Nov 10, 2008

Привет! Меня зовут Эрн. Я из Пиндостана.*


Hello! My name is Ern. I come from Pindostan.

The Moscow Times, Michele A. Berdy: A few years ago, the only vaguely derogatory slang words I could find for Americans were америкашки (amerikashki) and америкосы (amerikosy), the first rather affectionate (though condescending), the second more contemptuous (but still rather friendly). Ah, what a difference a few years make. Today, my fellow Americans, we are пиндосы (pindosy).

It seems like it was a word in search of a definition. It has richly obscene, vaguely comical and highly derogatory sound associations. Open your dictionary of Russian obscenities to entries under "П" to get a sense of the possibilities.

The search came to an end during the Kosovo war. Some sources maintain that it is the Serbian word for penguin and was used to describe waddling U.S. soldiers, weighed down by equipment. However, a quick check of an English-Serbian online dictionary produces pingvin. In any case, in the 1990s пиндос seems to have been Russian Army slang for U.S. soldiers in Kosovo. Then it began to be applied to Americans in general. And it's not a nice word. The most common usage is something like this: До чего эти пиндосы тупые! (Can you believe how dumb those Amuricans are?)

Where do we пиндосы (pindosy) live? In Пиндостан (Pindostan), aka Пиндосия (Pindosiya), Пиндосея (Pindoseya) or Пендосия (Pendososiya).


So, I gotta say, pretty weird, but I guess creative. And I do prefer being called this p word over the more popular p word.

21 comments:

Russian Navy Blog said...

I think its from Cockney rhyming slang:

Yank - Septic Tank - "pindos"

Makes sense to me.

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