Sunday, September 04, 2016

Quebec's Catholic Profanity

A mailbox with Québec French that roughly translates to "No fucking admail".
(Photo: Gates of Ale/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Atlas Obscura has posted a piece on Quebec's unique swearing vocabulary. It is almost entirely made up of everyday Catholic terminology that has taken on a profane meaning. I grew up in Montreal and 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) were swear words known as sacres that were tossed around with wild abandon. The considerable influence of the Catholic religion in the province allowed sacres to become powerful forms of profanity. Tabarnouche and tabarouette are non-vulgar versions of tabarnak, similar to 'shoot' and 'darn' in English.

Read more

No comments: