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Bosnian Slang Words and Phrases

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Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country of rich cultural heritage and diverse influences, has a unique and vibrant language full of distinct slang and phrases. If you’re looking to sound like a local or just want to spice up your vocabulary, learning some Bosnian slang is the way to go. Here are some popular slang words and phrases that you might hear in everyday conversations among Bosnians.

Baš
Meaning “really” or “very,” this word is used for emphasis and can often be heard in casual chats.
Ej, baš mi je drago vidjeti te! (Hey, I’m really glad to see you!)

Raja
This term refers to a group of friends or peers. It can also denote a general group of people.
Idemo van sa rajom večeras. (We’re going out with the gang tonight.)

Merak
“Merak” is a feeling of deep pleasure and contentment, often related to simple joys or the act of enjoying something thoroughly.
Ovo jelo je baš merak, moraš probati. (This dish is so satisfying, you have to try it.)

Bre
Used at the end of sentences for additional emphasis, much like “man” or “dude” in English. It’s a way to express camaraderie.
Hajde, bre, ne budi tako! (Come on, dude, don’t be like that!)

Šatro
Pertaining to slang or talking in code where words are often mixed up, this term can also imply pretending or not being sincere.
Priča na šatrovački pa ga niko ne razumije. (He talks in codes so nobody understands him.)

Fazon
This word can mean “joke” or refer to a particular style or way of doing things. It captures the essence of a situation or an individual’s behavior.
Ma, bio je to samo fazon, nemoj se ljutiti. (It was just a joke, don’t get mad.)

Bemti
A mild swear word meaning “damn” or “damn it.” It is often used to express frustration or disbelief.
Bemti, opet mi je pao internet. (Damn it, my internet went down again.)

Ćejf
Derived from Turkish, this word describes a state of enjoying oneself or indulging in something that one does for pure pleasure.
Imam baš ćejf danas da se prošetam gradom. (I’m really in the mood to take a walk around the city today.)

Jaran
A close friend, buddy, or pal. “Jaran” refers to someone one is very comfortable and friendly with.
Moj jaran dolazi večeras da gledamo utakmicu. (My buddy is coming over tonight to watch the game.)

Extra
Although borrowed from English, it is widely used in Bosnian to indicate that something is excellent or top-quality.
Ovaj koncert će biti extra, ne mogu da čekam! (This concert is going to be excellent; I can’t wait!)

Lud, zbunjen, normalan
Literally “crazy, confused, normal,” this phrase is used to describe a situation or person that is all over the place and hard to categorize.
Ovaj film je bio lud, zbunjen, normalan, ali na kraju odličan. (This movie was all over the place but turned out to be great in the end.)

Learning slang is a fantastic way to dive deeper into a language and its culture. Bosnian slang encapsulates the humor, warmth, and inventiveness of its people. So the next time you find yourself in Bosnia or around Bosnian speakers, try dropping some of these words and phrases. Not only will it bring you closer to sounding like a native, but you’ll also certainly make a few friends—or “jarane”—along the way.

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