"Шутить и век шутить! Как вас на это станет!"

I've never seen стать used like this. What does this mean?

3 Answers 3


Griboyedov lived really long ago, he used the colloquialisms of his epoch, and it's not what your speech in modern Russian should sound like.

I would translate it as

Как вы можете!

How dare you!

Как вас на это станет ~ как вас на это хватает (can be positive or negative), как у вас хватает на это совести (negative).


"Шутить и век шутить! Как вас на это станет!" I've never seen стать used like this. What does this mean?

The exact meaning of ''как вас на это станет'' is, ''How can you do it so much!'' More literally: ''How can one person - you - be enough for that!''

Тhis is an archaic colloquial expression and is not used in modern Russian at all, and I was even unable to understand its meaning before I opened a dictionary, despite that I am a native speaker.

The dictionary says that the verb ''стать'' had an archaic meaning,''to be enough,'' ''to prove to be enough,'' and the dictionary also gives some examples of the use of this verb in this meaning. Here are a couple of them, with my translations:

''Как это вас на всё станет: и дело вы всякое знаете и пустяк всякий знаете.'' = ''How can you know everything - important things and unimportant things as well!'' It seems to be rather a praise or wonder, not a doubt or question, although possibly can be interpreted in any of these ways. A more literal translation is, ''How can one person - you - be enough for everything - you know every important thing and every unimportant thing!''

''Ну, полно, что за счеты, лишь стало бы охоты'' = 'Well, stop it, what are these calculations for, the only question is whether the desire will be enough.''

Here is the link to the corresponding page of the dictionary: https://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/ushakov/1042046 The above meaning is No. 9 there.


I actually disagree with the answer given - it's not wrong though! - among other things станет indeed also means "хватит" / "довольно". However cтанет (or станется) in it's semi-obsolete usage means also to be able to do something, it's synonymous to горазд in горазд на что-то / горазд в чём-то, like in phrase - "этот сможет, с него станется" (more examples you can find here).

So I'd rather interpret this phrase like "how can you keep on joking for this long".

  • How can you not get tired of downvoting posts? It all can be shortened to "how can you" or с вас станется.
    – Elena
    Jan 23, 2019 at 10:44
  • @Elena I've literally 10 seconds ago upvoted one of your answers (like I do pretty often)
    – shabunc
    Jan 23, 2019 at 10:45
  • But I wonder who keeps downvoting quite good answers (not necessarily mine) and why...
    – Elena
    Jan 23, 2019 at 10:47
  • 1
    @Elena - english.stackexchange.com/questions/203865/…
    – shabunc
    Jan 23, 2019 at 11:12
  • 2
    I think the absence of upvoting is much more motivating, and is at least not so frustrating. If the question is not confusing but just does not provide full information it is not worth downvoting. Like there's no need writing Вы with a capital letter, for your respect is enough expressed but choosing вы from вы and ты.
    – Elena
    Jan 23, 2019 at 11:49

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