The Russian phrase “Cyka Blyat” is a popular slang term, often encountered in video games like CS:GO. Online, it has become a meme associated with Slavic culture.
The exact meaning of “Cyka Blyat” is hard to define. The term “Cyka” (pronounced soo-ka) literally translates to “whore”, while the word “blyat” – or “блять” written with the Cyrillic alphabet – is mostly used as a vulgar exclamation, like those in English invoking the act of reproduction or producing excrement.
Despite its negative connotations, “Cyka Blyat” has become somewhat of a joke within the online community, used humorously to refer to someone or something that is stereotypically associated with Slavic culture, often appearing on image macros, as well as reaction GIFs and videos.
“Cyka Blyat” has been used in the Russian language for decades, primarily as an exclamation of surprise and annoyance.
It started appearing online in the 2000s, when Russian gamers started joining online multiplayer games, like Counter Strike 1.6 and Counter Strike: Source.
The expression was first defined on Urban Dictionary on September 6th, 2005.
The spread of the phrase “Cyka Blyat” is mostly attributed to the 2013 video “Blyat on the Road Compilation”.
This video featured dashcam footage from Russia and heavily used the swear word “Blyat”.
Due to its comedic nature, this video quickly became popular and started a trend of people uploading more similar videos, ultimately leading to the meme we know today.
The phrase was soon seen all over the internet, especially on popular websites like 9GAG, 4chan and Reddit. It has since then taken on different meanings: some people use it as an expression of surprise or shock, while others use it as an insult or even a term of endearment.
Its versatility has made it popular around the world, with its usage being reported in English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
This was further propelled following 2014, when Russia was getting more attention by the media, following its annexation of Crimea.
Memes of Russian culture became more prevalent around this time, swarming YouTube with Hardbass songs, Russia compilations, as well as “Cyka Blyat” image macros and GIFs.
Mashups with other memes also became prevalent, like a parody of the Smile, Sweet, Sister meme.