I have heard this saying, После дождичка в четверг, a few times before and I tried looking it up, but all I found was a movie and a pretty confusing translation: After rain on Thursday. What is the saying supposed to mean? Thank you!

  • 3
    Have you tried Wiktionary? После дождичка в четверг
    – Igor G
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 5:34
  • 2
    @IgorG: "when pigs fly" is an emphatic "never". После дождичка в четверг is more of "one day, maybe".
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 5:45
  • @Igor G I don't have access to Wiktionary on my device
    – user87626
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 7:10

1 Answer 1


It means "not any time soon, if at all"

  • ― Так вот мы и говорим вам, ― заканчивал Баскаков, ― чтобы мир не после победы, не после дождичка в четверг, не после того, когда будут изувечены еще тысячи рабочих и мужиков, а давайте нам мир сейчас, без всяких побед.

  • ― После дождичка в четверг он позвонит, ― нечутко возразил Кудинкин.

  • … мое желание «хорошо жить» именно сегодня, а не «после дождика в четверг», и предпочтение хорошо наесться один раз кропотливому разделению всех благ на длительный период.

The most popular version of its origin, mentioned in the 1832 book Русские в своих пословицах, has it that Thursday was dedicated to Perun, the Slavic god of thunder (compare to numerous variations of "Thor's day" in Germanic languages and "Jove's day" in Romance languages), and was the day they prayed for rain during dry spells.

The prayers often didn't work, so this saying came to mean "not to get one's hopes up too high that something is going to happen".

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