Moskal (Москаль, Moskalik, Moskal’) is a historical term for Russians used in Ukraine until 20th century. It is also a family name predominantly found amongst residents of Eastern Europe. Moskal is also one of characters of a popular gathering in Ukraine Vertep.
Nowadays, it is considered to be an ethnic slur in the countries of the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire. It is primarily used as a slur in Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus. Similarly Ukrainian word Zhyd (Ukrainian: Жид) referring to a Jewish national since Middle Ages became a slur during the Soviet period as well.
Moskal can be a type of ethnic slur with a mild negative connotation.
- a historic reference word for Russian, or literally Muscovite (a person from Moscovia or Muscovy) to differentiate them from other Eastern Slavs such as people from the White Rus' (Belarusians), the Red Rus' (Galicians), others; used in several Slavic languages: Belarusian, Polish and Ukrainian, today it is considered largely an archaism and an ethnic slur.
- a soldier of the Russian Imperial Army (later the Soviet Army) in the Ukrainian language. People who were drafted to the Army were known to be taken into moskali (Ukrainian: у москалі). Because most of the Ukrainians after serving in the Army spoke often in Russian after demobilization, the word obtained its negative connotation and was applying to the person who lost his roots as well.
Another ethnic slur that refers to Russians, common in Ukraine, is Katsap (uk:Кaцап).
- Dictionary of the Russian language. D.N.Ushakov, M., 1940
- The Merriam-Webster English dictionary
- Edyta M. Bojanowska (2007) "Nikolai Gogol: Between Ukrainian And Russian Nationalism" ISBN 0-674-02291-2, p. 55: "In the 'low', folksy world of the provincial narrators, a Russian is a moskal ("Muscovite")", a foreigner and an intruder, at best a carpetbagger, at worst a thief in league with the devil."
- (Ukrainian)/(Russian) Search query in Russian-Ukrainian dictionaries