Author Topic: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?  (Read 478 times)

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Offline Schizoid

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Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« on: July 26, 2013, 04:53:03 PM »
I'm speaking about countries and cultures where Christianity is not the dominant religion.  Is there the same use of a deity in cursing or swearing as there is in Christian cultures using "the name of the lord in vain" type of thing?

I realize that sort of thing could get you killed in an Islamic culture.  I wonder if in ancient Rome saying, "Great Caesar's Ghost!" would yield the same result.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 06:01:38 PM »
 Dirty words? like slang for penis or "swear" words that only have a negative meaning to those who have deemed them as such? It is just someone feeling morally superior to you by deeming it profanity

 "If you are offended by any word in any language,it's probably because your parents were to stupid to raise a child"

 Comedian Doug Stanhope

 As for me some of the first words I learned in Xaayda were terms for genitals you would giggle to when you were younger.

 As for profanity in other areas of the world,I dunno,derogatory terms for sure yes
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 06:36:51 PM »
I'm speaking about countries and cultures where Christianity is not the dominant religion.  Is there the same use of a deity in cursing or swearing as there is in Christian cultures using "the name of the lord in vain" type of thing?
Taking the Lord's name in vain never meant saying things like "Jesus H Christ!", etc. Vain = vanity and so the meaning was "Don't say that God loves you in particular or that God favours you.

What you are speaking of is blasphemy. This was gradually extended in Christianity and Islam to saying anything at all that contradicted the official way that the Bible was understood and then to anything that raised questions about the Bible.

Without a lot of evidence, I would suspect that anything that was said that upset any god was a bad thing because the likelihood was that the god's curse would descend upon everyone around you - drought, earthquake, disease, plague of frogs, etc.

A nice story:"The central market town of Devizes in Wiltshire [has] an unusual Market Cross inscribed with the story of Ruth Pierce, a market stall-holder who stood accused, on January 25th 1753, of short-changing a customer. When an ugly crowd gathered round her, she stood and pleaded her innocence, adding, “May I be struck dead if I am lying”. A rash move, as she fell to the ground and died forthwith. The missing money (three pence – 1.4p) was found clutched in her hand."
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 07:51:51 PM »
None of that's sort of stuff in Japanese, AFAIK. There's some hardcore stuff, but it has nothing to do with religion.

The other languages I know all have the Christian stuff. Especially in Canadian French, where all of our swears are about jesus and jesus related paraphernalia. I love it.
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

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Re: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 07:57:02 PM »
I'm speaking about countries and cultures where Christianity is not the dominant religion.  Is there the same use of a deity in cursing or swearing as there is in Christian cultures using "the name of the lord in vain" type of thing?

I realize that sort of thing could get you killed in an Islamic culture.  I wonder if in ancient Rome saying, "Great Caesar's Ghost!" would yield the same result.

Have you seen Arab/Persian films? Profanity you wouldn't believe. I mean not to the Western world standards but still significant. No nudity, though. Unless it's a brief showing, from a distance, of a mans rear.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2013, 07:34:11 PM »
AFAIK most cultures have insults that are based on sex, body parts, comparing people to animals, and making fun of someone's parentage. In other words, telling someone "Your mother effs monkeys because she keeps getting them confused with your dad" will get your a$$ kicked in pretty much every country. Probably every galaxy. :o
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Schizoid

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Re: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2013, 10:04:54 PM »
I was really referring to swearing in the religious sense.  I work for the Salvation Army (ironic no doubt) and my coworker/supervisor who is an evangelical (perhaps the most open-minded, non-judgmental, sincere, and humble Christians I have ever known) is offended when residents in our homeless shelter curse using "Jesus Christ" or "god damn" this or that.  He doesn't like the F-bomb or other swearing either, but is particularly offended by the religious curses and I can appreciate that.

It has been my observation that many people curse or swear without even being aware of what they are saying or how often they are saying it.  Others who seldom swear get a lot of attention when they do because those who know them realize it is serious, or that they are particularly upset.  I admit that by myself I swear frequently, but not around others and obviously not at work (my coworker has said he has never even heard me cuss at all).

I wondered, though, about people who swear using "Jesus", or "Christ", or "god damn" and they are not religious and so those particular words should not have a strong meaning to them, but would culturally here in the West.  But would someone in another culture whose god is named "Ralph Malph" be prone to swearing by exclaiming "Ralph" or "Ralph fucking Malph" or "Ralph damn it"?

Why would myself, an atheist, find that using the name of a religious figure such as Jesus would have meaning as a curse word by myself?  Or is it a learned cultural behavior regardless of religious belief or non-belief?  Do other cultures have similar swearing behaviors?

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 02:21:30 PM »
Why would myself, an atheist, find that using the name of a religious figure such as Jesus would have meaning as a curse word by myself?
Curse words have no meaning at all. They are used only to shock. Hence "Jesus f*cking Christ!" or "Cunt!" - these are without meaning. They are known as "intensifiers." They make the accompanying statement, more intense -> like adding chilli to the meal.

The strange thing is that using curse words is a social convention: the person who says them intends to shock and most surprisingly, the person who hears it agrees to be shocked -> and pretends to be shocked. And so the convention is fulfilled.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 06:53:17 PM »
Why would myself, an atheist, find that using the name of a religious figure such as Jesus would have meaning as a curse word by myself?
Curse words have no meaning at all. They are used only to shock. Hence "Jesus f*cking Christ!" or "Cunt!" - these are without meaning. They are known as "intensifiers." They make the accompanying statement, more intense -> like adding chilli to the meal.

The strange thing is that using curse words is a social convention: the person who says them intends to shock and most surprisingly, the person who hears it agrees to be shocked -> and pretends to be shocked. And so the convention is fulfilled.

IMO, when and where you use them in some cultures tends to give others an opinion of your socio-economic status.

You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Schizoid

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Re: Does anyone know about cursing/swearing in other cultures?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 07:15:00 AM »
Why would myself, an atheist, find that using the name of a religious figure such as Jesus would have meaning as a curse word by myself?
Curse words have no meaning at all. They are used only to shock. Hence "Jesus f*cking Christ!" or "Cunt!" - these are without meaning. They are known as "intensifiers." They make the accompanying statement, more intense -> like adding chilli to the meal.

The strange thing is that using curse words is a social convention: the person who says them intends to shock and most surprisingly, the person who hears it agrees to be shocked -> and pretends to be shocked. And so the convention is fulfilled.

Now I work for a religious organization, so while at work I never even utter a mild curse.  In fact my supervisor and close coworker (a devout, but surprised open-minded evangelical) has never heard me curse.  Yet on Monday of this week, in my car at lunch after having run an errand, when I realized I had forgotten some important papers and would have to go back for them I spontaneously said the "Jesus f*ucking Christ!" expletive with nobody to hear it but myself.  I must confess, while driving and with the windows up I often maintain a profane commentary about other drivers.  In fact I am very careful NOT to swear in front of other people.