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February 14, 2014 3:49 PM   Subscribe

A list of the word's most imaginative insults
posted by rcraniac (39 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I knew a kid in elementary school who would call people "constipated sweat from a pig's penis wrinkle" with some regularity. I still have no idea where he got it from.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:57 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


There's a long list of (Scottish) Gaelic insults which are often way too sweary and offensive to post here. One of the few non-sexual ones on it is:

Tha thu cho duaichnidh ri èarr àirde de a' coisich deas damh.

...which translates as "You are as ugly as the north end of a southward traveling ox."
posted by Wordshore at 4:00 PM on February 14


My favorite was "Sufla-ţi-aş cu curul in lingură cand te arde ciorba la gura" -- "I can blow farts in your spoon when the soup is too hot for you", which I guess also implies the ancillary - that they WOULD walk across the street to piss on you if you were on fire. Those ever so helpful Romanians!
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:03 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


From a Marine in Da Nang...
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:14 PM on February 14


one of my favorites was "may you have a hotel with 100 rooms and may you be found dead in each one"
posted by pyramid termite at 4:26 PM on February 14 [12 favorites]


This one has no profanity, but it's still lethal:

"I hope your next birthday present is a wheelchair."
posted by dfm500 at 4:29 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


When did buzzfeed get a new URL?
posted by etc. at 4:37 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


When the first one is made-up nonsense -- probably from a non-native speaker translating an actual Chinese insult into English and back -- I have to question the accuracy of the rest of the list.
posted by bradf at 4:38 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


"Schattenparker"

I'm German and grew up in Germany.
I'm not familiar with this particular insult but it seems to be part of the canonic list of "Warmduscher" (someone who showers with warm water) style insults.
It's a very long list.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:39 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls is full of characters who "obscenity in the milk" which at first thought is mild, but much more vile after a moment.
posted by a halcyon day at 5:00 PM on February 14


Mother of vinegar
posted by aniola at 5:00 PM on February 14


... though that's more of a swear word than an insult, it works either way.
posted by aniola at 5:01 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


A friend said this to bouncer on being denied entry to a club...

You may look like Yoda, but you're not as wise.
posted by mattoxic at 5:26 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


I once had a friend who used to go to the local basketball games that were all organized by a variety of Serbian churches. The audience would get really worked up, and the escalation of insults was interesting:

1. Mild, almost a "hello": I f*ck you!
2. More serious: I f*ck your mother!
3. You did not go there: I f*ck your church door!

That was when the fists came out.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:27 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


Of all the many things that Spaniards shit on — the communion wafer, the Virgin Mary, God Himself, your mother's cunt — they thought the milk was the most colorful?
posted by RogerB at 5:36 PM on February 14 [7 favorites]


"Park in the shade". "Ha ha ha, his car does not have excellent airconditioning, it is inadequately engineered."

Love the "your mother is a big turtle" (and the follow up, thanks bradf). Can't remember where it was (Thailand?) but remember the flash of realisation and joy when we worked out that backpackers were being called "turtles". Always assumed it was just figurative, but bradf's wikipedia link adds a wonderful extra dimension.

"Face like a bashed crab" has always been a personal favourite.

And more a threat than an insult, but we had a primary school teacher who'd routinely threaten "Anyone who doesn't hand in their homework.. I'm gonna rip their bloody arms off, shove em down their throats, then beat their heads with the sticky ends."

