February 17, 2005

Rude Linguistics 

I continue to get referrals from search engines of people searching for things like "fuck off italian version". I don't think they want to insult this blog, so I suppose they want to learn Italian swear words.

Well, in the optic of giving to my readers the service they request, I'll provide a quick guide to Italian swearing.

Fuck Off and variants are equivalent to Vaffanculo (the last u is pronounced as "oo") - this word is a bit hard to pronounce for English people. It has no literal meaning; sometimes is also used as interjection or expletive. Variations are 'fanculo, 'affanculo, va'nculo and others. Vaffanculo is the very Italian expression, but also fottiti has a rather widespread use.

Shit --> Merda

Fucking is equivalent to Fottuto/a, but other expressions with the same meaning are di merda, del cazzo.

Son of a Bitch is expressed with Figlio di Puttana, but while especially Americans use it quite frequently, Italians most of the times mean it, when thay say it.

Bastard --> Bastardo (That's easy)

Motherfucker and variants have no exact equivalent in Italian. The gravity or rudeness of the insult is increased by adding adjectives or prefixes: stra-fottuto, brutto figlio di puttana.

Stronzo/a literally means Turd, Piece of shit, but it's also used to indicate mean, dishonest, cheating persons. Stronzate/a means Bullshit, as Cazzate/a does. Fare una Cazzata/Stronzata is used as Fuck Up/ Screw Up.

Bitch/Slut/Whore --> Troia(Stronza)/Puttana/Maiala (Italian words ending with -a are most often feminine)

Cazzo is probably the most frequent swear word used in Italian. Its literal meaning is Cock, Dick, but it has a wide variety of uses: as Fucking or Fuck, to make a sentence more rude: Che Cazzo fai? instead of the normal Cosa fai? (What the fuck are you doing?/What are you doing?); Non capisci un Cazzo (You're dumb as fucking plank); Non ho visto un Cazzo (I did not see a fuck) etc. It is also used as interjection (that is pretty rude) or expletive.

Fucking Hell and derivatives --> Porca Troia/Puttana/Maiala. If you want to add empasis, just make a chain: Porca puttana troia lurida (Dirty) fottuta.

Ok, this is just a brief and disorganized glimpse into the swearing richness of Italian language, but I think it's enough to satisfy certain curiosities. More, eventually, will come.


That's hilarious. I usually get requests for "meaning of cazzo in English" ..rather helpful post there Fabio will send 'em on over ;)

Thanks... customer satisfaction is a priority here!
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