Adrian Chiles Discusses Croatian Words for Genitalia in Guardian Article

Lauren Simmonds

Anyone who knows even a little bit of Croatian will know that this is an extremely colourful language. Descriptive, imaginative and above all blunt. There are countless ways to describe your disappointment, dismay or anger, and because of the sheer linguistic scope of Croatian, swearing is often seen as an effective way to showcase the strength of your emotions when speaking and isn’t deemed as unintelligent, nor is looked down anywhere near as much as it is in other languages.

We’ve compiled several lists highlighting the colours of this ”picturesque” South Slavic language (you can read them here, and here) and learn a few ways in which to swear while you’re at it. 

Adrian Chiles, a well known British presenter, has a Croatian mother and as such has ties with the country and its language. In his musings in the popular British publication The Guardian, he has previously written about his desire to get his hands on a Croatian passport, detailing how his Croatian friends used to be jealous of his shiny, burgundy British travel document and how the tables have turned since the shock result of the EU referendum.

In his latest opinion piece for The Guardian, he discusses precisely the character of the Croatian language and just how many words and phrases there are to describe genitalia. Yes. Genitalia. 

As The Guardian/Adrian Chiles writes on the 16th of January, 2020, Chiles asks just why the English language doesn’t have as many colourful words for genitalia as Croatian does. In fairness, British English, with all of its regional accents and dialects, most of which differ enormously from each other, there are many terms that could be used to describe genitalia, but is it quite on a par with Croatian?

He details the story of his Croatian friends who, through a twist of fate started by Adrian’s innocent mistake, developed a publishing business. The pair are now engaged in translating erotic fiction into Croatian. There, Adrian was met with an array of words such as pimpek, sladostrašće and more. 

Click here to read Adrian’s amusing take on the differing linguistic attitudes to sex in the English and the Croatian languages, and try not to blush while you’re at it.

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