Morphological Peculiarities of Lexical Units of English Origin in Contemporary Russian Slang: Dictionary and Corpus Analyses

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The paper deals with lexical units of English origin that have penetrated into contemporary Russian slang with the emphasis on their morphological features. The spread of these words in the Russian language provides a scientist with a linguistically challenging material since the English and Russian languages represent typologically diverse language systems. To begin with, the research focuses on the ratio of individual word classes within the studied material together with the representation of individual grammatical genders throughout. As nouns represent the most numerous group of the adapted lexemes, the main emphasis is put on their morphological adaptation into the Russian language, and at the same time, their most common morphological features are listed. The following traits belong to the marginal ones from the point of view of word classes: an Anglicism may be a component of several word classes and the here-studied Anglicisms only exceptionally do not keep their original categorial meanings. Additionally, they display differences in onomasiological categories across the studied field. Morphological features of Anglicisms in Russian slang are the combination of Russian and English morphological aspects of individual word classes. Furthermore, words borrowed from English acquire grammatical categories typical of their corresponding counterparts in the Russian language. As a final point, most Anglicisms in the Russian slang undergo conjugation and declination processes (98,5% of instances). The possible utilization of the research is noticeable in the areas of comparative and corpus linguistics and translatology when searching for equivalents of words in typologically different languages. What is more, its results are applicable in the methodology of teaching foreign languages. The whole linguistic material is investigated in the framework of the online dictionary of slang and the text corpus Russian Web 2011 (ruTenTen11) with the help of the search tool Sketch Engine. To reveal the complex sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic functioning of the Anglicisms in contemporary Russian slang, further research needs to be conducted.

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The borrowing processes of lexical units within languages and their multidimensional integration into the system of the adopting language represent a wide linguistic topic. We realize that the utilization of Anglicisms in the Slavic languages cannot be considered to be a new phenomenon but in the contemporary social situation the importance and occurrence of these lexical units increase.

Speaking about the Russian language, political and social changes affecting the Russian society in recent decades have been intensely reflected in its vocabulary; therefore, the inflow of English words has been recorded in nearly all spheres of human activities. When borrowing lexical units, political, social and cultural categories are of higher significance than the genetic relation of languages. The proof of this specific phenomenon is also the penetration of words of English origin into the contemporary Slavic languages [1].

Theoretical background

The processes of borrowing provide a linguist with an interesting material that has not been sufficiently elaborated neither from the methodological nor linguistic points of view. However, there have appeared several research papers of general character and dictionaries of slang [2—4] together with methodological studies [5—7]. The studies explore the processes of borrowing new words taking into account communication needs; they do not address specific linguistic aspects of loan words. Alongside, Furdik [8. Р. 247] and Ondrejovich [9. Р. 79] discuss political and social implications that influence mutual contemporary contacts of languages.

As for the definition of Anglicisms, we arise from J. Mistrik´s [10. Р. 13] concept who treats them as language elements borrowed from English. Also domesticated language elements might be considered as Anglicisms, e.g.: джем, while numerous Anglicisms are substituted by home lexical units. Certain Anglicisms have been taken into the Russian language in a form which is closer to their graphic than to their phonetic structure, e.g.: лазер. From the point of view of their utilization we divide Anglicisms into the following three groups:

  1. widely used Anglicisms that do not have an analogical equivalent in the adopting language;
  2. widely used Anglicisms that have an analogical equivalent in the adopting language;
  3. anglicisms that create homonyms.

Generally speaking, a lexical unit is being adapted during the process of its borrowing from English while we pay attention to the following components [11. Р. 50]:

  1. the specification of the primary meaning;
  2. the specification of the secondary meaning (stylistic value; expressivity);
  3. the ability to enter semantic and syntagmatic relations;
  4. the inner structure (the ability to enter various types of new words building);
  5. the integration into the subsystems of word stock.

