This form seems to be very common in modern conversational Russian, e.g.

Пойдём-ка, покурим-ка.

Давайте-ка не будем пороть горячку.


This form also has its more colloquial (and dialectal) counterpart with -ко:

Слышь-ко, чё скажу...

All in all, the -ка imperative (particle) is attested as early as in Lermontov's Borodino:

Скажи-ка, дядя, ведь недаром...

But what is the eldest attribution of this form together with its geographical area of usage?

2 Answers 2


This particle is found in most Slavic languages, so it dates back to the Proto-Slavic times. It is attested in writing as early as in the OCS Codex Suprasliensis (Супрасльская рукопись), the middle of the 9th century. See Vasmer (Vol. 2, page 147).

  • Right, Vasmer even said that his etimology for dialectal 'kaba'/'koba' from Veps 'kavi' rebukes Kalima's etymology from Finnish 'kapu'.
    – Manjusri
    Apr 9, 2013 at 17:50
  • @Manjusri it seems you looked at the wrong entry. For -ка Vasmer gives Greek and Indic cognates.
    – Anixx
    Apr 10, 2013 at 2:41
  • @Anixx My point is that Vasmer's etymology for 'kaba'/'koba' is doubtful, and so is his etymology for this particle.
    – Manjusri
    Apr 10, 2013 at 4:31
  • @Manjusri - 'kaba'/'koba' is a completely different topic, why are you writing about it here???
    – Yellow Sky
    Apr 10, 2013 at 8:17
  • Vasmer was unable to notice the most obvious facts about Fenno-Ugric languages. His etymology of -ka dosn't seem to be more correct than that of kaba/koba.
    – Manjusri
    Apr 10, 2013 at 19:52

Since the particle is never stressed, it was probably mutated from -ко to -ка due to vowel reduction. Same with noun diminutive -ко (Садко, stressed) which is commonly fixed as -ка (Васька, unstressed).

  • Thanks for your answer, however it has nothing to do with the question. The question was about the earliest known attribution or usage of -ко or -ка.
    – Aleks G
    May 11, 2013 at 12:48
  • Interesting, but I think the two particles (nominal and verbal) have different origin.
    – Manjusri
    May 11, 2013 at 16:39
  • I don't think so. May 17, 2013 at 14:01
  • Are you sure Садко is a diminutive form?
    – Manjusri
    Jan 25, 2016 at 8:06

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