Re: Conlang Profanity
----- Original Message -----
I'm writing a review of Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa
Mohr (published by Oxford Univ Press, 2013) for Fiat Lingua (
http://fiatlingua.org). However, as part of that review I'm planning on
looking at it's implications and uses for constructing languages, worlds,
and cultures. And, as part of that, swearing in existing conlangs (both
well known (e.g., Esperanto, Dothraki) and personal ones).
The Sefdaanians do not use natural events (body functions, body parts) for their profanities. Instead, they use what is unnatural or illegal.
On the lowest level might be the command form. There is an imperative mood, but it is used only by parents to children, between friends and in praying. Otherwise the subjunctive is used, e.g., sêde, sit! vs. sêdo, please sit down/won’t you have a seat.
Adultery, while not illegal, is frowned upon. So a woman might be called an adulteress, ‘ɱêdam lîðus’ (lit., marriage violator). Of course, if you’re calling someone an adulteress (or adulterer!), it would be in the vocative case, ‘ɱêdam liðû’.
Illegitimate birth is viewed unfavorably, so one can call another a bastard, ‘noîɱus’ (< n + oîɱis; not + legal); in the vocative ‘noiɱû’.
Cêļus is the name of the sundered archimage who brought disobedience into the world. Thus, an insult would be ‘célïsûûnus’ or ‘célïdûqus’, son/daughter of Cêļus. The name of her son, Ḣîȝus, cloned by her, is also used as an insult, ‘ḣíȝëvrââtus’ or ‘ḣiȝšêsrus’, brother/sister of Ḣîȝus.
‘Orgûmas’ is the abode of the damned. It is an insult to wish that someone go to hell: ‘orgûmam do (âte)’, (go) to hell. Putting the command in the subjunctive lends sarcasm to the command: ‘orgûmam do âto’, please go to hell.
Finally, the names of monsters, unnatural beings, can be used as insults, the name used expressing the negative quality of the person insulted. Some names are ɱirââgɵs (man-goat), faun; necêdɵs (corpse-eater), ghoul; sééqpooȝôônɵs (blood-drinker), vampire. The fact that the <ɵ> (<ɵ> = /ɔ/, /O/) declension is used for unnatural creatures adds to the insult. Hearing the accented ultimate syllable emphasizes the insult: necedɵ̂, you ghoul!
- The worst thing one could say to a Siye-speaker is "Simukimsu!" This means "(May you go) to the place where people don't speak Siye!" Or you could say "Pe Siye epesipuyammu." "You are not able to speak Siye."
The worst thing one could say to a Fortunatian-speaker is "a Lom!" (to Rome!). Since the Fortunatians are Donatists, they regard Roman Catholics as arch-heretics. I haven't developed their profanity, but I'm sure religious swearwords are part of it.
- On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 5:02 PM, Anthony Miles <mamercus88@...> wrote:
> The worst thing one could say to a Siye-speaker is "Simukimsu!" This meansInteresting that you're swapping L's and R's too. Carrajina dose that
> "(May you go) to the place where people don't speak Siye!" Or you could say
> "Pe Siye epesipuyammu." "You are not able to speak Siye."
> The worst thing one could say to a Fortunatian-speaker is "a Lom!" (to
> Rome!). Since the Fortunatians are Donatists, they regard Roman Catholics
> as arch-heretics. I haven't developed their profanity, but I'm sure
> religious swearwords are part of it.
some. Lezujidu = resurected. Actually, the R form, rezujidu, is preferred
as more "correct," but the L form is used a lot and is used exclusively
when referring to raisins soaked in wine, lezujidus.