This week on The World in Words podcast we talk about swear words from around the world and the bad words our grandmothers teach us.
00:30 Nina shares a Polish curse word that she learned from her grandmother: cholera jasna
01:20 Patrick shares his least favorite Danish swear word, which translates literally to “cancer devour me”
03:58 “Half the fun of a well crafted insult is the sound of the words,” says Dodson
04:21 Curses are regional. The “Buttocks Belt”
05:00 In Quebec, many curse words are religious in origin
06:12 Do new swear words develop after new geopolitical events?
07:50 Is there a language in the world that doesn’t have curses?
08:18 “Russian has one of the most vivid, wide-ranging and powerful of curses,” says Dodson
08:42 Swear words are held in a different part of the brain
09:30 An anecdote about the “s-word”
10:34 “Don’t call me stupid” — A Fish Called Wanda
12:55 An anecdote from The World’s Marco Werman about a curse word his Dutch grandmother taught him
14:00 Nina’s first story for the podcast from 2009, about a Yiddish word her grandmother taught her — “dafke”
18:14 Patrick speaks with poet and novelist Marilyn Chin. Her first novel is “Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen.”
19:00 Chin grew up speaking a dialect of Cantonese, Taishanese
19:23 Chin would speak with her grandmother in this dialect
20:00 Chin is the oldest of her siblings and the only one who has held on to her native tongue. She speaks with her siblings in English
21:09 How has multilingualism affected Chin’s poetry and writing
24:00 Chin speaks about her grandmother cursing and things she’d say in dialect
26:31 Tongue twister in Taishanese
27:30 Tweet us your favorite curse words from your grandmother — @lingopod