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A long time ago I made friends with some dudes from Ukraine that spent the summer in America for a high school program. They taught me a few phrases but the one I’ve never forgotten but never been able to figure out is what they taught me for “What the f*ck is up?!” They said it was like a greeting to your friends. When I’ve stumbled trying to say the phrase to other Ukrainian speakers nobody seemed to know but I decided to research. I realize now I’ve said most of the phrase wrong anyway with a terrible accent of course.

I thought it sounded like “Schcho zha qui nya” so no wonder nobody understood...

I just looked around for an hour and now I know for sure the first part is: Що на хуй... which seems to mean “What the fuck...”

But I remember that it had an ending. The closest thing I’ve found might be “khuy yak” as in: Що на хуйяк? or Що на хуй як?

I only know of Google Translate to check things in Ukrainian and can’t seem to find any other searches for my answer but I thought I’d try to get an answer once and for all.

Is either Що на хуйяк? or Що на хуй як? a real phrase or maybe something close?? It’s been bugging me the past 15 years so as silly as this might be I’d really like to close the case on this one lol. Thanks!

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    @AndriyIvanchenko Can you prove your statement? – Yola Dec 10 '19 at 16:28
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    @AndriyIvanchenko I strongly disagree. Here's something for you to read: ukrainian.stackexchange.com/a/619/240 – P. Vowk Dec 10 '19 at 16:28
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    @AndriyIvanchenko поділіться з людьми, будь ласка, щоби вони знали правду. – P. Vowk Dec 10 '19 at 16:51
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    For me “schcho zha qui nya” looks like (partially incorrectly written) "що за хуйня", which is the first version expressed by bytebuster. – Sasha Dec 10 '19 at 21:27
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    Lol wow thank you all for commenting. This is all very helpful and I truly appreciate it. I don’t intend to use this to just anyone but I saw my friend Sasha pop up on FB and I wanted to say hey since it’s been so long. He’s got a great sense of humor so I only hoped to use the phrase in a message to him. Perhaps he will know and correct me but this helps. Either way if I say it wrong I know he will appreciate the effort attempting to greet him like he taught me lol. It’s for sure Ukrainian though not Russian I know at least that much. Thank you all for being so cool to answer my question! 🤘 – Rezz Dec 11 '19 at 4:38
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The answer is, we don't know, we can only try guessing.

In every language, colloquial communication, especially the one that uses obscene lexic and swear words, undergo a blooming word formation. Think for yourself how many years ago "what's up" has emerged, then transforming into "whazzup" and then into "sup".

The same phenomenon occurs in Ukrainian. The linked question and its answers provide with a basic list of swear words.

The phrase "що за хуйня" /scho za qui-nya/ literally means "what the fuck", where хуйня can stand for rubbish, stuff, etc.

The phrase "що на хуй як?" /scho na qui yak/ literally translates "what to_a_dick how" may, for example, appear to be a local slang-word for "що як?" "what, how?" ("how d'you?") with added a swear word.
There could be a myriad of other meanings. For example, "хуяк" /quyak/ can be translated as "Bang!", and "what a bang?" (what's the buzz? tell me what's happening) may have some local meaning that we don't know.


I’ve stumbled trying to say the phrase to other Ukrainian speakers nobody seemed to know […]

Lucky you! :)

In a conclusion, having seen many people who are interested in a foreign language and culture, I'd like to say: don't begin your study with learning swear words, unless you know all sociocultural aspects of how to use it. Using it wrongly, in an inappropriate context, you at minimum show yourself a rude person, and at maximum could have a bigger trouble for no apparent reason.

  • I’m a noob to this site lol but I def wan to ty. This was a curiosity post I’ve been thinking of this phrase for years and had to finally ask! As a student of languages I know it’s not ok to just curse without being aware of what I’m saying and who I’m saying it to! The first statement I appreciate most of all. I was thinking that it’s probably something he and his friends use colloquially. Ty so much for being so thorough. I know next to no Ukrainian. Spanish tho and some French/ Japanese/ German mostly. I’ll try messaging him tho with the phrase and report back! Thanks again!!! – Rezz Dec 11 '19 at 5:16
  • @Rezz, glad to help. There are lots of "nice" phrases to greet someone, from easy-to-learn ones to tongue-twisting dialectisms. Personally, I would prefer if a foreign friend employed these words (expending their time and effort to produce it with a minimal accent possible!) instead of swear ones when greeting me. :-) Nevertheless, if you find this answer most useful, please consider marking it "Accepted" (a green check mark underneath the voting buttons). You can revise this mark at any time if a better answer emerges. – bytebuster Dec 11 '19 at 5:17
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    Ty so much! I’ll do that. Again I wouldn’t go around swearing to anyone but we’d say it to each other every time we met we would greet with that phrase, it was hard for me to pronounce it so it became an inside joke. I wouldn’t greet anyone else like that ever but we both have the same sense of humor and he would appreciate me trying lol. I won’t say that with no context either. I still really appreciate the feedback but this is one of those cases where i am positive it would b appropriate just because we kept in touch for a bit after he left even and he would greet me that way lol. Ty dude! – Rezz Dec 11 '19 at 6:15
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    Got the answer straight from my friend, Oleksandr (Sasha)... “ Yes , що за хуйня is correct“ !! There you have it! It does mean “What the fck is up” Now we all learned something new lol. He lives in Kiev but I believe he grew up outside of but near Kiev. I do apologize for the swearing but I knew he’d get a kick out of me remembering that! And I didn’t start the conversation with “Scho za qui-nya” btw 😂 Thanks again cuz as ridiculous as my question was it has been on my mind for years and I never got to ask him before because I forgot his real name was Oleksandr until it popped up today! – Rezz Dec 11 '19 at 10:19
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    @Rezz it's Kyiv, not Kiev – P. Vowk Dec 11 '19 at 16:23

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