I saw a comment on a vacation photograph that reads:

Чайки жирные летают просто жуть

Does this literally mean that the fat seagulls are creepy, or is there a colloquial meaning to all this? I don't get it.


I'm not sure, maybe "просто жуть" ~ 'as hell', 'like hell'
"Чайки жирные просто жуть!" ~ 'Seagulls are fat as hell'

  • 2
    So it's an intensifier, and not literally "horrible." Great! Thanks :)
    – CocoPop
    Oct 12 '14 at 14:21
  • 1
    Exactly. As in "Horribly fat seagulls are flying around".
    – Dima
    Oct 13 '14 at 19:17

In fact this is a verse from a song by Oleg Gazmanov:

На пляжу лежу и в небо я гляжу,
Чайки жирные летают, просто жуть,
А я худенький такой - унесет меня прибой,
Лучше я в песок зароюсь с головой.

I don't think it has some "deep meaning" except for the seagull and the sea (and the fact that the author of the photo remembers this song).

As for the meaning of "просто жуть" - the verse itself can be rephrased without any losses in meaning as "летают ужасно жирные чайки": the awfully fat seagulls are flying around.

  • I was curious because I saw a conversation (Speaking about Iggy Pop) A: Поехавший парень. Б: Просто жуть! And I didn't know how to translate (B) comment: He's awful! -or- And how!
    – CocoPop
    Oct 13 '14 at 12:00

I wouldn't say Просто жуть means very much (очень). It's more an evaluation of what is said in the phrase before. Seagulls are fat! That's awful, disgusting.

in your second example

Поехавший парень! Просто жуть.

It's same, not that he is "very crazy", but that his madness is beyond any limits, it's awful.

  • So it's like "you can say that again!" in the second example?
    – CocoPop
    Oct 15 '14 at 19:55
  • If Просто жуть is an answer - yes, can be in this meaning (I agree with you), but literally means That's horrible or Simply disgusting. In general, let's say often people with poor culture use same expressions and phrases to express whatever, so there is really no right answer. Oct 16 '14 at 17:50

In this context просто жуть is an equivalent for ну очень (very, extremely):

Чайки жирные летают, ну очень жирные.

That means:

Fat seagulls are flying and they are extremely fat.
  • So how would you translate the entire caption into English?
    – CocoPop
    Oct 12 '14 at 13:42
  • 1
    As I mentioned in the answer, the translation in this context is: very, extremely. Not creepy.
    – Dmitry
    Oct 12 '14 at 13:48
  • Thank you for your help, but since I don't know ну очень, I still have no idea what the whole caption means. I'm sure someone else will explain.
    – CocoPop
    Oct 12 '14 at 13:57
  • I don't understand why this answer was downvoted twice (at least I will upvote it), but it's correct. It means: the seagulls are fat, terribly fat.
    – Denis V
    Oct 12 '14 at 14:01
  • @DenisV: Thanks for the translation - now I understand!
    – CocoPop
    Oct 12 '14 at 14:05

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