Remarkably, the investigation of individual linguistic features of Anglicisms in contemporary Slavic languages has so far attracted the attention only of a limited number of researchers. Initially, Oloshtiak [12. Р. 117] focuses on phonetic changes arising when an Anglicism is being assimilated into the contemporary Slovak language; alongside to this, Vepyova [11. Р. 51] studies features of Anglicisms in the publicistic style; finally, Hegerova [13. Р. 14] emphasizes that Anglicisms have established a strong position in the scientific prose style. Moreover, the public are only occasionally provided with an analysis of Anglicisms in contemporary Slavic languages; as an example, Horecky [14. Р. 264] discusses the behaviour of the word leasing in the Slovak language. Therefore, we hope to analyse and summarize the distinctive linguistic characteristics of the lexical units in question.

Moving to the specific field of slang, we focus solely on aspects that are significant for the needs of our research. Generally speaking, one cannot evaluate slang from normative positions functioning in individual languages; it seeks to operate in a language as expressive and evaluative nominations reflecting the level of social and cultural awareness of the given language community [15; 16]. In connection with the above mentioned, Mistrik [10. Р. 13] outlines characteristics of lexical units of English origin within the following terms: progressivity, language dynamics, terminology and expressivity.

The rapid inflow and spread of words of English origin in Russian slang might cause misapprehension in common everyday communication acts when identifying their correct pronunciation, spelling and meaning [17; 18]. Therefore, one of the principal objectives of this study is to contribute to the investigation of discrepancies connected with morphological traits of the studied lexical units.


Arising from the general morphological and lexical principles of the Russian language [19] together with the above-mentioned extralinguistic implications, we state the hypothesis that the Anglicisms in contemporary Russian slang follow the principal morphological principles of the Russian language; simultaneously, there appear certain irregularities under the influence of English. With regards to our research, we hope to answer the subsequent research questions:

  1. Which wordclasses are Anglicisms in contemporary Russian slang penetrating into?
  2. What are the principal morphological characteristics that Anglicisms acquire?

Setting the methodological basis, both linguistic and non-linguistic methods will be employed when conducting the outlined research. Firstly, traditional methods of not only linguistic research — analysis, deduction and summarization — will be applied alongside with the data of linguistic theory. To be more specific, we observe individual examples of the studied linguistic material from the morphological perspective; we analyse individual processes that occur when the speakers of the Russian language use an Anglicism; we summarize all the observed characteristic features under their traditional classifications. Moreover, the comparative method will be applied when contrasting features of these units in the Russian and English languages. The whole research process will be done on the confrontation basis with the implementation of the contrastive attitude thanks to which the specific facts will be distinguished on the morphological level in the Russian slang system on the background of the English language.

In addition to this, methods of qualitative research are to be utilized; namely, with the help of the classification procedure and distribution method, we will inspect the occurrence of Anglicisms in Russian slang in the linear row.

The material base for the research corpus is constituted by the dictionaries of slang in contemporary Russian slang (mainly the online dictionary of Russian youth slang). This study draws on 10 583-word corpus of slang words recorded in the online dictionary; in order to narrow the scope of our interest, solely the lexical units of English origin were elicited, namely 8 371 Anglicisms. The ratio of the selected items within the dictionary supports the immense influence of the English language on the young users’ communication acts.

As for the corpus linguistics aspects of our research, we will work with the Russian monolingual synchronic annotated textual corpus Russian Web 2011 (ruTenTen11) with the aim to identify recurrent patterns in which the keywords occur so that to examine their discourse functions and morphological peculiarities. In this aspect, we are to utilize methods of corpus linguistics together with statistical methods that are interconnected in the special tool for searching in corpus Sketch Engine. It is important to emphasize that on the one hand, the corpora allow the linguist to see the language in the discourse; on the other hand, the language samples provided by the corpora do not immediately display specific linguistic features it their most general way.

Broadly speaking, corpus linguistics is a field of linguistics that investigates languages on the basis of discourse; therefore, corpus linguists have to find a suitable sample of the discourse to work with; the sample called the corpus [20. Р. 100]. Corpus evidence and corpus tools offer a finer and wider perspective into language in use, into the understanding of how language works in specific contexts [21. Р. 6].

So far, the study of Anglicisms in the corpus environment has not been a topic of considerable interest; out of these reasons, we strive to contribute to the uncovering of this linguistically challenging issue. Our aim of investigating these works also in a corpus framework has been motivated by the claim that the linguistic material is best described on the grounds of examples that appear in natural discourse.

