What's used as the Ukrainian for the English word "troika", when referring to the horse drawn carriage, as opposed to the travel card or as a metaphorical gang of three?

Wiktionary says it's трі́йка, but a Ukrainian speaker says that "brichka" is used.

Wiktionary has an entry for the English word britchka, but no translation information.


3 Answers 3


Brychka is more general class of transport vehicle. Actually it is a wagon which may be carried by technicaly unimited number of horses :)

Troika (трійка) is a brychka drawn by three horses:

Троє коней, запряжених поряд в один екіпаж. // Екіпаж із запряженими в нього трьома кіньми; тройка.

  • Which word is more frequently used?
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 8:23
  • I can't tell you for sure. People does not talk about troika's and brychkas often. But as for me trijka has quite a colonial scent of old-russian-emperial past and brychka has a bit of flavour of bourgeoisie utopia. So the intent of speaker may influence choise of the word
    – chizh
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 11:49
  • Is either "old-russian-[imperial] past" or "bourgeoisie utopia" likely to offend Ukrainians?
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 11:50
  • I don't think these words may offend anyone. Brychkas with one or two horses used to be more common in our lands. Having brychka with three horses may be considered as showing-off rather than for reasons of usefulness :) But it's my very subjective thought
    – chizh
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 12:05
  • 1
    @AndrewGrimm, in addition to what Chizh said, I'd prefer to say "brychka" just because it's more narrow sense. "Triyka" just means "three (as noun)" and it can mean anything: a school mark, a sort of beer, an NKVD commission, a playing card, a digit itself. While "brychka" is a specific kind of vehicle (although not necessarily with exactly three horses).
    – Sasha
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 12:23

Трійка means that three horses are used, while they may "drive" different types of carriage, including sleigh.

ТРІЙКА Троє коней, запряжених поряд в один екіпаж.

Бричка is a type of carriage, while it can be drawn by different number of horses.

БРИ́ЧКА, и, жін. Легкий візок для їзди, іноді з відкидним верхом.


There is another option, though outdated

ТРОЯН Троє (коней). На друге літо — обзавівся [Максим] трояном коней (Панас Мирний, I, 1949, 238); Його примчав на мальованій таращанській бричці троян вороних коней (Михайло Стельмах, I, 1962, 319).

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