Preved is a term used in Russian Internet slang (Padonkaffsky jargon); it is a meme which developed out of a heavily-circulated picture, and consists of choosing alternative spellings for words for comic effect. The picture, a modified version of John Lurie’s watercolor ‘Bear Surprise,’ features a man and a woman having sex in the clearing of a forest, being surprised by a bear calling ‘Surprise!’ with its paws raised. In later Russian adaptations, the bear shouts ‘Preved!’ (a deliberate misspelling of ‘privet,’ ‘hi!’).

The word and the bear image have found their way into the mainstream mass media, such as a poster for the Russian edition of ‘Newsweek.’ In 2006 at an online conference, Vladimir Putin was asked: ‘PREVED, Vladimir Vladimirovich! How do you regard MEDVED?’ No answer was given, but the Associated Press, informing on the questions collection process, reportedly interpreted it as a reference to then-vice-prime-minister Dmitry Medvedev. It was the most popular question asked at the conference (the third most popular question was ‘How does one patch KDE2 under FreeBSD?’).


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