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We may not be rich when it comes to money, but we’re Rockefellars when it comes to verbal gold. Being a Croat means you’re good with words, especially the ”bad” ones. The lingistic abundance that resides in this Balcanic area when it comes to curses and phrases is just phenomenal.
While Westernisation occurs in many aspects of our daily lives, including the language (I’m ashamed to admit that for me it’s sometimes easier to remember the English word than the Croatian one) I’m proud to say that no self respecting Croat will reach for the ”Sh*t!” or ”F*ck!” types of words when there are real, more satisfying ways of expressening ones concern. If you’ve ever spent longer periods of time with a Croat you might have caught some of the phrases along the way. If not, here’s a list of common curses and phrases we are most proud of (and their meaningful distinctions):
1. ”K vragu”: Damn, damn it, to hell with it. It isn’t really considered a bona fide curse, more like a catch phrase you’d use when experiencing something mildly uncomfortable. There’s even a more mellow version we teach the kids: ”K vrapcu” (to sparrow). It’s a sound similarity thing.
2. ”Sranje” Literal equivalent of the word sh*t. Mostly used when remembered that you forgot something or when sighing in a mildly shi**y situation: ”ah sranje”. Often used in the conversation as a sign of understanding the other person’s bad fortune: ”koje sranje”: When describing a fairly shi**y situation or giving and honest product review we pimp it up to: ”sranje kroz gusto granje” (sh*t through thick shrubbery). ”Usrati” (to sh*t): to make something worse. ”Nasrati” to say a lot of mean things about something, or someone.
3. ”Jebo te/Jebem ti”: A definite favourite of ours, kind of like f*ck, but it carries much more meaning. To understand, just consider the word ”jebo” (he/she/it f*cks) or ”jebem” (I f*ck) as an empty plate at the buffet. You can take a little bit of everything and make it into something meaningful.
– Most common: ”Jebo ti pas mater” (something with a dog f*cking your mother).
When to use: Walking down the street in the rain, the car passes by over a pond and completely sprays you with muddy water: ”Pa jebo ti pas mater”. This wouldn’t be used in direct confrontation because it can cross the border of the severity of the argument and the other party might leave or be left very hurt and offended. If said, usually ends the conversation, so it’s to be treated with care.
”Jebo sliku svoju” (he f*cked his picture), mostly used by older people in order to give praise for an achievement to someone despite their flaws, especially if you didn’t expect it from them. If a firend who is usually helpless with women scores and you find out about it: ”Šta ju je povalia, jeba sliku svoju?” (said with a Dalmatian accent).
”Jebi se”: F*ck you, when mildly irritated, hurt or envious. For instance: a colleague usually comes in to work late and never gets caught. You do it once and pay for it. When talking to them you’d say: ”jebi se”.
”Odjebi”: F*ck off, when quite irritated by someone and want to put them in their place and express how hurt you are at the same time. They usually know they crossed the line. Can be pimped to ”odjebi u skokovima” (f*ck off in a jumping way), when you don’t want to have anything to do with what they’re doing or saying.
– ”Najebati se”: To work hard, implies complications and an effort in vain.
– ”Jebeno”: Cool, awesome.
– ”Jebozovan”: Sexually alluring.
– ”Sjebati”: To f*ck something/someone up.
– ”Jebada”: A thing that takes forever to do/make.
– ”Zajeb”: A mistake.
– Just to show off our linguistical richness: ”Jebo krv mlade rode”: (f*ck the young stork’s blood), jebem ti sumpor žarki (something to do with f*cking sulphur) and many others that include a variety of characters, including God, Jesus and of course, the saints.
4. ”Pas mater”: When the jebo part is taken out of it, this is mostly used as an expression when things go wrong, the rough equivalent of sh*t or f*ck. For instance, when you forget something, see that the Internet isn’t working, or when you realise that you’re late.
5. ”Kurac”: Dick. Very broad spectre of use.
– For instance ”Hoću kurac” means I won’t (do something), while ”kurac od ovce” (sheep’s dick) is a superlative of the word – nothing, mostly used when describing that we got nothing after we hoped or expected too much, complete disappointment.
– ”Puši kurac” (suck a dick) carries the same amount of intensity as ”odjebi” and would be used in similar situations.
– ”Odi u kurac” (go to the dick): shows disappointment in the other person.
– ”Popuši mi ga/kurac/kurčinu” (blow me/suck me off) when in a superior position and pointing it out. Also expressing a lack of willingness to do something.
– ”Kurac”: When you do something poorly or miss a shot in sport.
– ”Kurčiti se”: To brag.
– ”Boli me kurac” (my dick hurts): I don’t care.
6. Pička (stronger curses), pizda (milder curses): P*ssy, c*nt.
– ”Odi u pičku materinu” (go to your mother’s p*ssy): When generally upset by someone or your own royal f*ck up. For instance: Betting a lot of money on a usually winning team and losing it. Often in situations when it’s your fault but you put the blame on others.
– ”Hoću pičku materinu”: I won’t.
– ”Koja pizda materina”: What do you want? What’s going on?
– ”Pička”: If used to describe a woman, it means she’s hot. If used to describe a man means a wuss. If describing someone’s character, this usually refers to them as a coward, kind of a suck up.
– ”U pizdu strininu” (in aunt’s p*ssy): A general statement of slight worry, anger and bewilderment.
– ”Pizditi”: To be mad.
– ”Popizditi”: To go completely mad.
– ”Dopizditi”: To become boring to soemone.
– ”Strmopizditi”: To fall down.
– ”Dobiti po pički”: To take a beating.
– ”Pičkin dim”: (p*ssy’s smoke): Something super easy to do or something worthless.
1. Pojesti govno (to eat shit): Taking a punch despite your efforts and the fact you’re right.
2. Majke ti (your mother): A phrase to use when describing a slight disbelief in someone’s story.
3. Majke mi (my mother): A phrase to use when telling a story to swear it’s the truth, kind of like swearing on it.
4. Malo sutra (a little bit tomorrow): It’s not happening man.
5. Uguziti se (to butt in): To get into something good, usually by doing nothing.
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