You son of a… male fish?
October 12, 2017 7:57 PM   Subscribe

Are there any languages in which you insult the male relatives of your interlocutor? NSFW language below (obviously).

Are there any languages/cultures in which to insult someone, one would allege something disgraceful about the insultee's father, brother or other male relative, instead of their mother, sister or other female relative? I'm mostly familiar with West European languages, so all the examples that come to mind are female-insulting ("son of a bitch", "enfant de chienne", "fils de pute", "figlio di puttana", and so on). Partial points for non-family-related male-related insults (e.g. "dick" in English; instead of "cunt" in UK English or "con"/"conne" in French).

(AskMeFi search turned up nothing, Google turned up a depressing number of posts/pages about bitter custody battles.)
posted by hopeful beast to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I think "My dad can beat up your dad" is a thing people say, or used to say maybe.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:05 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

'Bastard' could be interpreted as insulting one's father, mother or both. There's also 'son of a gun.'
posted by arrmatie at 8:15 PM on October 12 [4 favorites]

UK insults come to mind -- bollocks, knob, bellend...
posted by Rhaomi at 10:10 PM on October 12

I like “son of a dickface”, personally

Etymological Origin: Me, whilst grumpy probably
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:43 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

There's also the more medieval convention of insulting both parents, e.g., "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." (I think that's real, at least, and not just from Monty Python?)
posted by stillmoving at 11:13 PM on October 12

'Your father is a dog' in Farsi
posted by sciencegeek at 1:57 AM on October 13 [5 favorites]

Not exactly insulting the father directly, but in Hungarian one can still hear, the bit dated:

Az apád úristenit!

Which translates to "The God of your Father!" and meant as scolding someone for something. My father sometimes still use it, which is really funny when I'm on the receiving end.
posted by kmt at 2:58 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]

"Yer da sells Avon" is another example, though specifically Scottish and Glasgow (maybe central belt in general?) area only really.

Fits with the more common "My dad is harder than your dad" or as the joke goes "My dad will fuck your dad" if you've got a gay dad.
posted by Leud at 4:35 AM on October 13

My mother taught me a long rude phrase in Polish (passed down from her father, who knew only a little Polish because his parents used it for a "talking so the children don't understand us" language, and thus all I got was this lousy swear) that insulted the target's brother, and had something to do with a donkey. I can't remember it more specifically right now. I can see if my mom does.
posted by little cow make small moo at 7:45 AM on October 13

there are definitely several Arabic ones starting with ibn - which is son of - after that there are various female or male objects. Like ibn kalb is son of a [male]dog.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:51 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]

Schweinehund in German, which is gender-neutral (pig-dog!) but which I've never heard directed at a woman.
posted by Crystal Fox at 8:13 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]

"May the devil take your thieving father" is a Yiddish curse.
posted by yankeefog at 8:49 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]

Referring to someone as the milkman's son, or it's various iterations (plumber, mailman, or butaneros) suggests both illegitimacy and cuckoldry.
posted by gagoumot at 10:27 AM on October 13

Dickweed, dickwad, dickcheese, smeghead, blowhard, dumb jock, gorilla, chauvinist pig, jamoke, wanker, tosser, prick, pencil dick, "á" scrote, sad sack, lowly worm, cocknose, jizzcock, knobjockey, dickweasel, cack, nutsack, choad, pecker, cuck.
posted by fritillary at 3:28 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]

In Hindi - ullu ka pattha.

It means son of an owl.

Yes, really.

It is glorious to hear in action, because something about the onomatopoeia of the phrase makes it sound much harsher than what it actually literally means. I mean, son of an owl? 🦉🦉🦉 awww. But when it's hurled at you as an insult it is gobsmackingly effective.
posted by thereemix at 6:27 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]

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