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Foreign and Historical Slang Terms

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Know any interesting slang terms from foreign languages, diverse cultures, or historical periods? I want 'em!
#1 - May 06, 2016, 11:49 AM
Twitter: @MelissaKoosmann

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In Chile, a "sapo" (literally, a toad) is a spy. You can even make a verb out of it, telling your little sister to stop "sapeando" around your room.
#2 - May 06, 2016, 11:51 AM

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"kande, batate" + dope slap = Is your head filled with onions and potatoes?  (Marathi in India).
rhymes with day
"kaddu" means pumpkin. But you can call someone that if you think they are stupid. (Hindi). Imagine my surprise when we came to the US and parents were calling their little ones pumpkins. :grin3
Vijaya


#3 - May 06, 2016, 12:27 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
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These are great. A couple from my experience, in case anyone else is compiling a collection (or just interested):

In South African English, you have to say "now now" to mean "now, at the present moment." The actual word "now" means "in a little while."

Also in South Africa, you can say "Izit?" to mean "Oh, really?" or "Is that so?" Grammatically, there doesn't have to be an "is" or an "it" involved. So if someone tells you Linda is a great musician, you can say, "Oh, izit?"

In Austria and the Bavarian region of Germany (and I think maybe Hungary too), people greet each other informally with the word "servus," which is Latin for "servant." It's basically like saying "at your service" in a very casual way. 
#4 - May 06, 2016, 01:05 PM
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Melissa, you'd love two books I rec'd as a gift when I did my postdoc work in Germany (but was living in French-speaking Belgium): Schiesse! and Merde! -- German and French slang books (and how to swear).

Vijaya
#5 - May 06, 2016, 01:51 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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Oh thanks, Vijaya! I'll look them up!
#6 - May 06, 2016, 03:12 PM
Twitter: @MelissaKoosmann

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Twitter: @MelissaKoosmann

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This has me wishing my Yiddish were better. Putz (German, Yiddish) I think it means fool (actually a word for penis). Can be used as a verb: Quit putzing around.

Tuchus, Tush, Tushee (Yiddish) Rear end.

I bet you could pick a language and Google it with "slang." Yiddish is very colorful. A college library might help here too. There's a book or two on Yiddish structure that contain some very colorful phrasing. Yiddish is a very sarcastic language.

Spanish is hard to do this for because countries vary. What's perfectly respectable in one may be slang in another.
#8 - May 08, 2016, 06:33 PM
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