“Suetu Navesti Okhota!”: from the Meme to Everyday Speech

2023. № 6, 52-62

Natal’ya V. Semenova, Anna V. Rubtsova, Graduate School of Applied Linguistics, Interpreting
and Translation, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (Russia, Saint Petersburg),
semenova.nv@spbstu.ru, rubtsova_av@spbstu.ru


In the pandemic year of 2021, the phrase “Suetu navesti ohkota!” became one of the most popular Internet memes in Russia. It quickly developed the features of a true media virus, or a cultural replicator, which multiplied and repeatedly mutated in response to the interests of a large (and mainly young) audience. As the meme rapidly spread across the Russian media landscape, the culture produced many of its versions. Still, the linguistic content of the original meme — the phrase “navesti suetu” — remained unchanged. Having been rarely used in literary language, this phrase gradually seeped into everyday communication in the new reality. It became not only a vivid marker of youth slang but also part of colloquial language. We believe it was no accident that “navesti suetu” became widely used in general parlance. On the one hand, it was facilitated by cultural trends that developed long before the pandemic. One of them is the practice of aggressive driving on the roads, referred to as “suetologiya”, which added to the modern Russian language lexemes such as “suetolog” denoting an aggressive driver and “sueta” denoting reckless driving. Another one is the subculture of Abu bandits, who demonstrated what “sueta” is like to the average Internet user. On the other hand, we believe that this process was greatly influenced by the mechanisms deep within the language, which reacted to the connotations that the word “sueta” has in other strata of the Russian language. Having developed new connotative meanings, the word “sueta” also formed new collocations, which greatly expanded its range of use. In its new capacity, it started successfully competing with the word “dvizhukha”, which is an element of the youth slang phrase “navesti dvizhukhu”. This phrase was most likely borrowed by the youth from such marginal lexis as the Russian prison slang, where the collocation “navesti kipish” is used.

For citation:

Semenova N. V., Rubtsova A. V. “Suetu Navesti Okhota!”: from the Meme to Everyday Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2023. No. 6. Pp. 52–62. DOI: 10.31857/S013161170029354-8.