Obama chmo!

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"Obama chmo!" (Russian: Обама - чмо, lit. ''Obama's a schmuck"[1] or "Obama is a schmoe''[2]) is a Russian-language slogan used in Russia to mock US President Barack Obama. It is featured on bumper stickers and as text on clothes.[1]

In 2015, the sales of patriotic bumper stickers, such as the ribbon of Saint George, started to include aggressive anti-American ones: "Обама чмо", "Обама обезьяна" ("Obama the monkey"), "Я против того, чтобы такое говно, как Америка, правило миром" ("I'm against the rule of American shit over the world"), "Куплю кожу Обамы дорого", and so on.[3] "Обама чмо" became pervasive in Russian pop culture.[2] A video clip with Russian comedian Mikhail Zadornov rapping and using the phrase was released on YouTube.[3][2] The phrase was even seen from space on a runway at the Russian airbase in Latakia, Syria.[2]

"Oбама - чмо" was selected as the 2015 Russian "Word of the Year" in the "anti-language" category.[4][5]


The Russian vulgarity чмо is variously transliterated as tshmo, tsmo (t͡ɕmo). The origin is unclear. Some believe the word "chmo" to be of Yiddish origin (Yiddish: שמאָק‎, penis). The word has two basic meanings: a dirty, untidy man and a generic nonspecific insult. There is also a number of folk etymologies"and backronyms" suincluding: ChMO - chelovek (Russian: человек, man), moralno (Russian: морально, morally), opushchenny (Russian: опущенный put down), человек, мало образованный; человек мешающий обществу, человек морально отсталый, etc.. This abundance of variants is probably due to the word being short and lacking declensions.[6] Sergei Zhuk gives another anecdotal explanation: the word originated in military slang, and originally referred to army rookies coming from Moscow and environs. Unlike able-bodied countryside or working-class men, the rookies coming from the capital city were inept and feeble. They were labelled with the abbreviation ChMO, meaning "Chelovek Moskovskoy Oblasti" ("a person from Moscow Oblast").[7]

See also

  • Putin khuilo - a similar insult against the Russian president


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Russia’s young and poor crave war with the West", The Times
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Russian Media Explodes With Vulgar and Racist Anti-Obama Rhetoric", The Observer, 15 December 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 Барак патриотов, Карина Меркурьева, Takie Dela magazine, October 16, 2015
  4. "СЛОВО ГОДА-2015. ИТОГИ ВЫБОРОВ", Mikhail Epstein, head of the Expert Council of the Centre for Creative Development of the Russian Language, December 12, 2015
  5. ""Беженцы" опередили "Немцов мост" и "Обама чмо" в рейтинге "Слово года"". newsru.com. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Дьячок - К значению и этимологии русского просторечного чмо". philology.ru. Retrieved 2 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Soviet Baby Boomers – Closed Cities, CHMO and Soviet Regionalism Posted at The Russian History Blog on December 17, 2012 by Sergei Zhuk

External links