Another important point about the selection of Anglicisms for this study is the fact their number that could be handled here is limited. The aim has been merely to work with a manageable amount of information that is to be presented within this paper.

Results and Discussion

Generally speaking, from the point of view of morphological features, it is necessary to take into account several aspects that play a key role in the adaptation process of Anglicisms into the Russian slang. Within all morphological characteristics that are summarized below, we focus on the subsequent aspects:

  • realization of grammatical categories within the studied lexemes;
  • place of the studied lexemes in the subcategories of word classes;
  • the level of the adaptation process (e.g. inclination to conjugation and declination processes).

Place of Anglicisms in the framework of individual word classes

One of the primary tasks in this study is to state groups of word classes into which the Anglicisms are being integrated in contemporary youth slang in the Russian language. Their further features become unwound from this basic classification.

We proceed from the hypothesis that Anglicisms are incorporated into so called open word classes; parts of speech capable of accepting new lexical units. Proceeding both from the textbook and corpus analyses, we systematize the studied Anglicisms within the following parts of speech; it is crucial to emphasize that there exist differences in their numerical representation when taking into account the material sources of our research; this respect is depicted in the Table 1 below.

  1. nouns: аддон; енжайн; аддурилка; апгрейд; анкор; фид; апдейт; тэг; дэмэдж; пассворд (В этом случае расшифровать пассворд почти невозможно. (; фейк; файт; слэм; сайн; трэш;
  2. verbs: апгрейдить; цинкануть; бирить; асить; хайдить; килять; плэить; кликнуть; клубиться (Кто любит клубиться и не спать ночью этот курорт для вас. (; грейдить; заюзать;
  3. adjectives: биговый; удринченный; олдовый; флэтовый; форевный; гирловый; инфернальный; квадовый; дефолтный; лонговый; тюненый; труевый; сексабельный; пипловый; прайсовый; крезанутый; крезовый; кульный (Вот такой кульный девайс спаял на досуге Саня! (; шарные;
  4. adverbs: гудово; халяйки; рулезно; интершикарно; не айс; фифти-фифти; залуплено; лайтово; оки-доки; олдово (Ты сказал это олдово, ты сказал, это не в кайф. (; оффтопик; мутуально; рандомно; мейби; кульно; кулера; оки доки; попсово; кульненько; маняко бось; тип-топ;
  5. interjections: рофл; хай; яхху; ЗФБ; гудбасики; банг-банг; бгг; хой; фак; омг; рулез; сакс; мазафака; стапэ; бабасики; епс тудей/епстудей; омфг; велкам; сенькью; плиз (плиз посмотрите скрин ниже и скажите, что мне дальше делать (; лол;
  6. particles: труъ; мазафака; детектед; aфаик; ИМХО; oки; aдидас; oфф; рулез; форева (Русский рок форева!!! (ru));
  7. numerals: ферстовый;ферстый;
  8. pronouns: май;
  9. prepositions: –;
  10. conjuctions: –.

Table 1. Representation of Anglicisms in individual word classes within the contemporary Russian slang expressed as a percentage

Word class

Online dictionary of slang

Russian Web 2011 (ruTenTen11)































It is evident from the above mentioned that approximately 69% of all Anglicisms in the Russian slang are modelled by nouns. The phenomenon is considered to be of a universal character which is connected with the borrowing processes. It has basically two reasons [22. Р. 39]:

  1. the material essence of substantives as primary names of things, phenomena and notions;
  2. the quantitative state of substantives as the most numerous word class generally.

Giving thought to the representation of particles and interjections in the stock of Anglicisms in the Russian slang, their importance is insignificant. If we assume that the limit of statistical relevance is 1%, than adjectives and adverbs are still relevant form this point of view.

Our hypothesis about the integration of Anglicisms into open word classes has not been proved. The Anglicisms have marginally penetrated into the groups of word classes that usually do not acquire new lexical units — pronouns and numerals, but at the same time we speak about statistically negligible values.