Think we all understood it was a joke..
posted by Ahab at 6:17 PM on February 14


You want insults? Our own languagehat wrote the book.
posted by beagle at 6:18 PM on February 14 [8 favorites]


"A bird shit on a fence post and the sun hatched you!"
posted by eriko at 6:22 PM on February 14


"You? You're like making love to a pencil sharpener!"
posted by eriko at 6:24 PM on February 14


"You're like a hemorrhoid. A pain in the ass that's useless to everyone!"
posted by eriko at 6:25 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


One of my favourite Ukrainian ones:
"May a duck kick you!"
posted by Kabanos at 7:31 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


I would have thought parking in the shade would be the sign of a hapless loser, who returns to his car to find it splattered in birdshit. At which point, if he were Russian, he might mutter "yobaniy v rota ptichki". (Sorry, no Cyrillic keyboard on my phone.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:57 PM on February 14


I don't pretend any knowledge of Chinese, but I came across the first one - transliterated differently but translated the same - in a book I read in fourth grade. It was an autobiographical account (as I recall) of a girl born in China whose parents (American diplomats?) move the family to the States when the Revolution starts making things too difficult to stay. One of the other things I recall from the book was the scene where the girl's American teacher is correcting her on the pronunciation of Yangtze. If that rings a bell with anyone, send me a memail - I'd love to find that book again.

Anyway, not trying to gainsay bradf - just that I was delighted by that one, apocryphal or not, and it has a history at least thirty years older than the link.
posted by nickmark at 8:06 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


"Zoll stu vaksen tsibilis in dein pupik" (Yiddish for "may onions grow in your navel"). Because, well, ew.

Then there's one I can't even recall word-for-word in Yiddish but is literally "may you grow like an onion with your head in the ground and your feet in the air." Onions as Yiddish insult meme.

And in case you want to wash up: "ich hub dir in bud" or "I've got you in the tub." Literally, "go to hell." Obviously, being in the bathtub puts a person at a disadvantage.

Who's yer bubbe?!
posted by datawrangler at 8:29 PM on February 14


After a long string of especially vile Hungarian epithets, Lazlo the Lover goes one taunt too far and calls Reid Fleming a "bum". Chaos ensues.
posted by ovvl at 8:54 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


nickmark, I (partially) take back my comment. Apparently in the 70s or 80s there was a children's rhyme/taunt that included calling someone's mother a turtle:

You curse me, I lose. Your mom's a big turtle.
You curse me, I bow my head. Your mom gave birth to a nest of monkeys.
Some bounce, some jump, and some sleep with your mom.
[...goes on and on with various yo mamas]

你骂我我,你妈是个大乌龟。
你骂我我低头,你妈生了一窝猴,
有蹦的有跳的还有跟你妈睡觉的。
posted by bradf at 9:14 PM on February 14


GODDAMNIT YOU BOIL BAGELS, YOU BOIL THEM (okay, whew, sorry, just had to let that out...sadly we don't live anywhere near real bagels right now)
posted by trackofalljades at 10:33 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


My personal favorite is from "It's a Wonderful Life" of all things:

"In the whole vast configuration of things, why you're nothing but a scurvy little spider!"
posted by flyingsquirrel at 12:00 AM on February 15


nickmark: I came across the first one - transliterated differently but translated the same - in a book I read in fourth grade. It was an autobiographical account (as I recall) of a girl born in China whose parents (American diplomats?) move the family to the States when the Revolution starts making things too difficult to stay.

That's from Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz. The narrator uses the insult on her unwelcoming (American) classmates: I turned to Marie and said in Chinese, "Your mother is a big turtle." ("Nide muchin shr ega da wukwei.)

But earlier in the book, she hears a neighbor woman rattle off a whole string of curses:She shook her fists. "Egg of a turtle!" she screamed. "May all your children fall sick! May you outlive every one of them! May the gods heap misfortune on your head!" On and on.

Which leads me to suspect that "Your mother is a big turtle" is meant to be a child's imaginative interpretation of an insult that she doesn't really understand.
posted by zhwj at 1:00 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


"Face like a bashed crab" has always been a personal favourite.

Or alternatively, a face like a dropped pie.
posted by acb at 2:51 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


While fun, this is a typical journalistic list of poorly understood and sometimes inaccurate material. To take the first two:

1. Chinese: “Ni muqin shi yi ge da wugui!”
… or, “Your mother is a big turtle.” Because turtles aren’t monogamous, get it? Zing!


