My husband and I teach our daughter G, not to curse, swear, scold or call names. When possible, we describe the meaning of profanity people here easily say like: from shit (yeah, Dutchies say this quite often), fuck to calling someone fat so or skin coloured related names as pinda’s. Pinda’s mean peanuts in Dutch. It is a scold word for Indo – Asian, referring to Indo – Asian eating peanut sauce.
Gwyneth confuses G
So there was an episode of Glee with Gwyneth Paltrow in it, singing the censored version of Fuck You by Cee Lo Green as Forget You. G has instantly become miss Paltrow fan. She finds Gwyneth very cool. The first time she heard this song she was totally confused. She told me “Mom, I really like Gwyneth Paltrow singing this song. It is a good one but the other day I saw a man on YouTube singing the same song with the F word in it. Sorry, I know it isn’t a good word, but I love this song”. I could only laugh listening to her excuse. I explained then that miss Paltrow’s version is censored cause many kids watch Glee. So it was ok for her to listen to Forget You instead of Fuck You.
Some no go area
I do say some profanity mostly in my mind. There are some I don’t do though: calling genitalia, calling names, calling one’s origin and wishing other serious disease. Swearing, scolding, cursing and calling names is from all times. In two of my favourite series, Spartacus and Rome, the Romans often say In Juno’s Cunt or Jupiter’s Cock. This is an ultimate example of profanity as Jupiter is one of Roman gods and Juno is his wife. History advisors of these series found these use fo language in many scripts of Ancient Rome. The following is an example of calling one’s race: A soccer player of Den Haag was sentenced to pay fine earlier this year cause he was singing along with his supporters to go hunting the Jews (Ajax supporters) after a winning match against Ajax. And one thing I don’t get as a person who lost her father to lung cancer is wishing someone a serious disease. Most used here in Dutch are: Krijg de klere (get the cholera, perhaps this is invented in the time of the Cholera epidemic in The Netherlands, around 1860-es with huge amount of deadly victims) or Kanker (cancer).
Your mother and sister are untouchable
Remember Zinédine Zidane’s butthead to Marco Materazzi during the World Championship final match in 2006? Rumours have gone since that incident that Materazzi allegedly called Zidane a terrorist. And Materazzi went on by addressing Zidane’s mother and sister. Zidane couldn’t take it anymore and gave Materazzi the notorious butthead. And after that Zidane received a red card which ended his glorious career as one of the best soccer players France has ever had. This story illustrates the mediterranean cursing and scolding culture. In that culture females in the family are untouchable. So when someone calls your mother or sister a whore it is the biggest humiliation you must revenge. In Spain there are a lot of variations of calling names, the sentences often begin with Tu Madre (your mother).
It is relieving
I am convinced no matter how rude it is, saying or screaming some profanity can be relieving sometimes. Especially when it marks an end of something, to express being surprised in a good or bad way and in other situations as long as I use them moderately.