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Latin Profanity: How to Swear in Latin Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Latin Language

Salvete Omnes,

With the beginning of the New Year, I know many people have started about learning a language for a resolutions.  While last week’s post discussed the top ten posts to help inspire and teach the language to beginners.

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Courtesy of Mememaker.

WARNING: This post is not for the faint hearted. Romans were swearing and cursing in literature, poetry, and graffiti at the beginning of Western Civilizations. Since profanities are informal (and should not be used in public) and more often spoken than in literature, it is worthwhile to note several written sources of Latin profanity:

Courtesy of ecards.

Courtesy of ecards.

  • The satirical poets (Catullus and Martial) use the words in literary texts.
  • The orator and lawyer Cicero’s Epistulae ad Familiares (“Letters to My Friends”) confirm the “profane” or “obscene” status of many Latin words.
  • Graffiti from the Roman period, scrawled notably on the walls of Pompeii and Herculaneum.  We have a post on entitled: Ten Ancient Roman Graffiti Inscriptions.

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BASIC CURSE WORDS: EXCLAMATIONS!

  • “faex” – sh*t
  • “cane” – bitch (this is actually referring to a dog, however, and not the female derogatory)
  • “deodamnatus” – dammit
  • “Irrumator” – Bastard
  • “Bovis stercus” – Bull sh*t
  • “Lupa” – Slut
  • “Leno” – Pimp

BASIC SAYINGS:

  • filius canis” – son of a b**ch (literally ‘son of a dog’)
  • “futuere” – get f**ked
  • “futue te ipsi” – f**k you
  • “ede faecam” – eat sh*t
  • “Flocci non faccio” – I don’t give a damn
  • “Stercus accidit” – Sh*t happens

SWEAR WORDS & INSULTS:

  • “Es stultior asino” – You are dumber than an a**
  • “Es scortum obscenus vilis” – You are a vile, perverted whore
  • “Te futueo et caballum tuum” – Screw you and the horse you rode in on
  • “Es mundus excrementi” – You are a pile of sh*t
  • “Es stercus!”  You sh*t!
  • “Moecha Putida” – Dirty slut
  • “Podex perfectus es” – You’re a complete a**hole
  • “Potes meos suaviari clunes” – You can kiss my a**.
  • “Futue te ipsum!” – Go f*ck yourself!
  • “Perite” – F*ck off!
  • “Vacca stulta” – You stupid cow
  • fututus et mori in igni” – f**k off and die in a fire
  • “Vescere bracis meis” – Eat my shorts
  • “Morologus es!” – You’re talking like a moron!
  • “Puto vos esse molestissimos” – I think that you are very annoying
  • “Qualem blennum!” – What a doofus!
  • “Qualem muleirculam!” – What a bimbo

Funny Insults:

Mater tua tam obesa est ut cum Romae est urbs habet octo colles!
Your mama is so fat when she goes to Rome it has 8 hills!

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About the Author:Brittany Britanniae

Hello There! Please feel free to ask me anything about Latin Grammar, Syntax, or the Ancient World.


Comments:

  1. Rich:

    There’s an Englsih phrase, “It’s the dog’s bollocks”, which means it’s the best / brilliant. I’ve tried to translate into Latin, is this correct?

    “est canibus colei”

    Cheers,

    Rich

    • Brad:

      @Rich Colei canis est.

      Don’t use the ablative or dative of coleus.

  2. Lamont Patalano:

    Excellent article! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.

  3. Quentin Rummel:

    Wrong Lupa is shewolf

  4. Quintus Fabius:

    Wrong, Lupa is used as slut many times throughout silver and golden age Latin literature.

    • Brittany Britanniae:

      @Quintus Fabius I do not see how I am wrong, since I state early on that Lupa means exactly what you are stating.

  5. Anonymous:

    Lupa is the goddess of wolves and became the foster mother of Remus and his brother Romulus, who founded Rome. I would assume that they wouldn’t call a goddess (especially the one the became the mother of the founder of Rome) a slut. BTW, Romulus killed Remus for the throne in Rome. This based off of what I heard in my Latin class, so it might be wrong, even though that’s not likely, because there are statues of Lupa nurturing the two brothers.

    • Brittany Britanniae:

      @Anonymous Lupa according to the Lewis & Short Dictionary along with primary sources:
      lŭpa , ae, f. lupus,
      I.a she-wolf.
      I. Lit.: “rabidae tradis ovile lupae,” Ov. A. A. 3, 8; Liv. 1, 4, 6: “ab agro rava decurrens lupa Lanuvino,” Hor. C. 3, 27, 3: “quem nutrit dura papilla lupae,” Prop. 5, 4, 54: “lupa Romuli,” Quint. 2, 4, 19; 3, 7, 5.—
      II. Transf.
      A. A prostitute, vile woman, Plaut. Ep. 3, 3, 22: “ille, qui semper secum scorta, sem per exoletos, semper lupas ducebat,” Cic. Mil. 21, 55; Liv. 1, 4, 7: “quibus grata est pictā lupa barbara mitrā,” Juv. 3, 66; Aur. Vict. Orig. Gent. Rom. 21, 1: “lupa, id est meretrix,” Lact. 1, 19.—In a pun with the literal meaning, I. supra: “nam ovis illius hau longe absunt a lupis,” Plaut. Truc. 3, 1, 12.—
      B. The name of a dog, Col. 7, 12, 13.

    • Anonymous:

      @Anonymous To Anonymous: It is a common form of disrespect to use the sacred as a reference to the profane. When Hamlet angrily orders Ophelia to, “Get thee to a nunnery!”, Shakespeare is counting on his audience to pick up the double entendre of nunnery/whorehouse. The lower class of Romans could easily reference Lupa in that manner.

  6. Titus Livius:

    Sunt qui Larentiam volgato corpore lupam inter pastores vocatam putent; inde locum fabulae ac miraculo datum.

  7. Charles Saeger:

    “Faex” is the dregs of wine. “Merda” is caca. “Futue te ipsUM.” “Morere” is the imperative of “mori” (and “peri” makes is more Latinate). The vocative of “canis” is also “canis.” I’ve always held “Kiss my a**” as “Da mihi osculum culo,” though that might be my druthers and a desire to use the dative of reference for a body part (common in Spanish). “I in malam crucem!” is go to Hell, or, more precisely, go crucify yourself (“mala crux” = “bad cross”), from Plautus.

  8. Lesa:

    Slam dunkin like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote inivtmarfoe articles.

  9. Not Important:

    This website is amazing. I really need it sometimes so thank you for making it. I use most of the things so people wont know that I’m cursing at them in another language. I’m glad that I’m the only person in school who took a advanced class in Latin. Soo thank you for the help P.S. I didn’t use these in a disrespectful way.

  10. Alexis Angel:

    My brother told me to start practicing Latin, so here I am finding simple words & phrases when I think of the bright idea to search these. I will probably end up saying, “Es stultior asino.” to them a few times. Haha. Well, anyways this was a great site to find these on, thanks for making it!


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