When you have to translate swear words from other languages, many times something gets lost in the process.
Some swear words are so profane they’re pretty-much self-explanatory, but when you have to translate swear words from other languages, many times something gets lost in the process. Sometimes when translating swear words from other languages you’re actually left with something more amusing, rather than offensive; even though all these words are anything but inoffensive when spoken in their native countries. So, if you really want to insult someone, here are some insults that might dumbfound someone who doesn’t speak the language; although I’d be careful when using them because if that person did know the language and understood what you just said, you’d really be offending them.
In our opinion our English swear words could be a little more creative: our use of the words sh**, f*** and so on, are old-hat and boring. From what we see in the world of translation, other languages have taken a bit more creative license with their insults. Here are some swear words and insults from around the globe that, when translated into English, are quite funny; which makes them sound less like swear words. Even so, they’re still intended as swear words, or insults.
Tua mamma bocchinara in Italian translates as ‘Your Mum's a fluffer’. Not knowing what a ‘fluffer’ was I had to resort to a dictionary where I discovered that a fluffer is a person employed to keep a male adult film star aroused on the set! Initially, I thought it sounded like a nice thing to say – like your Mum is fluffy, as in soft and cuddly!
Mince in French translates to ‘skinny’. Hearing someone yell ‘skinny’ at you sounds weird enough, but in English the equivalent is ‘darn’. Does anyone even say that word anymore? We should bring it back as a swear word; its kind-of cute.
Sjutton också in Swedish translates to ‘seventeen also’.
We’re not entirely clear as to why this is an insult, but this is apparently quite a nasty swear word in Swedish. The English phrase ‘I’ll be damned’ might be a fair translation of this Swedish insult.
Porca Madonna in Italian translates to ‘Pig Madonna’. The imagination runs wild here: perhaps a hybrid of Miss Piggy and Madonna; or a pig deity! Italians use these words when they’re in pain or they’re very angry.
Cabron in Spanish translates to ‘male goat’. Not just any kind of goat – specifically a male goat. When translated to English it’s not very pleasant – perhaps the nicest words to use might be scoundrel, or sly-dog.
Silbabot in Amharic translates to ‘you are the fatty layer on my warm milk’! So, to insult someone you think about the worst thing about a really good thing; calling someone that is a very clever and painfully poetic way of making your point.
Gey strashe di gen in Yiddish translates to ‘go threaten geese’. In English its implication is that you’re unable to threaten the speaker. Doesn’t really sound like an insult though – more like a very strange thing to do.
(My favourite Yiddish insult) Kishka, means the innards, stomach or intestines: if you were to punch someone in the kishka, you’d be aiming for his stomach!
I’m going to stick with Yiddish insults for the moment because they’re quite humorous J
Shnorrer means someone who is always asking for money: a beggar or a moocher. Also connotes a frugal or cheapskate. I bet you have a Shnorrer in your family!
If not, perhaps you have a Shlemiel? Someone who’s particularly useless, inept, clueless, and usually klutzy: the type who’s always bumping into things and knocking them over.
Beheyme literally translated means a ‘cow’s head’ but when used as an insult it means ‘fool.’ A ‘kosher beheyme’ means a naïve person or a ‘trusting little cow’ – the type of person who would allow themselves to be led to the slaughter.
Hok a chanik: (We all know someone like this) To waffle on endlessly, or be forever talking nonsense.
Lock in kop means a ‘hole in the head’. When you don’t want or need something you’d say you need it like you need a ‘lock in kop.’ (Really love this one!)
Schlump means a pathetic human being. This one’s really cool because, in my opinion, the word Schlump says it all. We all know a Schlump!
Tuches means your bottom, butt, or derriere. But if you’re a tuches lecker it means you’re a butt-kisser, someone who’s always brown nosing for attention or approval.
Tabarnak in Quebec-French translates to ‘Tabernacle’. Apparently Quebec-French is its own special language, and with it come many slurs and insults. When translated literally it doesn’t really make any sense, but it’s actually used to mean f***.