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In one study , a patient had a severe case of aphasia — brain damage that causes someone to have difficulty with language — but he still had the ability to swear. This means cussing is baked right into human instinct, nestled into the subconscious.

Swearing -

Another study looked specifically at swearing in another language. The researchers had Polish students translate texts that were filled with curse words, both general swear words and ethnic slurs, to see how they would translate them. When they translated from English into their native Polish, they tended to tone down how offensive the words were. When the students translated in the other direction, they scaled their offensiveness up. What does the case of swearing tell us about learning a language?

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It means that even once you nail the grammar and vocabulary, it might take time before you really start to emotionally resonate with the language. It also means you may want double check how words are used in a new language. Even within a language, there can be differences in swearing culture. So in the interest of acknowledging this boundlessly creative, revealing, and disgusting human gift, I humbly present an abridged guide to the best swears in every language. A few notes before you dive in, although you'll probably ignore them, you douchebag. I intend this as a celebration of the depravity of human language, not its hatefulness.

How Swearing Works

Please add your favorite swears below, and if they are in languages we don't have or are more compellingly and colorfully depraved than our choices in languages we do have , we'll add them! Siug aan my aambeie en wag vir beter dae!

Silbabot: Literally "You are the fatty layer on my warm milk", meaning "You are a nuisance. Faeces is preferred in strong language in fewer places than you may expect. It does show up here and there: Fijian and other Austronesian languages, Arabic, and Albanian, to name a few. Other cleanliness taboos figure in some languages.

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The cloths you use to clean your backside are especially bad language in Jamaican Patois. A few places have a special horror of disease. Much of the Dutch strong language makes use of cancer, cholera, and typhus; if you want to make something offensive in Dutch, just add kanker to it. Poor health seems to upset the Dutch more than violations of the moral code. Social control structures differ somewhat from country to country, but they are, after all, developed by the same human animal on the same planet.

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Culture Menu. Words' Worth History Mind your language!

Swearing around the world. Share on Facebook.

1. Leche (noun) – Milk\

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Japanese people don’t say “bless you” when they sneeze

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