Bratky (mobsters), fartsovshchyk (black marketeer), khimiya (perm), kosukha (rocker-style leather jacket). If this associative row has worked on you, and now you are thinking of the box of screws you were once given instead of your salary or your favourite windbreaker, there is nothing wrong with it, because the 1990s actually enriched the vocabulary of the average Ukrainian with a considerable number of words.
A clear expression of the social reorganization reflexes, characteristic of the early 1990s, was a "jargon explosion" in speech. The emergence of a large number of words and jargons and their use in various social groups were a result of radical changes in society: the transparency of borders and the development of the Internet caused the emergence of neologisms borrowed from other languages; partly, the slang was the result of the society criminalization. The emergence of a large number of new words in society was reacted to by scholars, resulting in compiling dictionaries of the new vocabulary.
One of the first who collected and compiled new words in a single collection was Svitlana Pyrkalo: her First Dictionary of Ukrainian Youth Slang was compiled in 1997 and became a bestseller at one time. Now, from the perspective of twenty years, most of the words are little known or not known at all, but some of them have remained in use and lost their slang status.
The Word Creation of Independent Ukraine dictionary, which was compiled by the Kharkiv Historical and Philological Society, tries to register new words of the first twenty years of Ukraine's independence. The material collected in this dictionary enabled "updating" the official language, which really required it. The dictionary makes it possible, in detail and nuances, to write and study the "current" history; in particular, it allows to analyze the trends in society and its reaction to the environment, etc. through the vocabulary.
Also, an Olena Haleta’s article entitled The Explosive Language (hence, actually, the name of this material) is offered; it tells about the literature of the 1990s and its "going out to the street", about the literature "which reserved the right to be independent, and not only to fight for independence".
In the end, we invite you to look through a dictionary of terms and concepts of the 1990s "from A to Z", available in the What is What section. Here we show "textbook" terms and explain the paragraphs’ headings or the external evaluation questions through small things, details, stories, and memories of real people. The dictionary contains images, videos, citations of memories, and useful links.