My father used to use word in regards to blacks, and not in a nice way. I am spelling it I know chorni is black but what about chornata (чернота)?

  • 1
    It is not pronounced "chornata".
    – Anixx
    Sep 24 '16 at 5:00
  • 7
    I don't see here "asking for translation" nor "bulk translation service" request, and I doubt OP learns Russian - he has a question about his father words, I don't see how one can demonstrate previous efforts. I think this is the same question as "my grandma used to sing a Russian song, can someone help me to find the meaning of this line I remember" - why should we close it as off-topic?
    – Artemix
    Sep 27 '16 at 9:25
  • agreed with @Artemix Sep 27 '16 at 14:57

In addition to all other answers, here is the list of other derogatory terms created in the same manner. First I thought it is rather new invention, but remembered at least one example from USSR times (лимита), so it has longer history. All these terms mean "a group of people" or "a person, typical example of a group of people":

  • Темнота́ - comes from "темный человек" - ignorance, backwardness
  • Простота́ - can be used both for silliness; innocence - "Ваня, Ваня, простота - купил лошадь без хвоста"
  • Лимита́ - comes from Soviet term "лимитчик" - a unskilled worker, that got a "лимитная прописка" (allowance to work in a city, existed from 50ies till 80ies) because they were needed by factories or other organizations in the city, while most locals had a good education. These persons had limited rights compared to other citizens and wanted to get full registration (e.g. by marriage). Looks like this phenomenon become a big problem around 1971.
  • Гопота́ - comes from гопник - "pejorative term and a social slur used in Russia, post-Soviet countries, and Israel to refer to aggressive young lower-class suburban male dwellers (usually under 30 years of age) coming from families of poor education and income". Гопник is rather old word (at least 50 years older than лимитчик), but it is unclear to me when гопота first appeared.
  • Быдлота - comes from быдло - "(derogatory) rabble; uncultured or stupid people". Seems like this is rather new term, since it does not appear in Ruscorpora and Wiktionary at all.
  • Школота́ - comes from "школьник" - this is internet-era term, which describes an internet user (most of the time it is a teenager) that posts meaningless messages on forums, etc. full of excitement or hatred (like 'xxx sucks!' or 'yyy is awesome!').
  • Мразота - comes from "мразь" - scum of the earth.
  • Also there are number of words that describe poor people: беднота, нищета, голота, босота.

So, it is possible, that "чернота" is built using the same scheme and will mean "a person from group черные with possible derogatory connotation". It is interesting to note, however, that in Russia "черный" is in fact derogatory term, but not for africans, but for people that come from Caucasus region (see this answer).

  • Invent a new word for them downvoters - down-ота)) или просто дауны ))
    – ddbug
    Sep 27 '16 at 14:40
  • @ddbug It is not a problem to down-vote if you not agree, but you should tell what is wrong with the answer: "post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information".
    – Artemix
    Sep 27 '16 at 15:01
  • Я никогда никому не ставил минус; из-за анонимности это неприлично. Если есть что сказать, то напиши. Так вот, у Вас очень чо-ооорное восприятие данного словообразования. Мне непонятно, почему оно связано с СССР? Мне 50, пол-жизни жил в СССР. Никакой черноты там не было, особенно такой черноты, как в Великобритании 80-х: google.com/search?q=nick+hedges&tbm=isch Ну представьте, что Вы спрашиваете англичанина, а он вам про свои ассоциации с "тетчерщиной в бриташке." Поэтому я Вам открыто выражаю, мм… ну скажем, неприятие Вашего ответа.
    – Avtokod
    Oct 5 '16 at 2:19
  • @Avtokod Я не говорю что это мое восприятие или что в России "чернота" означает что-то подобное. Я говорю что такое словообразование укладывается в подобную схему и если кто-то хочет вложить негативный смысл в свои слова, эта схема позволяет это ему сделать. Язык достаточно гибок чтобы самое невинное слово в определенных обстоятельствах приобрело очень обидное звучание.
    – Artemix
    Oct 5 '16 at 7:55
  • @Avtokod СССР упомянут в том смысле, что сначале примеры, которые пришли мне в голову (школота) казались появившимися в последние лет 20 и поэтому мне казалось что это недавняя "схема" и эмигрант-отец вряд ли в курсе последних веяний. Но потом я вспомнил лимиту из 1970 (из СССР) и мне стало ясно что для эмигранта эта схема могла быть знакома, а после бедноты, нищеты и т.п. стало ясно что схема очень давняя. Т.е. СССР упоминался как временнАя привязка, а не как страна где такая трактовка бытовала.
    – Artemix
    Oct 5 '16 at 8:32

Чернота is a noun from the adjective black, (blackness). It can name either a very deep black colour or darkness. There is also a meaning frailty used figuratively which is considered archaic nowadays.

Чернота цвета. Чернота волос. Чернота души.

  • 2
    When used in derogatory meaning, the ending is same as in мелкота, гопота, etc.
    – ddbug
    Sep 24 '16 at 4:55
  • 2
    Never heard it used in derogatory meaning, btw. And never met in fiction.
    – V.V.
    Sep 24 '16 at 6:18
  • 1
    And the ending is the same in all meanings.
    – V.V.
    Sep 24 '16 at 7:18
  • Compare: бедность - беднота (poverty)
    – ddbug
    Sep 24 '16 at 22:47
  • 3
    For people there's чернь, it was historically a derogative noun, but it didn't mean dark skin. @ddbug there are lots of words in the Russian language. But this one is different. It Isn't usually used in that sense which OP mentioned. It was a very personal subjective usage.
    – V.V.
    Sep 25 '16 at 3:45


It indeed can be applied to black people or any group of people with dark skin as a collective term in a demeaning sense and also with the stress being shifted to the second syllable to add a more scornful connotation


the stress in the second variant could be a result of Ukrainian influence, so not sure whether it's common in other versions of the Russian language

like in


  • 3
    u have to be very much pissed off to call something быдлОта instead быдлотА
    – MolbOrg
    Sep 26 '16 at 1:59
  • truth be told this particular word i've never heard being stressed at the last syllable Sep 26 '16 at 7:10
  • Also "гопота" from "гопник" (almost same as "быдлота" from "быдло").
    – Artemix
    Sep 26 '16 at 7:39
  • 2
    ...but I've never heard it stressed anywhere else but as in быдлотА. Not the most popular word, anyway.
    – Zeus
    Sep 26 '16 at 7:48
  • 1
    @БаянКупи-ка, press "reopen " under the question
    – V.V.
    Sep 27 '16 at 15:51

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