Eat a D*** for Breakfast – By @joeyfraser95
By Joe Fraser
Eat a D*** for Breakfast
I’ve been very interested in swear words recently. It’s become something of an obsession. Not in a super weird way but I’ve always thought it was weird how some phrases make sense in one language but don’t in another. For example, the Dutch use the phrase Kankerhond as an insult. It translates to English as Cancer Dog.
How is that an insult? It sounds more like a case of animal cruelty or telling your child that little Rocko the family dog has gone to live on a farm. Imagine telling that to someone in English? “You’re a cancer dog!” It wouldn’t be an argument anymore, both sides would just give up because something so depressing and uncomfortable has been thrown into the ring that no one wants to play anymore.
Another classic is the Spanish pendejo which translates to ‘single strand of pubic hair’. I don’t think I’ve seen such an odd swear word has been presented to me since kankerhond 116 words ago. What about the other strands of pubic hair? Do they just fall by the wayside and leave you to pick up the scraps? Or… scrap? There is something specifically odd about just the single pube lying around, like a strand of head hair’s tougher, more aggressive cousin.
Another one is the Bengalese insult Kukuur kanna which translates to ‘son of a gender-neutral dog’. I’m glad someone is taking these insults to a PC level. If more insults were considerate of people’s political, social and sexual backgrounds, insults would be great again.
Hungary have killed it with Agyilag Zokni meaning ‘mentally, you are a sock’. I’ve always considered the possibilities of a being a sock, but apparently in Hungary that’s a reality. Thousands of people in the streets thinking they’re socks. Putting shoes on their heads. Trying to find their place in the world.
Bit a left-hook to the jaw coming at you, Yiddish is the next one. Now, Yiddish is a weird language because it’s Hebrew and various Eastern European languages squashed together to create something otherworldly. It’s kind of a dead language but remains alive every now and then for a bit of slang (think schlep to the shops or meshugenah for a crazy person). It is my favourite language for insults because they all sound the same but mean different things. Schlep, schtup, schokel – all classics in Yiddish vernacular. The insult I’ve found to be the strangest is Gay Kaken afen yam – Go shit in the ocean. Sounds more like a fun thing to do than an insult, but if Yiddish says it’s supposed to be rude then I guess I must obey.
What’s the benefit of all this? Dot collecting is one. Nothing like a bit of culture and a bit of a laugh at the same time. It makes you appreciate translators that much more. But also because I think of a lot of swears when putting together scamps or straplines and you obviously can’t realistically put one in because of, like, you know, that thing, the law. But if there was a way to get around it using Hungarian or Dutch, then who would know? It would be great for the small Dutch population in the UK but would it be beneficial to the ad beyond being a gimmick. Maybe there’s an idea out there about using foreign swears in an ad to promote tourism or even language courses. Some of your best ideas never get made apparently, hopefully this one has legs and won’t die like a kankerhond.