The Meaning of Cheeki Breeki: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the phrase cheeki breeki means? This article will give you all of the necessary information on the phrase cheeki breeki, including its definition, origin, usage, and more!

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What is the meaning of the phrase cheeki breeki?

According to Fandom, Cheeki breeki is a catchphrase associated with a quote originating in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game universe. Inside this series of video games, the phrase is used by Russian or Ukrainian bandits, and outside the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, the western internet uses this as a stereotypical phrase of Gopniks and Soviet and Post-Soviet criminals. This phrase is used to taunt the player before one of the non-player characters called bandits attacks them in a mocking tone.

The phrase cheeki breeki was derived from a Russian phrase, “А ну, чики-брики и в дамки.” In phonetic English, the full quote is pronounced “A nu cheeki breeki iv damke.” The simple meaning of Cheeki breeki on its own means that everything is alright.

While many may believe that this is a mispronunciation of the phrase “shake it, break it,” it actually has two different possible translations. The first is “one, two, I’m on top!” which comes from the tradition of Russian checkers. Players will say this when they are able to stack up two pieces and make a king. This means that one player is taunting the other for having the upper hand. Urban Dictionary states that this phrase is a metaphor for having the advantage or flanking someone.

One other possible translation comes from the fact that the bandits in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl game do make use of Russian slang. Some of the characters within the original Russian can be translated to be taken as a vague, vulgar threat to shoot someone in the head. Either of these could be taken as the real meaning of the phrase because they all make sense in context.

What is the origin of the phrase cheeki breeki?

The phrase cheeki breeki is one of many taunting memes that have been popularized within the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. Bandits use this phrase before attacking the player. If someone encounters a bandit at a major base, the phrase cheeki breeki will also have a musical component.

The Russian phrase that cheeki breeki was derived from, “А ну, чики-брики и в дамки” was related to the game checkers, which Russian inmates often played. It is also a part of a Russian children’s nursery rhyme.

This phrase is heavily associated with the bandits in the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. because many of them are criminals on the run. This may be why developers chose them to have their own language that the player and character cannot understand. They were designed after Russian criminals and lower class workers.

After the game’s release, the expression became somewhat of a meme. According to Know Your Meme, a YouTuber named TheIronTyrant uploaded a Russian music video called “Meet the Bandits” in which the lyrics made use of all of the bandits’ quotes from S.T.A.L.K.E.R., including cheeki breeki. At the height of its popularity, the viral video of Russians dancing had nearly 3 million views, but was taken down and reuploaded from a different channel. Many different memes emerged on sites like 4chan and Tumblr in reference to the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and the phrase cheeki breeki.

What is the origin of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games?

According to Fandom, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a sandbox-style first person shooter RPG game with a large map for the player to explore. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. stands for Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers and Robbers. The game is set in a place called the Zone, which is a post-Chernobyl fantasy world in which there was a second explosion in Chernobyl. In the game, the player plays a mysterious stalker that tries to uncover the mysteries that the Zone is hiding.

The first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game released was Shadow of Chernobyl in 2007, from THQ and GSC Game World. Next, the developers released S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky in 2008, followed by S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat in 2010. 

After the first three S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, the developers began working on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. Fandom states that the game was originally announced in 2010 shortly after the release of the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, but it was subsequently cancelled in 2012. In 2018, the GSC Game World Twitter account announced that they were restarting production on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, and that the game would be released in 2021. Many fans look forward to the release of this game. 

Overall, the expression cheeki breeki is a phrase that originated from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of games. Here, it is used by bandits before they attack the player. It’s literal translation from Russian is “everything’s okay.” The phrase has a couple of other translations from the context of Russian checkers and Russian slang, which the bandits use in the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Sources:

  1. https://stalker.fandom.com/wiki/Cheeki_Breeki#:~:text=Cheeki%20breeki%20is%20a%20phrase,eyes%20of%20the%20western%20internet.&text=The%20expression%20Cheeki%20Breeki%20alone%20can%20mean%20that’s%20everything’s%20OK.
  2. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Cheeki%20Breeki
  3. https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/cheeki-breeki
  4. https://stalker.fandom.com/wiki/S.T.A.L.K.E.R._Wiki