Nadsat Dictionary
Reprinted from the novel "A Clockwork Orange",
by Anthony Burgess


(Picture of Alex here, eh.)


Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the book it's language. Alex thinks and talks in the "nadsat" (teenage) vocabulary of the future. A doctor in the book explains it. "Odd bits of old rhyming sland," he says. "A bit of gypsy talk, too. But most of the roots are Slav. Propaganda. Subliminal penetration." Nadsat is not quite so hard to decipher as Cretan Linear B, and Alex translates it. I found that I could not read the book without compiling a glossary; I reprint it here, although it is entirely unauthorized, and some of it is guesswork.

At first the vocabulary seems incomprehensible: "you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches." Then the reader, even if he knows no Russian, discovers that some of the meaning is clear from context: "to tolchock some old veck in an alley and viddy him swim in his blood." Other words are intelligible after a second context: when Alex kicks a fallen enemy on the "gulliver" it might be any part of the body, but when a glass of beer is served with a gulliver, "gulliver" is head. (Life is easier, of course, for those who know the Russian word golova.)

Anthony Burgess has not used Russian words mechanically, but with great ingenuity, as the transformation into "gulliver," with its Swiftian associates, suggests. Others are brilliantly anglicized: khorosho (good or well) as "horrowshow"; iudi (people) as "lewdies"; militsia (militia or police) as millicents. Burgess has not used Russian words in an American slang extension, such as nadsat itself, in the termination of the Russian numbers eleven to nineteen, which he breaks off independently on the analogy of our "teen". Thus kopat (to dig with a shovel) is used as "dig" in the sense of enjoy or under-
stand; koshka (cat) and ptitsa (bird) become the hip "cat" and "chick"; neezhny (lower) turns into "neezhnies" (underpants); pooshka (cannon) becomes the term for a pistol; rozha (grimace) turns into "rozz", one of the words for policeman; samyi (the most) becomes "sammy" (generous); soomka (bag) is the slang "ugly woman"; vareet (to cook up) is also used in the slang sense, for something preparing or transpiring.

The "gypsy talk", I would guess, includes Alex's phrase "O my brothers", and "crark" (to yowl?), "cutter" (money), "filly" (to fool with), and such. The rhyming slang includes "luscious glory" or "hair" (rhyming with "upper story"?) and "pretty polly" for "money" (rhyming with "lolly" or current slang) Others are inevitable associations, such as "cancer" for "cigarette" and "charlie" for "chaplain". Others are produced simply by schoolboy transformations: "appy polly loggy" (apology), "baddiwad" (bad), "eggiweg" (egg), "skolliwoll" (school), and so forth. Others are amputations: "guff" (guffaw), "pee and em" (pop and mom), "sarky" (sarcastic), "sinny" (cinema). Some appear to be portmanteau words: "chumble" (chatter-mumble), "mounch" (mouth- munch), "shive" (shiv-shave), "skirking" (striking-scratching).

There are slight inconsistencies in the story when Alex forgets his word and invents another or uses our word, but on the whole he handles his Russianate vocabulary in a masterly fashion. It has a wonderful sound, particularly in abuse, when "grahzny bratchny" sounds infinitely better than "dirty bastard".

