Bulgarians love using expressions and slang phrases. If you are a foreigner who is studying Bulgarian and sometimes you just don’t get what you're Bulgarian friends are talking about, perhaps reading these phrases can help you. The following expressions probably sound weird in English, but actually we use them quite often.



1. БОЛИ МЕ ФАРА - My lighthouse hurts


Bulgarians don’t just say “I don’t care”, instead they say their “lighthouse hurts”.


  • И какво? Тя скъса с теб заради този другия? And what?! She broke up with you for the other guy?
  • Боли ме фара брат, тя губи. My lighthouse hurts, brother, she loses.



2. АЗ СЪМ МАТО/ ДРОБ (СЪРМА) - I am mate/liver (which is a traditional meal with rice and liver)


This is said when someone is drunk. It means “I am wasted”. The mate thing maybe comes from the game of chess.


There was even a famous Bulgarian hip hop song called “Drop Some”, and of course it doesn’t mean what it does in English, but it has the pronunciation in Bulgarian of ДРОБ СЪМ, which was the idea.


  • Изпих една бутилка уиски. Дроб съм! I drank a bottle of whiskey. I’m liver!
  • И аз съм мато! I am mate too.





This is a kind of croissant in Bulgaria, but we use it when describing girls with too much make up and take too many selfies. Most of the times, these girls have a lot of makeup, hair extensions, fake lips, eyelashes, plastic surgery, etc.


  • В тоалетната е пълно с кифли, които си правят селфита. The bathroom is full of KIFLI who are taking selfies.



4. НА ДВЕ СТОТИНКИ ЩЕ ТЕ НАПРАВЯ - I will take you on two stotinki (cents)


We say “I will take you on two stotinki” when we are going to “beat” someone up, physically or in a performance etc. It’s a threat.


  • Тя ме предизвиква да пеем, мисли си, че пее по-добре от мен. She is challenging me to sing (in a battle). She thinks that she sings better than me.
  • Пффф, никакъв шанс, ще я направиш на две стотинки. Pff, no chance, you will take her on two stotinki.


*Also, many times you may hear стинки. This is the shortened slang version of the full word.



5. ДВЕ НЕ ВИЖДАМ - I don’t see two


We say “I don’t see two” when we want to sleep really badly or we are very tired.


  • Не съм спала от два дена. Две не виждам. I haven’t slept for two days. I don’t see two.



6. СПИ КАТО ЗАКЛАН/ПЪН - Sleep slaughtered or like a stump


To “sleep slaughtered” or “like a stump” means that you are a deep sleeper. We even joke that in the US or Britain they say, “sleep like an angel”; but in Bulgaria, we would say, “sleep like slaughtered”.


  • Нагласям си десет аларми, но всеки път спа като пън и не се събуждам. I have ten alarms, but everytime I sleep like a stump and don’t wake up.



7. ПАДА МИ ПЕРДЕТО - My curtain falls


We don’t just say we are pissed off. There is a point where your “curtain falls down”. This is the critical point where a Bulgarian goes crazy.


  • Брат му много го ядосваше цяла вечер и накрая на Иван му пада пердето и го удари. His brother was pissing him off the whole night; and in the end, Ivan’s curtain fell and he hit him.



8. НЕДЕЙ МИ СЕ ПРАВИ (на голяма работа) / НЕДЕЙ МИ СЕ ОТВАРЯ - Don’t make (a big deal/job) of yourself / Don’t open yourself to me


  • Вчера живееше на село днеска ми се правиш на голяма работа. Недей ми се отваря чу ли?! Yesterday you lived in the village, today you are making a big deal of yourself. Don’t open yourself to me, do you hear me?!


You can also say “someone is open”, or otvoren. It means that he or she thinks they are a big deal, talks a lot, and thinks they know everything.



9. МАНИ-МАНИ! - Remove-remove!


“Remove-remove” is said after something familiar but disappointing. You know what the other person is talking about, but there is nothing more to add. махни means remove.


  • Да имаш кола води със себе си много разходи. To have a car means so many costs/expenses.
  • Мани-мани, на мен ли го казваш. Днес платих 200 лв. за нови части. Remove-remove, are you saying this to me! Today I paid 200 lv for new parts.



10. ДА ТЕ ХВАНАТ КАРАСТАНЧОВИТE - To catch the Karastanchovs


There are speculations about the origin of this phrase, but the most popular one is that once in a village for a night the whole Karastanchovi family went crazy and started fighting and even killed themselves. From then on, we used this expression for saying someone has gone crazy or done stupid or strange things.


  • Чух, че брат ти е напуснал работа и тръгнал на околосветско пътуване с колело. I’ve heard that your brother left his job and now he is traveling around the world on his bike.
  • Какво да ти кажа… хванаха го Карастанчовите. What can I say…the Karastanchovs got him.



11. ДА СИ ВЪВ ФИЛМА - To be in a movie


Bulgarians tell you that you are in a movie if you are: overthinking something, creating different scenarios of certain situations (that probably won’t happen), have a big ego, or are too expressive or passionate about something.


  • Той си мисли, че ще отиде във Лос Анджелис и ще стане Холивудска звезда. He thinks he will go to L.A. and become a Hollywood star.
  • Доста е във филма. He is in a movie a lot.


  • Какво ще стане ако съседката ни е видяла тогава и звънне на майка ми и й каже всичко?! What will happen if the neighbor saw us and called my mom and told her everything?!
  • Успокой се.Излез от филма. Calm down. Get out of a movie.


I hope I helped you get a brief idea of how quirky and creative our common expressions can sometimes be.Try to use them with your Bulgarian friends. I am sure their jaw will drop and they will laugh a lot!


Hero image by Deniz Fuchidzhiev (CC0 1.0)