Do you swear?

Discussion in 'General Language' started by Ceit, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Majkl vP

    Majkl vP Active Member

    I'll try to ask a few Czech colleagues of mine for their mostly used phrases, then put it down here. ;-)
  2. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    If you fear to offend, you can send them to me privately. :lol:
  3. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Don't mention it, Eva2. :)

    Since I am in this vein, I might as well recall that the English ask for "a light" and have "lighters" in their pockets because of the taboo on "fire" that recalled both "hell" and "vagina".

    I have read that the same taboo exists about the term for "fire" in some Muslim countries. As it evokes "hell", they use the term for "peace" instead.
  4. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    ummm... perhaps. The verb "to light" also means to set on fire, ignite, or kindle so a lighter would necessarily be an instrument that sets something on fire, ignites it, or kindles it. But, the usage may have come from the aversion to the word fire you mentioned.
  5. Ir

    Ir Well-Known Member

  6. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    Well, Ir, that wasn't nice. Qucumber went out of his way to tell us something about language history. The link you posted is interesting but it doesn't address religious symbolism. There really wasn't a reason for your unkind remark.
  7. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    I think Ir was just keeping in tune with the vulgarity of the thread topic, not trying to cruel. But if he was trying to be cruel, he needs a good kick in the @ss. :twisted:

    Does the Czech government regulate the language used in the media like the FCC does in the US? It's really very interesting when you think about Qcumber mentioned before, swear words get their expressive power from taboos. The most offensive words, therefore, should have the strongest taboo behind them. It seems to me that for believers blasphemy should be right at the top of the taboo list, 'cause, you know, you love and respect your god, right? But the evidence seems to point to the contrary :arrow: They used to broadcast Howard Stern in my hometown, about 8 years ago. He was taken off the air because somebody complained that he was indecent. However, indecency and blasphemy are not the same thing it appears. If, for example, he said "God damnit!" on the air, people didn't complain, or at least didn't complain enough for it to matter. But one day he said vagina and OH :!: :shock: People got all up in arms about it. Americans like to say we have a god-fearing country, but we really don't. There are certainly some god-fearing citizens, but American society as a whole has much more fear of the human body and its parts and processes than of any god. :roll:
  8. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    No, language used in the media is not regulated in this way but one such proposal is in legislative process.

    BTW, authorized institutions in CR are independent on government, I suppose in the US it is similar, is'nt?
  9. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Personally I avoid swear words because they debase speech, but it is important to know them in a foreign language in order to assess the personality of the person talking to you or about you, otherwise you are at sea. :)

    To come back to the Middle-Ages, you certainly remember people believed the earth was in the center of the universe, and that hell was in the center of the earth, volcanoes being interpreted as its outlets. Fire was deemed to be low, and from the netherworld.

    Conversely the solar system was interpreted as being inside a sphere of celestial fire called the empyreum. So light coming from it was divine fire.

    This old world view is still embedded in our subconscious minds. The faithful look upward when they address their God, not downward, etc.

    As humans needed fire to survive, and be comfortable, they had to sanctify fire, hence the importance of candles in churches, etc. The odd thing is that, as far as I know, they didn't coin a term for good earth fire between hellish fire and light. :)
  10. chramosta

    chramosta Member

    Swearing is as natural as a speech itself. We all swear even if some of us don't realize it. Don't forget that the word you use may not be a four letter word to you while it can be to someone else. Say PANE BOZE (s hackem) in inappropriate time and it will be considered swearing. When I say BLOODY HELL, it might not sound bad to me, but it certainly will sound offensive to other. Just DON'T TRY TO TRANSLATE these words...try to understand them. If my finger is smashed in the door jamb and I cry out "SHOOT!" Everyone knows I am swearing ain't I? If I ask for a fag in UK, I get a cigarette, but what will I get in Canada or USA?
    When we were learning English and still thought Czech we swore using English words, because they TO US didn't sound too bad. Now, when we speak mostly English, we swear using Czech dirty words, because they don't sound dirty at all.

