Posted on March 23rd, 2013
British people often consider the French to be masters in rudeness. But the British are quite adept at trading insults too. This British-made chamber pot with a bust of Napoleon dates from 1805. It can be viewed in the Royal Pavilion Museum at Brighton.
A sample of French insults was published recently by web-based news site The Local:
“Bête comme ses pieds” – A literal translation would be “As stupid as his feet”, or “Thick as a plank”. The French version appeared in the early 19thC and seems to symbolise feet being furthest from the brain.
“Ta mère est tellement petite, que sa tête pue des pieds” – translation: “Your mother is so small, her head smells of feet”.
“Boudin” – normally the word for “blood sausage”, it can be used to mean an ugly woman or an old hooker. Use with care.
“Lavette” – translates as “dish cloth”, but can also mean a girl lacking courage and energy.
“Andouille” – another sausage insult. Here it means someone who is careless or lazy.
“Tête de noeud” – literally “knothead”. English version “dickhead”.
“Espèces de merinos mal peignes” – or “badly groomed sheep”.
“Blaireau” – this word for “badger” is also used for “asshole”.
“Casse couille” – which translates as “ball-buster”, means “pain in the ass”.
“Tu parles Français comme une vache espagnole” – literally translating as “You speak French like a Spanish cow”.
Maybe Monty Python should have the last word on French insults: