Ten picturesque Ukrainian words which are spoken all over the world

Ten picturesque Ukrainian words which are spoken all over the world

Ukrainian language develops and gets stronger. Moreover, it enriches other languages in the world

The history of our language would not be described even in several volumes of books. However, it is still written because our history is not investigated enough. There are a lot of contradictions and doubtful, especially nowadays, theories. 

Ukrainian language has very unpleasant primacy as one which was the most suppressed and eradicated (during the whole period of history there was more than 130 official acts and circulars with the instructions to restrict it existence or destroy at all).

Nonetheless, our language functioned and functions as a living organism. It develops and gets stronger. We can already talk about the high level of development in our state and noticeable attention from Ukrainians and people from all around the world.

Ukrainian language is widespread in Belarus, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, the  USA, Portugal, Spain, the  UK, Canada, Latin American countries, Australia, Italy and Greece. According to the researcher’s calculations, more than 45 million people in the world use Ukrainian language.

As a result, Ukrainisms(i.e. words which are borrowed from Ukrainian language by other languages in the world. These words are fully functional in different languages all over the world.)  becoming widespread phenomenon. The largest number of Ukrainisms you can find in the nations which are geographically close to us. There are such languages as Polish, Russian, Belarusian and Romanian.

Picturesque Ukrainian words are also existed in English, French, German, Italian, Hungarian etc.

Ukrainisms usually mark our national realities, the elements of traditions, the items of Ukrainian mode of life. It means that in the mentioned languages they are exoticisms (the words which are borrowed from other languages to designate the realities of life of another nation). But they are also called ethnographisms (the words which designate cultural and household phenomena of certain nation in a certain period of its development).

Borsch (beet soup)

It’s a nice fact that Ukrainian words, which are exoticisms in foreign languages, become not just the lexical unit in the dictionary, but acquire also the practical implementation.

Borsch (beet soup)

  •  боршч – in the  Belarusian language
  •  borsch – in the  Italian lanuage
  •  Borschtsch –in the  German language
  •  barszcz – in the  Polish language
  •  борщ – in the  Russian language
  •  borș - in the Romanian language
  •  Borscht – in  the  French language
  •  boršč – in the  Czech language
  •  borscs – in the  Hungarian language

Varenyky (dumplings)

The largest number of Ukrainisms is in the Russian and Polish languages. They got in Russian in the 19th century and even earlier(bondar- cooper, varenyk - dumpling, halushka - boiled dough, korzh – cake, kozhukh -  shroud, khlopets – boy, khleborob –baker, shkolyar – schoolboy. Some of the words even forced out their Russian analogues. For example, paseka – apiary (in Russian – pchelnyk), sirnik – curd fritter( in Russian: tvorozhnik – cottage cheese), khleborob –baker( in Russsian – khlibopashets), sternya – stubble( in Russian: zhnyva – harvest), hrechka – buckwheat( in Russian hrechykha).

Ukrainism “varenyky” is also tookits place in the dictionaries of the Russian( English and Belarusian) languages and in the culinary culture of these nations.

Varenyky (dumplings)

  • Vareniks – in the English language
  • варэнікі -  in the  Belarusian language
  • вареники - in the  Russian language


There a lot of words which are borrowed to the Polish language from Ukrainian: hopak, bohatyr(warrior), vataha(gang), harbuz(pumpkin), guk, hukaty(to call), holota( beggarhood), duzyy(strong), chereda(herd), chereshnya(merry), hrechka (buckwheat), hoduvaty (to feed), mayachyty( to loom), sobor(cathedral) etc.


Hopak– is a traditional Ukrainian dance, which has Zaporozhian origin, and also its own Ukrainian martial art. Hopak is very popular all over the world. As the technique of implementation contains a lot of elements, which are widespread in other nations and similar to the military technique, this word didn’t find the translation in other languages but remain (as the notion) in our Ukrainian sounding.

  • Hopak - in the English language
  • гапак - in the  Belarusian language
  • Hopak – in the Spanish language
  • Hopak - in the Italian language
  • Hopak - in the German language
  • Hopak - in the Polish language
  • Hopak - in the Romanian language
  • гопак - in the  Russian language
  • Hopak - in the French language
  • Hopak – in the Czech language
  • Hopak - in the Hungarian language

Kozak (Cossack)

The French language enriches with the new Ukrainian words from the 16th century. Among Ukrainisms there are such words as porih(threshold),kozacks(Cossacks), kurin(hovel), sich, otaman(chieftain), haydamak, sotnyk, dzhura, starshyna(petty officer), bulava(mace), bandura, starosta(village elder),sloboda, khutir(a small village),borshch(beet soup) etc.

The word “kozak” is actually Ukrainian. It means a free, independent person, the defender of his own land, the seeker of adventures. Thanks to Ukrainian dictionary this word is perfectly established in the dictionaries of other languages in the world.

  • Cossack - in the English language
  • казак - in the  Belarusian language
  • Kosak - in the German language
  • Kozak - in the Polish language
  • казак - in the  Russian language
  • cazac - in the Romanian language
  • Cosaque - in the French language
  • Cossack - in the Czech language
  • kozák - in the  Hungarian language


Some linguists suppose that English “steppe” is an old adoption from our area. Maybe it came from Polish, where the word “step” is masculine as in our language too and where it went the same from us. In Russian the word step is feminine.

  • Steppe – in the English language
  • Стэп – in the  Belarusian language
  • Стер –in the Bulgarian language
  • Steppe – in the German language
  • Степь – in the  Russian language
  • Stepă – in the Romanian language
  • Step –in the Slovak language
  • Steppe – in  the  French language
  • Stepa - in the  Czech language
  • Sztyeppe - in the  Hungarian language


The specific Ukrainisms in English of Canadians, which marks the notions of everyday life, mores and the historical meaning(dumi "думи", Меtelitsya, Hopak — назви танців, bandura "бандура", borsch "борщ", Zaporozhtsi "запорожці", vechornytsi "вечорниці").


  • вечерницы - in the  Belarusian language
  • vechornytsi  - in Canadians
  • вечерницы - in the  Russian language
  • Chereshnya (Merry)
  • Ukrainism Chereshnya( the melodic name of the succulent berry) is found in the  Belarusian (чарэшня), in the Polish (czeresnia (trzesnia) and in the  Russian (черешня) languages.
  • чарэшня - in the  Belarusian language
  • czeresnia (trzesnia) - in the Polish language
  • черешня - in the  Russian language


There are a lot of versions about the origin of our ancient music instrument. Maybe this word came to us from Latin (pandura)  but, in any case, bandura is a typical word for our culture and history. But for us, it is known to other nations too.


  • bandura – in the English language
  • bandura -  in the Polish Language
  • бандура – in the Russian language
  • bandura – in the Czech language


The name of the widespread, fragrant and healthy crops not only existed in other languages, but also forced out its equivalent “hrechykha”.

  • hreczka - in the Polish Language
  • грэчка – in the  Belarusian language
  • гречка – in the Russian language
  • hrișcă - in the Romanian language

Syrnyk (Curd fritter)

Having forced out the word “tvorozhnik”, Ukrainism “syrnyk” also became the Russian word. This word was also borrowed by other languages.

Syrnyk (Curd fritter)

  • сырнікі - in the  Belarusian language
  • sernik - in the Polish Language
  • сырник - in the Russian language

Ukrainisms are widespread in other language but the question about the relationships of the Ukrainian language with different languages all over the world is not investigated enough.