What a special lexicon invented the Soviet military in Afghanistan

Another 28/01/20 What a special lexicon came up with the Soviet war in Afghanistan

In the lexicon of the “Afghans” were a few hundred of polysemantic words understandable only to those who served in the limited contingent of Soviet troops in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (OKSVA). Subsequently, some of them are used in speaking and during other military conflicts on the territory of Russia and abroad, as well as in civilian life.

In the “Afghan” jargon to thousands (and maybe more) lexemes, so in this article we confine ourselves to those words their usual meaning which is well known.

a breakdown of the sense-groups

Doctor of Philology Boris Boyko in his book on the slang of soldiers OKSVA collected hundreds of these ambiguous words. Your vocabulary was also a former Deputy chief of Department of criminal investigation Department of the Astrakhan oblast Executive Committee police captain Anatoly Voronin (he served in Afghanistan, adviser, participated in the 26 military operations, 9 of them are large).

Classifying the data token according to the “civil functions”, they can be divided into several semantic groups: “food”, “Things and their parts”, “performance and action” and others.


“Yogurt” in Afghanistan was called diesel fuel, “milk” — a kerosene, and a “pear” — a mortar mine. By the way, dairy products in the “Afghan” jargon was especially popular in the name of fuel and lubricants — gasoline, for example, it’s called “sour cream”. The zinc coffins were “canned” (another meaning mine), and “chekushku” (or so called bottle of vodka with a capacity of 0.25 liters) — the shop voentorgovsky in Afghanistan, where they sold the goods in the Vneshposyltorg checks. “Berries” were dignify people, “eggs” — rollers ahead of the APC or tank for disposal of bombs and mines.

“Things and their parts”

“Belushka” — kick, punch (in the old days the so-called wooden blanks for making spoons), “beret” paratrooper, “Board” a plane or helicopter (aka “spinner”). Barrel called a temporary place to live, it had a cylindrical form, “armor” — BMP (aka “box”), an armored personnel carrier. “Hanger” — the plight of, respectively, “hung” is to get into a similar situation. Barbed wire was just a “thorn”.

The flight helmet had the nickname “the pot”, the Deputy commander of a platoon — “the castle”. Cigarette with the drug is “school”, “piece” — the ensign, “bra” is a special vest where he kept the ammunition, and “samovars” there called mortars. “Strings” was called column one, “the thread” — it is the same, but accompanied by armored personnel carriers. The “cigar” in Afghanistan called Nursi — unguided missiles, “pipe” — the MiG, “plywood” — all cars (due to the lack of protection from bullets and fragments); “barge” traffic special vehicle. “Scoop” is the status of conscripts with “seniority” from one year to eighteen months. “Sword” was called aircraft exhaust alcohol.

the Token “star” in the jargon of “Afghans” had two meanings — so we could call and order “the red Star”, and officers (when the term is used in the plural). “Banner”, respectively, called the order “the red banner”. By the way, the “Afghans” had their own meaning of the word “order” — a bruise from a blow to the chest.

“the Characteristics and actions”

“little White” from “Afghans” were pills with the drug or toxic action, the “bearded” — Mujahideen (Mujahideen), and “cheerful” were called MiG-21. “Fly” meant to hit a mine, “take” — to train young pilots. “Hynotize” (“fly”) — to die, to die. “Like” to smoke a cigarette with the drug (“batter” to “high” — derived jargon). “Score” — to cripple, to destroy. “Green” — the government troops of AFGHANISTAN.

“People, animals, birds, insects, pasthenia”

“Bull” — it is ammunition, “cats” — a device by which the mines extracted from the earth, “crocodile” — MI-24, the “elephant” tank Vasilek automatic mortar. “Citizen” — life before and after military service, “the citizen” — the conscript, preparing for dismissal. “Rook” — the su-25, “grouse” — vest, mosquito — emergency radio station of the same name, “grandfather” — conscripts who served more than 1.5 years, the “youth” — the call of the first 6 months of service.

This is not a complete list of the jargon used in Afghanistan who fought the Soviet troops. Almost every frequent concept (determining effect), as well as household items, weapons, etc, got their own “Afghan” period of designation.

Nicholas Syromyatnikov

© Russian Seven

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