Zhdun is an artificial noun form of the Russian verb ждать (zhdat’ – to wait), roughly translating to “The Awaiter”, used in reference to the statue of Margriet van Breevoort, titled Homunculus Ioxodontus.
Zhdun is often seen on photoshop memes and is also known by different names; on Tumblr it is called Snorp, while on Reddit people call it Wosh.
The exact date of the statue’s first exhibition is not known; however, it has been displayed at the Leiden University Medical Center since 2016, under the title Homunculus Ioxodontus.
The common interpretation of the Elephant Seal–like being sitting with its fingers crossed on its tummy is that the artist was aiming to grasp the feeling of waiting in a hospital.
Spread and Usage
The composition was first introduced to a Russian audience online in January 2017, on a website similar to Reddit, named Pikabu.
Jokes started emerging soon after the initial post, and the term “Zhdun” started appearing in various photoshop memes.
It later spread to a wider audience, especially on sites like Reddit and Tumblr, where other names were given to the statue.
- Atlasobscura.com – ‘Zhdun’ (Homunculus Loxodontus)
- Theworld.org – Meet Zhdun, the tubby gray blob who’s at home on Russian social media
- Themoscowtimes.com – Zhdun, the Latest Meme Sweeping Over Russia — Exclusive Interview