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#5063 08/09/00 02:17 AM
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I've taken notice of several interesting and unique phrases of swearing and cursing. In addition to the usual "blooming" for bloody, "geez" for Jesus, and "rats" for who-knows-what, Socrates swore "by the dog" and Pythagorus swore "by the number 4."

What do some other cultures/languages swear by? (please forgive the sentence-ending preposition)

Awaiting some responses that will shiver-me-timbers.




#5064 08/09/00 03:29 PM
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Well, Brandon, I can think of one very widespread hand signal for swearing, and I sincerely hope that it is not an
official part of Sign Language!

I can think of 'Mama mia' and 'oy veh'(sp?), but I'm not sure these count as swearing. P'raps Emanuela can help.
I expect most cultures have had some form of swearing by their god or gods, or something holy to them. "By the wrath of Zeus", possibly, and I seem to recall from long ago reading that there was a saying, "By the Oracle at Delphi". In Mary Stewart's Merlin series, she has King Uther swear "by Mithras", and numerous characters swear by
various gods.


#5065 08/09/00 04:53 PM
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>>I expect most cultures have had some form of swearing by their god or gods, or something holy to them.

Maybe Socrates felt his dog was a holy entity deserving swearing. I have no trouble believing Pythagous swore by the holy number four, though three seems more up his alley.

By my right hand,

Brandon


#5066 08/09/00 04:59 PM
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i LOVE swearing.
some people really get offended by these words.
i wonder if it is the words themselves that make these people upset, or just the emotions behind them?


#5067 08/09/00 06:48 PM
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>>i wonder if it is the words themselves that make these people upset, or just the emotions behind them?

An argument for it being the words themselves would be the high percentage of swear words being related to what people hold sacred, such as deity, acts of love, anatomy, and others.

An argument for it being the emotions behind the words would be the fact that few of those using these "sacred" words are trying to be literally blasphemous, but are instead using it for shock value or emphasis.


#5068 08/09/00 08:15 PM
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archaic English made good use of God's [something]. gadzooks (or od's wucks) is "God's hooks", the hooks perhaps being a reference to the nails used to fasten Christ to the cross. some of these expressions were reduced to 'od's as in ods bodikins, "[by] God's little body"; also zounds, "[by] God's wounds" and 'sblood ("God's blood") and 'sbody or ods-bobs ("God's body") and ods-pittikins ("God's pity").

these can now be heard in late summer and fall at Renaissance Festivals throughout the land.


#5069 08/09/00 08:24 PM
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one word that's made it into English from Italian is fico, a fig, or contemptibly worthless trifle -- in Italian I'm told that it is an obscene gesture.

emanuela?


#5070 08/10/00 01:11 PM
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tsuwm,
one still in use is "strewth", from "God's truth", i believe.


#5071 08/19/00 10:08 AM
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> What do some other cultures/languages swear by? (please forgive the sentence-ending preposition)

Spanish custom is defecating more than swearing and the standard swearing phrase is “I s**t on x”. You can replace the x for almost anything, mainly sacred items.
Among the most popular, and curious, are:
- Diez (The number 10). There are two theories about this, one of them is about the Ten Commandments and the other, and more plausible, is that it is an euphemism of “Dios” (God).
- La mar (The sea). Maybe is a shortening of “madre” (mother).
- La leche (The milk). With several variants, the milk they gave you, the milk you sucked.

We can also replace the x for a close relative of the offending object or person. “La madre que parió al martillo” (The mother who gave birth to this hammer) is one of the all time favorites.


Juan Maria.


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