POLYGLOT   EXCLAMATIONS
Kiss my ass! - Shut up! - You asshole!
Oh, shit! - Goddamn it! - Jesus Christ!

(This page is under heavy construction and Inactive)

A Collection of Useful Exclamations in Many Tongues

Add your language!

In 1986, I distributed 10,000 copies of my "Introduction to the Maledicta Onomastic Questionnaire," a 24-page booklet with hundreds of entries asking for terms of abuse, exclamations, body parts, excretions, sexual and excretory activities, and related maledicta. Some 400 contributors sent me their typed-up replies, from which I have been able to use, so far, nasty and nice terms for "penis," "vulva," "vagina," and "female breasts."

I peaked too early -- this was almost a decade before the Internet and e-mail were widely available on a global scale. With this new technology, it will be much easier to collect material from around the world at a fraction of the time it took the contributors and me to type up, mail, leaf through stacks of pages, and retype the information before it could be published.

Observing what I honestly (or arrogantly) call "amateurish" attempts by linguistically untrained collectors who now do what I started eleven years ago, I believe it is time to start our own collection, done systematically and scholarly. "Scholarly" does not mean boringly but accurately, by providing all essential philological and cultural information in addition to the word or phrase itself. "Amateurish" also means that no one supervises which words and phrases individuals add. Whatever Joe Blow or Fanny Fellatio adds to their collections is good enough for them, but not for us.

Instead of my over-ambitious first attempt -- 20 years ago -- to collect via Maledicta 1 (1977) material in all languages, asking for 957 items, I limit this collection to three exclamations: (1) Kiss my ass!, (2) Shut up! and (3) You asshole! -- surely very common, very rude, and very useful phrases.

Why did I choose these three exclamations? Kiss my ass! is probably universal (ass is of course the body part, the arse, not the animal). I have a collection in 74 languages, but as it was compiled by amateurs, I don't trust the foreign-language equivalents). We are not collecting extended variants, such as "You can kiss my ass!" or "Why don't you kiss my ass!", as common as they may be. Shut up! shows interesting metaphors and idiomatic usages, as does You asshole! The last one is also sex-neutral, that is, usable against a male or a female target.

This collection will be as accurate as humanly possible, and I will hound those contributors who send incomplete information until I have all the information needed, just as I hound my Maledicta contributors who misspell words in their own language, who don't use the proper diacritical marks, and who fail to provide important linguistic and cultural information.

If you become a contributor, you will be credited semi-anonymously with your first name and the initial of your last name only, unless you instruct me to use the full last name. Once a specific language or dialect is listed, please don't send more of the same. However, if you wish to add information or corrections to listed exclamations, please do so. The Bavarian and German contributions are by myself and identified with (R.A.)

Instructions

  • Set your browser to "Latin 1" or "Western" or whatever, so that you can type and read accents (é) and other diacritical marks (ñ, ü). If you can't see the acute accent over the e or the tilde over the n or the umlaut (trema) over the u, your browser is not set correctly.

  • If the language does not use the Roman alphabet, transliterate it by using the standard system, which should be as close to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as possible. Do not use the inconsistent and silly transliteration, transcription and pronunciation systems employed in most English-language dictionaries. Use what is popularly called the "Italian" vowels -- a, e, i, o, u -- and never use ee if you mean i (as in if) or oo if you mean u (as in tutu). Use ä, ö, ü where needed (Farsi, Russian, Swedish), and kh for the Scottish (Arabic, Dutch, German, Yiddish) guttural ch sound.

  • Pronunciation of the exclamations may be added later, when the IPA symbols are available in HTML.

  • Use all diacritical marks available in HTML. If you don't know them, I can e-mail you the code for them. If a mark is not available, explain the missing mark (e.g., "the i in xxx is dotless" or "the e in zzz has a Polish hook"). This information will be useful, because if I typeset excerpts in Maledicta, I can create any diacritic and combination, such as an a with a centered dot underneath, a tilde above, and an acute accent above that.
  1. Provide the equivalent of the exclamation in the language(s) or dialect(s) you are competent. The equivalent should connote the same meaning and offensiveness as the English exclamation, but it may not necessarily be a verbatim translation. For example, the German Du Arschloch! is 100% identical with the English You asshole!, but in French it is probably not Tu trou de cul! but perhaps Quel con!, which literally means "What (a) cunt!"

  2. For this reason it is important that you add the literal translation if it differs from the English exclamation -- a significant piece of information often missing in scholarly publications and in almost all amateurish works. Another example: Kiss my ass! is in other languages "Lick my ass!" The differing literal translation is a most useful contribution to the idiomatic and metaphorical use of language.

  3. Add any philological or cultural information necessary, so that those who don't know the language understand the connotations, etc. Don't assume what is clear to you, if you speak Yoruba, is understood by a Quechua-speaking intellectual.

  4. Use the rudest level of language and provide synonymous terms, if they exist, and explain them, too.

  5. In all three exclamations, use only the "informal" or "familiar" version; that is, the way you would talk to a close friend, a child, or an animal.

  6. Use only the version addressing a single target (person).

  7. If the language uses different verbs or pronouns when the speaker is female, supply and identify both versions ("said by a man," "said by a girl," "said by an old woman," etc.).

