Swearing has long been disreputable and in many ways still is.
We sort through millions of words for those that express our ultimate frustration and none but the profane ones meet our needs.
I personally have an ingrown passion for slang and other ‘low’ language terms, thanks to my school upbringing… where we have our own Profanosaurus.
So, I guess I am well positioned to explore the various debates over profanity: the noisy issue of its morality, the scholarly question of its linguistic status, and the insidious framing of vulgarity as a stand-in for assorted prejudice.
I wish I could go out and say and “fuckin’ shit” at times, but is considered anti-social behavior my friend.
This is where, old school friends night out, or a boys night or perhaps even a girls night out (believe me, they are worse) score heavily.
I watched Veere Di Wedding last night, and you may perhaps understand, what I am talking about! The words, BENCHOD and MADCHOD (censored for reasons), are common. In fact, it has come to such a level that girls commonly use it in their daily verbal exchange, and I learned that they also have a word for Orgasm in Hindi yesterday!
Boy, it will be difficult to convince the next generation that we originated from Monkeys, because they think Camels are our ancestors… Because it is the only mammal that they can fucking identify the Hump with!
And, Hampi will definitely be considered the place where Camelopithecus (early humans) originated rather than Australopithecus from Ethiopia.
Welcome to India, my friend!
According to tradition, they say that swearing is anti-social behavior, but profanity is actually about social construction of identity, by both fitting in and standing out, sometimes simultaneously.
However, it has never gone away, and (at the risk of confirmation bias) it seems more visible than ever. We see and hear it not just among friends, family, and neighbors but also at work, on the news, and in cultural media from billboard ads to high literature – albeit often euphemized.
Are we living in a fucking Age of Profanity?
It’s wonderful stuff, swearing. It stiffens the sinews and summons up the blood, and not just metaphorically. Obscenities actually do act on us physiologically. Swearing increases electrical conductance across the skin, pushes the heart rate higher and measurably increases resistance to pain.
Swearing does not just mean what we now understand by “dirty words.” It is entwined, in social and linguistic history, with the other sort of swearing: vows and oaths. Consider for a moment the origins of almost any word we have for bad language – “profanity,” “curses”, “oaths,” and “swearing” itself.
Obscenities are also linguistically interesting in themselves: the more currency they have, the more their emotional coloring and the associations they trigger overwhelms what they actually mean. “Fucking,” these days, only rarely means, “having sex.” And, they become marvelously plastic, grammatically.
By the First World War, soldiers swore so much that the word “fucking” came to function as no more than “a warning that a noun is coming.” Now even the extremist obscenities have lost their power to shock. In Irvine Welsh’s novels, for instance, “cunt” is more or less a synonym for “bloke.”
Please note that there are a lot of distinctions and overlaps between profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, and slang, while stressing on their mutability and relativity.
A great deal of our profanity is meaningful, not lexically, as in a dictionary definition, but expressively, as a matter of context.
Besides being the greatest writer in the history of the English language, William Shakespeare was the master of the pithy put-down.
Some common English swear words are given below, however, I have limited this to a few for reasons well known… More are given in the below link.
The UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, interviewed more than 200 people across the UK on how offensive they find a vast array of rude and offensive words and insults. Most swear word in the English language has been ranked in order of offensiveness.
The Mallu Obscenities
Just yesterday, I wrote a piece on the negative aspects of a Mallu.
Now, I am going to proceed to a real story, that is popular in the gulf… and the language is rather obscene, but to most Malayalees or Mallus, these are common phrases or terms they use.
Just like the Hindi speaking belt, where the words, BC and MC are common, the below words are common to a Mallu or a Malayalee.
On hindsight, I am very, very hesitant to write this (as per my THINK principle, and it just is uncalled for!).
However, on reexamining the entire piece, I thought it would be useful, or a necessity for the Non Mallu or Non Malayalee, to understand the basic local obscenities.
The below piece was a REAL memo or memorandum, send by an Arab HRD Manager to all his Malayalee or Mallu staff a few years back. His name, company, and date are withheld for obvious reasons.
Every word here is quite intact and no word has been altered.
It is rather over the top… but no different than any swear word in another language, so I advise you to be a bit circumspect about it… and pardon me if I have crossed the basic literary limits or protocol.
Only a Keralite or Mallu based in the Middle East would really understand, and identify with this.
MEMO TO KERALITE STAFF
In view of the large number of Keralites working in the company with the other People, it has become important for Human Resource Directors to issue directives to their Malayalee staff.
To all Malayalam-speaking staff – It has been brought to our attention by several officials visiting our corporate headquarters, that our Malayalam-speaking staff commonly use offensive language. Such behavior, in addition to violating our policy, is highly unprofessional, and offensive to both visitors and colleagues.
Staff will IMMEDIATELY adhere to the following rules:
Words like ‘MAIRU, KUNNA’ and other such expressions will not be used for emphasis, no matter how heated the discussion.
You will not say ‘PULAYADI MON’ when someone makes a mistake, or ‘MAIRAN’ when a major mistake has been made. All forms derived from the verb ‘OOMPAL’ & ‘OOKKAL’ are inappropriate in our environment.
No project manager, section head, or administrator, under any circumstances, will be referred to as ‘THENDI’, KOODHI, or ‘POORAN’. Lack of determination will not be referred to as THAYOOLI. A person who lacks initiative should not be referred to as ‘MANDHA BUDHI,’ or ‘KUNNAPPAN’.
Do not say ‘OOMPU MAIRE’, if a colleague is going through a difficult situation… Furthermore, you must not say ‘POOTTILAAYI’ when matters become complicated.
Do not ever substitute ‘Oh GOD!’ with ‘OOMPI POYIII!’
When things get tough, an acceptable statement such as ‘We are going through a difficult time’ should be used, rather than ‘MAIRE PUDUNGAAN’ or “ANNAKKILU KETTANAM.”
Last, but not least, after reading this memo, please do not say “EE KUNNAKKONNUM VERE PANI ILLE,” or say “POYI KAI PIDIKKAN PARA,” or say “POYI CHAPPAN PARA,” or say “BEST… FLUTADIKKAN PARA.”
Just keep it clean and dispose it off properly.
We hope you will keep these directions in mind.
(Human Resources Director)
So, next time, try and understand the local obscenities, as you could/ may interpret it in a different way.
Besides, I have not mentioned the meaning of these local obscenities for obvious reasons, it is better left unsaid.
As an afterthought, next time you use these to a person from another state or foreigner, you better be sure, that you know their language as well, as you will never know, what he might be calling you!
Lastly, I hope the copy of the above memorandum has caused no offense to anyone and if so, my sincere apologies!
Also mentioned below, are some common British Insults, meanings to which are your guess is as good as mine.
Match the Initials of your name with these words – and you have your name. Better to be a “Pebble-dashed Stain” (SP) than a “Knickerstealing Fanny Vicar” (YVK)
Cheers, and please don’t say that this bugger has no frigging work !
Or say, what you want!