Calluna V. (callunav) wrote in linguaphiles,
Calluna V.

Oh, shoot. Likewise, darn it.

The internet is full of sites that gleefully provide profanity in almost any language  one cares to search for.  Occasionally it's possible to get assements of the relative severity, but it's hard to be sure how accurate those are.

For my part, I'm usually looking for the substitute words that aren"t even real profanity.  That"s for three reasons.

1. I"d rather not plunge into profanity before I get my cultural bearrings, but it"s still good to know something to mutter when I knock over a water glass, realize I"ve scheduled two commitments at once, have a bus I"m trying to catch zoom past me, and so forth.

2. I realize that in many cultures - and I believe many Spanish-speaking areas are definitely included - swearing is a normal part of casual conversation.  But I don't feel at all confident that I"ll be able to participate appropriately until I"m actually there and can model myself on the people around me.  There are just too many subtle rules and conventions.

3. I work with kids.  In mainstream white US culture, there are some tabboos about swearing around kids, and I"m pretty used to adjusting my vocabulary accordingly.  Now, the rules and expectations are probably different in different settings, but that"s what I"m starting from. 

So, I"d love to know what the "I would say this in front of my grandmother or five-year-old" expressions are.

What I actually need are the not-quite-swears in Mexican Spanish, but honestly, I"d love to know them for anywhere, any language. 

Whatcha got?


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