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Old 29 Apr 2012, 07:09 AM   #359760 / #1
DMB
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Default British and American swearing

Is it really as different as this article suggests? I'd like to believe that the average Briton can equal the great Malcolm Tucker, but I think we love him because he's different from most of us.

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast....expletive.html

Last edited by DMB; 29 Apr 2012 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 07:17 AM   #359763 / #2
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Well, we Americans definitely don't go in for word games much. Down to business, we are.
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 09:51 AM   #359775 / #3
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Not my experience.
The Brits could make an American sailor blush.
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 02:38 PM   #359845 / #4
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Aah, we English speakers are amateurs. Ethnic curses are the most colorful. I've heard that Arabic, especially, is the language for creative swearing. I'm told there is a word in that language which means, "Son of a thousand generations of syphilitic camels." Now THAT'S creativity.

Of course, Yiddish has its pet expressions as well. From A Selection of Curses from the Yiddish Radio Project and elsewhere:

Zol es im onkumn vos ikh vintsh im (khotsh a helft, khotsh halb, khotsh a tsent kheylik).
Let what I wish on him come true (most, even half, even just 10%).

(Said of a rich man) Oyf doktoyrim zol er dos avekgebn.
He should give it all away to doctors.

Got zol im bentshn mit dray mentshn: eyner zol im haltn, der tsveyter zol im shpaltn un der driter zol im ba’haltn.
God should bless him with three people: one should grab him, the second should stab him and the third should hide him.

Er zol vaksen vi a tsibeleh, mit dem kop in drerd.
He should grow like an onion, with his head in the ground.

This one is a little subtle:
A kleyn kind zol nokh im heysn.
A young child should be named after him.
(In Ashkenazic Jewish tradition, children are named after dead relatives.)

Here a few in English only:

May you be a person of leisure, take a daily nap – and may the lice in your shirt marry the bedbugs in your mattress and may their offspring set up residence in your underwear.

May you get passage out of the old village safely, and when you settle, may you fall into the outhouse just as a regiment of Ukrainians is finishing a prune stew and twelve barrels of beer.

May you turn into a centipede with ingrown toenails.

And a few for JYA's (Jewish Young Adults) in the 21st century:

May the men in your family be blessed with luxurious hair that remains thick and curly well into their eighties, and may you be the only one to inherent great-zayde Yossel’s recessive gene for male pattern baldness which kicks in the day after your Bar Mitzvah!

May you be approaching your 16th Birthday, and may you have been promised, your own car, and may you have your heart set on that red 2012 MazdaSpeed Protege that revs to 170 mph on Craig’s List, and may your parents proudly hand you the keys to a 2002 beige Chrysler station wagon!

May you be texting on a Jewish social networking site and get the following message from Shaloma2: “DYHM” thinking it means “Do You 'Heart' Me” – and may you then learn Shaloma2 is your mother and “DYHM” stands for “Do Your Homework, Mamala!

May it be Christmas Day, and while your gentile friends are eating ham, surrounded by red and green lights and holly boughs, sitting around a gezunta tree, opening presents, may the only Glatt Kosher Chinese restaurant within 50 miles be “closed for renovations!”
(For those who don't know -- a "traditional Jewish Christmas" consists of eating Chinese food and going to the movies.)

Not a derail; just for laughs.
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 03:18 PM   #359849 / #5
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I'm quite proud of my insult-fu (see this)....and being Scottish, swearing is just punctuation.

On balance, I think the best insults don't involve swearing very much.....but a well-placed expletive can often add depth and quality.
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 06:25 PM   #359872 / #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnorman18 View Post
Aah, we English speakers are amateurs. Ethnic curses are the most colorful. I've heard that Arabic, especially, is the language for creative swearing. I'm told there is a word in that language which means, "Son of a thousand generations of syphilitic camels." Now THAT'S creativity.

Of course, Yiddish has its pet expressions as well. From A Selection of Curses from the Yiddish Radio Project and elsewhere:

Zol es im onkumn vos ikh vintsh im (khotsh a helft, khotsh halb, khotsh a tsent kheylik).
Let what I wish on him come true (most, even half, even just 10%).

(Said of a rich man) Oyf doktoyrim zol er dos avekgebn.
He should give it all away to doctors.

Got zol im bentshn mit dray mentshn: eyner zol im haltn, der tsveyter zol im shpaltn un der driter zol im ba’haltn.
God should bless him with three people: one should grab him, the second should stab him and the third should hide him.

Er zol vaksen vi a tsibeleh, mit dem kop in drerd.
He should grow like an onion, with his head in the ground.

This one is a little subtle:
A kleyn kind zol nokh im heysn.
A young child should be named after him.
(In Ashkenazic Jewish tradition, children are named after dead relatives.)

Here a few in English only:

May you be a person of leisure, take a daily nap – and may the lice in your shirt marry the bedbugs in your mattress and may their offspring set up residence in your underwear.

May you get passage out of the old village safely, and when you settle, may you fall into the outhouse just as a regiment of Ukrainians is finishing a prune stew and twelve barrels of beer.

May you turn into a centipede with ingrown toenails.

And a few for JYA's (Jewish Young Adults) in the 21st century:

May the men in your family be blessed with luxurious hair that remains thick and curly well into their eighties, and may you be the only one to inherent great-zayde Yossel’s recessive gene for male pattern baldness which kicks in the day after your Bar Mitzvah!

May you be approaching your 16th Birthday, and may you have been promised, your own car, and may you have your heart set on that red 2012 MazdaSpeed Protege that revs to 170 mph on Craig’s List, and may your parents proudly hand you the keys to a 2002 beige Chrysler station wagon!

May you be texting on a Jewish social networking site and get the following message from Shaloma2: “DYHM” thinking it means “Do You 'Heart' Me” – and may you then learn Shaloma2 is your mother and “DYHM” stands for “Do Your Homework, Mamala!

May it be Christmas Day, and while your gentile friends are eating ham, surrounded by red and green lights and holly boughs, sitting around a gezunta tree, opening presents, may the only Glatt Kosher Chinese restaurant within 50 miles be “closed for renovations!”
(For those who don't know -- a "traditional Jewish Christmas" consists of eating Chinese food and going to the movies.)

Not a derail; just for laughs.
This is cursing rather than swearing. The two are not the same.
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 06:47 PM   #359877 / #7
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One thing that swearing has in common worldwide is that the words nearly always involve sex, excretion (or the organs involved in such) or religion. There are a few exceptions like bitch/bastard in English. Types of sex seen as "bad" (faggot[less so nowadays], cocksucker, motherfucker) tend to be stronger ones.
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 06:51 PM   #359878 / #8
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Also, this link has a ton of swear words/phrases in different languages (the link is for Latin but has links on the side for other languages.)
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 08:07 PM   #359888 / #9
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True. If one swears ALL the time, is has no impact; it just establishes one's reputation as a crude, low-class yahoo. When the prim-and-proper vicar swears, you KNOW he's really pissed off.
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Old 29 Apr 2012, 11:38 PM   #359962 / #10
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I am bilingual. I can do posh and proper and army-level.
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