Stanley Edgar Hyman
July, 1963


Your Ad Here
Word		Meaning			    Origins
Appypolly loggy Apology			School boy speak
Baboochka	Old woman		Russian: babooshka/grandmother
Baddiwad	Bad			School boy speak
Banda		Band			Russian: banda/band, gang
Bezoomy		Mad			Russian: byezoomiyi/mad, insane
Biblio		Library			Russian: biblioteka/library
Bitva		Battle			Russian: bitva/battle
Bog		God			Russian: Bog/God
Bolnoy		Sick			Russian: bolnoy/sick
Bolshy		Big			Russian: bolshoy/big
Bratchny	Bastard			Russian: vnyebrachnyi/illegitimate
Bratty		Brother			Russian: brat/brother
Britva		Razor			Russian: britva/razor
Brooko		Belly			Russian: bryukho/abdomen
Brosay		Throw			Russian: brosat/to throw
Bugatty		Rich			Russian: bogaty/wealthy
Cal		Shit			Russian: kal/excrement, faeces
Cancer		Cigarette		Standard slang term: ie. cancer stick
Cantora		Office			Russian: kontora/office
Carman		Pocket			Russian: karman/pocket
Chai		Tea			Russian: chai/tea
                                        c.f. English Slang: cha/tea
Charlie		Chaplain/Priest		Rhyming slang: Charlie Chaplin -> Chaplain
Chasha		Cup			Russian: chashka/cup
Chasso		Guard			Russian: chasovoy/sentry
Cheena		Woman			Russian: zhenshcheena/woman
Cheest		Wash			Russian: cheestit/to clean
Chelloveck	Fellow			Russian: chelovyek/person, man
Chepooka	Nonsense		Russian: chyepookha/nonsense
Choodessny	Wonderful		Russian: choodesniyi/miraculous
Chumble		Mumble			Invented slang: chatter + mumble (?)
Clop		Knock			German: klop/hit
                                        Dutch/Malay: kloppen/to hit
Cluve		Beak			Russian: klyuv/beak
Collocol	Bell			Russian: kolokol/bell
Crark		Yowl			Unknown
Crast		Steal			Russian: krast/steal
Creech		Scream			Russian: kreechat/scream
Cutter		Money			Unknown
Dama            Lady			Russian: dama/lady
Ded		Old Man			Russian: ded/grandfather
Deng		Money			Russian: dengi/money	
Devotchka	Girl			Russian: devochka/girl
Dobby		Good			Russian: dobro/good
Domy		House			Russian: dom/house
Dook		Ghost			Gypsy:   dook/magic
                                        Russian: dukh: spirit/shost
Dorogoy		Valuable		Russian: dorogoi/expensive, dear
Drat		Fight			Russian: drat/to tear to pieces, to kill
                                                 drat'sya/to fight
Drencrom	A drug			Invented slang: adrenochrome?
Droog		Friend			Russian: droog/friend
Dva		Two			Russian: dva/two
Eegra		Game			Russian: igra/game
Eemya		Name			Russian: imya/name
Eggiweg		Egg			School boy speak
Em		Mum			Invented slang: 'M' from "Mama"
Fagged		Tired			English slang: tired
Filly		Play			Unknown
Firegold	A particular drink	Invented slang: Unknown
Forella		Trout			Russian: forel/trout
Gazetta		Newspaper		Russian: gazeta/newspaper
Glazz		Eye			Russian: glaz/eye
Gloopy		Stupid			Russian: glupiyi/foolish, stupid
Godman		Priest			Invented slang: 'man of God'
Golly		Unit of Money		Invented slang: related to 'lolly' (money)
Goloss		Voice			Russian: golos/voice
Goober		Lip			Russian: guba/lip
Gooly		To Walk			Russian: gulyat/to walk, stroll
Gorlo		Throat			Russian: gorlo/throat
Govoreet	To speak or talk	Russian: govorit/to speak, talk
Grazhny		Dirty			Russian: gryuzniyi/dirty
Grazzy		Soiled			Russian: gryuzniyi/dirty
Gromky		Loud			Russian: gromkii/loud
Groody		Breast			Russian: grud/breast	
Gruppa		Group			Russian: gruppa/group
Guff		Laugh			Invented slang: short "guffaw"
Gulliver	Head			Russian: golova/head
Guttiwuts	Guts			School boy speak
Hen-korm	Chickenfeed		Invented slang: hen-corn
                                        Possibly Russian: korm/animal feed
Horn		To Cry Out		Invented slang: sound a horn
Horrorshow	Good, well		Russian: khorosho/good
Hound-and-Horny corny			Rhyming Slang: corny
In-out-in-out	Sex			Invented slang: obvious
Interessovat	To interest		Russian: interesovat/ to interest
Itty		To go			Russian: idti/to go
Jammiwam	Jam			School boy speak
Jeezny		Life			Russian: zhizn/life
Kartoffel	Potatoes		Russian: kartofel/potatoes
Keeshkas	Guts			Russian: kishka/intestines
Kleb		Bread			Russian: kleb/bread
Klootch		Key			Russian: klyuch/key
Knopka		Button			Russian: knopka/push-button
Kopat		To Dig (Eng. idiom)	Russian: kopat/to dig (a hole, ditch, etc)
Koshka		Cat			Russian: koshka/cat
Kot		Tomcat			Russian: kot/cat
Krovvy		Blood			Russian: krov/blood
Kupet		To Buy			Russian: kupit/to buy
Lapa		Paw			Russian: lapa/paw
Lewdies		People			Russian: lyudi/people
Lighter		Crone (?)		Invented slang: related to"blighter"?
Litso		Face			Russian: litso/face
Lomtick		Slice			Russian: lomtik/slice (of bread)
Loveted		Caught			Russian: lovit/to catch
Lubbilubbing	Making love		Russian: lyublyu/love	
Luscious Glory	Hair			Rhyming Slang: upper story/hair
Malchick	Boy			Russian: malchik/boy
Malenky		Little			Russian: malyenkiyi/small
Maslo		Butter			Russian: maslo/butter
Merzky		Filthy			Russian: merzkiyi/loathsome, vile
Messel		Thought			Russian: misl/thought
Mesto		Place			Russian: mesto/place
Millicent	Policeman		Russian: militsiya/policeman
Minoota		Minute			Russian: minuta/minute
Molodoy		Young			Russian: molodoy/young
Moloko		Milk			Russian: moloko/milk
Moodge		Man			Russian: muzhchina/male human being
Morder		Snout			Russian: morda/snout
Mounch		Snack			Invented slang: munch?

