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The word was coined by the Strugatsky brothers for their novel "Roadside Picnic" (1972), as an allusion to Rudyard Kipling's character Stalky from the "Stalky & Co." stories and the English word stalker. Ста́лки (Stálki) was well remembered by the Strugatskys from their childhood, when they read the stories in Russian translation. In the "Roadside Picnic", сталкер was a common nickname for men engaged in the illegal trade of prospecting for and smuggling of alien artifacts from the mysterious and dangerous "Zone".



ста́лкер (stálkerm anim (genitive ста́лкера, nominative plural ста́лкеры, genitive plural ста́лкеров, feminine ста́лкерша)

  1. (rare) stalker (a person who stalks game) (see usage notes)
  2. any person, whose occupation or activity is dangerously similar to those of characters from "Roadside Picnic".
    черно́быльский ста́лкерčernóbylʹskij stálkera Chernobyl stalker, a guide to the Zone of alienation near Chernobyl


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Usage notesEdit

  • It's a traditional translation, although not very accurate in meaning and connotations and it's seldom used in the sense of "stalker".
  • The term was popularised by 1979 Andrey Tarkovsky's ((Андре́й Тарковсќий) movie with the same name - Stalker (Russian: Сталкер).
  • The English term "stalker" (a person who secretly follows someone, sometimes with unlawful intentions) is usually described as упо́рный пресле́дователь (upórnyj preslédovatelʹ, persistent follower) or челове́к, кото́рый идёт по пята́м (čelovék, kotóryj idjót po pjatám, person who comes on the heels)