Are there any guidelines on using Расея over Россия? Is the former archaic or comical? Grandiloquent, ridiculous? Something else? Was it perhaps the actual official name of the country at some point in the past?

As a bonus, do both come from Old Church Slavonic?

  • It is ironic usage. Currently no one speaks or spells this word this way seriously.
    – Arinyasha
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 0:52
  • Not offensive, just comical. Similar to Раша, which sounds same as Russia. To play with sounds.
    – sanaris
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 20:12

2 Answers 2


Расея is a "lower class" equivalent of Россия (see here).

Usually when someone uses this word he or she means that something that happened, or some idea, or the way the person behaves is because of "backwoods mentality" - the way people act or think in rural areas: "Эх, Расея!" as opposed to modern ways of doing things.

The word form is imitating the way the people in some provinces speak.

As for origins of the word, according to Vasmer the first occurense of the word is dated 1517. Before that time the word Русь was used.

The word Русь dates back to 9 century, and has Scandinavian origins.


I think the word is derogatory and intentionally wrongly-spelled to underline the low culture of either the speaker or the country.

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