The paper is based on the material of the 19th–20th centuries East Slavic (principally Russian) literature. The author analyzes the model underlying the phraseological unit Tambovskii/bryanskii volk tebe tovarishch (lit. ‘Tambov/Bryansk wolf is your comrade’). Besides ‘wolf’, the discussed model can include such subjects, as ‘devil’, ‘dog’, ‘swine’ etc., which are associated with semantics of something, that possesses “unclean”, demonic or dangerous nature, and are used in pejorative constructions. From a semantic point of view, such formulas concern the statements delegating an action that the speaker refuses to perform to an “unclean” character (mostly to devil). Both before the word tovarishch ‘comrade’ (including its “class”, Soviet connotations) has come into usage, and after that, the constructions of the type Tambovskii/bryanskii volk tebe tovarishch were used as clichéd responses to any appeal (including terms of kinship, used both literally and metaphorically) or to a characteristic, establishing some relations between two persons (‘friend’, ‘fellow countryman’, ‘relative’, etc.). In some cases, the discussed formulas in practice serve as reaction to any statement of an interlocutor, thereby realizing the functions of both establishing a distance between a speaker and an author of the previous remark, mocking his speech, etc.