Saturday, September 01, 2012

Overheard in the Hallway...

Bobbi is experimenting with making Victorian circumlocutions for common vulgar phrases...

Me: "'Yob tvoyu mat'..."

RX: "Is a Russian word."

Me: "Is three Russian words. It means... er... 'blank your mother.'"

RX: "Ah. Like 'chinga tu madre'?"

Me: "Yeah, except the Russians use it for everything, like 'aloha' in Hawaii."

16 comments:

Roberta X said...

Victorian circumlocution: Only a person assiduously engaged in inter-generational incestuous intercourse with their maternal parent would refuse to use it.

Shermlock Shomes said...

An exploration of Hindi and Panjabi gaalii (abuse) yields phrases that more often than not make gynecological references regarding the target's female relatives as well as the universal suggestions regarding the targets intimate relations with them. One of the most effective I've run across is informing the target that one wishes to have intimate relations with his sister but for the necessity of interrupting the target's father's current engagement in said activities.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Victorian circumlocution: But what if that same Maternal Parent had endeavored to engage in illegal Carnal Activities at a local vehicular intersection for monetary benefits? Could not one also label the purchaser of those same Mercantile activities the same appellation?

Robert Fowler said...

chinga tu madre, A phrase I learened years ago while living in Texas. Now we have a young Mexican kid working for us. He smiled the first time I used it in his presence. No one else at work is sure what it means, and I ain't tellin.

armedlaughing said...

A related phrase, uttered by a high-ranking Soviet military official in the book From Russia With Love.
Mr. Fleming was polite enough to place asterisks to obfuscate part of the word.
Mat was part of it.

gfa

global village idiot said...

It helps explain why it's so important to learn Russian from native speakers.

Russian is vulgar to such a degree that simply knowing how to read Pushkin or Chekhov leaves one completely unable to pick out the un-vulgar words hidden within all the vulgar ones.

Na Zhdroviye!

gvi

RandyGC said...

When flying Recon I had a patch made up in Korea with a Hammer and sickle in a "Ghost Buster's" circle/slash and that phrase, applied to Lenin's Grandmother in Cyrillic.

The idea was that it would be last act of defiance when they recovered my body, and it was the first thing I'd pull off the flight jacket and ditch if looked like I was going to be captured

Ed said...

Back in the old days of the Soviet Union, the central government controlled what was published, so that vulgar words that we could find in an English dictionary were never found in a Russian dictionary. In 1971, Berkeley Slavic Specialties enabled students of the Russian language to expand their vocabulary with "A Short Dictionary of Russian Obscenities". My high school Russian class was never the same after we found this book, learning the slang double entendres that the Russian language offers. For example, we in the U.S. use a product called "Dristan" when we have colds with runny noses. "Drist" is the Russian slang word for loose, runny shit. Another excellent source of Russian slang is Edward Topol's "Dermo! The Real Russian Tolstoy Never Used". "Dermo" is another Russian word for shit.

NotClauswitz said...

It's more bubbly in Bengali!

Ed Foster said...

I knew an Army guy who was a code breaker in Germany in the '70's. He ended up with a citation for cracking a Russian cypher.

Nobody had a clue, escept for some banter at the end of the message between two radio operators who were obviously friends.

The spacing was a good fit for "I 'blip' your mother in the ass", so he tried it, and the entire cypher fell in to place.

When they had to pass the break up to the next level, they diplomatically expressed it as "I commit an indelicate act with your mother".

Ken O said...

Next time you wish to express incredulity, say "No mames wey" (no mammez bway) and watch your young Mexicano's face.

Lewis said...

Any connection between dermo and DRMO is entirely coincidental.

Mattexian said...

Wait... so, this means one of the few Russian blogs I regularly read translates loosely as "Vulgar (or Profane) Motherland"? (Or am I completely ham-fisting my translation?)

HlynkaCG said...

@ Lewis, You aint the only one who's made that connection. ;)

@ Mattexian, Matb Rodina is simply "Mother Russia" though usually it's written Rodina Matb

Russian grammar is rather flexible on word order as it's the cases/declinations that determine meaning.

I'm from an expat family and grandad's advice on speaking like a natives was "even if you aren't going to cuss construct your sentances in such a way that cuss-words can be easily inserted"

That said our western concept of cussing doesn't really translate well because even euphamisms have a tendancy to be scatalogical.

For instance, the equivelent of "making love" literally translates as "a meaningful f***"

MeatAxe said...

Russian swearing is a fantastic sub-language all on its own. When I lived over there, I had a buddy named Yuri who could swear for 5 minutes without repeating himself. And he was considered only moderately accomplished.

You often hear "Yob tvoyu mat', blad." Blad means 'whore' and its like a ... point of emphasis to show that you really mean it. Its like how we throw in "fuck", but of course, in that example they already said "fuck."

Truly, a fantastic people on the profanity end of things. Of course, they have a lot to swear about.

perlhaqr said...

I have to know, did you pick up yob tvoyu mat' from Monster Hunter Alpha?