The subsequent traits are the peculiarities of Anglicisms in the Russian slang from the point of view of their membership in word classes:

  1. Anglicisms in the Russian slang seldom belong to several parts of speech:
  • лафф has the role of a noun of feminine gender with the meaning любовь, transitive imperfective verb with the meaning любить and an adjective with the meaning любимый: Если у вас была лафф с первого взгляда; Я лафф эту герл.; Давайте напишем свои лафф группы (;
  • алсо functions both as a conjunction and as an adverb: (Алсо он об этом книжки пишет. ( Алсо, как развить такую же особую уличную эмпатию? (;
  • aск is classified as a particle with the meaning Да. and at the same time as a noun: — Ты сделаешь это для меня? Аск! Однажды арбатский завсегдатай провел альтернативный аск... (;
  • трэш functions as a noun with the same meaning as its original in the English language and as a particle used in order to express negative emotions: Вобщем, не сценарий, а просто трэш (;
  • хай-фай is classified as an interjection with the meaning привет and at the same time as an adjective: Сейчас использую эту карту с хай-фай стерео системой, и особых нареканий не возникает (;
  • фотожаба/фотожоп acquires the roles of a noun and a particle used in order to express dissatisfaction;
  • the homonym фак functions as a noun (На этот вопрос я отвечать не буду, ответ есть в факе (; interjection and a particle used in order to express dissatisfaction (Фак! Я забылa ему позвонить! (;
  • oмг/oмфг is labeled as an interjection and as an adverb describing surprise, amazement (Омг! Это еще что?! (;
  • рофль works as a as an interjection of laughing and noun with the meaning ‘человек с хорошим чувством юмора’;
  • мазафака has three functions: a homonymic noun, a particle and an interjection of negative emotions and attitudes;
  • рулез is classified as an interjection and an adverb; it is used to describe enthusiasm for something: Читайте докиони рулез! (ru);
  • маздай/мастдай functions as a noun and as a particle; it is used to denote a low-quality product or to express a negative attitude: Шварцкопф, кстати, маздай, я как специалист говорю. Шварцкопф маздай (;
  1. the lexical unit ваннаби, which is implemented as a noun (По этому признаку можно отличить действительного эмо от ваннаби (;
  2. )), has its origin in the English slang word wannabee;
  3. the lexical unit файфовый (it has its roots in the English numeral five) is applied in the function of a noun of masculine gender with the meaning ‘купюра достоинством пять’;
  4. the Anglicisms when integrating into the individual word classes of the Russian language keep the original categorial meanings, so the meaning materiality is in concord with morphological and syntactical features of nouns; the meaning processuality is in concord with morphological and syntactical features of verbs; the meaning qualitativeness is in concord with morphological and syntactical features of adjectives (the exceptions are represented by the noun суспенд, that has its origin in the verb suspend; the noun коннект, which has its origin in the verb connect; the noun oверкилл, which has its origin in the verb overkill; the noun фурри, which has its origin in the adjective furry).

Further morphological features of Anglicisms in the Russian slang naturally copy general characteristics of individual word classes both in the Russian and English languages and at the same time, the features are overlapping while the traits of word classes from the Russian language emerge into the foreground. The fact illustrates the predominance of the Russian language over the borrowed words. It is necessary to take into account that we deal with typologically diverse languages — the English language — an analytical type of language; the Russian language — a synthetic inflectional type of language which are related languages neither from genetic or geographical point of view. In other words, Anglicisms with their features do not fit into the paradigms of the Russian language, but when entering its word stock they usually (but not always immediately and fully) adapt to its grammatical categories.

Although the morphological analysis of this group of lexical units is limited to nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, interjections and particles (the remaining word classes have zero or nearly zero representation within the studied group of the word stock), it is obvious that they demonstrate certain characteristics, in comparison with contemporary Russian, which are denoted as typical features of Anglicisms in the Russian slang on the level of word classes.

The existence of corresponding morphological and connected with them semantic groups facilitates the borrowing process and the morphological adaptation of Anglicisms. For instance, in the previous centuries the semantic row denoting persons with a common element мен was created джентльмен, рекордсмен, спортсмен, яхтсмен, полисмен, at present, the lexical units бизнесмен, конгрессмен, шоумен, супермен, etc. are being added to them.

The final step of the morphological adaptation is the inclusion of Anglicisms into the valid morphological paradigms; these lexical units are capable of accepting grammatical inflections of the Russian language: стритна стриту; гирлагирлы; аскатьаскни; флетна флету; пэрентыс пэрентами; лукнуть лукни (Хвоста, продавца и гуру антиквариата, и сейчас можно встретить на стриту: ( The tendency to apply grammatical inflections has been applied in 98,5% of transferred full-meaning Anglicisms in concord with the morphological character of the Russian language.

