I learned that the Russian language has a number of words with the suffix -он: музон, закидон, выпивон, закусон, расслабон, etc. This suffix is indeed not a part of the root, as can be seen from words музыка, закидывать, выпивать, закусывать, расслабляться. Another example of usage of that suffix is Черкизон, the unofficial name of Moscow market Черкизово.

The common pattern seems to be that the words with that suffix are modern slang, and I got curious as to where that suffix stems from.

I asked one Russian on the Internet about that, and his response was very succinct: "Албанский учи." ("Learn Albanian.")

I thought it was a joke, but decided to check that lead and instantly found nice Albanian pop song Hipnotizon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1i1xcb7S0U

Did the suffix -он indeed come from Albanian? If so, how did it happen? I am so much surprised because Albania is a tiny state located pretty far from Russia. Or where did this suffix come from?

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    He/she might have meant Олбанский язык (and I believe this has been discussed/mentioned under one of your numerous questions in the past). – tum_ Sep 26 '19 at 16:39
  • The Roman origin. Стадион, легион, центурион, полигон, аттракцион, иллюзион – Elena Sep 27 '19 at 10:57
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    @Elena Latin had no -on suffix. Stadion is a Greek word (Latin is Stadium), in polygon -gon is a root ("angle" in Greek), центурион in Latin was centurio. – Anixx Oct 1 '19 at 6:31
  • I think Черкизон is connected with the word "zona" (zone). – Anixx Oct 1 '19 at 6:33

First of all, there is not one but many "он" suffixes in Russian. These are written, pronounced, and mostly used in the same way (to form masculine nouns) but come from different sources entirely.

The group of words you mention specifically, come from the late XX century, originating from slang and mostly remaining there.

Considering a relatively hectic and tumultuous nature of the period, you are unlikely ever to get a verifiable and concrete answer to the origin of these words.

However, judging from the connotation these words have, the kind of communities that would use them, and the speed at which these spread through the lexicon of these social groups throughout the country, the most likely guess is the idiosyncratic origin, based on a typical masculine suffix to form new fresh, nonconforming, teenage-friendly sounding words to replace their more conventional and traditional analogues.

  • >> there is not one but many "он" suffixes in Russian << What are some examples of words with other suffixes "он"? – Mitsuko Sep 26 '19 at 19:40
  • @Mitsuko for example, электрон, is borrowed from English wholesale, with он, being traced to the ancient Greek ἤλεκτρον. Same can be said about лексикон. On the other hand, гондон is mutilated version of French/English condom. Then there is батальон, which can be traced through French and into Italian battaglione. All these (and probably many others), even if originally considered a root word, are now treated by the Russian as a root+он. – JKlen Sep 26 '19 at 20:15

Nope this has nothing to do with Internet slang, all the words you’ve listed existed at least since eighties.

In fact, you are asking very interesting question - indeed the etymology -он as postfix should be investigated - I'm not aware of a any research of this kind (but this means nothing - I'm a mere amateur).

For instance, "локон" - a "regular" word not belonging to any slang is derived from German Locke - but how exactly it gained "-он", is "он" in it related to other "-он"-nouns, like "расслабон", "гандон" etc. - this should be investigated.

Oh, and this postfix also definitely has nothing to do with actual Albanian language - even if it was borrowed it was, say, English or French where one can find plenty of such words.

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    Pretty sure "гандон" is an exception here, probably having little to do with the rest. – JKlen Sep 26 '19 at 19:03
  • @Heagon Agreed, an odd one out (an attempt of a joke, maybe?). I'd expect it to be just a corruption of кондом, a borrowed word, so no suffix -он here. – tum_ Sep 26 '19 at 20:15
  • @tum_ personally, I am inclined to consider it a suffix there as well. Sure, it is not part of "official" version of the language, but it definitely starts to be likened to other cases of -он, in the casual speech, with people attempting to make new words out of it by keeping only the essential гонд/ганд part of it intact. Perhaps the process is only that slow due to the connotation of the word itself. – JKlen Sep 26 '19 at 20:21

As for the Albanian your Russian friend mentioned, it's not the language you might have thought of. You can read about олбанский here. http://absurdopedia.net/wiki/%D0%9E%D0%BB%D0%B1%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9_%D1%8F%D0%B7%D1%8B%D0%BA

I believe, I know just one normative word borrowed as a whole unit but having a possibility of decomposition according to the pattern mentioned above.


This word was borrowed in the 20th century, and not so many people can say what exactly it is (if we just ask people in the street). Besides, a well-understood word блузка has existed in the Russian language for a longer while. So, блузон sounds as a neologism from блузка.

All the rest are slangish, made up in 1990-s.

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