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Creative language explored

(32 Posts)
baggythecrust! Tue 07-Jun-11 13:38:31

Elegran and I think playing with words is fun. We think a little creativity is required for when beautifully expletive language is required. Some people don't like the words commonly used nowadays so let's check out some old ones and maybe invent some new ones..

I'll kick off with one of my favourites from Shakespeare's King Lear, spoken by the man himself:

"Blasts and fogs upon thee!"

twizzle Tue 07-Jun-11 14:05:05

baggythecrust! - good idea.

My favourite is from Henry IV Part 2

"You scullion, you rampallian, you fustilarian, I'll tickle your catastrophe"

No idea what it means though !!!

supernana Tue 07-Jun-11 14:05:41

baggythecrust...love it...I shall etch this quote in my memory bank smile

getmehrt Tue 07-Jun-11 14:09:13

King Lear has another great line - not particularly creative, but often quite useful:

"Howl, howl, howl!"

Joan Tue 07-Jun-11 14:12:35

They're good ones - but then, we all know Shakespeare had a way with words, don't we??

As an early teenager my ultimate swear expression was 'knickers and spit' or just 'knickers'. Of course, if you'd seen our school knickers back then, you'd understand the power of the garment as a swear word.

Now as a 66 year old, I still don't say anything worse that 'shit' when under duress. I sometimes say it in German because it sounds worse. To tell the truth, I'm pretty bad at swearing - anything worse than that makes me sound like an amateur.

supernana Tue 07-Jun-11 14:18:49

twizzle I'm never ceased to be surprised and humoured by your contributions. I believe that this thread has great promise...use of clever words that bring a smile to the face smile

Elegran Tue 07-Jun-11 14:36:28

Thank you baggythecrust for letting me know that this thread is under other subjects. I had already looked for it everywhere in vain when it occurred to me to look back at the bad language thread for a clue. Tracing posts is not easy.

I need time to think up some clever contributions.The only one that falls into my mind is "aroint thee witch, the rump-fed ronyon cries" from Macbeth. I don't think it meant that the ronyon ate a lot of rump-steak.

I remember our whole French class back in about 1952 fell about laughing when asked to translate "bottes d'asparges" Turned out it just meant "bunches of asparagus" but it became the expletive of choice for a year or so. It was nice and explosive - and perfectly respectable if parents asked what it meant.

My DH has chipped in with a memory (also somewhere in the fifties) of camping in a small tent with several friends. Most of them were chainsmokers, and the only non-smoker in the gang got so fed-up with being unable to breathe that he exclaimed "You are a lot of bucking fuggers"

baggythecrust! Tue 07-Jun-11 14:48:56

This is going to be a fun thread!

Joan, I've a very good German friend who was staggered at the fuss people made over the word "shit" when she first cme to live here. She says the German version is a nothing word and people say it all the time. I don't think it's any stronger than "bother!" is here.

Now "Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!" (also from Lear).

Elegran Tue 07-Jun-11 15:01:28

Poets were better at insults a few centuries ago. In Scotland there was a tradition of "flyting", a kind of duellling with insulting verses.

Here is a chunk from William Dunbar (c1460 -1520) "The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy", a long tirade of abuse written by William Dunbar directed at his poetic rival Walter Kennedy. Kennedy replied in similar vein.
A translation is below!

Mauch-muttoun, byt buttoun, peilit gluttoun, air to Hilhous,
Rank beggar, ostir-dregar, flay-fleggar in the flet,
Chittirlilling, ruch rilling, lik-schilling in the milhous,
Baird rehatour, theif of nator, flas tratour, feyindis gett,
Filling of tauch, rak-sauch – cry-crauch, thow art oursett!
Muttoun-dryver, girnall-ryver, yadswyvar – fowll fell the!
Herretyk, lunatyk, purspyk, carlingis pet,
Rottin crok, dirtin dok – cry cok, or I sall quell the!

Maggoty mutton, button biter, bankrupt glutton, heir to Hillhouse
Foul beggar, oyster-dredger, flea-frightener in the hallway
Chitterlilling, rough boot, greedy scavenger in the millhouse
Abominable poet, thief by nature, false traitor, born of a fiend
Lump of grease, gallows bird - give up, you are beaten!
Sheep-driver, grain-thief, horse-shagger – a curse on you!
Heretic, lunatic, pick-pocket, old hag’s fart,
Rotten old ewe, filthy arse – give up or I shall knock you down!

HildaW Tue 07-Jun-11 15:10:29

one word springs to mind....'pusillaminous'....I heard it once and it stayed with me...means small minded, mean spirited.

Another I came across reading a Dickens.....tho cant remember which one.....'crapulous' - means debauched due to intemperance!...cant imagine anyone in here being thus!

Elegran Tue 07-Jun-11 16:02:05

" Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;"

Alexander Pope on John Hervey, 2nd Baron Hervey, one of his bitterest enemies. (who had a long affair with one Stephen Fox)

HildaW Tue 07-Jun-11 16:36:44

lol Elegran.............oh yes, The Foxes were a right jolly bunch...I read Aristocrats long before BBC made a series.

absentgrana Tue 07-Jun-11 16:50:25

Shakespeare's always good. I have a special fondness for "Irksome strumpet", but perhaps my overall favourite is "Were I like thee, I'd throw away myself". As a professional writer, I am always rapidly brought down to earth with Jane Austen's comment, "I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress". However, if I just want an expletive – "You Thatcher!" – or perhaps a word invented by one of my aunts – "Oh thusimeroles!".