In course of  the adaptation processes there exist differences in morphological adjustment of foreign words when we take into account nouns on one side and verbs and adjectives on the other side. The grammatical transformation of foreign nouns is realized mainly in connection with their gender meaning. There are various ways of foreign words adjustment to the Russian category of gender:

  • the loss of foreign inflections and their substitution by Russian endings while the gender meaning is preserved;
  • the ending stays unchanged but the gender meaning is being changed in concord with grammatical rules of the Russian language.

To conclude with, not only the change of inflection but also the change of base structure appears when adjectives and verbs enter the Russian slang [23. С. 148].

Morphological features of slang Anglicisms functioning as nouns

The Anglicisms which are employed as nouns in the contemporary Russian slang are assorted within the generally accepted classifications of nouns [24. Р. 10]:

  1. a) proper nouns: Юних; Адсенс; Ексель; Толкиен; Абибас; Рунет; Макфак;
    b) common nouns: aйдишник; юниксоид; емайл-моб; aнкор; aдалтщик; aйзы; aттач;
  2. a) concrete nouns: юзер; ежик; aфтерпати; aйпи; aддон; aддурилка; aська; aккаунт;
    b) abstract nouns: aск; юзабельность; брейкбит; aпгрейд; aпдейт; релевантность; брейкданс;
  3. a) animate nouns: юзверь; aльтернативщик; aвтоглюк; aутглюк; aскер; бабл;
    b) inanimate nouns: юзерпик; емеля; aйди; енжайн; aйкетч; aртбук; aйпишник; бан.

At the same time, the nouns might belong to several categories:

герла — common, concrete, animate noun;
сниппет — common, concrete, inanimate noun;
Адик — proper, concrete, inanimate noun;
скрим — common, concrete, inanimate noun;
aйренби — common, abstract, inanimate noun.

The characteristics below represent the most frequent peculiarities of nouns — Anglicisms in the Russian slang (we take into account number, gender and declension paradigms of nouns):

  1. there exist indeclinable nouns: икспи; айпи; фурри; фо фри; эмси; факйу; дэ-шесть; лав-стори (Попросите сделать для вас пробный фильм, пусть это будет ваша лав-стори (ru)); oфф; лавэ; флоу; лаве (only plural); Москоу-сити; схе; лытдыбр; тайм; aвтопати;
  2. all these nouns belong to the first, substantive type of declension:

мелкософт — declined according to the pattern завод;
пень — declined according to the pattern автомобиль;
мессага — declined according to the pattern школa;
мыло — declined according to the pattern правило;
емеля — declined according to the pattern неделя.

  1. nouns prevailing in plural (pluralia tantum): иксы; смайлсы; фомичи; чипчи; хиты;
  2. nouns existing only in plural (pluralia tantum): антенники; скилзы; битники; Винды (Программка работает под Винды XP, Vista и семерочка (; шузы; иксы; шузье; флипы; мани; фрики; куки; рельсы; гамы; cтринги; шаровары; дэнсы;
  3. nouns occuring only in singular (singularia tantum): инет (Почитайте отзывы в инете (;
  4. the Anglicisms are to be described under all three noun genders:

masculine: глюк; скетч; смартмоб; спинномозговик; стафф; стенсил; френд;
feminine: юзабельность; емеля; aддурилка; гайда; гама; герла;
neuter: мыдло; вайн; кемперство; ламо.

  1. nouns occuring only in masculine gender: бейсик; драммер; эникейщик (Родной, ты не админ, ты эникейщик как максимум ( (эникейщицы практически не встречаются);
  2. nouns existing mostly in masculine gender: диггер (хотя бывают и диггеры-девушки); ламер (хотя бывают и ламерши); лузазер (хотя бывают и лузазерши); клабер (хотя бывают и клаберши);
  3. nouns remaining equally both in masculine and feminine genders: гайдгайда.

The facts from the point 1 about indeclinable nouns demonstrate the extend of the integration process of foreign nouns in the Russian language within morphology. It is a peripheral phenomenon also in the case of lexical units of the English origin taking into account the morphological type of Russian with the superiority of inflectional elements.

