A Conversation for Quebec, Canada

swearing in french

Post 1


yes, very funny and very true. i've spent some time in québec, especially in sherbrooke. and my! even a lot of our pretentious non-québecois neighbours swore in french (read: in style) like there was no tomorrow, sputtering 'criss' and 'tabarnak' here and there.

swearing in french

Post 2


I grew up in Quebec as an Anglophone (french speakers are called Francophones), and was always interested in our various swear words. Those of English extraction swore on the toilet (s**t, etc), those of French extraction swore on the cross (tabernac, etc), and the celts swore reproductively (f**k, etc).
I wonder what that says about the cultures?

swearing in french

Post 3

Researcher 215260

Well, the fact that Québécois started using words such as tabarnak, calisse, etc. is caused by the "révolution tranquille" -- the quiet revolution in the 1960s. Before that, the church in Quebec was controlling the schools, hospitals, etc. and had a huge influence on the politics at that time. In the 1960s, people kinda made a revolution by using such words against the church, the governments of that time, etc. and the words stayed as a protest mark. Today, church in Quebec is almost dead, and the words are widely used by young people and older one, but never in a serious conversation, just between friends. Also, words such as "fu*k" and "sh*t" are also widely used because most people in Montreal learned English either at school or with english-speaking friends who used those words, so they became part of the Quebec's language. Fu*k for example is used as an adjective sometimes, in the word "f*cké", which means broken, does not work welll, or if someone is "f*cké" it means that person is on drugs, or very weird... The french slang words are also used the same way. "Je vais te CALISSER une volée" would mean I will punch you or I'll beat you up. "Toi mon tabarnak, or Toi mon esti" would tell someone you do not like him or he did something you did not like.

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