  11. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    Probably slugged, a new boyfriend for the night, a ticket to "Brokeback Mountain", or a fashion makeover - depending on where you are. :wink:
  12. Ir

    Ir Well-Known Member

    I wasn't intending to be cruel to Qcumber, merely saying that I bore some disdain for his explanations of certain English expressions (eg the verb 'to light'') in keeping with the tone of the thread title. I intended my comment to be ironic and humorous rather than insulting.

    re'fag' - although in general this refers to a cigarette in UK/Irish English, the sometimes offensive US meaning is fully understood here, eg in the phrase 'fag hag'. Almost all US colloquialisms and swearwords are understood in everyday speech on this side of the Atlantic.
  13. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what you mean by "authorized institutions", but if you mean newspapers, magazines and TV stations, then they are independent of the government insofar as content. But the Federal Communications Commission regulates regulates swearing and unnecessary vulgarity on TV and radio. I'm not sure what the process is, since I don't work in the media, but I know there are fines involved if you let a s*** or f*** slip while on the air.
  14. brook

    brook Well-Known Member

    Interesting thread!

    I know there are many swear words in czech to choose from, but I'll let others extrapolate... I am not an expert. :wink:

    I always thought it was funny how often czechs say, "Ježíš Marie!" though this isn't exactly swearing. :p
  15. fabik317

    fabik317 Well-Known Member

    *skimmed thru the thread*

    read "Good Soldier Svejk" (esp. it's english translation by cecill parrot (sp?)) to learn a lot about this topic, "swinehound", "patent idiot" and "jebu ti dušu" (serbian, but also usable in moravian), are my favourites.
  16. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    I've read this novel in its French translation. I like it a lot.
  17. Rakubrand

    Rakubrand Member

    I have a few questions on this subject. I'm married to a czech woman, but the worst thing she says is "do Prčic". I think Prčic is the name of a town. Of course its a euphemism for "do prd*l*". My mother-in-law swears often, but doesn't realize it, she says things like pane Bože!, sakre!, Ježíš Marie!, Kriste Pane! (please excuse my spelling).
    Have these phrases completely lost their offensiveness in CR? Are these equivalent to saying golly! or jeez! or any number of silly euphemisms? Or would some people still be offended?

    Another question is how to say piss (pardon my French), meaning urine, - I just wanted to say some place smelled like it, but I didn't want to be too offensive, but I also didn't want to use a medical term or sound like a child. I know moč, and čurani from my niece, but my wife didn't know a real equivalent or didn't want to tell me. I heard a word once, I can't think of it now, but I think women use it more often than men.

    Would you say it is true that women use different swear words than men. I hear "do prde*e" from both sexes, but I imagine there are some things most women would never say... for example, I remember the first time I asked my wife what the Czech word for peach is! She thought I was asking her what the same-sounding word in Czech meant and she was somewhat offended...

    I think the Hungarians have the most imagintive swears - I've heard them combine excretory, religious, and sexual swearing in one insult...
  18. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    "I think the Hungarians have the most imagintive swears - I've heard them combine excretory, religious, and sexual swearing in one insult..."

    This confirms my great-grandfather's claim (he served in the Austro-Hungarian army) that a Hungarian can swear for an hour without ever repeating himself. Grandpa was really impressed. LOL!

    The word you are looking for is "chcanky".
  19. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    This was a very interesting thread. Especially the part about religion. My husband and I are Christian (I'm american, he is czech) and his family are atheist. They swear often. They laugh that we we don't care when they use words like F*** or Sh** but if they say Holy Cow, we say "Hey don't say that, cows aren't holy, only God is" And if they would think to use our Lord's name in vain in our home (which they have) our mouths drop and we almost have a epileptic fit (in their eyes anyhow). :lol: Actually, the "hey don't say that" is just louder and with more shock in our voices.

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