8 Must-know Serbian Slang Words for Food and Drinks

Seven hot dogs in front of a yellow background.

By now, you probably know your basic vocab related to food in Serbian. Now, you likely wish to learn Serbian slang words for food to develop your skills and spice up your conversations.

If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover the most common food-related slang — plus phrases about food that aren’t really about food.

So, let’s begin!

Serbian Slang Words for Food and Drinks

1. Klopati/hasati and cugati

In our blog post about slang words for going out, we told you that klopa means hrana (food).

So, for example, you can suggest to your friend:

‘Ajmo na neku klopu.

(Let’s grab a bite.)

Or you can ask your mom:

Šta si spremila za klopu?

(What food did you make?)

However, you can also use this slang as a verb. So, the verb form is klopati, and it’s a slang alternative for jesti (to eat).

For example:

Baš sam lepo klopao.

(I had such a nice meal.)

Another slangy verb — hasati — has the same meaning and usage.

For example:

Nešto mi se hasa, ali me mrzi da kuvam.

(I feel like eating something, but I can’t be bothered to cook.)

Cuga is a liquid alternative to klopa with a percentage of alcohol. The formal term is piće (a drink, a beverage). So, if you’re having a glass of wine at a fancy-pants restaurant, that’s piće. On the other hand,  when you drink cheap beer in a local kafana, then that’s cuga.

For example:

Kupi cugu i dođi kod mene.

(Buy some booze and come to my place.)

And just like klopa turns into klopati, cuga becomes cugati/cugnuti (imperfective/perfective).

For example:

Cugali smo celu noć.

(We drank booze all night.)

Cugni rakiju pa idemo na žurku.

(Drink up your rakija, and we’ll go to the party.)

2. Krkati

Krkati is another Serbian slang word for eating. Only, in this case, it’s a sort of binge eating. On top of large quantities of food, this term implies unsightly table manners.

Just imagine a sweaty middle-aged dude stuffing his face with greasy pork, using bare hands. Needless to say, it’s not a nice picture.

For example:

(a wife to her husband at a social event)

Prekini da krkaš. Brukaš me pred ljudima!

(Quit stuffing your face. You’re embarrassing me in front of people!)

: A man holding a hamburger in front of him.
On voli da krka 😁

3. Kafenisati

You probably know that kafa means coffee, but did you know that this word can become a verb?

Namely, kafanisati is the activity of drinking coffee. Of course, you can say Pijem kafu, but if you want to add some zing and use slang, say Kafenišem instead.

For example:

Ne mogu da pričam sad, kafenišem sa drugaricom. Čujemo se posle.

(I can’t talk now, I’m having coffee with a girlfriend. Talk to you later.)

Three women drinking coffee at a cafe.
Drugarice kafenišu ☕

4. Pljeska

When life gets busy, every moment is precious. That’s probably why people are so obsessed with saving time that they can even pronounce entire words. So, a second becomes a sec and brother turns into bro.

Serbs are no different, and that’s how pljeskavica (burger) becomes pljeska.

For example:

Oni imaju najbolju pljesku u gradu!

(They have the best burger in town!)

5. Unuče

In Serbian, unuče means grandchild. But as cannibalism is illegal (luckily), you’re probably wondering why a grandchild is in an article about food and drinks.

Well, as a slang, unuče means something completely different. Namely, it’s a miniature bottle of strong liquor (50ml or 100ml). It likely got this name for its small size and the fact that people love it — just like they love their grandchildren.

For example:

Neću da pijem tu brlju*. Kupiću unuče votke.

(I don’t want to drink that hooch. I’ll buy a mini vodka.)

 

*Bonus slang word: Brlja

Brlja is a slang term for poor-quality rakija. Despite being affordable, brlja tastes awful and can give you a headache. So, unless you enjoy nasty hangovers, it’s best to steer clear.

Slang Terms Related to Food That Aren't About Food

Not everything is as it seems, and some expressions about food won’t be about food at all. So, here are some slangy phrases with unexpected meanings.

1. Paradajz turisti

Paradajz turisti (tomato tourists) are a peculiar kind of travelers. Namely, these are usually large families with kids who travel to the seaside for holidays.

You can recognize them by their mini-fridges and baskets full of food that they bring to the beach. And they don’t just take sandwiches and snacks with them. Sometimes, it’s a whole roast chicken. For this reason, many people look down on them and mock their travel habits.

But why do they do this? As you know, touristy places tend to be overpriced, and if you have a large family, even a simple ice cream a day for each kid quickly adds up.

That’s why paradajz turisti bring their own food from home and cook in their accommodation. That way, they can afford a holiday, which might not be possible otherwise.

2. Raspilaviti se

To understand this phrase, you need to know what pilav is. Let us explain.

Pilav is a popular food in Serbia, made of rice, chicken, and veggies. It’s similar to risotto, but rice in pilav isn’t al dente — it’s all mushy and soft.

And as people can get mushy too, we can use this slang to describe an emotional person.

For example:

(watching a tearjerker on Netflix)

Dodaj mi papirne maramice. Sva sam se raspilavila od ovog filma.

(Hand me the paper tissues. This movie got me all choked up.)

A rice dish with vegetables inside a metal pot.
Pilav se raspilavio 😢

3. Pekmeziti se

Pekmez (jam) is a popular homemade fruit preserve. However, as slang, pekmez is a whiny person who cries about nothing.

Similarly, pekmeziti se means whining and crying for no reason. It’s usually used to describe kids throwing tantrums. But, sure enough, grown-ups do it too sometimes.

 

Friend A (sobbing): Zašto me je ostavio? Ne mogu da živim bez njega.

(Why did he leave me? I can’t live without him.)

Friend B: Prestani da se pekmeziš. Naći češ boljeg.

(Stop whining. You’ll find a better one.)

Learn Serbian Slang Words

Hopefully, you’ve picked up a few phrases that you can use in your daily life. All you have to do now is practice Serbian slang words for food while you enjoy your Serbian food.

Finally, if you want to talk to an experienced teacher who can introduce you to all kinds of slang and everyday expressions, check out our individual Serbian lessons and practice in a comfy and supportive environment.

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