Your Ad Here
Mozg		Brain			Russian: mozg/brain
Nachinat	To Begin		Russian: nachinat/to begin
Nadmenny	Arrogant		Russian: nadmenniyi/arrogant
Nadsat		Teenage			Russian: ending for numbers 11-19
Nagoy		Naked			Russian: nagoi/naked
Nazz		Fool			Russian: nazad/literally backwards (adv.)
Neezhnies	Underpants		Russian: nizhniyi/lower (adj.)
Nochy		Night			Russian: noch/night
Noga		Foot 			Russian: noga/foot
Nozh		Knife			Russian: nozh/knife
Nuking (scent)  Smelling (of perfume)	Russian: nyukhat/to smell, take a whiff
Oddy-knocky	Lonesome		Russian: odinok/lonesome
Odin		One			Russian: odin/one
Okno		Window			Russian: okno/window
Oobivat		To Kill			Russian: ubivat/to kill
Ookadeet	To leave		Russian: ukhodit/to leave
Ooko		Ear			Russian: ukho/ear
Oomny		Clever			Russian: umniyi/clever
Oozhassny	Terrible		Russian: ukhasniyi/terrible
Oozy		Chain			Russian: uzh/snake (?)
Orange          Man			Malay: Orang/Man (c.f. the Orang Utan ape)
Osoosh		To Dry			Russian: osushat/to dry
Otchkies	Eyeglasses		Russian: otchki/glasses
Pan-handle	Erection		Invented slang:
Pee		Father			Invented slang: 'P' from "Papa"
Peet		To Drink		Russian: pit/to drink
Pishcha		Food			Russian: pisha/food
Platch		To Cry			Russian: plakat/to cry 
Platties	Clothes			Russian: platye/clothes	
Plenny		Prisoner		Russian: plenniyi/prisoner 
Plesk		Splash			Russian: pleskat/to splash
Pletcho		Shoulder		Russian: plecho/shoulder
Plott		Flesh			Russian: plot/flesh
Podooshka	Pillow			Russian: podushka/pillow
Pol		Sex			Russian: pol/sex (gender)
Polezny		Useful			Russian: polezniyi/useful
Polyclef	Skeleton key		English: poly/many + clef/key	
Pony		To understand		Russian: ponimat/to understand
Poogly		Scared			Russian: pugat/ to frighten
Pooshka		Gun			Russian: pushka/cannon
Pop-disk	Pop-music disc		Invented slang
Prestoopnik	Criminal		Russian: prestupnik/criminal
Pretty Polly	Money			Rhyming slang: Derived from 'lolly' (money)
Privodeet	To lead somewhere	Russian: privodit/to lead (somewhere)
Prod		To produce		English slang: shortening of 'produce'
Ptitsa		Girl 			Russian: ptitsa/bird
Pyahnitsa	Drunk			Russian: pyanitsa/a drunkard
Rabbit		Work			Russian: rabota/work
Radosty		Joy			Russian: radost/joy
Raskazz		Story			Russian: rasskaz/story
Rasoodock	Mind			Russian: rassudok/sanity, common sense
Raz		Time			Russian: raz/occasion
Razdrez		Upset			Russian: razdrazhat/to irritate
Razrez		To Rip			Russian: razrvat/to rip
Rooker		Hand			Russian: ruka/hand
Rot		Mouth			Russian: rot/mouth
Rozz		Policeman		Russian: rozha/ugly face or grimace 
Sabog		Shoe			French: sabot/a type of shoe (?)
                                        Possibly Russian: sapog/a tall shoe
Sakar		Sugar			Russian: sakhar/sugar
Sammy		Generous		Russian: samoye/ the most
Sarky		Sarcastic		English slang: shortening of 'sarcastic'
Scoteena	"Cow"			Russian: skotina/colloquial: brute or beast
Shaika		Gang			Russian: shaika/band (as of thieves)
Sharp		Female			Invented slang: Unknown