In everyday communication a closed group of these lexical units functions equally in two or three genders as for the shortness of their existence in the Russian slang their gender has not been stabilized:

вайн — masculine + neuter genders;

fast food — masculine + neuter genders;

мыло — feminine + neuter genders;

таск — masculine + feminine genders;

ламо — masculine + neuter genders;

мыш — masculine + feminine genders;

ситуэйшен — masculine + feminine genders;

promotion — feminine + neuter genders;

last minute — masculine + feminine genders;

backstage — masculine + feminine + neuter genders.

The less frequent features (and very often noticeably influenced by the English language) are as follows:

  1. several Anglicisms in the Russian language respect the form of the English plural: варез; фрутс; скилз;
  2. few Anglicisms keep the original English ending and at the same time they acquire a new Russian ending:

гибсы, having the following meanings in the Russian slang: ‘1. oстанки — то, во что превращается противник после удачного выстрела; 2. разлетающиеся и вообще эффектные останки (в фильмах)’, comes from the short form of the noun giblets gibs, with the meaning ‘гусиные потроха’ + it acquires the pural ending of nouns in the Russian langauge;
тулза tool tools tools + a (Это тулза для проверки корректности установки Люних (;
баксы bucks + ы;
соксы socks + ы;

  1. the noun трабл, траблa, траблы exists equally in masculine, feminine gender and as pluralia tantum: У меня трабл/траблa/траблы на работе;
  2. the English noun мэн accepted the ending of Russian nouns of feminine gender: мэнша;
  3. the noun below occurs in two forms: with the English and Russian ending of personal nouns: косплейщик — косплэйер;
  4. in the slang there are nouns that imitate the structure of words in the English language with the affix ейшн: клипейшн; диктейшн;
  5. in spite of stylistic differences in the ending for nominative, plural, masculine gender — -ы (typical of literary language) and -a (typical of colloquial language), the Anglicisms in the studied material keep the ending typical of literary language, e. g.: Все ссылки на аддоны уже есть в гайде, просто нужно кликнуть (;

In the Figure 1 we demonstrate the representation of possible plural inflections expressed as a percentage taking into account nouns of English origin in the Russian slang.

Figure 1. Representation of plural inflections expressed as a percentage within slang nouns of English origin

In our sample, nouns (very often appellatives) are created also within these semantic groups:

  • proper nouns: Жоржик; Джонни Депп; Чаке; Толкин; Толкиен;
  • business marks: Вебмани; Жаббер; Интель; Ксерить; Ксерачить; Линух; Люних (Но акция Интель не сдвинулась ни на доллар, а акция Эппл выросла в 2 раза (; Солярка; Юниксоид; Соплярис; Юних; Гриндерсы; Дурасэл; Диси; Мак; Стилы; Найки; Енот;
  • names of computer games and their heroes: Варик; Дота; Варчик; Дэнжен-мастер; Дэнженист; Квага; Каэска; Квака; Квакер; Батхед; Урл; БР; Брейн-Ринг; Дайс; Дэнжен; (Обливион Ощущение, что народ ждал Обливион в другой обвертке, а орут это не Готика.; Кудвакер; Рельса; Халва;
  • names of internet sites and operational systems: Торрентс.ру; Рарить; Бат; Адсенс; Гуглить; Никсы (Unix + Linux); Линь; Люних; Ирка; Люстра; Рунет; Аська; Винда; Торрент; Мурзилка; Мазифака; Ютуб; Тормозилла;Башорг; Баш;
  • names of films: Вуди; Джидай; Терминатор;
  • names of songs: Гага;
  • names according to the keyboard lay out: ифырющкп — — according the Russian PC layout; лытдыбр (negative comment referring to a flat, trivial, banal text commented) — lytdybr — of a Russian word дневник given in the English PC layout by mistake; приветгхбдтнghbdtn; Хтмыл — Хтмл — HTML.

Also in reach of the monitored nouns we are seldom brought face to face with toponyms in the form of:

  • an appositional noun: Москоу-сити;
  • a calque: Средиземье;
  • a compound noun: Пешков стрит.

