Nadsat is the dialect/language used by the teenagers in the Anthony Burgess novel “A Clockwork Orange”. It is derived mainly from Russian and British Cockney rhyming slang. Stanley Kubrick didn’t use the words quite as much as they appear in the book in the movie because then nobody would understand anything. When you first read the book it appears quite daunting, even though it’s a rather short book, because it is so heavy in this language. To me the book started to become easier to understand as I am reading it but most don’t have that luxery. Apparently actor Malcolm McDowell, when given a copy by Stanley Kubrick to read for the movie (above: McDowell as Alex), had to read the thing at least three times to finally figure it out. Not sure if his copy had a dictionary in the back, but here is one for you.
Sidenote: Years ago I knew this friend from Armenia. They speak a lot of Russian there and I told her I knew the word for “milk”–moloko. She asked how I knew it, as she was quite impressed. I didn’t know how to describe “A Clockwork Orange”.
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? 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