Sunday, May 21, 2006

German Profanity

Today, I was working on translating "to have a headache" for a German project when I stumbled upon a profane phrase:

"to have a dump" - kacken
"to have a dump" - kacken gehen [vulg.]

Interesting... kacken seems to derive from the same route as the Spanish "caca," the Latin "caco, carare," which means "to shit." What I'm curious about is why "kacken" is not vulgar while "kacken gehen" is labeled as vulgar. I'll have to ask my German teacher tommorow.

Now, my pallete wet, I decided to pursue the rest of German profanity. This is what I found:

"bumsen," "poppen," "ficken" - to fuck

The root of "ficken" is obviously similar to that of "to fuck," but what about "bumsen" and "poppen?" I'll have to investigate...

"Fehler machen," "Scheiss bauen" - to fuck up

These are interesting phrases. "Fehler machen" literally means "to make failure" and "Scheiss bauen" literally means "to construct shit." A funny way of putting it, huh?

"das Miststück" - bastard, bitch

German is well known for pairing together long strings of words into one gigantic noun. Sometimes, such derivatives are not as massive. "Miststück" derives from two words: "Mist"--"crap" or "droppings"--and "Stück"-- "lump." Therefore, a German word for bastard/bitch translates to mean "crap lump."

"scheissen, scheisst, schiss, geschissen" - to shit, shit, shat, shat

Ironically, the verb "to shit"--in both German and English--is irregular.

"überschnappen" - to go ape shit

Funny that they would even include that phrase (on the English end).

"aus Angst in die Hosen schiessen"- to shit bricks

Here, "to shit bricks" is literally translated as "to shit out anger in the pants." I'm guessing that people in German really do say that. Pretty cool.

Fun stuff. Next time I get the chance, I'm gonna tell someone they constructed crap.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Valera said...

You know, kacken sounds like "kakat'" in Russian, which is the non-vulgar version of taking a dump. However, "srat'" would be what you would say when feeling rather boorish, as in "I have to go srat'". In addition, in the Russian language, you never dump. You always "go take a dump".

Saturday, June 10, 2006 3:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Valera said...

I forgot to add, that in essence, this would mean that Russians would be vulgar no matter what in Germnay, and perhaps in many other countries. That's our society for ya.

Saturday, June 10, 2006 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger The Emperor of the Moon said...

"kakat" is most definetly from the Greco-Roman route.

"c" transliterates to "k" for the "k" noise when going from Latin to Greek. Ergo, "cacare" (stem "caca-") becomes "kaka" in Greek and was easily passed to Russia.

The "kaka" was probably the original and spread to Latin from Greek, and from something else to Greek originally. Something definetly worth investigating.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 12:47:00 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

What is the english translation of (just sound this out - I don't know how it's truly spelled) "doom cough"? Thank you!

Monday, January 17, 2011 3:09:00 PM  
Blogger The Emperor of the Moon said...

Kim, you're thinking of "dummkopf," which means "dumb head."

"Scheisskopf" similarly means "shithead."

Monday, January 17, 2011 5:10:00 PM  

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