Andrey Shilov at WordPress

The notes of a journalist working in Europe for Russian TV

“Na zdarofie!”

with one comment


I wonder who is the author of this phrase. Really.


Every single foreigner drinking and playing a la Russe says “Na zdarofie!” Why? The meaning is far from “Cheers!” (which people mean). “You are welcome”, that’s what it means. It is what a doctor can say in Russia to patient’s “thanks”, or one can hear it in a pharmacy, again as a reply to “thank you”.


I heard “Na zdarovie” from Brits, French and just recently from Germans – there must be an explanation! So far I have two versions, both from the readers of my Russian language blog:

-it is a quotation from another Slavic language;

-people once heard ‘Za zdorovie’ and made mistake.

Yeah, everybody makes the same mistake everywhere… I am really puzzled.


P.S. Drinking Russians say very many different things, an article can be written on the topic. Among the most well known are:

“Cheers!” (literally “For your health” – “Vashe zdorovie”)

“Let dreams come true” (“Za sbychu mecht”)

“For all of us and f*** them” (“Za nas s vami I khren s nimi”)

“For the ladies present” (unpronounceable “Za prisutstvuyuschikh zdies dam”)


Written by andreyshilov

November 9, 2008 at 12:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. same here! – I have to explain it every time taht this is not the way we say it in Russian. I guess it is Polish?


    November 19, 2008 at 4:16 pm

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