The Archaic Language of the Ukrainian Diaspora, Part II

I've collected quite a few more old Galician/Ukrainian diasporan words since my first post on the subject, which can be found here (plus post about the word "rover" here.) When I talk in Ukrainian to my parents or other Ukrainians in the diaspora, I still hear words from them that I don't hear in Ukraine, i.e., archaic, often Polish, and sometimes anglicized Ukrainian words. 

Here are some new ones that I didn't post last time:
Note: these are words that I've heard from my relatives in the States, and they might not be used by all the diaspora.


Last time I was in Chicago I found this Ukrainian children's dictionary at home. It was published in Canada, but not sure what year. It includes a lot of our old words.

One of the biggest linguistic challenges for me when I moved to Ukraine was to use the word "ovochi" for "vegetables" instead of for "fruit," because like in Polish, in the diaspora we use the word "ovochi" for "fruit," while in Ukraine "ovochi" is "vegetables."  

The lovely letter "ґ" which was banned under the Soviet Union.

Below are some examples of words that one can only hear in the diaspora.


 In particular, "pantofli"


In one of Lviv's cafes, Dim Lehend (House of Legends), there is a room dedicated to the old Galician language (aka the language spoken in the diaspora). Old words and old newspaper clippings decorate the walls.

"Mudra Knyha" - a book with the old Galician words.

EDIT (Jan. 3, 2016): New post with full list of words HERE


  1. Цікаво, що майже усі незвичні слова майже ідентичні польським з таким самим значенням.

  2. The Richard Scarry Children's dictionary, ,,Мій Найкращий Словник" is published by the Ukrainian Language Education Center or ULEC at the University of Edmonton in Canada.
    It is used extensively in Canada and has become rare in the U.S..
    As for the language... it is written using the literaturna mova of Holoskevych, Kovaliv and with a few regional dialects in Canada. But overall, this is based on the literaturna mova that children are taught in Saturday Ukrainian schools and in everyday school (K-12gr) throughout Canada in schools that either offer a Bilingual program or Ukrainian as second language classes.

    1. Do you know when it was published? And to this day it is still extensively used in Canada?

    2. The English original was published in 1963, the Ukrainian version in 1980. We have two copies. Our children used them in the 1990's.

  3. BTW, your list is great!!! But so you know, some of the words on the diaspora side are indicative of the region that the speaker immigrated from in Ukraina.
    And some of the words on the сучасна side, are English words, just written/spoken in Ukrainian. For example: візит = visit.
    I can't remember if you have пизел on your list, but that one is the English "puzzle" and the Ukrainian word is ,,складанка".

    I'm trying to understand the how and or why of the new trend of mova, but if it continues, then soon Ukrainians in Ukraina will be speaking English!

    1. Thank you! Yes, there are a quite a few example of words used in Ukraine today that are English words as opposed to the Slavic ones that are used in the diaspora. I did not have "puzzle" - thanks, I'll add it!

      I just came across an article about new foreign words in Ukrainian and the attempt to find Ukrainian/Slavic equivalents -

  4. Something similar happens with the Armenian language, where nowadays you have 2 variants: Western (diaspora) and Eastern Armenian (used in Armenia). Other languages also show such discrepancies: I had a Bulgarian acquaintance - son of a Bulgarian immigrant to Argentina from before 1940. He said when he went to Bulgaria and used the word nujnik for restroom instead of the modern (French) toaletna, people always had that special smile on their face.

    In what relates to Ukrainian, the cause probably is that Ukrainians from the diaspora continue to use a language which in Ukraine has undergone changes. Diaspora speaks a frozen-in-time language so to say. In any case, we should encourage people to use Ukrainian in whichever form an dkeep the language alive and thriving. One nice site that lets foreigners and people of Ukrainian descent to get on top of modern conversational Ukrainian is for example.

  5. As much as your thinking is praised, it is very important to have a beautiful thinking to write a beautiful post and indeed such a beautiful post is rarely seen as much as the beautiful post you have written, it is a very beautiful of my life The post is what I saw today.
    sector 15 escorts
    Apologizing to friends
    success is very difficult
    Massage service

  6. Your awesome topic is yours. I like these topics very much. I would like to have such topics daily, this post is really good for you. There are people like you in the world who put their views in front of everyone. Thank you from the heart.
    Bhiwadi Escorts Service
    Call Girls In noida
    Call Gurls Gurugram
    Gurugram Call Girls Photos
    DLF Phase 4 Call Girls
    Call Girls Sector 29
    Call Girls Sector 16
    Call Girls Sector 38
    Call Girls In Gurugram
    DLF Phase 1 Call Girls


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Ukrainian Alphabet and the Soft Sign

Hoisting Beams in Amsterdam