"You do not swear anymore now, of course, because you can't find any words that are long enough or strong enough to fit the case. You feel degraded and ignominious and subjugated. And there and then you say that you will go away from New York and start over again; and that you will never come back to settle permanently till you have learned to swear with the utmost fluency in seventeen different languages."

- Mark Twain

Well, I can't swear fluently in seventeen languages, but I'm doing pretty well, I think. I'm over half way there (including English). This should be enough to get you by in the following languages:

Arabic
I don't really speak Arabic, but we use these in Israel alot. In fact, half the Hebrew swearing is actually Arabic.

Dutch
Incidentally, in Holland, there is an 'Association Against Cursing' ('Bond Tegen Het Vloeken'. Swear words in Dutch usually have to do with God, and they encourage translaters to 'correctly' translate bodily-function English swear words to bodily-function Dutch swear words, and not mix up God in it.

French
German
Hebrew
Hungarian
  • lofasz a segedben (pronounced "lofos a shegedbe") - literally horse dick in your ass. This is actually the phrase that got me to write this node. It is amazing (you will agree) that the Hungarians actually have a word for horse dick. It is used more like "fuck off".
Italian
Spanish
Yiddish
There aren't many bad words that I know in Yiddish. It's not really a swearing language.


Not all of these are my mother tongue. I may have made mistakes. Corrections/suggestion are, as always, welcome.

Maltese
Maltese is my mother tongue and it is an immensely foul language.

That introduction might be construed as intentionally blunt or absurdly brief but in fact the list of curses and blasphemous phrases is practically endless. To add insult to injury, we compose profanity to suit the situation, making use of a permutation that has as yet been unused.

Just in case you were wondering,

"But you will surely reach a saturation point one day when every curse has been cursed and no more divine beings are left to blaspheme by"

my reply is a definite no.

Reasons for this are based around the huge religious fervour that our Catholic culture is based on, providing limitless amounts of Saints, representations for the Blessed Virgin (try saying that in Maltese!), and attributes to God Himself to blaspheme by. Add this to the creativity of a population with no art or music to speak of since all the excess has been funneled into making blapshemy an art and cursing a culture.

On to the actual swearing. This will by no means make you a competent Maltese blasphemer since that would take an entire database plus writing a dedicated script to finally thrash out all the remaining combinations. It serves as an introduction to the World of Maltese Insults.
The Basics
  • Il-Ostja : (Il - Ostya), The Host, everyday expletive.
  • L'oxx : (Losh), Cunt, idiot.
  • Liba : Literally sperm, seminal fluid but is a harsh way of saying that the person in question is very nasty.
  • Hudu f'sormok : Up yours. Very rare.
  • F'oxx ommok : (Fosh ommok), Fuck your mother.
  • F'oxx kemm ghandek : (Fosh kem andek) Fuck all your relatives.

Basic Blasphemy
  • Haqq (insert deity) : (Haqq is almost impossible to pronounce. The 'q' is a hard guttural sound almost like a suppressed cough) Basically means Damn whoever. Commonly Alla or Madonna.
  • F'oxx (insert deity) : Fuck whatever deity you've chosen.
Journey on
  • F'oxx ommok, dik il-"insert adjective here" : Fuck your mother, that "adjective". Most commonly qahba(guttural 'q' and hard 'h'), liba, etc.
  • F'oxx (complex phrase) : A basic example would be "F'oxx l-iskarpan li gibdek" (Fosh liskahrpahn lee jib-deck) meaning 'Fuck the shoemaker that assisted to your delivery', but this is only scratching the surface.
The extent to which this is taken makes it unreproducible. I just can't bring myself to type and post some of the more "colourful" expressions, some of which take minutes to utter and hours to translate. This introduction should, however, equip you for your average week's holiday in Malta.

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