While listening to Pozner I've heard the phrase "кто девушку ужинает тот ее и танцует".

Where does it come from?

  • 1
    It's might be overkill - especially for the first question, so let's give it a shot, Farrukh!
    – shabunc
    Nov 15, 2019 at 16:11
  • may I ask, are you being interested in the meaning of the phrase or namely its origin? If the meaning, it's simply a pun.
    – d.k
    Nov 16, 2019 at 20:54
  • 1
    I am a native speaker. I get the meaning. However, I would be keen on seeing similar idioms. Other thing, good to know, what is the context in which that phrase was used. It seem to be rather sexist. So, which epoch was that? And why the grammar rules were broken for comic effect or the character did not possess good Russian? Nov 17, 2019 at 9:00

2 Answers 2


The phrase comes from a Soviet movie 'Mimino' (1977), and its particular form (both intransitive verbs are used as transitive ones) is a joke (by the movie authors) about typically Georgian imperfectness in speaking Russian (by the movie plot, the character is from Georgia). The phrase was pronounced as an argument in a restaurant and its meaning was: 'the one who's invited a girl for dinner has an exclusive right to dance with her' (Кто пригласил девушку на ужин, тот с ней и будет танцевать). As it often happens with especially catchy phrases from movies, later it started to be used as an idiom (about some other rights).

  • I think it is actually an euphemism for the word meaning "fucks" which is transitive.
    – Anixx
    Dec 1, 2019 at 12:24
  • 2
    There is not this phrase in the 'Mimino'
    – Elena
    Dec 1, 2019 at 14:53

The phrase reads "The one who dinners the girl is the one who dances her".

Obviously it is intended as euphemism, where words "eats" and "fucks" were replaced with more benign "dinners" and "dances". And of course, you can fuck a girl but "dance a girl" looks funny.

  • I woulds say "feeds" and "fucks"
    – SimonE
    Dec 2, 2019 at 7:52

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