Lithuanian curse words

and how to find them

M. M. De Voe

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Spitcake is not the greatest translation for this traditional celebratory cake (it is cooked over a fire on a spit, yes true.)

The deliciously difficult Lithuanian language — which will slay you with declensions, dozens of diminutive suffixes, ten grammatical cases for verbs and adjectives, and seven noun cases, and although every single noun is gendered, there are no articles and very few prepositions — complicated and ancient as this language is, almost no actual curse words exist in the language.

So, how do Lithuanians curse?

Usually in Russian or English.

This next bit was translated from a Facebook comment in Lithuanian by a young woman who had studied Lithuanian curses as a school assignment while in Vilnius University. I found it amusing and jotted it down, but sadly, her name is lost to history (if anyone recognizes the post, please let me know and I will properly attribute it!)

According to the young woman:

The most popular curse in Lithuania, accounting for more than half of all swears, according to her research results, in Vilnius is Bl** — a Russian curse.

The second most popular, also Russian, translates to “go fu** yourself.” It was said to a Russian warship by a Ukrainian defending a small island. Listen here. Later Lithuanians made the phrase famous/popular by using it to graffiti their capital city.

In third place is “blemba”, which is a softer version of the first Russian word.

There are 7 more swear words of Slavic origin, used commonly in Poland. Lithuanian is not a Slavic language. It is not written in Cyrillic either.

Only 11th in popularity is the English F***

FINALLY in 12th place the first actually-Lithuanian word appears. It’s šūdas (SHU-das) which means sh**, but no one uses this word for cursing purposes. It’s simply too effective to swear in Russian, Polish or English.

Lithuanian lore is filled with plenty of old curses, however. They’re excellent and quirky— and while young Lithuanian people curse in English these days and most old Lithuanian people still curse primarily in Russian, the new generation of Lithuanians is taking on cursing by doing amazing things with the language (like combining certain body parts with endings for meals, or personifying them into formal…

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M. M. De Voe

Fictionista, collector of obscure awards, admirer of optimists in the face of dread. Author of 2 books that are polar opposites and yet the same. mmdevoe.com