In conversation, I said jokingly:

Может, ты кому-то здо́рово насолила? Например, этому человеку, не пораженному пагубной страстью к роскошным автомобилям.

Somewhere along the way, I got used to using the adverb "здо́рово" like this as an oxymoronic intensifier to qualify/emphasise a word with a negative sense like "насолить" – in a similar fashion to English oxymorons such as "pretty disgusting" and "terribly pleased".

I have no qualms about having the adverb "здо́рово" qualify a word with a positive sense, but I'm wondering if such negative use of "здо́рово", on the other hand, is considered slangish register-wise? [Wiki]

  • this use is pretty bookish, therefore doesn't sound slangish, in vernacular you'd rather hear прилично, неслабо, сильно Jan 2 '19 at 19:04
  • @БаянКупи-ка I go off on a bit of a tangent here, but should I end the 2nd sentence with a question mark? Jan 2 '19 at 19:22
  • 1
    i don't think so as there's no question in it, just elaboration, i wouldn't have placed it either, it would be required if it were one sentence. Jan 2 '19 at 19:34
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    "здорово насолила" may imply that the target person might have deserved that.
    – Alexander
    Jan 2 '19 at 19:35
  • two respondents say that the word is colloquial/informal, i'd be interested to know how often they use it themselves, i personally never do and neither hear it from others (to me it's quasi colloquial, used in purportedly informal dialogues within literature) Jan 3 '19 at 14:43

The word "здорово" does not necessarily have a positive connotation. For example, it's quite possible to say to badly beaten man: "Здорово тебе досталось!". And it won't mean that the person is beaten deservedly, and won't mean that the fact he is beaten is a positive fact. It will only mean that the person is beaten enough "qualitatively".
So the word "great" may be used to denote the degree of action, without any assessment on this action.

As an example, a real case from my life.
When I was just starting to learn English, I heard the phrase of a girl from the US: "I want it so bad!". I asked her: "Do you mean it's bad that you want it?". She laughed and said, "No, it just means I want it SO BADLY!". I later learned that "bad" doesn't always mean "not good" ;)
With the word "здорово" - a similar situation.


Здорово means not only хорошо, like here, but also очень, сильно. In this meaning it may imply some kind of hidden gloat, but not necessarily.

It doesn't make up an oxymoron here.

We use the adjective здоровый not only to denote health, but also to speak about big, huge size. "здоровый кусок сахара", e.g..

Здоровый детина is neither healthy, nor a child.

So, здорово means the scale of happenings.

Beware of style. This word is not tender, you can't say "ты мне здорово нравишься". There you should use очень.

I wouldn't say it is slangish. But it is colloquial.


The word здо́рово is a well-known and widely used intensifier and as such is it can intensify both positive and negative words:

  • Эта вода здорово укрепляет иммунитет.
  • Рубль того времени очень здорово рухнул.
  • Он в какой-то пивной подрался, и ему здорово влепили в глаз.

(Citations from ruscorpora.ru)

It is very informal but not slangy as it doesn't "establish group identity" or "exclude outsiders."

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