Yes, we really do. In particular when we get upset, we pull our ‘French’ (curse words) and call people nasty animal names. Even though this may sound harsh research found that this is actually an amazingly good thing! There are even scientists whose focus is to research verbal insults – called maledictologists. Here are some of their interesting findings:
- Scientists have found out that people swear most often while driving a car, …and not just in Germany, but across the globe.
- These smart researchers also found out that cursing provides stress relief. Yes, indeed! So, if you feel stressed a lot, just swear or curse a little more.
- People who curse a lot are more resistant to pain.
So, don’t feel insulted if we’re diving right into it!
1st rule: We still use the formal form of address ‘Sie’ if we don’t know the person, in all other cases ‘Du’
2nd rule: We use a number of apropos adjectives to affirm our frustrations with the other person, e.g.
blöd = stupid
dumm = dumb
doof = dumb/stupid
bescheuert = stupid/daft
gottverdammt = goddamn
verflucht = cursed
3rd rule: We differentiate between men and women when choosing the right kind of animal!
Once we got the rules down, let’s get some insults going:
A) Just for Women:
Sie/Du blöde Ziege! = You stupid goat!
Sie/Du doofe Kuh! = You stupid cow!
Sie/Du dumme Gans! = You dumb goose!
Sie/Du verfluchte Wachtel! = You goddamn quail!
Sie/Du blöde Sau! = You stupid bitch! (literally sow)
So ein dummes Huhn! = You dumb hen!
B) Just for Men:
Sie/Du blöder Ochse! = You stupid ox!
Sie/Du dummes Schwein! = You dumb pig!
Sie/Du verscheuerter Esel! = You daft donkey!
Sie/Du doofes Rindvieh! = You stupid cattle/bull!
Sie/Du blöder Hund! = You stupid dog!
Sie/Du dummer Affe! = You dumb monkey!
Certainly, there are more of those and feel free to interchange the adjectives!
In addition, there is one more important animal to mention – the bird. The bird is used in cross-gender insults like this:
Sie/Du hast ja einen Vogel! = You’re crazy! / You’re off your head! / You’re off your rocker!
Sometimes, if in doubt about the mental state of our counterpart, we use it as a question:
Du hast wohl einen Vogel?
Sie haben wohl einen Vogel?
Now the funniest thing is that according to our German justice system, some animal curse words more insulting than others, even in terms of $$. In fact going berserk on the road using animal names costs Germans dearly every year.
To insult someone by calling the person: “You stupid pig!” (“Du blödes Schwein!”) can be fined with between € 500 to € 2,000 ($676 – $2705).
So, release your stress but be careful how and where you use them!