Ie words like COP or HAM which have a similar spelling but a totally different meaning in russian or in english. Can you provide the back translation of the russian?

  • 3
    Are you trying to create a funny car registration plate?
    – cha
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 4:39

6 Answers 6


I've created two word lists from aspell's databases. I used the standard rules for Latin-Cyrillic symbol correspondence which defines symbols usable on Russian vehicle license plates: ABEKMHOPCTYX

The English word list:

aspell --lang=en dump master | egrep -i "^[ABEKMHOPCTYX]+$" | sed 's/.*/\U&/' | tr 'ABEKMHOPCTYX' `echo 'АВЕКМНОРСТУХ' | iconv -f utf-8 -t koi8-r` | iconv -f koi8-r -t utf-8 | sort > en-sorted.txt

The Russian word list:

aspell --lang=ru dump master | sed 's/\/.*//;s/.*/\U&/' | egrep -i '^[АВЕКМНОРСТУХ]+$' | sort > ru-sorted.txt


comm -12 en-sorted.txt ru-sorted.txt | awk '{print length, $0}' | sort -n | cut -d" " -f2-

This yields quite a long list with two five-letter matches:


and a handful of four-letter matches:


ВАКе is apparently ВАК (Высшая аттестационная комиссия) in prepositional, and I don't have a slightest idea about what моск is, but otherwise the list looks legit.

  • МОСК is "Международное Общество Сознания Кришны".
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 7:35
  • @YellowSky: it's spelt in lowercase in the database
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 7:47
  • Моск is мозг in an Internet slang. lurkmore.to/%D0%BC%D0%BE%D1%81%D0%BA
    – Dmitriy
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 19:00
  • "А ВЕК МОНСТРУХ" легче запомнить чем по алфавиту)))
    – snetch
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 19:46
  • а Ваке это район в Тбилиси
    – snetch
    Commented Dec 14, 2018 at 19:48

ВОР — thief.

MAX — a swing or stroke.

ОН — the pronoun "he".

Italicised lowercase (in most though not all typefaces) has a lot more, as т and и become part of it:

роет — "[he/she/it] digs".

сир — "sire" (not "sir", which is сэр), or obsoletely "is orphaned" (predicate form of сирый).

соте — "to a cell" (in a beehive).

тор — "torus". (The same word capitalised: Тор — Thor.)

In Times New Roman, lowercase italic п is identical to n, giving you nар "steam", "on, over", реn "of turnips", саn "glanders". (I'm replacing п with the Latin letter here.)

There must be many more and it's hard to come up with an exhaustive list.

  • соте - wrong definition, ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D1%81%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%B5 in a beehive it would be соты
    – UVV
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 9:42
  • @UVV соты? in dative singular? I did specify the form and there's no reason to exclude oblique cases. but you're right, it could also mean "sauté". didn't think of that. Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 9:53

Besides mentioned word "Сор" there is also the word "Mycop" which normally means "Trash" but in the jargon - "the Policeman".


сор is the obsolete word for garbage or litter. It's used quite rarely. Pronounced like [s o r]

нам is the pronoun meaning "us". Its transcription is [n ʌ m]

  • 1
    How come сор became obsolete?
    – UVV
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 7:25
  • 1
    @UVV, do you think it's used often enough? I can only remember an idiom выносить сор из избы where сор is presented. Also, the related verb сорить is current. But сор itself is out of use in everyday speech, IMHO.
    – Ivan
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 11:24
  • Just because it's not used on daily basis doesn't mean it's obsolete. As you mentioned it's a noun from verb сорить
    – UVV
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 12:15
  • @UVV, it's a misunderstanding, I guess. Let's see an example. The American Heritage Dictionary describes the obsolete label thus: "The label obsolete is used with entry words and senses no longer in active use, except, for example, in literary quotations." That's exactly the same that I ment for сор. But you might got it like this word is no more.
    – Ivan
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 14:02

НАТЕ - take it

There was a rock band with that name in 80's.

  • 1
    There was also a Mayakovsky's poem НАТЕ, based exactly on the word play with the English word.
    – Anixx
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 16:20
  • Do you have the poem? I've looked for it but can't find it. In Russian and in English if you do. Thanks very much.
    – martin
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 5:13
  • @martin - I'm not sure whether Mayakovsky did mean the pun on the English 'hate', but here's the poem, 1913: stihi-rus.ru/1/Mayakovskiy/25.htm
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 7:31
  • I've seen HATE translated as 'Take it' or 'Take that'. does it have any other meanings like 'catch it' or 'get it'?
    – martin
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 12:05

ОМОН, a system of special police units, looks like a mirror image of "HOMO", which in English is a derogatory short form of "homosexual".

Boing boing has a photo of the police, with their name visible.

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