There is a word "исполнитель" for "a doer" in Russian.

We say "a don'ter" if the person moans about what he wants but never actually does anything to achieve it.

Is an expression "не исполнитель" for "a don'ter" correct to say? Or is there a regular word in Russian?


5 Answers 5


"Неисполнитель" doesn't mean anything interesting.

I'd choose the word "Пустомеля" here. It's composed of the words "Void" and "Grind". "To grind with a tongue" is a Russian idiom for stupid chatting.

P.S. Unlike "Don'ter" which seems to be quite modern, "Пустомеля" looks like a comer from "Good Ol' Times" (although the word is really nice). There are other variants: "Пустослов" (Void + Word; more neutral like "Babbler"); "Пустобрёх" (Void + Bark, Lie; sounds a bit ruder); and even "Фуфло" (criminal jargon, very rude).

  • I thank for the tip. I like it that "пустослов" if it seems to refer to a thoughtless speech of the chatterer. The "пустослов" describes well the persons who become no doers of their words and speakers only, isn't it?
    – Folant
    Aug 4, 2015 at 7:45
  • 1
    @Folant Yes, they all do. But "Пустослов" is more about irresponsibility (applies well to politicians); "Пустомеля" is about one who really likes talking (closer to chatterbox, I guess) and "Пустобрёх" is always a liar, probably an aggressive one (like a barking dog).
    – Matt
    Aug 4, 2015 at 7:52

There's no word which is a good fit in 100% of cases. Though "нытик" is pretty close. "Да он только ноет" is said about somebody who complains a lot but does not make any real attempt to change the situation. So, from the verb "ныть" (to whine) there colloquial noun "нытик" is derived.

Here's quote from article about нытик's:

Он – нытик! Это почти приговор. Дело в том, что мужчина-нытик вызывает куда большее отторжение, чем постоянно причитающая женщина. У кого вызывает? Да у любого встречного, не говоря уже о близких.

In some context word "тряпка" will be relevant. "Тряпка" (literally a "rag") is person who is to weak and coward to act like a "real man".

Somewhere close but definitely not a sinonym is a word (with a subtle tint of criminal slang) "терпила". "Терпила" is somebody who can not stand for himself. In real criminal slang it was a word to call some special sort of victims but now it is used in a more general way.

  • In short, несмогучка (made-up word).
    – Avtokod
    Aug 4, 2015 at 16:22

According to Urban Dictionary:

Don't-er A person that always says I don't... I can't... Maybe... contradict, hesitate. A person that's going against his will not doing of what he is capable to do!

This is NOT a "пустомеля":

ПУСТОМЕ́ЛЯ, пустомели, мн. и, пустомелей, муж. и жен. (разг. фам.). Болтун, человек, любящий говорить, болтать, молоть пустое, вздор.

Пустомеля is a person that likes to talk a lot, and not a person that says "I don't, I can't...".

Слабак is a good translation for "don't-er":

Слабый физически или слабовольный, малодушный человек. Выглядеть слабаком. Казаться слабаком. Парень оказался слабаком. Приятель твой с. Ты с. по сравнению с братом.

This is a person that is physically weak or has weak will, etc. So he possibly often uses "I don't, I can't..." in his speech.

There is also a bunch of synonyms for such person:

НЫ́ТИК, -а, муж. (разг.). Ноющий, всегда чем-н. недовольный человек. Словарь Ожегова

Нюня. Плаксивый, бесхарактерный человек. «Все оттого, что я слишком их избаловал, что я нюня, тряпка, баба.» Чехов.

And also others: размазня, мямля, рохля, недотепа, слюнтяй

  • "Слабак" is really the same as a "chicken".
    – Matt
    Aug 4, 2015 at 9:47
  • Does it mean that there is one-to-one correspondence between English and Russian words? Why single word in Russian cannot have several translations in English and vice versa?
    – Artemix
    Aug 4, 2015 at 14:25

For the "исполнитель", it is a kind of doer that does something that someone else (manager) tell him to do.
Person, that does what he/she wants would be called "деятельный человек (деятельная женщина)" or "созидатель(созидательница)".
There is also word "деятель", but it mostly used for political/art/science/whatever figures.


You can use the word бездельник (don'ter who is actually okay with himself doing nothing) or even дармоед (literally a person, who "eats his food" with the rest of collective without a contribution to the collective's work), depending on a context.

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