Can 'попустись' be translated as 'forget it?'

  • 3
    I think it's more like "chill" or "relax" – InitK Sep 24 '15 at 15:23
  • 5
    Also, the only way really to know what would be correct translation is to provide some example of usage. – InitK Sep 24 '15 at 15:30
  • It is listed as a synonym for 'forget it' on Tatoeba tatoeba.org/eng/sentences/show/1174316 – Конрад Sep 24 '15 at 17:07
  • It's slang, you would use it to tell someone to chill out/take it easy. – akapela Sep 25 '15 at 2:56

The original meaning of the word "попускать" is to allow something to happen. In my lifetime I have not heard it used that way. The meaning you are referring to seems to come from Ukrainian Russian speakers and has a darker meaning.

"попускать кого-то" means to humiliate someone. It is not proper Russian though, and comes from Ukrainian slang.

Consequently, when you tell that annoying guy at the nightclub "Попустись!" - "Piss off!" would be a much more accurate translation.

If you are telling your annoyed and agitated friend "Попустись немного", you can translate that as "Chillax/Let it go/Forget it". How your friend will take it depends of your tome of voice and how close you are.

  • Are you sure you aren't talking about "опускать кого-то"? – Alissa Oct 13 '15 at 15:26
  • I am sure I am talking about "попускать кого-то", but you are right as well. I can't, however, prove my point with any good link. The most recent definition I found is this one efremova.info/word/popuskat.html#.Vh0mzuyqp8M The lady here otvet.mail.ru/question/69527068 proves that I am not alone in my observation. – Pasha Syrnikov Oct 13 '15 at 15:47
  • As far as I see, "попустить" means to humiliate someone only in Ukrainian, but not in Russian. All Russian meanings that I found in these links are something like "let someone do things that usually are not allowed" – Alissa Oct 13 '15 at 15:54
  • "попустить" is not a Ukrainian word, nor is it used in Ukrainian language. It is, however, used by speakers of Russian language in the country of Ukraine. I did explain that the translation I am familiar with is not in any vocabulary that I could find. Unfortunately, Russian slang is not well documented. – Pasha Syrnikov Oct 13 '15 at 18:23

It seems you're digging into some kind of slang. Попустить is quite outdated verb which means to tolerate, not to prevent. And there's no reflexive counterpart "попуститься" at all. And reflexive form "попуститься" is found on truly rare occasions only.

Searching on the web shows that there's "teenage slang" word "попустись" which means relax, take it easy. But I must say I never heard this expression myself.

  • 1
    There is the verb попуститься, look here. And it is widely used in teenage slang, I hear it often. – Yellow Sky Sep 24 '15 at 15:56
  • @YellowSky Ну ладно, стало быть есть. Экзотично звучит, конечно. Ну а слэнг - наверное, у меня неправильные знакомые ;) – Matt Sep 24 '15 at 16:41
Semantic sense of "Попустить" in russian:
It's derivative / rural synonym from word "Отпустить"
prefix "по" in word "ПО_пустить" gives 
some symantic tinge to stepped and immediate action to end of release.

For example:
Наконец-то начало попускать. ( По-степенно отпускать. )
Наконец-то попустило. ( Произошло окончательное действие - отпустило)


I'd say it depends on context - it can be anything from gentle "let it go" to mild "chill out" or "relax" to harsh "stand down".


There is also another meaning (slang one). "Попустись" is used when someone is high and has some weird ideas, and you want him to get sober before talking about the matter. Other use will be when someone gets paranoid because of being high, and you want to say that his paranoid thoughts are brought by drugs and probably have nothing to do with reality.

Also "попустись" can be used to say that some ideas are totally crazy, or over-complicated and relying on some crooked logic (without implying that opponent is high). Closest translation I can think of is "get sober", but I guess there are more suitable constructions in slang, which I'm not aware of.

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