“There is no sex in the Soviet Union”: From sex to seks

Anna Wierzbicka, Anna Gladkova*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In Russian, the loan word seks is linked for many speakers with a famous episode from the pre-perestrojka period when in the course of one of the first Soviet-American tele-bridges a Russian respondent famously declared: “U nas seksa net. ..”, ‘there is no sex in the Soviet Union’. Focussing on seks as a loan word in Russian and exploring the meaning of its ubiquitous English counterpart in a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective, this paper shows that the meaning of sex is a conceptual artefact of modern Anglo culture and that the differences between the two words can be illuminated through Minimal English.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationStudies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication
    Subtitle of host publicationMinimal English (and Beyond)
    PublisherSpringer Singapore
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9789813299795
    ISBN (Print)9789813299788
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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