In phrases like:

Это г@лимый бред.

Это г@лимыe сопли.

The word has been detected in conversational register of middle/low class native speakers in NW Russia, sometimes in fictional literature to convey such a register. It is pronounced with the stressed и.

The overall meaning is perhaps 'sheer', 'mere' or 'that of a worst kind', or all the three aspects together. But what are the exact semantics?

Can it be a borrowing from one of Gipsy languages in Russia (I am not sure from which one of them) where the word галима (pronounced with stress on final a) means 'bad'?

  • Will you please give a prooflink to the fact that in one of Gipsy languages in Russia there is the word галима which means 'bad'. If there is such a word, did you consider the possibility that it's a borowing from Russian? – Yellow Sky Mar 7 '13 at 7:11
  • I had a field research on that some years ago, but lost my interest. I think there is no such a link, and I doubt if it is a borrowing from Russian, since the Yer is stressed. Therefore it could not change into Ee by any phonemic rules. – Manjusri Mar 7 '13 at 12:00
  • I changed the title back so that it would be googlable. – Quassnoi Mar 7 '13 at 12:00
  • OK. I changed the text so it would convey the meaning intended. – Manjusri Mar 7 '13 at 12:02
  • Still, there's no proof the word exists in the Gipsy language. – Yellow Sky Mar 7 '13 at 16:01

Since the adjective/adverb is now generally perceived as a derogatory one, I assume, the following excerpt from Vladimir Dahl's dictionary entry(aka Explanatory Dictionary of the Live Great Russian language)I have stumbled upon recently, might prove relevant here or possibly shed some light on its quite obscure origin:

ГАЛИТЬ вят. гадовать, блевать, рвать, тошнить, тянуть с души. Его галить. Более говор. о грудных младенцах. Галить или галеть или галить сев. галегать зап. галяндать сев. олон. шалить, проказить, дурить, шутить, смешить: или зубоскалить, смеяться. || Арх. лягаться? || Галить сиб. подавать мяч или шар в игре, гилить. Галиться над кем, сев. изгаляться, смеяться, насмехаться, издеваться. || Новг. пск. ниж. орл. пялить глаза, глазеть, смотреть, дивиться или любоваться, засматриваться. На красавицу люди галятся. || Галить младенца, орл. дать полежать несвитому; он галится, тянется и подает голос. Галенье ср. новг. яросл. перм. смех, насмешка, насмешничество. То–то будет галенья! Галяй, пск. кто галится, насмешник.

Supposedly, the verbal definitions particularly related to those of various "vomit" derivatives and especially marked by the vulgar register such as "throw up" and/or "puke" as well as cat, retch, barf, spew, spue, might potentially approximate to "галить, гадовать, блевать", etc. if not in totally overlapped meaning but at least on a highly pejorative scale. At some point the verb "галить", having its origin from the country's rural areas and, consequently, of a regional, dialectal tinge, might have transformed into the adjective "галимый"(hypothetically, retaining the same root)that ended up proliferating among urban lower class communities with poor educational background in the course of influx into big cities.


It's probably derived from галиматья (from galimatias «неразбериха», Parisian students' slang).

Also, there are no Gipsy languages, all the Romani people speak the same language with lots of local dialects.

  • That depends mainly on what you consider to be a language and what you consider to be a dialect (no, I didn't downvote :-) – Manjusri Mar 7 '13 at 6:35
  • @ Manjusri - It's not just me, most linguists also think so. Besides, the differences between those dialects are too little for them to be considered distinct languages. – Yellow Sky Mar 7 '13 at 6:54
  • I doubt Russian Kelderari speaker would understand e.g. Lauise Romani. – Manjusri Mar 7 '13 at 7:03
  • @ Manjusri - Why do you think so? – Yellow Sky Mar 7 '13 at 7:05
  • The grammars are different. – Manjusri Mar 7 '13 at 7:05

No, it is not a borrowing from one of Gipsy languages (you are not sure which one of them).

According to Phasmer:

Происходит от праслав. формы, от которой в числе прочего произошли: ст.-слав. голъ (др.-греч. γυμνός), руск. голый, укр. го́лий, белор. го́лы, болг. гол, сербохорв. го̑, го̀ла, го̀ло, словенск. gòl, góla, чешск. holý, польск. goły, в.-луж. hoły, н.-луж. goły. Родственно латышск. gāla «гололедица», gàle ж. «тонкая корка льда», др.-в.-нем. kalo «лысый». Сюда же (с другим вокализмом) польск. gałąź, чешск. haluz «ветвь».

Original form was голимый, but due to the process of shifting from о to а in Russian dialect which finally became major one, form галимый had been introduced. This is the same reason why forms гондон/гандон (о-form is correct) and изгаляться/изголяться (a-form is correct) coexist.

This word is known at least from XVIII century (already with negative connotations) and, I repeat, definitely has nothing in common with any Romani dialect lexeme.

In it first sense голимый meant something pure, so it related to беспримесный, чистый, незамутнённый. So галимый бред is basically pure nonsense.

There's related word голяк`полный голяк` which is used to describe the state of catastrophic lack of something, money for example.

  • 1
    This results in three questions. First, why the -м- suffix is used? Second, what is the oldest written attestation of this word in Russian? Third, is it/has it ever been used in modern Russian in positive sense? – Manjusri Mar 7 '13 at 6:39
  • 1
    довольно типичный для русского словооброзования суффикс и нет, слово появилось гораздо раньше 19-го века. – shabunc Mar 7 '13 at 7:02
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    @Manjusri yes, sir, I can indeed ))) feb-web.ru/feb/sl18/slov-abc/04/sl515208.htm – shabunc Mar 7 '13 at 7:07
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    No, I have not. I have upvoted it, actually. – Manjusri Mar 7 '13 at 12:23
  • 1
    @Manjusri - Ѣ is not 'Yer', that is ять. – Yellow Sky Mar 9 '13 at 13:25

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