I Vam Ne Khvorat' (On a New Life of the Old Movie Quote)

2019. № 3, 20-28

Maria M. Voznesenskaya, Vinogradov Russian Language Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences) (Russia, Moscow), voznes-masha@yandex.com


The paper describes the widely used modern Russian expression I vam ne khvorat’! (lit. “Don’t get sick too!”), discussing its origin and main features of the usage. The phrase is a quote from the famous Soviet movie “Come tomorrow...” (1963). The main character of the film, a simple-minded and naive girl Frosya Burlakova, used I vam ne khvorat’! as a wish for health in response to the literally understood etiquette formula of farewell Bud’ zdorova! (lit. “Be healthy”). The new life of the movie quote I vam ne khvorat’! began at the end of 20, beginning of 21 century. It can be used in different situations. First of all, it can be used in the literal meaning of the expression, as a wish for health. In this sense it can be used as a title of a book, an article, a forum thread or a blog about health, medicine, etc. Secondly, it can act as a conventional etiquette formula for greeting or bidding farewell. I vam ne khvorat’! can be used only as a reply in both of these communicative situations, unlike other Russian greeting and farewell expressions, which can function only in one of the two situations (meeting or parting) but can be used both as an initial phrase and as a reply. Besides, the expression can be used as a reaction to lacking of a required etiquette formula or inappropriate behavior of an interlocutor. In such situations, I vam ne khvorat’! indicates the dialogue partner’s impoliteness, discontent, rudeness, etc. At the same time, it can perform the function of a verbal defense, or, on the other hand, act as a manifestation of polite aggression