The following lyrics are taken from "Диалог у телевизора". My understanding is that the woman talking to Вань wants him to buy her this shirt that she saw; so, сваргань would be referring to this shirt. This word сваргань seems to be related to the verb "сварганить", which in my dictionary translates "to botch, bungle". So my question is, does сваргань mean something that is botched or hastily made? Also, is this word used in "everyday" Russian; if so, can you give an example on how you as a Russian speaker would use сваргань?

— Ой! Вань! Гляди-кось, попугайчики! Нет, я, ей-богу, закричу!.. А это кто в короткой маечке? Я, Вань, такую же хочу.

В конце квартала — правда, Вань, — Ты мне такую же сваргань... Ну что "отстань", всегда "отстань"... Обидно, Вань!

  • Here it stands for "get", though it's a bit unusual for this word. Just think of it as an exception.
    – Matt
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 18:56
  • "woman talking to Вань". She is talking to Ваня. The form Вань is so-called звательный падеж from Ваня. It can be used only while calling (addressing) somebody.
    – farfareast
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 20:48
  • Сварганить is a slang for приготовить по быстрому not only in this, but in most contexts.
    – L_Pav
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 23:58

6 Answers 6

  1. It is a slang for cook or bake. You can refer to it as свари. It has the similar meaning but more slangy maybe a little bit rude.
  2. The translation you need is here. The other meaning is get, make it possible to happen or create something.
    She wants a T-shirt or something and asks him for the same one at the end of the quarter (extra salary usually). So she asks him to сварганить (the command form сваргань). The meaning is to buy a T-shirt from extra money at the end of the quarter.
  • 5
    I don't think it's to do specifically with cooking or baking; in my family, at least, it was used in a more general sense of "slap together". It looks like it might come from варган, a kind of musical instrument, and while the reason for the etymology seems highly obscure, it's not particularly more obscure than with a few other expressive colloquialisms, such as наколбасить. Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 18:55
  • You are right. The word is highly obscure. One of meanings is when someone get everything together. The first thing i thought about was to cook dish from different ingredients. I heard it quite often.
    – zds
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 19:02
  • English has a very similar word, namely, to fix. At least in food context.
    – alamar
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 14:54

Значение слова Сварганить по Ефремовой: Сварганить - Сделать что-л. наскоро или кое-как.

Значение слова Сварганить по словарю Ушакова: СВАРГАНИТЬ сварганю, сварганишь (простореч.). Сов. к варганить. По осени надо беспременно свадьбу сварганить. Мельников-Печерский. Уху на бережку сварганим. Мельников-Печерский.

Значение слова Сварганить по словарю Даля: Сварганить что, смастерить налегке, неумеючи, или как ни попало, наскоро, плохо, свалять; | кур. соврать для шутки, смеху.


The translation you found for сварганить is OK, although I like another, given in comments, even more - "slap together".

As for specific form сваргань - no, it is not a noun. You were probably confused by similarly ending nouns like гармонь. But сваргань is an imperative - "go slap together" (like достать - достань).

  • Thanks for pointing out that it's not a noun as I had supposed.
    – JMP
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 5:01

The meaning of the word "сваргань" goes from the name of musical instrument called "варган":

Eng and Rus wiki articles on that subject.

To play on that "варган" can be translated as "варганить". In slang it means to do something easy and fast.

BTV, I think it is a big challenge to learn language on "Высоцкий" songs. If you need any further help on that, don't hesitate asking.:)


Hastily made / lubberly / self-made. It is vernacular, somewhat old-timer and intimate, used within a family. Absolutely not appropriate for business, scientific or journalistic genre. Not common among teenagers.


throw together, mix up - is pretty much close It can be used in a very casual speach, like among friends or family, as it is slang. Сварганить обед, - to make a dinner very fast, for example from scratch or leftovers: Сваргань мне что-нибудь поесть, я очень голоден (as a request) - Make me something to eat I'm very hungry. Я быстро сварганила себе на обед салат - I quickly mixed up a salad for lunch.

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