Sep 6, 2013

Embiggen Your Vocabulary with Six Foreign Insults

Could you live without insults? Could you go an entire month without swearing at your computer screen? I could not. Swear words, palabrotas, svordom, blótsyrði, they taste good.

I love insults; find them most illuminating. They hold a mirror up to the system of values that drives a man, a woman, a people, a nation. They incorporate the physical and social environment where they appear.

Swear words & insults, as a valuable part of slang, keep languages alive. Join me as I explore six delightful examples.
gif by Bill Domonkos

Imbecilóide (Portuguese)

Imbecile plus mongoloid: a mega-cretin. Whereas most people have a brain between their ears, the imbecilóide probably has lard. You wouldn't hire this person to clean bathroom stalls.

Gilipollas (Spanish) 

Silly dick. Comparatively harmless buffoon. You wouldn't let a gilipollas borrow your car.

Vache Espagnole (French)

Spanish cow. As in, "You speak French like a Spanish cow." The French despise the Spanish, whose cows display remarkable linguistic skills.

Ditt jävla ålarens (Swedish)

You damn eel entrails. An insult from Skåne (that would be Scania to you), where people have a thing about eels. Sweden is your go-to country for strange insults; consider skitstövel (shitboot), jubelidiot (jubilating idiot) or sladdertacka (gossip sheep).

And what do you know, that sheep has her own blog, Gossip Sheep's Book Corner.

Kolmannen asteen turbomuna (Finnish)

Turbodick of the third degree. Honestly, that sounds awesome, but I'm guessing the Finnish do not like turbodicks. They also take a dim view of people who copulate with reindeer. Hey, it's a cold, dark, snowy country. Cut them some slack.

Runknisse (Norwegian)

Masturbating gnome. In medieval Norway, the male-to-female birth ratio of the local gnome population suffered a great upset — and gnomes suddenly found themselves in a dire predicament — only one lady gnome per 8.1 men. Why, it was almost like China.

Gnome society did not condone polyandry. Sexually frustrated gnomes stopped hiding from human eyes; they could no longer spare the energy to work concealment magic. In desperation, they would try to make it with house cats, discarded clogs, loaves of bread, unwary sheep (who then gave birth to gossip sheep) — yet the gnomes could not find enough places to stick their dicks into, because there were way too many boy gnomes and too few amenable holes.

After a couple of boisterous months and a few hundred coupling experiments, all failed, they simply milled around churches and street corners, masturbating and crying. Not a happy sight. When Dagny, a blacksmith, found a gnome wailing and jerking off behind his anvil, Dagny grabbed the gnome by the nostrils and applied his blacksmith foot to the gnome's buttocks with such force that the gnome exploded, taking out Dagny, Dagny's workshop and the two adjacent houses.

Gnomes were explosive.

People learned to leave them alone. Alas, the number of masturbating gnomes grew and grew. Whenever they took a break from all the rosypalming, they invaded homes and ate all the food. When the food was gone, they ate leather belts, shoes and caps. When those were gone, they ate the furniture.

The chief and elders convened a town meeting.
"They have no women," said Gudbrand, the priest. "Spilling their seed on the ground, they will soon die out," he added.
"But, Gudbrand," said Ivar, a hunter, "gnomes can live for hundreds of years."
"Let us pretend we do not see them," said Gudbrand. "They shall begin to doubt their own existence, and through doubt, cease to exist. Problem solved."

And that, my friends, was the birth of political realism.

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