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Charlie Chaplain is not rhyming slang[edit]

Butcher's means 'look' and is rhyming slang because butcher's hook rhymes with 'look' Apples means 'stairs' and is rhyming slang because apples and pears rhymes with 'stairs' Loaf means 'head' and is rhyming slang because loaf of bread rhymes with 'head'

Charlie means Chaplin but is not rhyming slang, because Chaplin does not rhyme with Chaplain, it IS the same word. It is a simple play on words. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:4C28:4000:721:185:26:182:30 (talk) 10:11, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Moving definitions list from Wictionary:Concordance[edit]

I feel the article would greatly benefit from having the contents of the "Concordance" moved over into this article, perhaps under a secton "Definitions". It would improve the utility of the article by allowing people reading the book to translate terms. As nasdat has a limited vocabulary, the list isn't going to get any larger or become unwieldy. It seems like the "concordance" page is a bit of a backwater, and the information belongs in the wiki article. Any thoughts? Theinterior (talk) 02:57, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Is Nadsat really a constructed language?[edit]

Is Nadsat really a constructed language? Unless Burgesss invented a whole lot more than there is in the book, I think not -- it's a set of slang words: as the article says "Nadsat is in fact not so much a language as a register". Objections / comments before I go ahead? -- Tarquin 11:22 Jan 8, 2003 (UTC)

It's not a language, but it is constructed... See if you can somehow stress this in the definition paragraph. --Gabbe 12:24 Jan 8, 2003 (UTC)

Also, is 'Cutter' Nadsat? Only the tramp in the movie uses it (can yer spare some cutter?), and this is supposed to be Alex and co's language - Daveryan 22:17 17 Jun 2003 (UTC).

Cutter is used a lot in the book as money. The nadsat is much more abundant, making it very hard to read for the first couple chapters. -- 23:12, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes "Cutter" is also Nadsat and means "money". Here is the full list of Nadsat words trnaslated to english (from: )


Baboochka: old woman Bezoomny: crazy Bitva: battle Bog: god Bolshy: big Bratty, brat: brother Britva: razor


Cal: shit Cancer: cigarette Carman: pocket Chasha: cup Chasso: guard Cheena: woman To cheest: to wash Chelloveck: guy Chepooka: nonsense Collocoll: bell To crast: to steal To creech: to scream Cutter: money


Deng: money Devotchka: girl Dobby: good To drats: to fight Droog, droogie: friend


To filly: to play


Glaz, glazz, glazzy: eye Gloopy: stupid Golly: coin Goloss: voice Goober: lip To gooly: to go To govoreet: to talk, speak Grahzny: dirty Grazzy: dirty Groody: breast Gulliver: head


Horrorshow: good Hound-and-horny: common


To itty: to go


Jeezny: life


Kleb: bread Klootch: key Koshka: cat Krovvy: blood To kupet: to buy


Lewdies: people Lighter: drinker Litso: face Lomtick: piece To lovet: to catch To lubbilub: to kiss


Malchick: boy Malenky: little Maslo: butter Messel: idea Mesto: place Milk-plus: milk laced with drugs Millicent: policeman Molodoy: young Moloko: milk Mounch: food Mozg: brain


Nadsat: teenager Nagoy: naked Neezhnies: panties Nochy: night Noga: foot, leg Nozh: knife


On one's oddy knocky: alone Okno: window To ookadeet: to leave Ooko: ear Oomny: smart Oozy: chain To osoosh: to wipe Otchkies, ochkies: glasses


To peet: to drink Pishcha: food To platch: to cry Platties: clothes Pletcho: shoulder Plott: body Pol: sex To pony: to understand Poogly: frightened Pooshka: pistol Pretty polly: money To prod: to produce Ptitsa: woman Pyahnitsa: drunk


To rabbit: to work Radosty: joy To make up one's rassoodock: to make up one's mind Raz: time Razdraz: angry Razrez: anger To razrez: to tear Rook, rooker: hand or arm Rot: mouth Rozz: policeman


Sabog: shoe [Sammy's Dot: Underground publication. From Russian samizdat. Invented by Ursula LeGuin.] Shaika: gang Sharp: woman Shest: barrier Shilarny: interest Shlaga: club, cudgel Shlapa: hat Shoom: noise Shoomny: loud Shoot: fool Sinny: cinema To skazat: to say Skorry: fast To skvat: to snatch Sladky: sweet To slooshy: to hear Slovo: word To smeck: laugh To smot: to see Sneety: dream To sobirat: to pick up To spat with: to have sex with Spatchka: sleep Starry: old --> What about 'sofisto'? It is mentioned in the movie when they're back in Korova's milk bar, and it's not standard English, but even less Russian, I believe --Selach 23:00, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


