It's Now Illegal to Say 'Cunt' and 'Cock' in Russian Film

May 7, 2014 2:00 PM PST

MOSCOW — Russians may have to brush the dust off some erotic euphemisms — attn: “I want your turnip in my borscht!” — in light of the country’s new  ban on its entire lexicon of smut, called “mat,” from use in movies, concerts and other arts and cultural events in the country.  

Vladimir Putin signed the ban into law on Monday, effectively limiting the rich linguistic tradition of mat to the private sphere.

Films containing offending language will not be granted distribution certificates and books, CDs and other pop content will now be sealed in a package with the warning label, “Contains obscene language.”

The word “mat” is an abbreviated form of the verb “materit’” which roughly translates to “to scold someone’s mother.” Commonly invoked in all-male milieus, especially prisons and the army, mat is founded on several base words, including “khuy” (cock), “pizda” (cunt), “ebat’” (to fuck) and “blyad” (whore or bitch).       

According to the Kremlin, the new legislation "bans the use of obscene language when ensuring the rights of Russian citizens to the use of the state language, and protecting and developing language culture."

To ensure the sanctity of Russian speech, individuals and officials in violation of the ban could face fines of $40-$70 and businessed could face fines up to $1,400, the state news agency ITAR-Tass reported.

While the Ministry of Culture insists that the directive is geared towards "pop culture" and not "art," critics have largely interpreted the move as the Kremlin's latest limitation of free expression and promotion of a conservative worldview.

So, forget the khuy and munch on some “morkov'” (carrots) instead.  

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