I pride myself on not bringing stupid questions here, and I feel silly because I know what all the words in this question mean. I just can't make any sense of them. Is there a productive pattern here that I should know?

"В кого он такой пошёл?"

Then I saw this:

Ну и гнилой народ теперь пошёл!

Is it similar in meaning? The pattern looks the same.

  • 1
    Semantically, there is a significant difference. В кого они такие пошли, в отца? Да, стали похожими на отца. (Походили — стали похожими) | Сигареты нынче дорогие пошли? Да, стали дорогими. | Времена пошли нынче трудные? Да, стали трудными. | Клиент косяками пошел.
    – Avtokod
    May 8, 2015 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


Just to add to the other answers. The phrase

Ну и гнилой народ теперь пошёл!

is another idiom: " теперь пошел" (is usually used to describe group of people or things) means changing its characteristics. Here it means:

People have become bad (literally "rotten", it could mean many negative characteristics).

This idiom means changing, not inheritance. Also, it's often used in the singular instead of the plural:

Студент теперь ленивый пошел

which translates to "students have become (so) lazy" or even "all students have become (so) lazy."

  • Thank you, Dmitry - I love patterns :) So if I understood you correctly, this is a general statement about how people have become? For example, "Students have become so lazy!" meaning <I can't believe how lazy students are these days!> Am I right?
    – CocoPop
    May 7, 2015 at 2:40
  • @CocoPop Yes, you are right, but you can say this about animals or things, not only about people.
    – Dmitriy
    May 7, 2015 at 6:54
  • So just to test the pattern, could you use it to say that cigarettes have gotten expensive?
    – CocoPop
    May 8, 2015 at 2:58
  • @CocoPop Yes, no problem.
    – Dmitriy
    May 8, 2015 at 6:59
  • ну и дорогие нынче сигареты пошли = well, the cigarettes have gotten rather/so expensive these days
    – DK.
    Jun 9, 2020 at 22:17

Пойти в кого-то is an idiom that means inheriting some personal traits from ancestors. For me it's difficult to translate your phrase without a context, namely, what qualities are implied. I can imagine something like Он очень умный. В кого он такой пошёл?. This is translated as "He's very smart. Whom did he inherit this from?". However, it sounds quite formal, whereas пойти в кого-то is informal in Russian. Probably, there's some similar idiom in English.

  • Yes! "Who does he take after?" meaning is he like his father or someone else in his family that has the same quality, look or talent. Thank you for clearing that up!
    – CocoPop
    May 6, 2015 at 3:06
  • 3
    @CocoPop - in Russian, "в кого он такой пошёл" is mostly about negative qualities or behaviour.
    – user31264
    May 6, 2015 at 6:18
  • 1
    @user31264, I woudn't agree with you. From my experience, it is used almost equally often for positive and negative qualities.
    – Ivan
    May 6, 2015 at 12:33
  • @Ivan, from the first 3 google pages, there are 20 negatives, 5 positives, others are doubles or unclear.
    – user31264
    May 6, 2015 at 17:44
  • @user31264, no, it's clearly very negative. "в кого он пошёл" is on the other hand quite neutral. Jun 3, 2015 at 7:03

There is so many meanings for Russian idioms with the word выйти, for example
выйти замуж
выйти в деда/отца
выйти на пенсию
выйти во вред/ущерб
не выйти лицом
выйти по-твоему
that it is worth looking into a page where they were collected in block — frazeologiya.ru

Note that a questions may arise about words in past/future tense, participle, and so on, but in the dictionary frazeologiya.ru you should searhing for Infinitive.

An infinitive then can be used again, in the ruscorpora.ru, filling forms, word by word, in the each firsts text filds in the form. The example from OP В кого он такой пошёл? should be set as shown below:

Remembering that an order of words in Russian phrase may be changed, it is easily understood that we can try searching
For the word кто we can add the property accusative that tightens search criteria.
For the verb выйти there is also a perfective aspect that point out at the start of the act: пойти.

  • Thank you, Avtokod, but what does выйти have to do with this expression?
    – CocoPop
    May 7, 2015 at 2:43
  • @CocoPop , you don't need any living person to understand this. Every idioms implies literally decoding, because a root of a word is everyday Russian root. E.g. Выйти is literally to leave something. Выйти в отца— the spirit of you leave your body and enter to father's body. Then we have an image of the father, with all his habits. Выйти в люди — you situated inside the crowd of the poor people. You leave this crowd and enter to the circle of elite (people of high station, wealth). I gave these instructions to solve the idioms of Russian yourself.
    – Avtokod
    May 7, 2015 at 9:17
  • @CocoPop , Выйти за пределы — to go beyond the bounds. Вышел — now to be outside of the bounds. ~~~~~~ Выйти на пенсию. A man has made a shift — он вышел — from a state of employability to a new level of life, retirement age. The same, related to a state, is relevant to Выйти из положения, выйти на инвалидность, выйти в отставку, выйти в жизнь, выйти замуж, выйти из боя, выйти из моды, выйти из роли, выйти из ума, выйти из пелёнок... Am I making sense?
    – Avtokod
    May 7, 2015 at 11:47
  • @CocoPop , The preposition на=on |~~~~| Выйти на связь — to be on communication line, to sit like a bird on an aerial line — to be on-line. Будь на связи! — be on-line! The same is relevant to выйти на старт, выйти на орбиту, выйти на рубеж
    – Avtokod
    May 7, 2015 at 12:24
  • @CocoPop , The preposition в=into. Выйти в эфирэфир is the gas like the Air, but we say for that выйти на воздух, to relax in the fresh air, implying that there are no borders. So выйти в эфир — literally — to go into a new volume filled with gas (ether), now to be inside this volume. The same is relevant to Выйти в свет, выйти в тыл, выйти в тираж. There is only couple the very idiom like (Вот какая) петрушка вышла. Are we on the same page?
    – Avtokod
    May 7, 2015 at 12:27

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