Tashtook: handkerchief To tolchock: to hit Twenty-to-one: violence


To do the ultra-violent: to rape


What was vareeting: what was up Veck: guy Veshch: thing To viddy: to see Von: smell To vred: to injure


Yahma: hole Yahzick: tongue Yarbles: testicles To yeckat: to drive


Zheena: wife Zooby: tooth

--- Как бы его по-русски назвать? "Надсат"? "Надцат"? В книге этот жаргон ведь никак не называется?

Общепринятый перевод- Надсат.SergeyA. (talk) 23:18, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Filling in Ukrainian[edit]

I will add a few missing phrases in Ukrainian. Please feel free to change them to Russian for consistency, if there is a correspondence. Michael Z. 2005-03-24 18:14 Z

Looks like Ëzhiki beat me to most it. I think creech comes directly from the verb krychaty (to yell), and razrez from rozrizaty (to cut apart). And vino is missing from the list, which probably comes from Russian and not Italian. Saika is a typo; it appears as shaika in the book. Michael Z. 2005-03-24 19:18 Z

Vocabulary Section[edit]

There's already another article (Nadsat lexicon) which contains most of what's in the Vocabulary section, minus the word origins. I think it makes sense to move the Vocabulary section to the lexicon article and replace it with a link. Anyone agree? MFNickster 22:34, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Whoa! What happened to the Nadsat lexicon article?? Was it removed for copyvio? Do they have a copyright on all of Russian now? MFNickster 04:00, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

"Functions of Nadsat"[edit]

I've removed, "(The above passage should be taken with a grain of salt... because whoever wrote it has no fucking idea what he or she is talking about)," from the end of this section in the article. If the author of the removed portion or anyone sharing his or her views would like to write a reasonable cautionary note in the section—one, hopefully, consisting of any sort of rationale and devoid of objectionable language—by all means do so. DTM 03:35, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

I have to say that the "Functions" portion of the article isn't very encyclopedic; it's clearly opinion. If this represents a predominant critical view of the function of Nadsat in the novel, then references should be provided. --Starwed 22:37, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I have added more to the Functions section, and have critical views to back it up. If you look at the 2000 penguin classics edition of A Clockwork Orange, the introduction by Blake Morrison explains Burgess's intentions as regards to Nadsat. The Halo 1:17, 9 February 2006 (GMT)

The Functions section is still not encyclopedic, and sounds very much like original research (even if it's something that the poster read in an introduction or an article somewhere, it is all speculation, deconstruction, and analysis--not fact). I've added a tag to it in the hopes that someone will clean it up, but if not then I think we might just have to get rid of it. At the very least, if someone has the introduction The Halo is talking about, then we could present a very brief summary of that argument, prefaced by "____ speculates that the reason Burgess created Nadsat was...." or something like that. --Politizer (talk) 21:56, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Origins Contradiction?[edit]

Compare "It is a transliteration of the Russian suffix for 'teen'." to "The word 'nadsat' itself is the tail of Russian numerals from 11 to 19 (-надцать), a close parallel to the English 'teen'." These seem to contradict each other -- which one is the truth? -- Zawersh 01:14, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Somehow, reading it now, it doesn't contradict itself anymore. Oops. Disregard. :) -- Zawersh 07:48, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Not the name of the language[edit]

Nadsat is not the name of the language. This is a misunderstanding. Burgess uses the word Nadsat as he would use the word teen in english. He does not write anywhere that the boys speak Nadsat. The speak the Nadsat slang (i.e. the language of the Nadsat). It should be disambiguated in the article, that Nadsat is not the name of the language, but, at best, the name of the group of people that speak it.--Iago4096 13:42, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Isn't it more like Cockney rhyming slang as far as it is part of a language. In the book, Alex says to F. Alexander

'Oh, that', I said, 'is what we call nadsat talk. All the teens use that sir.'

Therefore, I don't think that we can say that it describes the people that use it, as it is actually a type of Slang rather than a language.

The Halo (talk) 14:12, 6 May 2006 UTC

Well, no. It is not the slang. Burgess uses the word nadsat as a attribute to connect things like (though not only) the language to the teens.

as in:

He didn't get nadsat-talk at all, so I said...


