International Web Sites Specializing
in Insults, Curses,
I have found or been notified by friends of the maledicta-related Web sites listed and annotated below. Their quality ranges from amateurish to excellent and scholarly. Some are limited to one language, such as English, German or Swedish, others are multilingual with English translations and pronunciation guides. If you know of others, in any language, please let me know, so that I can update this listing. New links are continually added at the bottom of this page. If you find dead links, please let me know.
The British magazine Uploaded [Link now dead, Aug. 2002] maintains a web site of mixed contents. It features sounds, chats, lots of graphics, but is marred by stupid web-authoring (some bloody git wrote many words in yellow or pale turquoise on a white background, thus making the text illegible). One section is Talking Bollocks, where you can leave a (vulgar) message and get (offensive) replies from others. The Swearing Archive is divided into (1) Bodily Functions, (2) Sexual, (3) Bodily Parts, and (4) Miscellaneous Abuse. You can enter your own words or phrases, with or without sounds (.wav files), and explain or define your contribution. Quite amateurish but a useful source of mainly British slang, such as gristle gripper = vagina. Related sections deal with British perverts and feature photos of British titties.
How to Swear in German!, formerly called Dirty Crap to Say in German, is an excellent site. It's a glossary of some 50 words, each with usage sentences in German and English translations. All entries have .wav sound files, spoken by a woman. This site is linked to others dealing with assorted crap and shit.
Sweary Mary's Dictionary of Filth! (now renamed Roger Mellie's Roger's Profanisaurus) is another British site of high quality. It's a searchable A-Z database, to which you can add your own terms. The entries have often extensive comments, lists of synonyms, etymological notes, usage examples, and equivalents in other languages. The original site disappeared in 2007, but an earlier version of the Profanisaurus is here and it's now available as a book.
You Eat Like A Pig
[Link now dead, Aug. 2002] is an Australian site maintained by Andrés Gómez
de Silva Garza that presents translations of this phrase into 56 languages. All entries
lack diacritical marks (accents, tildes, umlauts, etc.). It would be better if the
words had the proper accents and special characters, most of which are available
in HTML, such as à, å, æ, ç, ê, ï, ñ,
ó, ø, ß, and ü. More constructive nitpicking: it would also
help if the "you" were explained: is the insult aimed at a male or a female?
At one target or more? Is it the polite = formal form (Sie, vous, usted) or
the familiar = informal (du, tu, thou)? There are also languages that have
the dual ("you two"); others, such as Japanese, have an elaborate system
of politeness resulting in dozens of versions; and still others use different words
depending on whether the phrase is spoken by a man or a woman. To illustrate, here
are the different versions in German, with varying pronouns, verbs and nouns, all
depending on the target:
In the Web Forum - Personal Slanders and Verbal Assaults, you can post insults and flames to insulting messages.
American Slanguages is a simple listing of local and regional words and phrases from 45 American cities and regions, such as Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Rhode Island. There are additional listings of slanguages from Australia, England, Canada, Ireland, and South Africa.
Hans-Christian Holm's The Alternative Dictionaries is one man's most ambitious undertaking to collect insults, curses, obscenities, vulgarities and the like from as many languages as possible. There are some 3,100 entries in 119 languages, and new contributions are solicited. Some language "dictionaries" have only one entry, others have hundreds. The same variance exists in the quality of the entries supplied by readers, ranging from excellent to sub-amateurish. Spelling and pronunciation guides are sometimes supplied, again very unevenly. The same word from a language with non-Latin writing may be transliterated as "coos" and a few lines later as "kus." Mr. Holm is aware of the limitations of his TAD, asks for help from language experts to improve the quality, and plans on establishing uniform transliteration and pronunciation systems. This project is, despite its current limitations, most promising and could become the authoritative source for maledicta worldwide on the Internet. The author is frustrated by the primitive HTML (no IPA symbols) and lack of time.
The Canonical List of International Swearing is another extensive listing (inferior to Holm's) of very uneven quality and with many typos and mistakes, but still worthwhile, of all kinds of maledicta in French, Russian, Afrikaans, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Cantonese, Mandarin, Indonesian, Malay, Japanese, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, Bengali, Yiddish, Jamaican, Bavarian, Hokkien, Gaelic, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Tamil, Estonian, Arabic, and Hindi (in this order). Entries supplied by readers range from one per language to hundreds. Some have home-made pronunciation guides; some give detailed usage and grammatical information, while others add only the English translation. After the List follows an extensive body of additions and corrections supplied by newsgroup readers.
Fredrik Wartenberg's and Günther Knoblich's German Swearword Generator is a Macintosh-only program that produces thousands of spoken insults consisting of random combinations of adjectives and nouns, similar to a ca. 15-year-old PC program that generated printed random insults in the millions. The German insults are spoken by a woman with the vocal skills of an old Hamburg Harbor Whore, as I admiringly informed the authors. I speak from experience, having been yelled at by whores in the Hamburg Harbor district, when I inspected it as a youngster: "Du ... du kleiner Scheißkerl, hau ab!" ("Beat it, you ... you little shit!"). Currently the insults are in standard North German, but similar generators could be produced for the many German dialects of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxemburg. A limited version of this Insult Generator (Schimpfwortgenerator) can be downloaded from two sites.
