List of English words of Ukrainian origin

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English words of Ukrainian origin are words in the English language that have been borrowed or derived from the Ukrainian language.

Some of them may have entered English via Russian, Polish, or Yiddish, among others. They may have originated in another languages, but are used to describe notions related to Ukraine. Some are regionalisms, used in English-speaking places with a significant Ukrainian diaspora population, especially Canada, but all of these have entered the general English vocabulary.

  • Babka (Ukrainian: ба́бка), a sweet Easter bread (related to French baba au rhum)
  • Bandura (Ukrainian: банду́ра), a stringed instrument
  • Chumak (Ukrainian: чума́к), a class of merchants and traders from the area comprising modern Ukraine.
  • Gotch, gotchies, or gitch, underwear. Also gaunch, gaunchies in Alberta
  • Hetman (Ukrainian: ге́тьман), a Cossack military leader
  • Holubtsi (Western Canadian English), (Ukrainian: голубці́ holubtsi, plural from голубе́ць holubets'), cabbage rolls
  • Hopak (Ukrainian: гопа́к), a lively traditional dance
  • Horilka (Ukrainian: горілка), a Ukrainian alcoholic beverage.
  • Kovbasa (Canadian English, from Ukrainian ковбаса́ kovbasa), a garlic sausage. Also kubie, kubie burger
  • Lymonnyk (Ukrainian: лимо́нник), a lemon pie
  • Paska (Ukrainian: па́ска), a decorated Easter bread, also paskha or pashka, a rich dessert with curd cheese and dried fruit
  • Pyrih (Ukrainian: пирі́г),a pie that can have either a sweet or savoury filling
  • Pyrizhky (Ukrainian: пиріжки́, plural from пиріжо́к pyrizhok, diminutive from пирі́г pyrih), a generic word for individual-sized baked or fried buns stuffed with a variety of fillings
  • Pyrohy (Ukrainian: пироги́, plural from пирі́г pyrih), stuffed dumplings or pastry (from western Ukraine, where it is a synonym for varenyky). Also perogy
  • Pysanka (Ukrainian: пи́санка), a decorated Easter egg
  • Varenyky (Ukrainian: варе́ники varenyky, plural from варе́ник varenyk), boiled dumplings with potato or meat inside

English words from Ukrainian[edit]


Borscht (Ukrainian: борщ borshch), beet soup, also used in the expression "cheap like borscht".

Kasha (Ukrainian: ка́ша), a porridge.

Paskha (Ukrainian: па́сха, literally "Easter"). A rich Ukrainian dessert made with soft cheese, dried fruit, nuts, and spices, traditionally eaten at Easter.

Syrniki, sometimes also sirniki (Ukrainian: си́рники syrnyky, from сир syr, originally soft white cheese in Slavic languages). Fried quark cheese pancakes, garnished with sour cream, jam, honey, or apple sauce.


Baba (Ukrainian: ба́ба), a grandmother or old woman.

Boyar (Ukrainian: singular боя́рин boyaryn, plural боя́ри boyary), a member of the highest rank of the feudal Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Ukrainian aristocracy, second only to the ruling princes, from the 10th century through the 17th century. Many headed the civil and military administrations in their country.

Cossack (Ukrainian: коза́к kozak, while Russian: каза́к kаzak), a freedom-loving horseman of the steppes.

Gley (Ukrainian: глей hley, Russian: глей gley), a sticky blue-grey waterlogged soil type, poor in oxygen.

Khorovod (Ukrainian: хорово́д; Russian: хорово́д), a Slavic art form consisting of a combination of a circle dance and chorus singing, similar to Chorea of ancient Greece.

Kniaz (Ukrainian: князь knyaz', etymologically related to the English word king from Old English cyning, meaning "tribe", related the German König, and the Scandinavian konung, probably borrowed early from the Proto-Germanic Kuningaz, a form also borrowed by Finnish and Estonian "Kuningas"; the title and functions however of a Kniaz corresponded, though not exact, to more of a Prince or Duke), a title given to members of Ukrainian nobility that arose during the Rurik dynasty.

Kurgan (Ukrainian: курга́н "tumulus"), a type of burial mound found in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Tachanka (Ukrainian: тача́нка), a horse-drawn machine gun platform.


  • Katherine Barber, editor (2004). The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, second edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-541816-6.
  • Katherine Barber (2008). Only in Canada, You Say: A Treasury of Canadian Language. Toronto: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-542984-8.

See also[edit]