General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

What word(s) do you use in your region that in other countries/locales would be considered profane?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7810points) December 27th, 2008

i live in the U.S., so saying “bloodY” would just mean, well, just that. and if i say i have a “shag” rug on my floor, i am not talking about sex.

did you know “cancer” in the netherlands is a swear word? wha?

what words are taboo in your neck of the woods, or, rather, where you live?

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30 Answers

Cardinal's avatar

Maybe Ragheads for Arabs?

Vincentt's avatar

I guess Dutch people have some odd fetish for diseases… “Tering” is a swear word, which is Tuberculosis according to Wikipedia. Most people don’t know that, however… Same goes for “typhus”, again: most people using it don’t know what it is or even think it doesn’t exist. Cancer is used way more often though.

Then there’s also a few words I use which aren’t really considered that bad, but are used to express negativity… For example, I often say “hatelijk” or other variations of “haat”, which is Dutch for “hate”. And (I guess this is the same in English) I call a lot of stuff “lelijk”, which means “ugly”.

Oh, and there’s this word I often call around when I’m frustrated by something, which is one of the few words I know that sound better in Dutch than in English, namely “STERF!” which means “DIE!”.

Also, some people like to use “Godverdomme”, which literally means “God damn me”... I suppose Goddamn is also derived from that.

seVen's avatar

In polish “coo coo” written kuku means peak-a-boo . My mom once not knowing said that at a store at a child with mother, LoL.

charliecompany34's avatar

@seVen: yeah, because “coo-coo” in the states means you have a screw lose or you are out of your mind.

charliecompany34's avatar

correction: loose

seVen's avatar

Yup, and the thing my mom couldn’t figure out untill I told her at home why the lady with the child frowned at her and left quickly hehe.

amanderveen's avatar

Apparently “food” refers to feminine genitalia in Austrian slang. “Fun” sounds close to “faen”, which in some European language (I forget which at the moment) is the equivalent to saying f*ck.

Jack79's avatar

Well yes, the first one you mentioned, even though Australians use it before practically bloody everything. You can even insert in in the bloody middle of bloody long words, such as procrastibloodynation or underbloodystanding. But as you can bloody well see, it has a rather bloody humourous effect :)

In the place I live now (Poland) the words “curva” and “cholera” are rude. The former (which has the same root as our word “curve”) means a bent or wicked person, particularly a woman, which in everyday speech simply implies a prostitute. Interestingly enough, it is also a favourite Romanian swear-word, even though the two languages have nothing in common. The latter is used to generally mean something dirty or an uncomfortable situation, which I guess makes it the equivalent of the english word “shit”.

Some other interesting ones I know are “chara” (which in Greek means “happiness” but in Arabic means “shit”) and “ki fik” (which again in Arabic means “how are you” but in German means…erm…to participate in sexual intercourse).

Also “sihtir” is a very bad word in both Arabic and Turkish, but a fairly mild one in Greek. It has the same definition as the previous term (though the Greeks use it as easily as we use “damn”).

Oh and in Greek “stoma” simply means “mouth”, whereas in Dutch it would mean “stupid”.

Vincentt's avatar

@Jack – great answer, apart from the “stoma” thing… Stoma in Dutch means the same as it does in English (though it would still make for a nice swear word, come to think of it). I think you’re referring to just “stom”, which does mean stupid (though it also means “unable to speak”).

Jack79's avatar

I think it is spelt “stommer” in Dutch, right? But the sound is like “stoma”

joni1977's avatar

I once worked as a dental assistant and I was speaking to my Filipino co-worker about an instrument used in root canals called a “broach”. I don’t know if it was intentional but he kept asking me if the doctor we worked for ever used it and every time I said the word there was a strange reaction from him. I finally asked him what was the problem and he told me that word is the equivalent of a man practicing oral sex on a woman in his country. I cried I laughed so hard. The irony that, that same instrument is used in the mouth! LMAO

St.George's avatar

Once an Australian guy laughed at me when I said “root beer.”

amanderveen's avatar

Yeah, saying “root” in Australia is about the same as saying “shag” in England. Apparently, the Aussies had quite the laugh at the Canadian Olympic team when they competed in Sydney and walked out in gear that said Roots all over it.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am a bloody Yank living in Australia and I am always getting in trouble for saying “root.”
And the other no no is “fanny” which means something like “c-nt.” Definitely not nice, so those little bags you wear around your waist are absolutely not fanny packs, they are bum bags and I hope I never forget it again!

