Learning Serbian is no joke. The tongue-twisty vocab and tricky cases are often far from fun. Still, if you’re eager to master the Serbian language and all its unique aspects, you can’t skip humor. After all, once you get the hang of the Serbian jokes and understand the memes, you’ll know you’re a proficient speaker.
Yes, that’s easier said than done. Understanding the humor of a country requires more than just knowing the language. To understand the jokes, you need to be able to notice the slight nuances that make something funny. So, to show you what makes Serbs chuckle, we’ll explain 7 hilarious Serbian jokes and memes. Take a look!
What Makes Serbs Laugh
Serbian jokes are often harsh, direct, and ironic. It seems that, to Serbs, nothing is sacred, and there are no taboos. They will talk about the most monstrous thing with a straight face and laugh about it. Let’s just say that if you’re not into black humor, you might not like your Serbian friends’ jokes.
Serbs also love to mock others. However, the favorite butt of all Serbian jokes is the Serbs themselves. Self-deprecating humor is a way of life in Serbia, and though you might say there’s nothing wrong with poking fun at ourselves occasionally, Serbs tend to go overboard. So, if you feel your Serbian friend is a victim of self-mockery, don’t take it too seriously and laugh along.
So, why do Serbs joke like this? It seems that to them, joking is a part of the culture. They joke so they can have a good time. They joke when they’re having a hard time. Throughout history, Serbs faced many misfortunes but found comfort in humor even in the worst times. As it seems, cracking jokes is not only a way of life but also a way to survive.
7 Serbian Jokes and Memes
It’s safe to say each language has puns (igre rečima), and Serbian is no different. As each language functions uniquely, puns are often impossible to translate or explain. But let’s take a look at this one:
- Šta kaže Brus Vilis kad ode u prodavnicu kompjuterske opreme? “Daj hard.”
What does Bruce Willis say when he goes to a computer hardware store? “Give me a hard.” (Die Hard)
Here, hard means the hard disk, and the pun is possible because the Serbian “daj” (give me) sounds just like “die” in English. Did you get the joke?
As you know, Serbs like to mock others. So, the protagonists of numerous jokes are the different nationalities, and each of them has unfortunate but amusing traits. In these jokes, Montenegrians are lazy, Bosnians are unintelligent, and Slovenes are stingy.
- Koji je crnogorski rekord na 100 metara? 63 metra.
What is the Montenegrin record in the 100-meter sprint? 63 meters.
Mujo and Haso are the main characters of all jokes about Bosnians. However, this one only stars Mujo:
- Uhapsili Muju i doveli ga kod sudije. Pita ga sudija:
– Šta Vas je dovelo ovamo?
A Mujo odgovara:
– Policijski auto.
Mujo was arrested and taken to the judge. The judge asked him:
- What brought you here?
- A police car.
What’s the enemy no. 1 of all Serbs? If you said promaja, you’re correct. Promaja means – draft (cross ventilation); unlike in other countries, in Serbia, it’s lethal. It’s the insidious air flow that sneaks in through a cracked window and claims the lives of innocent Serbs each day.
Of course, this is a joke, but the exaggerated fear of promaja among Serbs fuels countless memes and jokes.
In addition to joking, Serbs love to drink. They like rakija and lots of it. To them, it seems like rakija is a solution to everything. It helps you make friends, and it makes parties more fun. When you get sick, rakija is a medicine. And more than anything, when you’re sad, it helps you deal with your feelings. In other words, this strong liquor is a cure-all for Serbs.
Have you ever heard about šalteruša? Šalteruša is a lady who works behind a counter and handles administrative tasks for citizens. For example, if you need a new passport or you need to get your birth certificate, you need the help of šalteruša.
In Serbia, this lady is no ordinary counter clerk. She is a bemustached middle-aged woman whose primary job is to make your life miserable. How does she do that? Her secret weapon is FT1P (fali ti jedan papir). FT1P is the abbreviation for – you’re one document short. That means that, no matter how well you prepare, when you reach her counter, the crabby šalteruša won’t be able to help you because – FT1P. Better luck next time!
If you’re a Serb, I bet Baba is your favorite person. She is not just a grandma; she’s your friend, accomplice, cook, nurse, nanny, and the most enthusiastic cheerleader. In other words, Baba is your superhero. No matter what others think, to your Baba, you’re the most brilliant, most gorgeous person in the world.
And since Baba loves you so much, she’s always afraid you’ll starve. That’s why her life mission is to feed you. No matter how much you resist, you won’t leave her house before finishing a full plate of her homemade, finger-licking sarma.
7. Serbs themselves
As we said before, Serbs love to poke fun at themselves. Then, it’s unsurprising that the popular format “In Serbia we don’t say… We say… I and I think it’s beautiful” makes them giggle.
- In Serbia, we don’t say: “I have a problem.” We say: “Mamaaa!” and I think it’s beautiful.
This one mocks the tendency of Serbs to cling to their parents, even in the adult age. Of course, the majority of people don’t fit this stereotype, but it’s not uncommon to see 30-year-olds who still expect their mom to clean after them and buy their underwear.
- In Serbia, we don’t say: ”I don’t care.” We say: “Boli me dupe,” and I think it’s beautiful.
The phrase “Boli me dupe” (my butt hurts) is an unsophisticated way to say that you could care less about something. Although impolite, it’s a common phrase and is just another quirk of the Serbian language.
Share Serbian Jokes With Others
Hopefully, you’re one step closer to understanding Serbian jokes and memes. However, a sense of humor is complex, and in-depth comprehension takes time and effort. Try watching Serbian comedy movies or reading funny books to draw your own conclusions.
Finally, jokes are useless if you have no one to share them with. So, why don’t you book group Serbian conversation lessons and tell Serbian jokes to other learners? After all, laughing with others is a great way to learn a language with zero stress.