Actually, turtles, for whatever reason, are a basic building block in the Chinese vocabulary of insults. It's like glossing "Your mother is a bitch" with "Because female dogs are indiscriminate in their appetites, get it? Zing!" I mean, well, yeah, sort of, but it kind of misses the point. "Bitch" is just an insulting word and nobody thinks about the rationale; the same is true of turtles in Chinese. (I learned about turtles during my year in Taiwan.)

2. Spanish: “Me cago en la leche!”
… “I sh*t in the milk.” Imagine a pitcher of milk in the middle of the breakfast table. Now imagine a Spaniard defecating in it. Yes.


If this person had ever read Hemingway they'd know “Me cago en la leche” is just a shortened form of the classic Spanish insult “Me cago en la leche de tu puta madre": I shit in the milk of your whore of a mother. So no, no pitcher involved.

Thanks for the shout-out, beagle! But don't anybody run out and buy the book on my account (I mean, by all means buy it for the insults if you want)—I don't get a dime from sales (and because of a screwup by the original English book packager, they didn't print my introduction, dammit).
posted by languagehat at 6:40 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


You want insults? Our own languagehat wrote the book.

This is why I am so afraid of languagehat -- it's not so much his biting replies, it's the wide potential variety that gives me pause.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:47 AM on February 15


The bun-sellers or cake-makers were in nothing inclinable to their request; but, which was worse, did injure them most outrageously, calling them prattling gabblers, lickorous gluttons, freckled bittors, mangy rascals, shite-a-bed scoundrels, drunken roysters, sly knaves, drowsy loiterers, slapsauce fellows, slabberdegullion druggels, lubberly louts, cozening foxes, ruffian rogues, paltry customers, sycophant-varlets, drawlatch hoydens, flouting milksops, jeering companions, staring clowns, forlorn snakes, ninny lobcocks, scurvy sneaksbies, fondling fops, base loons, saucy coxcombs, idle lusks, scoffing braggarts, noddy meacocks, blockish grutnols, doddipol-joltheads, jobbernol goosecaps, foolish loggerheads, flutch calf-lollies, grouthead gnat-snappers, lob-dotterels, gaping changelings, codshead loobies, woodcock slangams, ninny-hammer flycatchers, noddypeak simpletons, turdy gut, shitten shepherds, and other suchlike defamatory epithets;

(Thomas Urquhart's translation of Rabalais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, Vol 1, Chapter 26)
posted by Grangousier at 10:04 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


The Finnish one, "Äitisi nai poroja", is one I've never heard before. And it certainly would not be translated as "Your mother married a reindeer". More like "Your mother fucks reindeers".

"Yo mamma" -type of insults aren't really the way we do things here in Finland, we're more toward the body fluids and genital end of the insult spectrum. So I'm a little sceptical about the accuracy of this article on the whole.
posted by severiina at 10:48 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna rip their bloody arms off, shove em down their throats, then beat their heads with the sticky ends."

Whoa, my dad used to say this all the time.

Also, "mouth like a piss-hole in the snow."

A friend of a friend, when describing the mutual friend's brother's girlfriend, said "You could carve a side of roast beef on her face." I have no idea what he actually meant by that specifically, but it was evocative nevertheless.

Oh, "face like a rusty frying pan" is another good one.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:49 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Oh!

"Your mother swims out to troop ships"
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:50 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


face like a smacked bottom
posted by glasseyes at 11:40 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


hearing Stephen Fry say that in the intro VO for Little Big Planet ranks as one of the top 10 best uncomplicatedly happy moments of my life I think
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:08 PM on February 15


"I shit in the milk" reminds me of a phrase of possibly limited usefulness my ex picked up from the Spanish teacher at her school:
"Me cago en la crica(sp?) del diablo."
"I shit in the devil's c*nt."
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:46 PM on February 15


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