Note: All the excellent pages below created by Anne and
Johan Santesson exist no longer. Johan died in May 2001, and with him, all that wonderful
material in Dutch, Swedish and Afrikaans has disappeared. R.I.P., Johan! [Sept.
Twists, Slugs and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang is compiled by William Denton. This is an extensive glossary of words and phrases found in famous American detective novels and gangster films. Excellent, with definitions, sources, and bibliography.
Also by Denton, Frankenslang, a glossary of terms and slang used by Old Blue Eyes and compiled mainly from the 1982 The Frank Sinatra Scrapbook by Richard Peters. This is a "clean" glossary that does not represent Sinatra's legendary foul mouth and verbal abuse.
Larry's Aussie Slang and Phrase Dictionary is a good, extensive glossary of Australian slang and colorful language, part of a huge site about anything dealing with Australia.
Svenska Invektiv by
Anne and Johan Santesson is the most ambitious and superlative collection of Swedish
terms of abuse in existence. In Swedish only. Hundreds of negative terms are organized
into five groups: gender-neutral, anti-woman, anti-male, archaic, and dialectal terms
of abuse. The first three categories are subdivided by shortcomings or negative traits,
such as people who are deceptive, loutish, stupid, irritable, nasty, cowardly, horny,
lazy, greedy, clumsy or slanderous.
Vaffanculo! is a good glossary of Italian sexual terms and insults with synonyms and translations into English. Unfortunately, no literal translations are provided in most cases, which is always regrettable. This and the following page are part of the "John Gotti Tribute" Web site established by Ravenna [now closed down].
Also on the Gotti site is the Mobspeak Glossary which lists English and Italian terms with definitions and translations of American Mafia lingo found in The Mafia Handbook. Very good.
Off-Color Turkish: A Selection of Swearwords, Vulgarities and Sexual Phrases is part of a large site dedicated to teaching Turkish. Compiled by Jim Masters. You'll have to click around the pages to find what we are interested in, the excellent glossary of Turkish maledicta, with English equivalents, literal translations, explanations, sample phrases, and pronunciation aids, plus 15 RealAudio sound files. The uncensored glossary is divided into "Milder Turkish Swearing" and "Very Bold Turkish." (Thanks, Victor F., for the lead.)
Alliterative Religious Euphemisms for Male Masturbation lists some 880 phrases created by contributors. The coined euphemisms should be (a) alliterative and (b) have some religious association, but many do not or are silly. Samples of good ones: Choke the cherub, Jerk the Jesuit, Milk the monk, Pull the Pope, and Stroke Saint Steven's slick slender salami. Warning! During downloading, this file may stall and crash.
Synonyms for Masturbation,
compiled by Earl Vickers and contributors, lists 644 terms, divided into 76 terms
for women's masturbation and 568 for men's.
Gobbledygook was created by Matthew Schmeer. For the Macintosh only.
The .hqx program downloads from the MIT HyperArchives when you click on the preceding
link. This HyperCard-based insult generator randomly combines words from three lists
of adjectives and nouns to create insults of varying quality. It rapidly "spews
forth" insults until told to stop. The created list can be saved as a text file.
Samples of good insults: "You damned fruity tongue-tied donkey!" and "Thou
bubbly annoying excrement!" Silly ones: "Thou friendly Polish cream!"
and "Kiss my rabid German pudding!"
Ken Ilio compiled the excellent "Foul
Mouth: Filipino Dirty Words," begun in 1975. This Tagalog-language collection
with English translations and comments is divided into (1) Bodily Fluids, Secretions
and Excrements, (2) Sex and Body Parts, and (3) Swearwords.
Elizabethan Insult Maker is the name of two programs Eric Meier wrote for Macintosh and PC users just for us. It uses the 150 adjectives and nouns listed in "Quickies 4." At each click on a button, a new randomly created insult pops up on the screen. Currently, the self-extracting-archive files of these huge programs (some 1.7MB) are not available, but after Mr. Meier makes them ready to download on his future site, I'll announce it in "Updates."
If you like to engage in self-abuse -- verbal, that is -- you can find out how to say "I am a dog" in 42 languages. Rob, who compiled this list, does not use diacritical marks; also, some transliterations don't look quite kosher to me.
Why Did God Create So Many Assholes?
A while ago I found a good distinction between language and dialect: A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.
The Santessons have done it again! They have put up a tremendous eight-page site about "Cursing in Dutch: A Guide to Strong Language." In addition to the introductory "Dutch Cursing from a Swedish Perspective" in English and Swedish, they present well-organized lists with comments and comparisons between Swedish and Dutch insults and curses dealing with Religion, Prick, Cunt, Arse, Sickness, and Rot. Most of the nouns are used as insults per se or as prefixes and suffixes to form derogatory terms. -- Brava, Anne! and Bravo, Johan!