HildaW Tue 07-Jun-11 17:01:04

Oh yes absentgrana, dear Jane has a wonderful way with elegant 'put downs'

Elegran Wed 08-Jun-11 10:57:20

Glaikit gomerul - no not you HildaW

Used for one of those people who stare at you with vacant face and slack jaw, and brain clearly out of gear.

baggythecrust! Wed 08-Jun-11 12:16:52

Elegran, glaikit is one of my all time favourite words! smile. the mother of one of my best friends at school called one of her other daughters a 'glaikit besom' when the girl threw something useful in the dustbin. The mother made her daughter tip the dustbin out, retrieve the object and then tidy up all the mess. The girl in question must have been eighteen or nineteen at the time and my friend and I were about fourteen. All of us were awed.

Annobel Thu 09-Jun-11 21:02:37

King Lear is wonderfully rich in insults. My favourite is a speech by Kent inveighing against the courtier, Oswald:
'A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats;.........
..............................................................,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch'.
I'm not going to reproduce the whole thing!
Another is the old queen speaking to Richard III
'Thou bottled spider, thou poisonous bunchback toad'.

I once had a mature student who, if she got something wrong would swear:
'Oh buttercups and daisies'. smile

Vindiboy Thu 09-Jun-11 21:57:08

My favourite is :
Damp and splash , the muddy thing. What the Elephants trunk do you think you are playin at ? You tantalising bucket.

raggygranny Thu 09-Jun-11 22:13:18

When my son was a teenager he and I had a phase of using 'kookaburra!' as an expletive - it's a very satisfying sound to come out with, and we adapted it to other parts of speech too - 'where's my kookaburra-ing book?', 'stop kookaburra-ing around' and so forth.

writeaway Thu 09-Jun-11 23:18:07

"Blithering idiot!"

baggythecrust! Fri 10-Jun-11 06:49:30

Vindiboy, I love that one! I'm going to steal use it! Do you know where/who it come from or is that lost in the mists of time?

Gillyver Fri 10-Jun-11 08:59:06

My Dad's old boss, way back in the 1930s/40s never used "real" swear words. Instead, he's say "jam & plaster it" and also "beggar and donkey kick the blessed thing". He was a plumber & decorator.

dorsetpennt Fri 10-Jun-11 09:08:20

My mother used to say 'hell's bells and buckets of blood' which we loved to hear. Other then my father saying 'damn and blast it' I never heard anyone in my family use swear words.

Elegran Fri 10-Jun-11 10:12:49

dorsetpennt - so did my mother. I say it sometimes now, and think of her as I say it.

Where are you from? There may be a regional thing here? She was from Brighton.

supernana Fri 10-Jun-11 12:28:02

My Nana used to say..."It's enough to give you belltink...as she whacked the draining board in sheer frustration. My father's favourite curse was blithering idiot. I like, what a tirridaddle...can't spell it but it means what a kerfuffle [I think!]

Joan Fri 10-Jun-11 13:05:04

Dorsetpennt said "My mother used to say 'hell's bells and buckets of blood' which we loved to hear."

That's one of my own sayings - perhaps I got it off my Mum. She was born in Liverpool, educated in Coventry in a school that had a lot of Cockney and other Southern kids, and then lived in Yorkshire the rest of her life. I know she used rhyming slang a lot: when she sent us to bed, she'd send us 'up the apples and pears'.

She spoke perfect Yorkshire dialect: when family circumstances had changed at age 16 and she left boarding school to work in a textile mill, she soon realised that posh English would keep her marginalised, so she learned the local dialect and spoke it like a native Yorkie in no time.

I used to wonder why she could put on a posh accent better than anyone I knew. Then I found out that that was her real accent.

nonnasusie Fri 10-Jun-11 14:00:21

Here in Italy they use "porca miseria" (miserable pig!)

Elegran Fri 10-Jun-11 14:24:14

"Oh fudge" is quite a useful one.

baggythecrust! Sat 11-Jun-11 06:44:16

My nineteen-month-old GS invented a good one all by himself: he often babbles things like "diggadiggadigga" (just loves the sound!) and his totally innocent word, which the rest of the family have now adopted is boggaday! Sometimes it is shortened to bogga!. And, no, his parents do not say the word that is similar. I'm willing to bet that people who are all too apt to throw fences about in fits of outrage will think that though and would 'pull him up' for it. Just shows how silly the whole swearing/outrage caboodle is!

Joan Sat 11-Jun-11 08:11:41

Just remembered - my youngest lad invented the word 'ning' to indicate displeasure. We still use it to this day. We also eat an invention of our other son's: 'circle sausage'. This refers to any kind of luncheon meat or salami sold in a long sausage shape. He was about two when he came up with that one. Funny how they stick, in a sort of family lore.

Annobel Sat 11-Jun-11 09:07:47

I had to provide little treats for my younger son while he was in hospital at the age of 2. An absolute 'must' was 'Dalek sausage' - if you hadn't guessed, that's garlic. In his teens he became a veggie.

SoNanny Tue 14-Jun-11 16:31:47

Raggynanny, I love kookaburra!

My family used to say "hells bells etc" we came from the north west but my dad's family were Yorkshire folk so maybe it's a northern thing!