by Don  

Галитоз is a medical term that means “bad breath.” You may recognize it as meaning the same thing as the English word halitosis. When Russians borrows words based on Latin and Greek roots or words, they usually remove any grammatical ending from the word. Other examples:

артрит arthritis
бронхит bronchitis
музей museum
геолог geologist

Normally when Russians talk about bad breath, they don't use the medical term. Even educated native speakers might not know it. Instead they say «У него плохо пахнет изо рта», which in a word for word paraphrase comes out “At him it smells bad from the mouth.” Sample sentences:

Не подходи! Я только что съел банку анчоусов, и у меня плохо пахнет изо рта. Don't get too close! I just ate a tin of anhcovies, and I have bad breath.
— Фу, у тебя очень плохо пахнет изо рта! “Yuck, your breath stinks!”
— Да, ты что! Это не дурной запах, а просто чеснок. Я чеснок обожаю. “Oh, come on! That's not a bad smell; it's just garlic. I adore garlic.”
— А я не очень люблю. Если ты не бросишь есть чеснок, я с тобой не буду целоваться. Значит, ты сам сделай выбор: либо я, либо чеснок. “Well, I really don't like it. If you don't stop eating garlic, I'm not going to kiss you. So decide for yourself: it's either me or the garlic.”
— Я подумаю. “I'll think about it.”

My favorite bad breath phrase in Russian is «У меня во рту как будто эскадрон ночевал» “It's like an [entire] company [of cavalry] spent the night in my mouth.” But that's not the only one. The Russians love to play with language, and they can get quite creative when describing bad breath, for instance…

Warning! The following example contains English vulgarity and русский мат!

После вчерашнего проснулся - голова трещит, во рту как кошки насрали. After yesterday's binge I woke up with my head pounding, and my mouth stank like cats crapped in it.

There are a lot of versions of this phrase that vary in their degree of nastiness. I was curious which one was the most common, so I googled them all and came up with this hit count (15 May 2009):

Russian variant Google hits English equivalent
1. кошки написали 424 peed
2. кошки накакали 249 pooped
3. кошки нагадили 1,030 defecated
4. кошки нассали 239 pissed
5. кошки насрали 1,430 crapped

Versions 1 and 2 are kiddie talk. Adults may use them to avoid obscenity. #3 uses a fairly neutral word but still gets the point across. 4 and 5 are obscene. Do NOT use them in front of your instructors in Moscow or in front of your host mother.


Comment from: MMM [Visitor]

Сударь, да у вас галитоз.

02/05/14 @ 12:00
Comment from: Елена [Visitor]

Первый раз слышу такой слово, наверняка его употребляют только в научных трудах:)
Все говорят: “У тебя воняет из рта". Или: “У тебя во рту помойная яма".

05/19/10 @ 18:19
Comment from: Dmitry [Visitor]

У меня IQ выше среднего, но я никогда не употребляю слово Галитоз, да его никто не употребляет :), просто говорят - изо рта разит :)

11/28/09 @ 08:31
Comment from: Paul Baxter [Visitor]

Is изо рта pronounced like one word?

Don responds: Yes, it is pronounced [изарта] with no pause between the words.

08/26/09 @ 04:41

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