Slang Word of the Day: Fraier

In your conversations in Romania you’re going to hear the word “fraier” (fry-air) sooner or later and so it’s important to know what it means.

Generally speaking it is the complete opposite of smecher, or perhaps better said, “fraier” is the counterpart to “smecher”.

Think of it this way: the smecher uses his/her cunning and craftiness to profit at the expense of the fraier.

The word “fraier” comes from the German Freier, which originally meant a man who was engaged to be married (a fiance) but now means something along the lines of a “John” or a prostitute’s customer.

In Romanian this has been modified further to mean something along the lines of a “sucker”, as in P.T. Barnum’s famous non-quote, “There’s a sucker born every minute”. Anyone who is a fraier is the “mark” or the victim or the “sucker” or fool that fell for the smecher‘s tricks.

In British English, the most equivalent word to denote fraier would be the term “punter”.

Since the word fraier is a noun, it takes normal declinations:

Gender Singular Plural
Male fraier fraieri
Female fraiera fraiere

Therefore I can now say to all of you, come to Romania and enjoy yourselves, but don’t be a fraier(a)!

11 thoughts on “Slang Word of the Day: Fraier

  1. That explanation is funny as hell Sam cel Roman XD Especially if you know that in hebrew “fraier” means the exact same thing. A coincidence? I don’t think so. As much as you desperately try to cling to Europe (Rome-that one cracks me up, France, Germany, Spain) you can’t hide your true origins, your genes and language tells another story.


  2. Cool! But here’s a lolfail….prost = cheers in German, but doesn’t it mean sth along the lines of bad/stupid in Romanian? =? XD



  3. I was very confused to find the same word in Bosnian, but with quite a different meaning, a somewhat positive one. As far as I’ve figured out, it basically means something like ‘cool guy’. Like the population of the newest night club in town would be ‘frajers’.
    Funny that.


    1. Well as I noted, it comes from German and so its diffusion in Eastern Europe fractures in different places. You’ve probably noticed a lot of German words (Schreib, Kartoffen) etc have gotten diffused, changed and absorbed in the various languages in (esp) Eastern Europe.


    1. Oh lord, I don’t even wanna know why you’re asking that. :)) Elodia is what you might call a modern day Romanian murder mystery. She was a lawyer who went missing a few years back and everyone suspected her husband. They found some evidence (such as his gloves with her blood on them) but since they never found the actual body he (the husband) was never convicted. Now the reason this case is so famous is purely the interest the media took in it. Including one OTV, the trashiest station in this country, which started a series, spanning a few hundred episodes, about this case. Hope that answers your question. :;)


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