..., dressed in the height of nadsat fashion.

I propose to change the name of the article to Nadsat-talk or something like that.--Iago4096 16:15, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Firstly, sorry for the late reply, I was rushed into hospital to have my appendix out, and then forgot about this discussion.
Secondly, I see what you mean, and you're right so far as Nadsat does mean more than just the language. However, Wikipedia naming conventions state that the article should be named after the most common use of the subject (see Sandis Ozolinsh, and it's talk page which explains that his name is actually Sandis Ozoliņš. However, because the western world knows him by Sandis Ozolinsh, that's what his article name is.), which is why I think the article should remain as Nadsat. The Halo (talk) 09:51, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I propose we rename the English article to "Englishman-talk", the Spanish article to "Spaniard-talk", etc. etc. Heheheh! MFNickster 05:49, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
I think Iago's observation is a helpful one and should be added into the article.
As for changing the title though, too much of the secondary literature calls the invented language Nadsat for us to change the title. Yes, in the book nadsat is lower case, and is a substative corresponding to teen in English. As Iago says, it is not the name of their talk, it is their name for themselves autonym or endonym.
So, the primary source gives no name to the language, but the secondary sources give it the name Nadsat. We can't really title the article Nadsat-talk unless we have a Nadsat-Wiki, because nadsat talk is a phrase in Nadsat, not an English phrase. ;)
Alastair Haines (talk) 07:21, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

King James Bible influence[edit]

See here: [1] Jess Cully 23:51, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Burgess claims to have "resurrected" the King James "cadence" of English expression. Indeed, the "rhythm" of Alex narration has a formality to it. Perhaps I would prefer to describe it differently to Burgess, say as a "formal discourse register". But one really has simply to accept an author's description of his own intention, lol. Whatever it is called, it is not merely the vocab but an implicit affectation that characterises Alex' speech to my sensitivities. Sometime, undoubtedly a long time from now, I may seek a source that describes this feature of Alex' use of language. Alastair Haines (talk) 07:40, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Russian translation[edit]

At least one translation of Burgess' book into Russian solved the problem of how to illustrate the Nadsat words - by using transliterated, slang English words in places where Burgess used Russian ones.

Can you quote a reference for this? Because I know of a polish translation that used that same method, and was quite innovative about that, but don't know about a russian one —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:28, 23 April 2007 (UTC).


I wouldn't call him an anti-hero. An anti-hero is someone who does heroic things in less heroic ways. Alex isn't particularly heroic. JordanZed 14:38, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

That's a matter of opinion. And no, I'm not saying I think he's a great guy or that there are no characters in fiction that are clearly meant to be heroes or villains. Just that, well, he's a very complicated character and a lot of people I've talked to about this have had very varied views on the subject of whether he is a villain or a victim. Like Ned Kelly or Mick "Chopper" Read.--UrgeTheThird (talk) 11:19, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

This is unrelated to the article —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:35, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


A few possibilities:

  • Cutter/money: rhyming slang for "bread and butter".
  • Pan-handle/penis: maybe a coincidence, but in Polish and Ukrainian a pan is a man (honorific title), so this could be a clever joke for a linguist like Burgess
  • Skolliwoll/school: schoolboy form of Russian shkola

 Michael Z. 2007-07-11 04:59 Z

Agree cutter may be rhyming slang, but unable to substantiate. Could also have its origins indirectly in "bread and honey" (=money). -- 13:58, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

References and Original Research[edit]

I've done just a little work fact-checking and gathering a few quality references. The article, as at this date, appears not to contain original research, the facts check with reliable sources. There are hundreds or thousands of references available to source this article and I've found no serious controversies of fact in the literature. I've removed the tags. Personally, I'd like to see a few dozen entries in the bibliography. There'd be at least a dozen quality references available on line. Where do we draw the line?

