Recently I watched the reality show “Alone Australia” and was in awe at the survival strategies of the 10 participants. Generally I dislike reality shows, and having already known who won I fast forwarded many of the episodes. Another thing that struck me was the language. Almost uniformly participants used one particular swear word, and it was f…king this or f…ing that. Couldn’t they swear with a bit more colour?
At around the same time, my daughter, Faith, chided me about my language. She was driving and another car cut into her lane without indicating, and I muttered “idiot”.
This earned me a stern rebuke. Apparently the kids were emulating me and calling other people “idiots”.
Well we know that joke which goes –
Every day, Dad drives Johnny to school. One day because of emergency, Mom has to drive. So while on the road, Johnny looked left and right curiously. Mom noticed it and asked: what’s wrong Johnny? Johnny: I wonder where are the idiots today. When Dad’s driving, they will be lots of ‘em
So that got me asking the kiddies, when Faith wasn’t around, what other words they are not allowed to say. They are not allowed to call others “stupid”, or use the word “hate”. And of course “idiot” is also off limits.
When I was young, one uncle said “Bloody hell” all the time. I thought that was normal.
And that got me thinking – why don’t I teach the kiddies how to cuss creatively? At least more creatively than the participants on Alone Australia. After all I speak three/four languages (most of them badly) so here goes …
- See fatt how (mouth as dirty as your bum – for when you say something bad and are getting scolded for it, Cantonese)
- Kiew see pard nia choi (may a dog turd hit your mouth – when you’ve said something really foul and need to be scolded, Hakka)
- Bodoh (stupid, Malay)
- Sway chai (bad boy, Cantonese)
- Sway noi (bad girl, Cantonese)
- Fan thong (literally rice bin, glutton, or you are good for nothing, Cantonese)
- Chelaka (disparaging someone – what a joke – could also mean oh what terrible luck, Malay)
- Siow (you are crazy, Hokkien)
Hmm, I get the feeling I won’t be allowed to teach any of the above, but I’ve already snuck the first one in. It causes the kiddies to roll around in laughter. And my mother (their Popo) taught Faith and her brother the two first phrases when they were little. Dear readers, have you any contributions to the list above?