Vincentt's avatar

@Jack – “stommer” is “more stupid”, which I suppose you could hear as “stoma” if it isn’t pronounced clearly.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

These things are nice to know if I ever travel outside of the US. Most of the words used around here are derogatory of other races, but this is the Midwest, and the people here aren’t real well known for their liberal beliefs. I won’t give you any examples, because I try to not use those words. I stick to relatively non-inflammatory words like the good old standbys of f*ck, sh*t, and motherf*cker.

Vincentt's avatar

Here’s a nice one that I heard again yesterday (and of which I obviously immediately realized I had to post it here): grave.

The Dutch translation, graf, is perfect for prepending on anything you want to slap a negative connotation onto. For example, a dirty smell can be pointed out by the word graflucht. You can also combine it with other words for neat namecalling, e.g. we can call someone a graftak (which literally means grave-branch) to point out he’s done something stupid. It’s too bad I don’t have a microphone, otherwise I’d let you hear the greatness of the word ;-)

Judi's avatar

“Stuffed” has another meaning in Europe I hear.

Vincentt's avatar

@Judi – which, I’m curious? (I also suppose you mean in the UK, as most of Europe doesn’t speak English as a first language…) Wiktionary knows only the regular meanings…

Edit: Ah, it does. And it’s in the UK indeed: An only slightly politer version of “fuck you”. Secretly, I knew that.

Judi's avatar

Or more literally what happened just before you lit that cigarette.

ssteward's avatar

In the UK it’s quite common to say that you’re just popping out for a fag which can amuse Americans .

@rooeytoo fanny packs are bum bags in the UK

janbb's avatar

In addition to the above phrases, saying you’ll knock someone up in England has a whole different connotation from the U.S. In England, it just means to wake someone up (usually followed by a specific time.)

mamabeverley's avatar

I am transplanted to the mid atlantic region from Cali. A friend of mine told her 4 year old she had to take a shower after playing in the sand box because “she had sand in her twat”! I almost died. She had no idea that I considered that a “dirty” word! Not as bad as some of course. She would not ever say the G.D. words but that one was ok.

avalmez's avatar

in spanish, the word pronounced “see-ko” refers to one’s posterior, but depending one where you’re from, can mean “ass” more so than “butt”.

catinthehat's avatar

There is a game from Ohio called “CORNHOLE”. (Other locales call it bean-bag toss or other names)

If you said to someone where I live “Hey, want to play cornhole?” – they would think I was using that in it’s slang meaning as a euphemism for anal sex & a fight would probably ensue.

mamabeverley's avatar

@catinthehat OMG That is too funny!

catinthehat's avatar

@mamabeverley The funniest thing is that actually happened at my job. A guy from Ohio was talking about his fun “playing cornhole” & the local guy from here who worked with him dragged him into my office for him to ask me “what cornhole was”.

I laughed, then said “anal sex, right”—the look on the Ohio guy’s face was priceless & once I was filled-in on the story, we laughed till we cried.

It’s still a work-joke to whisper “cornhole” to someone in the hall… ;^)

mamabeverley's avatar

@catinthehat Sounds like a prison term to me! They have a game like that here in TN too. I am a transplant and I don’t know what it is called. Thanks for the warning, with my dirty mind, I would have sprayed my drink on someone for sure!!! Come to think of it, the friends I have that play that game are from OHIO!!! Cornhole is WAY better!

_bob's avatar

@avalmez ¿A qué palabra te refieres con “see-ko”?


In Chinese “chieu hai” literally means “stinky or smelly cunt”, and is a very offensive term geared towards women. The Japanese equivalent is “chi-aku-gui”. Sigh.

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