There are some reliable sources that discuss the way Burgess borrowed or constructed words. This aspect of the article, which should be extended, needs to be scrutinised and carefully referenced. It's all too easy for any editor to offer a presumed etymology for a Nadsat word. That's just not necessary, professionals have already done it. There are, however, a few disputes in that. Burgess himself claimed there were gypsy words in Nadsat, I read one academic who reports not finding any such gypsy words. Perhaps Burgess was speaking casually, perhaps he was merely refering to Russian, German or other words he used because he'd heard the Romani use them. In any case, English, Russian and Romani all descend from a common origin according to independent lines of evidence and current academic consensus, perhaps Burgess anticipated them! :)

It'd be great to see this article expanded. Thanks to all who've worked on it already. Cheers Alastair Haines (talk) 07:02, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Link between Nadsat and foreshadowed Soviet invasion[edit]

I can't quite remember where I got this notion, but I do recall once finding out that the reason Nadsat has strong Russian influence is because they believed that eventually the Soviets would rule over Britain, and therefore felt it would come in handy--meaning they might be treated favorably or at least not get killed.

I'm not sure if this is right or not, but it should at least merit some discussion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:41, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Study on vocabulary learning[edit]

I removed the following from the introduction:

Saragi, Nation & Meister (1978) performed a study of vocabulary learning using Nadsat and A Clockwork Orange. They reported that subjects given a few days to read the book and no warning of a test scored an average of 67%, with the lowest score of 50% and highest of 96%.

It seems very out of context and hard to make sense of. What does it mean that "subjects scored an average of 67%" - compared to what? On what parameters? I can't see how this information helps anyone. Feel free to disagree if I'm off on this one.

Agree. It could be an interesting bit of information if it made sense. The Interior (Talk) 22:15, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Disagree. Can't find the publication free online.
Pay to read here
Score is correct match of word to meaning, in a multiple-choice test. % relative to 100% 'correct'.
Of course, the author may have meant someting other than the tester's definition of 'correct'! - Burgess objected to the publication of a glossary (in the US ?) edition.
Might have been more constructive to give the conclusion of the study than the % scores ? - People can gain vocabulary from context in reading.
I found quite a few papers citing the original, and repeating the results - notable ?
Maybe not appropriate in the intro, though.
-- (talk) 20:46, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Templates removed[edit]

Since a lot of references have been added by now, I've removed the templates. Sinatra (talk) 08:43, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Text Translated from the Russian version[edit]

Dear all, I have reviewed a translated version of the Russian page, here it is.

'Nadsat , Twelve (born Nadsat) - fictional jargon of British teenagers , described by Anthony Burgess dystopia in "A Clockwork Orange ." Has a predominantly Russian base ( shortly before writing the novel writer visited the Soviet Union ) . Most words nadsata is recorded with the Latin and sometimes distorted words of Russian language (droog « friend », malchik « boy », korova « cow », litso « person », viddy « see "), but there are also borrowings from other sources (eg London cockney slang ) , as well as words invented by Burgess . As a result, the perception and understanding of nadsata significant difficulty for English-speaking reader , colliding with words unfamiliar language , the meaning of which is nowhere in the book does not directly explained . Language name - Modified ending Russian numerals from " eleven " to " nineteen ". This is explained by the fact that carriers nadsata in " A Clockwork Orange " were teenagers (nadtsatyje) - « teens » (teenagers, literally " nadtsatiletnie ," or abbreviated - " slime », teens). Translated V.Boshnyaka nadsata most words with the Russian-speaking origin, just was not translated , though tended by the rules of the Russian language («drugi» - friends , «rvatt kogti» - ripping claws, etc.) . This was done with a view to somehow bring challenges the reader to the difficulties of translation of the original reader . In the Russian translation and transliteration changed words , though understandable, but still require some effort. Author of another translation, E. Sinel'shchikov replaced words written in Cyrillic Russian English words ( "men " - people , " yew " - teeth , "face " - the person , etc.) , but the disadvantage of this version of the translation is that English words are all too familiar to many Russian readers and are widely used in Russian slang . Anthony Burgess also invented language spoken by primitive people in the film based on the novel Roni Elder "Fight for the fire." In the film adaptation of the same name by Stanley Kubrick (see A Clockwork Orange ), the heroes of the film visit milk bar «Korova», where they drink milkshakes with psychedelics . The walls are decorated with inscriptions bar «Moloko», «Moloko plus» , etc. '

Note, I got this from Google translate, so it is a little sloppy, but after it has been fully analysed I think we will be able to translate this into proper English. — Preceding unsigned comment added by HistoryAddict2000 (talkcontribs) 22:08, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Pretty Polly[edit]

Many English-speakers who had never heard of a song called "Pretty Polly" would be able to tell you that it is a phrase typically taught to a pet parrot. Captain Pedant (talk) 16:31, 10 October 2017 (UTC)