Morphological features of slang Anglicisms functioning as adjectives

The studied adjectives are classified as components of these groups of adjectives [24. Р. 31]:

  • qualitative adjectives: олдовый;
  • relational adjectives: биговый;
  • possessive adjectives: –.

English lexical units which become part of contemporary Russian slang functioning as adjectives accept in most cases grammatical morphemes of Russian adjectives, mostly the suffix -ов-: лонговый; пипловый; олдовый. All of them belong to the adjectival type of declination; they are declined according to the declination pattern новый of Russian adjectives: форевный; флэтовый; удринченный. However, the adjectives адалт; тру; хай; хай-фай and найс have not adopted the ending of Russian adjectives when spreading in Russian slang.

In one case, the original English ending -ish: ингриш (originally engrish) used in the meaning ‘incorrect, senseless and mistaken English ptrases in anime or songs’ has been remained.

Morphological features of slang Anglicisms functioning as verbs

All the Anglicisms — verbs — in the Russian slang belong to the group of full-meaning verbs: бирить; лукать; фанатеть (Ну как можно фанатеть от системы, созданной для удешевления автомобиля? (; лахать; ребудить; стопить; скипать; стрейфить; пиксить; пофиксить; крякнуть; прайсовать; кулемать.

Moreover, nearly all of them are categorized as personal verbs: спамить (Затем пошел спамить по группам (; цинкануть; сейшенить; квакать; флудить; дебажить; грейдить; джобать; джазить; гуглить; мониторить; жарить; мылить; кликнуть; кикнуть; килять; плэить.

There exist only three verbs within the studied group which bear the characteristics of a non-personal verb: колбасит with the meaning ‘an index of illness’ (Меня сегодня всего плющит и колбасит (; не гамает with the meaning ‘does’t work, or function’; депендс with the meaning ‘it depends on’.

Our implication that the verbs that have their origin in the English language become part of Russian verbal classes and groups has been proved (Figure 2 depicts the percentage representation of slang verbs in the verbal classes):

I class джобать; лайкать (Не хочу ничего лайкать и ставить оценки (; лахать; лукать; лымаряться; скипать; прайсовать;

II class фанатеть;

III class найтовать; перенайтовать;

IV class толкиенуться; кикнуть; кликнуть; крезануться; крякнуть;

V class aпгрейдить; aсить; бомбить; бутить; бэкапить; хайдить; хундерстандить; дебажить; разлочить; рарить; расфрендить; расшарить; ребудить; рулить; сейшенить; стопить; стрейфить; мылить; пиксить; пофиксить.

Figure 2. Percentage representation of slang verbs of English origin in Russian verbal classes

Naturally, one cannot find the verbs within VI—IX class of verbs and within 1.—8. group of verbs as these are non-productive classes and groups and they do not take new verbs and at the same time, isolated verbs do not appear in the analysed material.

Alongside with this, it is possible to create verbs belonging to two or more verbal classes from one English word base:

aск aскать I class — aскнуть IV class;

лавлавить V class — лавкать I class;

стебстебануть IV class — стебать I class;

найтнайтать I class — найтовать III class — перенайтовать III class;

ксер ксерачить; ксерить V class.

In the group of verbs we also encounter reflexive verbs: вейкапиться; крезануться; качаться; толкиенуться; колбаситься; клубиться; лымаряться. Alongside with this, from the point of view of the opposition reflexive/non-reflexive verb couples of verbs are formed from one verbal base:

gameгамать гаматься;

mob мобить мобиться;

stabстебануть стебануться;

стебать стебаться.

When investigating the origin of verbal individual components, we consider prefixation as one of the principal derivative word-formation processes that finds its realization when creating them within Anglicisms in the Russian slang: юзать (Раньше мне было все равно, но недавно стал юзать фоторекламу на блоге (; заюзать; поюзать; прифакиваться; залупить; засейвить; зафрендить; захайдить; разлочить; расфрендить; расшарить.

At the end it is necessary to mention that the following two characteristics are again influenced by the English language:

  1. the verb oфни is preferred in the imperative;
  2. the English verb го keeps its original form and morphological features (it does not take the endings of the Russian verb).

