English Swearing vs. Everyone Else

It’s boring getting told to “eff off”. I recently asked a friend of mine, who speaks a good four or so languages, what his favourite swear word was. He told me that he never bothered with English swear words because they’re too dull compared to the choice phrases he’s picked up elsewhere.

He may have a point. According to Slate.com, the most commonly used swear word on Facebook, in English, is ‘shit’. [1] The F-Bomb comes in a close second. Standard quadrilaterals. Most of our other curse words are seemingly just other names for our downstairs equipment. Add the word “off” to the end of nearly any four letter word and you’ve got a standard English curse, right?

So my friend demonstrated some of the more interesting insults and phrases that appear in other languages. The Greeks seem particularly adventurous, with one of my favourite phrases meaning ‘to slap your face with my dick’. Or even just the simple, yet effective, “old balls”. Most Italian insults seem to rely on everyone being a prostitute. Or even a pig-prostitute combination. A confusing Bosnian insult apparently implies a dog is taking advantage of your mother, although it’s “used by people who don’t want to curse”[2] (I might not start using that one instead of ‘damn!’).

In order to keep up, I propose that we get a little more saucy. This is a call to be more creative in your cussing. Call someone a ‘Stupid Quim’ an ‘Ass-Hat’, or a ‘Penis-Sneeze’. Express your surprise with a subtle “by st. Boogar and all the saints at the backside door of purgatory!” (which is apparently an established exclamation[3].) Curse someone with a “May the hairs on your arse turn to hammers and beat your balls to death.” It’ll certainly cause more of a pause in conversation than a standard ‘shit’.

See more interesting curses over at mentalfloss.com: http://mentalfloss.com/article/49652/10-old-fashioned-swears-spice-your-cussin

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