Category Archives: Language

Swearing, Cursing

One of the very first things I’m learning when learning a language is how to swear with it. In my native language I tend to swear a lot, sometimes to release some rage, sometimes just to add matter to the conversation.
For this very reason I would like to warn you dear readers that curse words may occur in this blog.

French

As french is the language I use the most, it is the one that makes me swear the most.
First things first, in France swearing mostly starts with one word : Putain
“Putain” literaly means whore but as an american “Fuck” or an argentinian “Che” you cannot easily define this word by its primary meaning.
Believe me or not, but there are hundreds of different contexts which deserve a properly toned “Putain”.
Check out this short video to convince yourself that it is true.

This marvel of a word can eventually be combined into sentences which only purpose is to transmit your displeasure.
For example the classic “Putain de bordel de merde”.
Furthermore, if the syntax is respected, combinations can be as long as you desire.
Ask Lambert Wilson about it.

Here you can listen to a very neat and beautiful classic song by the french poet Georges Brassens in which “Putain” is used in each chorus.

American
American english

Well in american, the bird is not the word. The word is fuck. Fuck can be used as noun, verb, adjective or anything you want.
Proof by John Goodman in the excellent TV show Treme.

Three F bombs in one sentence, nevertheless the message remains clear.
Although I noticed that the overuse of the word can discredit its speaker in some cases. Use it too much and your listeners might doubt your intelligence.
As for myself I use it a fucking lot, to add emphasis or replace an unknown word.
“Do you know where I put the fucking fuck after I used it?”
Doesn’t make no sense, does it? Well in context it can make some.

Argentinian
Español rioplatense

Despite what Mr. Wilson/Merovingian might be thinking, french are in my opinion not the best in the cursing business.
Allow me to offer the golden insult award to the Argentinian folk.
Creativity, rythm, rage, love, addiction to red meat and a perfect diction are required to swear like an argentinian. Sadly I did not spend enough time there to master this complicated raging poetry.
However I still remember couple of things, from the classic “¡Che boludo!” to the creative “¡La concha del pato!”, literally “by the duck’s vagina!”, but there are many others, that can also be combined respecting an implicit syntax.
Unfortunately I have no video in mind to illustrate this last thought but feel free to suggest me some in the comments.

How do you swear?

Now I will ask you dear readers to add in the comments your personal favorites, the one you say when you step on a lego brick or when a rude driver cuts your path. Feel free to write in whichever language you like. You also can debate if you disagree with me on some points. Last but not least I’m begging you because I want my english skills to improve, correct me!

That’s all folks,
Portez-vous bien!

B

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