Russian Language Blog

Ways to Be Frustrated in Russian Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in language

You might have thought from the title that this post is a continuation of our pet peeves discussion. However, I would actually like to talk about the ways annoying behavio(u)r is described in colloquial Russian. Most of these words have a different primary meaning but are used colloquially in unexpected ways.

1. Па́рить

steamy teapot

Image from

Па́рить comes from пар (steam) and means, broadly defined, to treat something with steam. Don’t confuse this word with пари́ть (to float, to glide). Па́рить can be used in collocation with о́вощи (to steam vegetables) or но́ги (to give your feet a steam bath). Па́рить (-ся or noun in accusative) в ба́не describes visiting a banya, a traditional Russian steam bath.

The slang meaning of па́рить is to annoy someone, to tell something or ask for something in a tedious, cumbersome manner. Sometimes this also appears as “парить мозги.” Example from the Russian National Corpus: Не бу́ду тебя́ па́рить техни́ческими подро́бностямиони́ приме́рно одина́ковы у телефо́нов э́того кла́сса (I won’t annoy you with specs — they are more or less the same for all phones in this class).

2. Грузи́ть

Грузи́ть is to load; think of the word for cargo — груз. Гру́зчик is a porter — one that actually carries or loads and unloads things, not the hotel doorman. If someone is very tired, you can jokingly ask her/him if they ваго́ны разгружа́л(а) — unloaded train cars.

What does any of this have to do with being annoying? Грузи́ть is used colloquially to say that someone’s is testing your patience with their problems, by sharing something convoluted, or otherwise demanding attention from you.

Example from the Russian Nationa Corpus: Здоро́вье Бори́са Никола́евича не позволя́ло «грузи́ть» его́ дли́нными те́кстами (Boris Nikolayevich’s [presumably Yeltsin’s] health didn’t allow us to overload him with long texts).

3. Достава́ть

Достава́ть literally means to reach something or to obtain something. For example, “Ребёнок не достаёт до ве́рхней по́лки” means “The child can’t reach the top shelf,” and “Он где́-то доста́л биле́ты на конце́рт Мадо́нны” is “He managed to get tickets to Madonna’s concert somewhere.”

The metaphor for the slang meaning is getting to someone. So, to say you’d just had it with your job you can say “Рабо́та доста́ла.” It is often used to talk about people:

Я всего́ ме́сяц рабо́тала в компа́нии, и шеф доста́л меня́ со свои́ми приди́рками (I only worked for this company for a month, and my boss wouldn’t leave me alone with his knocks).

4. Выноси́ть мозг

Last but not least, I’d like to share an expression that brings a compelling image to mind. Выноси́ть is, of course, to take out or carry out: из до́ма вы́несли всю ме́бель (all furniture was removed from the house). A homonym of this word — also выноси́ть — is to bear or take something: мой отец не выно́сит э́той му́зыки (my father cannot stand this music).

Выноси́ть мозг literally means “to carry out someone’s brain.” The imagery here is that someone is overloading you so much with their convoluted problems or explanations (cf. грузи́ть) that it feels like your brain is being taken out of your head.

В э́то вре́мя мне упо́рно на́чали выноси́ть мозг, о том кака́я она́ молоде́ц (Around that time they started beating into me the idea of how great she was). The corresponding noun phrase is вы́нос мо́зга.

There are, or course, numerous other ways of talking about getting someone’s goat, some of them quite vulgar. I hope next time you come across one of these expressions it will make a little more sense. As always, feel free to share your examples below.

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About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available in English on her website and Twitter and in Russian on Telegram.