One thing Hungarians are known for is that our swearing vocabulary is so wide that we could swear for a few minutes straight, with one breath, not using the same word. It’s debatable whether this is an advantage or not, but it is definitely a curiosity. And the best part is that you don’t necessarily have to use nasty words, because you can choose from a wide range of “polite” options as well.
Maybe we should’ve started our mini language lesson series with this episode, as swearing is probably what people first learn in a foreign country. However, it would’ve been a drastic start, so we kept it for now. It would be impossible to cover all cursing options, and we don’t want to focus on the nastiest ones, because they might burn out your monitor 😀
Nonetheless, we’re also going to touch upon the most common swear words and then get down to the more “polite” versions, which are truly entertaining and the are best options if you want to dazzle people with round oaths.
Keep in mind that we are not linguists in any way, we’re just as dazzled by the curiosities of the Hungarian language as foreigners are. So this series doesn’t aim to explain the etymology of words, it’s more of a fun take on our language. We try to bring Hungarian closer to you with witty learning cards made by Daily magyar, a language-enthusiast person, whose posts give an insight into the complexity of the Hungarian grammar. But don’t worry, it’s all done in an easy-going way, so that it can make learning fun.
Starting off, the Hungarian language even has a million options for the verb ‘to swear’/ ‘to curse’.
szitokszó; szitok – swear-word; cuss
szitkozni – to swear; to curse; to cuss
szitkoz – he/she swears; he/she is swearing szitkozódik – he/she is swearing
szitkozódni – to swear; to be swearing
szitkozódás – swear; swearing
szidalom – imprecation; cuss
szidalmazás – fulmination
szidalmaz – he/she swears; he/she is swearing
szidalmazni – to swear; to curse; to cuss
káromkodás – swear-word; swearing; cursing; cuss
káromkodni – to swear; to curse; to cuss
káromkodik – he/she swears; he/she is swearing
mocskolódás – swearing; abuse
mocskolódni – to swear; to curse; to abuse
mocskolódik – he/she swears; he/she is swearing
mocskos – dirty; filthy; unclean; stain
mocsok – dirt
átkozódás – cursing; imprecation; fulmination
átkozódni – to swear; to curse; to cuss
átkozódik – he/she swears; he/she is swearing
átok – curse; cuss
elátkozni; megátkozni – to imprecate curses on someone
elátkoz; megátkoz – he/she is imprecating curses on
csúnya beszéd – bad-talk
csúnyán beszélni – to swear; to curse; to cuss; to talk bad
csúnyán beszél – he/she is swearing; he/she is talking bad
csúnya – ugly; nasty; dirty; bad
durva beszéd – bad-talk; harsh talk
durván beszélni – to swear; to curse; to cuss; to talk bad
durván beszél – he/she is swearing; he/she is talking bad
durva – rude; rough; profane; harsh
trágárság – obscenity
trágár – dirty; nasty; obsecene; rude; rough; profane; harsh; vulgar
Here’s a little preview of how variously you can express yourself when it comes to swearing:
You might know that suffixes play an important role in the Hungarian language. We have quite a few of them, which can be mixed up easily. However, they play a key role in changing the meaning of the base word. Here’s an example with the most basic swear word:
Now that you know some common swear words, we can get down to the less harsh category. You don’t necessarily need to use bad words, you can also be polite when swearing. We have to say that Daily magyar did an amazing job with this following collection. Get ready for some round oaths, after the use of which you might even burst into laughter.
Instead of ‘Az istenit!’ (God damn it!) use these:
Az áldóját! – Oh, the blesser! (accusative)
Azt a leborult szivarvégit! – Oh, that prostrated end of a cigar! (accusative)
Az istenfáját! – Oh, the God’s tree! (accusative)
Az istállóját! – His/her stall! (accusative)
Az istókját neki! – Oh, his/her “istók”! (accusative)
Az iskoláját! – Oh, his/her school! (accusative)
Az anyja keservét! – Oh, his/her mother’s bitter! (accusative)
A kiskésit neki! – Oh, his/her little knife! (accusative)
A teremburáját! – Oh, the “God”! (accusative)
Azt a fűzfán fütyülő rézangyalát! – That copper-angel whistling on the willow-tree! (accusative)
Azt a fűzfán fütyülő fityfirittyett! – That fityfiritty whistling on the willow-tree! (accusative)
A kínkeserves kutyaúristenit! – That anguish-bitter dog-Lord! (accusative)
A kutyafülit! – The dog’s ear! (accusative)
A kutya fáját! – The dog’s tree! (accusative)
A macska lábát! – The cat’s leg! (accusative)
Instead of ‘A picsába!’ (Damn!) use these:
A macska rúgja meg! – May the cat kick it!
Süsd meg! – (you) Bake it!
A fene egye meg! – May the fene/sickness eat it!
A fene essen bele! – May the fene/sickness fall into it!
A fenébe! – Into the fene/sickness!
A csudába! – Into the miracle!
A manóba! – Into the goblin!
Basszus! – Bass!
Basszuskulcs! – Bass key!
Instead of ‘Lófasz(t)!’ (Bullshit!) use these:
A ló farát! – The horse’s arse! (accusative)
Lófütty! – Horse’s whistle!
Fütyülőst! – The whistling! (accusative)
Lobogóst! – The blazing! (accusative)
Túrót! – The cottage cheese! (accusative)
Instead of ‘Menj a picsába!’ (Go to hell!) use these:
Menj a búsba! – Go to the sorrowful!
Instead of ‘Baszd meg!’ (Fuck you!) use these:
A ménkű csapjon beléd! – May the lightning hit you!
A rosseb egyen meg! – Pox on you!
A macska rúgjon meg! – May the cat kick you!
Rúgjon meg a ló! – May the horse kick you!
Az ördög vigyen el! – May the devil take you!
A holló/varjú vájja ki a szemed! – May the raven/cros gouge out your eye!
Hogy a görcs álljon beléd! – May the cramp stand into you!
Hogy az Úristen szólítana magához! – May the Lord call you to himself!
Hogy egyenesedjen ki az EKG-d! – May your EKG become a line!
Simuljon ki az EKG-d! – May your EKG become smooth!
Kapd be a faxom! – Suck my fax!
A fityfene egyen meg! – May the fityfene eat it!
A franc essen beléd! – May the “franc” fall into you! (It probably means: May you fall ill!)
Instead of ‘A kurva életbe!’ (Fuck it!) use these:
A kutya életbe! – Oh, into the dog life!
A macska életbe! – Oh, into the cat life!
A huncut életbe! – Oh, into the impish life!
Instead of ‘Te geci!’ (You son of a bitch!; Motherfucker!) use these:
Ebadta kölyke! – You kid of a dog!
Ebugatta! – Barked by a dog!
Marha! – Cattle!
Here’s a scene from a 1990s Hungarian series, which demonstrates how you can tell someone off in a polite way:
In English, it would sound something like this: “Oh, that in Balatonberény borned, dressed into screams, put into frock, she with that copper belly of hers, with that big head of hers, she who had been in the sultan’s court, she who had been hidden in a “csősz” cottage, she who wears a scale shell, she with those wooden teeth of hers, she who had been injured with copper saw, she with that bronze knee of hers, slutty, stinky mouth, lack of teeth, raised up in a tile room, dirty, bloody, robber aunt Mary!”
Damn it! Was this today?
Source: Daily News Hungary