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?


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 '13 at 17:50
  • @Manjusri it seems you looked at the wrong entry. For -ка Vasmer gives Greek and Indic cognates.
    – Anixx
    Apr 10 '13 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 '13 at 4:31
  • @Manjusri - 'kaba'/'koba' is a completely different topic, why are you writing about it here???
    – Yellow Sky
    Apr 10 '13 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 '13 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 '13 at 12:48
  • Interesting, but I think the two particles (nominal and verbal) have different origin.
    – Manjusri
    May 11 '13 at 16:39
  • I don't think so. May 17 '13 at 14:01
  • Are you sure Садко is a diminutive form?
    – Manjusri
    Jan 25 '16 at 8:06

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