How to Speak Nadsat

Nadsat the teenage hipster slang devised by author Anthony Burgess for his seminal and notorious novel A Clockwork Orange (1962) derives in part from Russian youth slang and part from the inner reaches of his mind. He wanted speech patterns that were both alien and aggressive. Here then, we present a small guide on the vocabulary, so you too can form a band of delinquents.

How To Speak Nadsat

  • Appy Polly Loggy: a really lengthy and somewhat patronising apology.
  • Baboochka: Your nan. Not to be confused with Kate Bush. Unless she actually is your nan. In which case, we unreservedly appy polly loggy.
  • Barry Place: Pronounced bahr, as in prison. Not referring to the island off the coast of Cardiff. Although… easy mistake to make, quite frankly. Moving on.
  • Bolshy: Really great. These alternative types. Bad is good. The End is good. Being bolshy is good. Whatever happened to good old fashioned good. Meaning Something crap.
  • Cheeva: Woman. Lady Person. Chapesse. “More cheeva, vicar?”
  • Chepooka: Nonsense. Indeed.
  • Creech: To shout or scream. Not to be confused with Crong, meaning “to make the same film over and over again about bong hits with your mate Creech.” Papa don’t creech, that’s all I’m saying.
  • Draising: Refers to any sort of fighting. Alternatively, you can misread this as Drasik(sp), and spend the next half hour looking for Heartbreak High videos on YouTube.
  • Droog: Friend. Rachel, Joey, Ross, Monica, Chandler, and Phoebe in Droogs. Wow. That’s a whole other show.
  • Espresso Rapido: A train, rather than something you wish you could get in Starbucks.
  • Horrorshow: Good. Excellent. Again with the flippy floppy on words.
  • Krovvy: Blood. Seen on a million A Clockwork Orange t-shirts around the globe. You already know this one. You do.
  • Moloko: The slightly less glamorous milk, rather than the slightly more glamorous electro-pop combo. Not the only band to have taken their name from this film. Check out 80s synth stars Heaven 17. You’re welcome. Also if Moloko means milk, why wasn’t it the Korova Moloko Bar? Hmm?
  • Nadsat: Teenager or teen. An artificial language bastardised from Russian and Cockney. So now you know, droogs.
  • Sammy:Generous.
  • Nazz: Fool.
  • Skorry: Quickly. As in “Quickly! It’s Corrie on the TV in five minutes!” Think about it.
  • Vellocet: Drug. Ah, youth. Plus ca change.
  • Korova: Cow. Not suitable for the lactose intolerant among you. Many years ago in Crawley, the Virgin cinema chain operated Milk Bars for the kid to imbibe milkshakes with punning movie title names like Chocky Horror Show. For various reasons, this was entirely unsuccessful.
  • Various baby words: Jammiwam, Guttiwuts, Eggiweg, Baddiwad, Steaky Wake, Munchy Wunching, Punchi-punching. God, Nadsats are annoying, aren’t they?


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