Hundreds of Slang Sites
Adam Gaffin's "The Wicked Good Guide to Boston English" is a well-done
introduction to the pronunciation of Boston
slang, with a glossary of words and phrases, as well as place names of the
Barry Hurwitz created an Elizabethan Insult Excel spreadsheet from the table of insults in "Quickies 4." It will generate fifty new insults every time it is loaded or when you perform a recalculation. (More information on this may follow.)
More British Slang and Regionalisms
D. J. Barton's "Words
That Could Be Confusing & Embarrassing in the UK and US" lists 200
terms and explains them at various lengths.
"London Slang" by
Robert Strudwick contains much general U.K. and U.S. slang (ballistic, barf, blower,
dike, dickhead) with simple definitions, but it is especially valuable for its modern
rhyming slang, such as "(Sir) Anthony Blunt" (= cunt).
"An tInneal Mallachtaí
-- The Curse Engine" produces English and Irish curses by combining
a subject, verb and object from three columns of about a dozen each choices. Example:
Frank Wu prepared a Quiz with insults from the verbal sparring between C-3PO and R2-D2 in Lucas's "Star Wars" trilogy special edition. Do you know who called whom a "bumbling bucket of bolts"?
Ewoud Sanders and Rob Tempelaars recently published their Krijg de vinkentering! 1001 Nederlandse en Vlaamse verwensingen. Excerpts from this excellent book of 1,300 Dutch and Flemish disease- and death-curses are featured here.
Dead link -- site disappeared: "The Bengali Dictionary of Passion, Anger, and Vulgarity" by B. A. promises to become an excellent and exciting glossary of Bengali maledicta. The words and expressions are grouped into chapters such as Body Parts, Insults, Name-calling, Sex, Scatology, and Acts of Love, Passion and Tenderness. The compiler uses labels (poetic, formal, vulgar) and precise definitions, and he provides a detailed guide to transliteration and pronunciation. What I would like to see are literal translations of any entry whose meaning differs from the actual meaning. For example, the Bengali term for "to deflower" is kumArItva nAsh karA, but what do these three words mean literally? Much of the present corpus is standard or formal; there are thousands of (vulgar) slang terms yet to be collected from the various geographical regions where Bengali is spoken -- the hardest part, as most native speakers are too shy or ashamed to admit that they use or know such "bad language."
Lagorgette (Université de Savoie at Chambéry) is the leading French
maledicta scholar. She is an indefatigable author of many maledicta-related articles
and co-compiler with Prof. Pierre Larrivée (Aston University) of an extensive
polyglot maledicta bibliography. The main page (Pragmasémantique de l'insulte)
with some links and much more (all in French) is here
(with bibliography), and the Bibliography itself ("Insultes, injures, jurons:
Essai de bibliographie étendue"), now a 16-page, 284K .pdf
(but shown with the extension .php), is here.
Charles Boutler is the author of twelve (and growing) excellent bilingual slang glossaries at: http://www.russki-mat.net/ :
Russian-French / French-Russian
Russian-German / German-Russian
Russian-Breton / Breton-Russian
French-German / German-French
There are also LINKS (on the left side of the pages) to two dozen further links, mostly about Russian but also about some French and German books and Websites.
To get the most out of these glossaries, you need a browser that can display Cyrillic, Greek, Arabic, Japanese, and IPA characters. Various pages are encoded in "Windows-1252" instead of the international standard, "ISO-8859-1," which may not render characters with diacritics correctly.
Despite their general excellence, I have two criticisms to make: First, many translations need also literal translations (not just giving the meaning), so that the users can fully appreciate the crudity or humor of the original terms.
Second, and far more troublesome, the translations of obscene, vulgar, and other offensive terms (what linguists call "low-register") are translated as "clean," formal, or euphemistic (high-register) terms. This is a disservice to the users and may get them into trouble, because they are unaware of how offensive or nasty the original terms are. Vulgar terms must be translated as equally vulgar terms in the other language, not as formal ones. Low-register terms for "prick," "cunt," "fuck," and "shit" are translated as high-register "penis," "vulva," "female genitals," "female lower naughty bits," "to engage in sexual intercourse," and "to have a bowel movement."
-- Russian pizda is not English "female lower naughty bits" but cunt.
-- Russian xuy is not English "penis" but prick or cock.
-- German wichsen is not French "se masturber" but se branler (to jerk off).
-- French baiser is not German Geschlechtsverkehr haben ("to have sexual intercourse") but ficken or vögeln (to fuck).
-- French bite and zob are not German Penis but Schwanz (prick, cock).
-- French chatte [lit., "female cat"] is not German weibliche Geschlechtsteile ("female genitals") but Fotze or Möse (cunt, pussy).
-- French caguer and chier are not German Stuhlgang haben ("to have a bowel movement") but scheißen or kacken (to shit).
And so on, in every language I've checked except Breton. It would entail major revisions, additions, corrections and much time, but if Mr. Boutler is willing to put even more time into his terrific glossaries made available gratis to all the Websurfing freeloaders and parasites, his labor of love would be even more valuable than it is.