I don't understand what makes "ну ты бухать" a valid language construct. Can anybody point out some references?

Is it some sort similar to "ну ты даешь"?

  • 3
    I guess a good answer is "nothing": this is a cut off version of something like "ну ты (и мастер) бухать". Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 2:21
  • Sometimes cutoffs are legit too Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 11:26
  • @1453 not in this case.
    – Anixx
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 15:39

3 Answers 3


Бухать is a slang word for 'to drink alcohol'. But the grammatical construction is valid and can be found in many other phrases conveying amazement with somebody doing something in sheer excess. It conveys a mixture of approval and disapproval (ну ты и силен бухать), and aimed at embarrassing a person to whom it is said.

Because the first part of phrase is expressing some positive amazement (ну ты и), the second part - just to balance - usually uses more or less offensive/colloquial word for person's behaviour.

All this phrases are from spoken language because the intonation plays a big role here in conveying meaning.

Ну ты и спать (дрыхнуть)!
Ну ты и есть (жрать)!
Ну ты и гулять (шляться)!
Ну ты и кричать (орать)!
Ну ты и ругаться (пи..еть)!

"и" after "ты" can be omitted for brevity. "Ну ты даешь" is grammatically similar but follows a slightly different pattern meaning-wise. It is said when a person did something stupid or in other way amazing, not necessarily in excess.

EDIT: Because OP was asking for references (not only personal experiences) I looked on internet. The only source discussing exactly this question I found is here. Apparently, many Russians believe that it is not a valid construction. While others sure that it is. To approach the problem of this disagreement scientifically we now need to find the correlation between the fact of believe that it exists/not exists and other characteristics of believers. :-) We obviously do not have time to do this research but my guess it is geographical differentiation. I think this phrase is used in certain geographical locations and is not used in others.

EDIT 2: Although v'-5o-1's73- selected it as the answer (thanks) we can see from voting that most people think this construction does not sound good. In my defense I can say that there is significant part of population (not a majority, but significant) who believe that it is a good phrase (as confirmed by the link to forum and some votes on this site). I think the phrase comes from the phrase with the word горазд, for example "ну ты и орать горазд" where горазд is omitted for brevity and because it is a very old, not much used word nowadays.

  • So far I like this answer the most because it has a link to a discussion on the same topic. Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 19:41
  • It is incorrect answer. The construction does nothing to do with amazement. Grammatically it can only be a question sentence "Ну ты бухать?". -1
    – Anixx
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 22:10
  • 1
    @Anixx: What about other constructions that I listed i.e. "Ну ты и спать!", are they all incorrect in your opinion? These kind of phrases are widely used in St. Petersburg in everyday speech.
    – farfareast
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 16:05
  • @farfareast "Ну ты и спать!" is completely incorrect. I can hardly imagine what it could mean. One possible use of this phrase could be a situation when the speaker tells the second person a story which happened to that person but the person lost any memories about it. Like "Yesterday we were drinking with you. We became drunk, you went to bed but I went to a nightclub" "Вчера мы с тобой пили, стали совсем пьяными, ну ты и спать, а я - в ночной клуб".
    – Anixx
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 16:40
  • 3
    @Anixx: Look at this google search in printed books for the phrase "ну ты и спать". It is pronounced with raised intonation in words "ну ты и", and then "спа-а-а-ть" is prolonged. All together it creates a very ironic expression. It is perfectly normal in my part of the world :-).
    – farfareast
    Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 2:39

Without punctuation it can be anything. Not only the pointed out "ну ты (и мастер) бухать", but also "ну, ты (идёшь) бухать?".

It is quite common for Russians to omit verbs in similar questions:
- Ну, я — гулять.
- Ты — работать?

  • The later is the only grammatically valid meaning (i.e. the question phrase). "ну ты (и мастер) бухать" is grammatically incorrect without the middle part.
    – Anixx
    Commented Dec 6, 2012 at 22:14
  • 1
    It is not likely that "ну ты бухать" will be used for inviting somebody to drink or to asking if he/she goes somewhere to do it. It would just sound too rude. So, with 99% probability it means what @dasblinkenlight has said. It is clear even without punctuation. :-)
    – farfareast
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 17:51
  • 1
    @farfareast I wouldn't be so sure. "too rude" - sure, but it depends on the people involved. If they are close friends they can speak to each other this way. I can imagine myself saying this to one of my best friends. Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 20:31
  • @Anixx I completely agree. Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 20:32

A valid language construct is Ну ты (и) бухаешь! in this case. Last time the Russians became to say: ну ты бухать. But it is not a valid language construct, in my opinion, it's more like a slang construct.

I guess the phrase ну ты бухать could have come from the phrases like ну ты (и) бухгалтер! (or any other noun). "Бухгалтер" means a drunk here, it is a slang word. I think that a verb бухать takes the meaning of the noun in this phrase.

Also it can be a constrict sentence of ну ты (и любишь) (по)бухать.

The meaning of this phrase is similar to ну ты даешь. When someone says it, he expresses his surprise at the fact that someone has so much to drink.

  • 2
    бухать is a valid word that has nothing to do with "Бухгалтер" Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 3:05
  • 1
    "Бухгалтер" is a bookkeper in usual context. But there is a slang word "бухгалтер" which has derived from "бухать" - teenslang.su/?page=224&adv=1 "Бухгалтер" also means a dypso. Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 3:12
  • what does that link prove? Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 3:14
  • That link explains the relationship of these words (бухать and бухгалтер). Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 3:18
  • 1
    Did you mean "бухалтер"?
    – cnd
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 5:58

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