Morphological features of slang Anglicisms functioning as adverbs, particles and interjections

Adverbs which have been derived from English lexical units and with which we are confronted in the Russian slang belong to the group of non-pronominal (it means they are derived from other fullmeaning word classes): оки-доки; лайтово; олдово and predicative adverbs: мейби. Most of them have adopted the ending -o, typical of Russian adverbs: кульно (Не только интересно это кульно об этом знают все наши поситители; рулезно; попсово.

The above mentioned particles which are to be found in the analysed material are assigned to several groups of particles in the Russian language (e. g.: emotional particles, modal particles, emphasizing particles, etc.). Their categorization into individual groups depends on the context in which they are utilized and on their syntactical function in the given context. The particles have their roots in verbal forms, forms od adverbs, adjectives and interjections.

Morphological features of these interjections are closely connected with characteristics of interjections within the English grammar, where they are understood as a marginal word class; they do not enter constructions with other word classes with which they are orthographically or phonologically connected and at the same time, they do not enter syntactical relationships. D. Crystal [25. Р. 213] claims that interjections should not be understood as a word class but as a sentence type (minor sentence) as they express sentences, not words (punctuation marks indicate so), e. g.: Eh?; Yuk!.

By focusing on the inner structure of these interjections, they find their place from the perspective of:

  1. their constitution among:
    a) non-derived interjections: бгг;
    b) derived interjections: рулез;
  2. what they express among:
    a) emotional interjections: омг;
    b) imperative interjections: хой;
    c) interjections of etiquette: хай;
    d) onomatopoeic interjections: банг-банг.


The primary aim of this paper was to outline principal ways of morphological adaptation of Anglicisms into the Russian slang. The adaptation process is also significant from the perspective that it concerns nearly all the lexical units of our studied material, on the base of which we can prove the use and viability of these means that are being integrated into the grammatical system of the Russian language. The following example illustrates the implementation of several morphologically adapted Anglicisms within a single sentence: Вчера два лонговых мэна с длинными хайрами в шопе вайну задринчили (

When analysing Anglicisms that are becoming components of discourse in the Slavic languages it is necessary to take into account also the fact that the Anglicisms enter semantic relations with the Russian lexical units. At the same time, it is important to realize that the users of the Slavic languages do not accept the Anglicisms passively but they intuitively create the semantics of individual lexical units with the goal to satisfy their communication needs which might be both objective and subjective. And in this way the Anglicisms are being added to the units of discourse which belong to individual language styles.

As it is evident from our research, when studying the specific group of Anglicisms in Russian, it is crucial to understand that not all the lexemes have gone through an analogical process of implementation in the given time period. In other words, the process of the adaptation cannot be considered to be homogenous. At this time, one is not capable of stating strict rules of their functioning in the Russian slang. Arising both from the dictionary and corpus material mapping the given communication space one can solely refer to certain tendencies of the integration processes.

Regarding the stated hypothesis, it has been rejected — both open and closed word classes have accepted new Anglicisms; together with this, the processes of conjugation and declination that are realized in Russian display their materialization within the scope of new lexemes taken from English; simultaneously, there occur numerous pronunciation and spelling irregularities that might make the communication more problematic.

In conclusion, we would like to point out that the investigation of morphological processes within the studied area is not rooted in an absolute completeness of the lexical data as the word stock in contemporary languages constitutes an open system that is being developed and enriched by new words; we understand this fact as a certain limitation.

When speaking about the practical utilization of our research, the study is primarily addressed to scholars that carry out their activities within the scope of the English and Russian comparative and corpus linguistics. Moreover, the implementation of the research results is seen in the fields of translatology (searching of words equivalents in typologically diverse languages) and methodology of teaching foreign languages (mainly at universities when studying two or more language systems).

Considering further perspectives of our research, Anglicisms in the contemporary Russian slang are to be elaborated from purely linguistic (orthographic, phonetic, lexicological, word-formation, semantic) and applied linguistic (sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic) standpoints.

About the authors

Marta Lacková

University of Zilina

Author for correspondence.
8215/1, Univerzitna, Zilina, Slovakia, 010 01

Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files Action
Figure 1. Representation of plural inflections expressed as a percentage within slang nouns of English origin

View (7KB) Indexing metadata
Figure 2. Percentage representation of slang verbs of English origin in Russian verbal classes

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