new jeans. Or, for example, a false jaw. Not at all! We're talking about the symbol of summer - the watermelon. We were a little surprised, too (not a little).

  • "Matzur"

We're not even going to try to build an associative line, because we're sure to come to a dead end. Let's face it: it's just a cat.

  • "Palynka"

Hint: this drink will make your soul sing and your feet begin to dance. It is, of course, vodka. But not just any vodka, but fruit vodka. This is the most common name for moonshine.

  • "Pogar"

Where there's palyanka, there's pogar. As you might have guessed, that's what the locals call the glasses.

  • "Cymborka"

And finally, the word that we liked the most. It has a simple and clear meaning - a girl.


Donetsk Oblast

If you think that all the wacky words in the Donbass are nothing more than surzhik, you're wrong. Local linguistics is quite interesting and has its own twists and turns.

  • "Kuporka"

This word is perfectly understood by residents of Donbass and sometimes Kharkov. But outside of these areas, people can't even guess what it means. It's simple: this is the eastern name for home preserves (canned foods, to put it simply).

  • "Brovka"

This word has nothing to do with eyebrows. The inhabitants of the Donetsk region call brovkas a curb.

  • "Tormozok"

It's not about stupid people, as you might think. It is a tasty and hearty snack that people take with them to work or to school. It usually consists of sandwiches, boiled eggs, and fresh vegetables. But it all depends on personal preference.


Kharkiv Region

The residents of Kharkiv can also surprise you with their philological tricks. Despite stereotypes, not all residents of the region are Russian-speaking, so Ukrainian can be heard here at every turn. As well as unusual dialectisms.

  • "Trempel"

Let's not lie, this word is also known outside the region. But not because it is actively used in different regions, but because of the numerous memes in social networks. Its literary equivalent is a hanger.

  • "Syavka"

No, this is not a friendly abbreviation of Vyacheslav's name. That's what the locals call hooligans. The word, by the way, came from criminal slang, where it was used to call inexperienced criminals.

  • "Zmeika"

The word is known to all the inhabitants of the eastern regions. It does not refer to a reptile, but to a zipper on a garment.



Don't even try to prove to Odessans that they use dialectisms. First, they will be terribly offended, and second, they will easily convince you that this is just the language of Odessa. Thanks to it, the inhabitants of this region can recognize each other even abroad.

  • "Farmazon"

Sounds like some kind of cough medicine. But in fact, that's what pathological liars are called.

  • "Kastrulshchik"

This man has nothing to do with dishes or cooking at all. He is in the private carrier business.

  • "Rachki"

No, this is not candy from our childhood, and certainly not crayfish. That's what the people of Odessa call shrimp.



An incredibly beautiful region, most of whose inhabitants believe that their language is the real Ukrainian. However, tourists who come here often do not understand what the locals are talking about at all. The fact is that dialectisms are constantly used here.

  • "Lyubaska"

It is a name for a mistress or a divorcée. The word is sharply negative, so it is also used to call a woman.

  • "Obrus"

If we tell you that almost every home has one, you still wouldn't guess what it is. We tell you: it's an ordinary tablecloth.

  • "Plyacki of bulbas"

Here it's very simple. That's what the people of Galicia call deruny.

  • "Firanka"

You may have heard this word in other regions as well. But it rightfully belongs to the Galicians. That's what they call curtains here.


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