The Delightful Perversity of Québec's Catholic Swears
almost 2 years ago
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"The sacres is the group of Catholic swears unique to Québec. There are many of them; the most popular are probably tabarnak (tabernacle), osti or hostie or estie (host, the bread used during communion), câlisse (chalice), ciboire (the container that holds the host), and sacrament (sacrament). These usually have some milder forms as well, slightly modified versions that lessen their blow. "For example, tabarnouche and tabarouette are non-vulgar versions of tabarnak, similar to 'shoot' and 'darn' in English," says Polesello."
"Because the words are largely just meaningless statements of rage, there is an interesting ability in Québec French to create fantastic new strings of profanity that are, basically, untranslatable. Essentially you can just list sacres, connecting them with de, forever. Crisse de câlisse de sacrament de tabarnak d'osti de ciboire!, you might say after the Canadiens fail to make the NHL playoffs. The closest English translation would be something like "Fucking fuck shit motherfucker cockface asshole!" Or thereabouts. But strings of profanity like that in American English, though not unheard of, are certainly not common. In Québec, letting loose with a string of angrily shouted Catholic terminology is something you're fairly likely to hear at some point."
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