The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #24 November / December 2016
Book Look
Bad Words Dictionary
by Erik Zidowecki
November / December 2016 | 

Bad Words Dictionary and even worse expressions
by Voy Sobon
Language: Multi
Item Rating:

The Bad Words Dictionary definitely has its niche in the language resource world. How many of us have been frustrated by not being able to swear, curse, or enjoy some of the more "colorful" words of a language, and found your normal dictionary somewhat lacking in the "vulgar" language? I've actually found myself judging a possible new dictionary by how many of those "nasty" words it contains. The more it contains, the more complete it is.

Basically, dictionaries shy away from publishing what might be construed as obscene words. Most would have words for "sex" or "breast" since those have safer meanings. However, your average multilingual dictionary won't have words for "penis" or "vagina", and I can guarantee they won't tell you how to say "fuck off", "whore", or "blowjob".

That's where the Bad Words Dictionary comes in. It gives you hundreds of vulgar words and phrases in English, Spanish, German, French, Dutch, and Japanese. Other volumes of this are supposed to exist for other language combinations, but I haven't seen them.

So now, when you are visiting Germany, and some punk on the street tells you to "Verpiß dich", you can respond back with "Leck mich!". Or, when that Dutch "dijenkletser" with the big "bloemkolen" winks at you, you can yell "Te gek!" and do some "rondneuken".

Not all the entries are vulgar. Many are just slang, and some are even positive. You can describe a Spanish couple as "pareja", even if you are "novato" with the language. There are entries for slang like "inside job", "groupie", "dude", and "rap sheet".

This book isn't fancy, to say the least. It's written in large bold print, and each letter section is preceded by a rather crude drawing of the book's host, Pete the Pig ®, in various activities and poses. In other words, this isn't a serious dictionary. While the material seems to be accurate, it will never compete with the quality of a Webster's or Oxford dictionary.

My serious complaint about the dictionary is there is no cross-referencing. The entries are only in alphabetical order by English, so if some French guy calls you "un couillon", you won't be able to instantly look up what he said and reply back.

I tried some of these words out with other people, and they seemed to be mostly accurate. One person confirmed the meanings of the German terms I used. One of the Dutch terms I tried seemed to be a somewhat vague translation, but that has to be expected with slang. While I failed to offend anyone of them, they did comment that it was odd to hear such language from me. Looks I need to study this book more.

Book Look - Bad Words Dictionary
Writer: Erik Zidowecki

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.


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