The Russian avos' (Russian: русский авось) describes a philosophy of behavior, or attitude of a person who ignores possible problems or hassles and, at the same time, expects or hopes for no negative results or consequences. It is an attitude that treats life as unpredictable and that the best one can do is count on luck.
It represents ungrounded optimism and can be summarized as "Whatever, I'm sure I'll get lucky".
"Avos" (авось) proper is a Russian word that can be used either as a particle or a noun. As a particle, "avos" is close in meaning to "hopefully" or "maybe" (when talking of something hoped for and uncertain). When used as a noun, "avos" means "hit or miss", "hope against hope", or "something done under risk and in the hope for good result in the end". The avos' attitude is believed by many to be intrinsic to Russian character, just as is the notion of "sud'ba" (судьба) which roughly translates, depending on the context, as "destiny," "convocation," "fate," or "fatum."
- Avoska, or perhaps-bag, a type of shopping bag widespread in the former Soviet Union in the form of a netted sack.
- Divine Providence, a comparable concept from Christianity
- Shikata ga nai, a stock phrase in the Japanese language which literally translates to "it cannot be helped".
- Зализняк Анна А., Левонтина И. Б. Отражение национального характера в лексике русского. языка // Russian Linguistics, vol. 20, 1996.