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Russian враньё (vranʹjó, lying, lies), from врать (vratʹ, to lie) (contrasted with ложь (ložʹ)).



vranyo (uncountable)

  1. White lies or half-lies in Russian culture, told without the intention of (maliciously) deceiving, but as a fantasy, suppressing unpleasant parts of the truth.
    • 2004 September 6, Raven, “Re: OT: Beslan school hostage tragedy (Russia, Putin)”, in alt.fan.tolkien[1] (Usenet):
      If the reports from the Russian authorities aren't all vranyo, there were not many Chechens among the Beslan ghouls.
    • 2006, Leonard J. Stanton, James Daniel Hardy, Interpreting Nikolai Gogol Within Russian Orthodoxy, page 26:
      And, after uttering the witty bit of vranyo, Gogol repaired the social lie at once by concluding "Nevsky Prospekt" with the admonition:
      Oh, do not trust that Nevsky Prospekt! ... the devil himself lights the street lamps to show everything in false colors.
    • 2007, David Shulman, From Hire to Liar: The Role of Deception in the Workplace, →ISBN, page 79:
      The term vranyo in Russian describes the subtle collective participation people can have in deception. Vranyo occurs when one person lies to another, the second person recognizes that the first person is lying, and neither of them acknowledges that any lie was spoken. For example, someone states (knowing otherwise) that he will meet monthly production goals. An audience hears this claim and knows it to be false. No one acknowledges the lie publicly. [...] When a co-worker claims to work incredibly hard but is lying and an observer knows that colleague is lying but does not expose the lie—that is vranyo. In subsequent chapters, workers demonstrate a strong inclination to vranyo. Vranyo occurs routinely in meetings [...]

See also[edit]


  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "A Word or Two about Vranyo." ("Nechto o vranye," Diary of a Writer, 1873, XV.)
  • R. Hingley, "Famous Vrun's and Their Vranyo's" (Radio Free Europe /Munich.Research and Evaluation Department Background Information USSR, 1962-5-22) link