Sharries	Balls			Russian: shariki/marbles
Shest		Pole			Russian: pole
Shilarny	Concern			Unknown
Shive		Slice, cut		English slang: shiv-a knife
Shiyah		Neck			Russian: shyeya/neck
Shlaga		Club			German: Schlager/club or bat (more exactly,
                                        something you use to hit with)
					Possibly Dutch/Malay origin: slaag/hit
Shlapa		Hat			Russian: shlyupa/hat
Shlem		Helmet			Russian: shlem/helmet
Shoom		Noise			Russian: shum/noise
Shoot		Fool (v.)		Russian: shutit/to fool
Sinny		Movies, film		Invented slang: from cinema
Skazat		To say			Russian: skazat/to say
Skolliwoll	School			School boy speak
Skorry		Quick, quickly		Russian: skori/quick
Skriking	Scratching		Invented slang: strike + scratch
Skvat		To Grab			Russian: khvatat/to grab, snatch
Sladky		Sweet			Russian: sladkiyi/sweet 
Sloochat	To happen		Russian: sluchatsya/to happen
Slooshy		To listen, hear		Russian: slushat/to hear
Slovo		Word			Russian: slovo/word
Smeck		Laugh (n.)		Russian: smekh/a laugh
Smot		To look			Russian: smotret/to look
Sneety		Dream			Russian: snitsya/to dream
Snoutie		Tobacco, snuff		Invented slang: related to snout?
Snuff It	To Die			English slang: to snuff is to kill
Sobirat		To Pick Up		Russian: sobirat/to gather (people)
Sod		Bastard (idiom) 	English slang: from sodomite
Sodding		Fucking (idiom)		English slang: from sodomy
Soomka		Woman			Russian: sumka/bag
Soviet		Advice, order		Russian: sovyet/advice, council
Spat, spatchka	Sleep			Russian: spat/to sleep
Spoogy		Terrified		Russian: spugivat/to frighten
Staja		State Jail		Invented Slang: State + Jail
Starry		Old, ancient		Russian: stariyi/old
Strack		Horror			Russian:  strakh/fear
Synthmesc	A particular drug	Invented slang:  synthetic mescaline
Tally		Waist			Russian: taliya/waist
Tashtook	Handkerchief		German: Taschentuch/Hankerchief
Tass		Cup			French: tasse/cup
Tolchock	To hit			Russian: tolchok/a push, shove
Toofles		Slippers		Russian: tuflya/slipper
Tree		Three			Russian: tri/three
Vareet		To "cook up"		Russian: varit/to cook up
Vaysay		Washroom, toilet	French:  W.C. (pron. vey-sey)/watercloset
Veck		Guy			Russian: chelovyek/person, man 
Vellocet	A particular drug	Invented slang: Amphetamine (Speed)/Cocaine?
Veshch		Thing			Russian: vesh/thing
Viddy		To see			Russian: vidyet/to see
Voloss		Hair			Russian: volos/hair
Von		Smell (n.)		Russian: von/stench 
Vred		To Harm			Russian: vred/to harm
Warble		Song			English: sing, a bird's song
Yahma		Hole			Russian: yama/hole, pit
Yahoody		Jew			Arabic
Yahzick		Tongue			Russian: yazik/tongue
Yarbles		Balls, testicles	Russian: yarblicka/apples
Yeckate		To Drive		Russian: echatz (pron: "yekatz")/to go
Zammechat	Remarkable		Russian: zamechatelniyi/remarkable
Zasnoot		To Sleep		Russian: zasnut/to fall asleep
Zheena		Wife			Russian: zhena/wife
Zoobies		Teeth			Russian: zubi/teeth
Zvonock		Doorbell/Bellpull	Russian: zvonok/doorbell
Zvook		Sound			Russian: zvuk/sound