  8. Dialects and regional variants (e.g., Peruvian Spanish or Sicilian Italian), as well as societal and cultural variants (e.g., used by prostitutes, farmers, male homosexuals, or gangsters only) are most welcome, but only if they differ from the standard language in vocabulary or word order, and not if they differ in pronunciation only.

  9. If you have any questions about your contribution, e-mail me.

  10. You may e-mail your contribution now, observing the above guidelines, or request "Send Questionnaire." In the latter case, I will send you a blank form in "text" format which you fill in, then e-mail back. I am not going to bother with hi-tech "forms" with text fields, radio buttons, check boxes and the like.

There are so many more high-frequency words, phrases and exclamations that have to be collected one day, such as "You bastard!" - "You bitch!" - "That cunt" - "He's a brown-nosing prick" or terms for "female masturbation" and "smegma," but let's start with the three exclamations and see what we'll get.

Kiss My Ass!



Bavarian

Legg mi am Åsch! - Lit. "Lick me on the ass!" - When Legg is stressed or mi, instead of the last word, this expression becomes an utterance of surprise ("Well, I'll be damned!") and more, as discussed in Maledicta 4. - Variant: Am Åsch leggst mi! - The Å is long and the same sound as the Swedish, a "dark" o-like a. - Related Austrian dialects use Legg mi im Oasch!, lit. "Lick me in the ass!" (R.A)


German
Leck mich am Arsch! - Lit. "Lick me on the ass!" Variant: Am Arsch leckst mich! (R.A.)
Yiddish
Kush mir in tokhes! - Lit. "Kiss me in the ass!" - There are regional variants, e.g., Kush mikh in tokhes arayn! and awful transliterations, such as tockes and tokkus. -- Tokhes "arse, backside, butt" is derived from the Hebrew euphemism takhat, lit. "below." (R.A.)



Shut Up!



Bavarian
Håit dai Fotzn!
- Lit. "Hold your mouth!" - Fotzn is the most vulgar term for "mouth"; it also means "face" (vulgar) and "slap in the face." In Bavarian, it does not mean "cunt," as the German Fotze (also spelled Votze) means, even though both are the same word. Variant pronunciation: Håit Pfotzn! - The ai in dai is nasalized. - Variants: Håit 's Mai!, lit. "Hold the mouth!" and Håit dai Goschn!, lit. "Hold your mouth!" Mai (an animal's mouth) and Goschn are impolite. (R.A.)
German
Halt's Maul! - Lit. "Hold the mouth!" - Variants: Halt dein Maul!, lit. "Hold your mouth!" - Maul is impolite, as it refers to an animal's mouth. - Halt die Schnauze!, lit. "Hold the snout!" and Halt deine Schnauze!, lit. "Hold your snout!" - Schnauze is very impolite, as it means "mouth" of some animals. - Halt die Gosche! - Gosche is impolite. - Halt deine Fresse! - Fresse is very vulgar and derived from fressen, "to eat like an animal." There are additional variants, such as Halt deinen Schnabel!, lit. "Hold your beak!", another animal reference. - The least offensive version is Halt deinen Mund! - Mund is the standard word for "mouth." (R.A.)



You Asshole!



Bavarian

Du Åschloch, du! - In Bavarian, the pronoun is normally repeated at the end. (R.A.)
German
Du Arschloch! (R.A.)



Oh, shit!



Bavarian

Schaise! or, stronger, Schaise, fareggde! - Faregga (German verrecken) literally means "to die like an animal," "to croak," but the past participle fareggd is used as English "goddamn" or "damned." Other examples: Glump, fareggds! "Goddamn junk!" - Note that in Bavarian the modifier often follows the noun, in contrast to German. Bavarian: Hund, fareggda! German: Verreckter Hund! "Goddamn bastard!" Lit., "Croaked dog!" (R.A.)
German
Scheiße! or Ach, du Scheiße! - Lit., "Oh, you shit!" (R.A.)



Goddamn it!



Bavarian

Fadammt, no amåi! - Lit., "Damned, one more time!" - One could use Gopfadammd!, the Bavarian version of the German "Gottverdammt!" but it would not be authentic Bavarian. When (Catholic) Bavarians are angry, they use much stronger blasphemies. See "Jesus Christ!" below. (R.A.)

German

Gottverdammt! or Gottverflucht! - The latter literally means "God-cursed!" (R.A.)



Jesus Christ!



Bavarian

The literal translation of "Jesus Christ" is not used. Instead, Saggrament! or, stronger, Gruzefix! - The former means "sacrament," the latter "crucifix." These are just two of many common Bavarian blasphemies that can be expanded, depending on how angry one is, to a long chain of blasphemous utterances such as Saggrament Alleluja Graiz Gruzefix Saggrament, no amåi! Lit., "Sacrament hallelujah cross crucifix sacrament, one more time!" which is equivalent in intensity to "Jesus fucking Christ almighty!" - Jessas! ("Jesus") and Jessas Maria! ("Jesus Mary") are not used to express anger but surprise or pity in the sense of English "Jesus!", "Gee whiz!", "Golly!" or "Oh, dear!" (R.A.)
German
The literal translation of "Jesus Christ" is not used. To express the same intensity, one would have to utter something like Herrgott, noch einmal!, lit. "Lord God, one more time!" or Himmelherrgott!, lit. "Heaven Lord God!" (R.A.)



Coming, sooner or later: Basque, Bengali, Cantonese, Dutch, Gaelic,
Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Welsh
. . .