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I feel like it's important to know when someone's calling you an idiot, and to know how to call someone an idiot when the time comes.

I know this is a questionable question, and I didn't even know how to ask it (which is the only reason I'm asking this one in English), but how can I learn common French insults and pejoratives?

For example, if I was learning English, I would want to know words like moron, stupid, idiot, fool, tool, several common swears which I will not reproduce here, dummy, dumb, fatty, bozo, dimwit, nitwit, jerk, pussy etc.

How can I learn the more common French ones, and their general implication/usage?

Would it be absurd to make a community wiki out of this, if it's even a legitimate question?

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I think it's a very legitimate question. I'd probably separate "how to swear in French?" from "how to insult in French?", and I'd ask that in French "quelles insultes en français ?" (to cover both receiving them and making them), and "comment jurer en français ?". –  Nikana Reklawyks Dec 28 '12 at 12:40
    
On a related note, french.stackexchange.com/questions/400/… –  Nikana Reklawyks Dec 29 '12 at 12:45
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Learning pejoratives can be a delicate manner, as there is only a narrow path between making a funny, juicy remark and getting your nose broken (or having a person never talk to you again). That's even more true in French, which has some queer courtesy rules at times. Looking at some internet site makes it hard to figure how offensive what you might say will be perceived. I learn my pejoratives by watching American sitcoms in French. This gives somewhat of a clue to the severity of the insult and makes it less likely to badly offend someone inadvertedly. –  Damon Dec 31 '12 at 17:49

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

You can use online language dictionaries like WordReference.com. You can also find pictures like this one on the Internet :

enter image description here

There is another one great picture and I will edit this answer if I find it.

BONUS : searching the previous picture I found this web page : http://www.babelcoach.net/fr/vocabulaire_anglais/vocabulaire_injures_et_insultes

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That is AWESOMELY useful. –  Aerovistae Dec 28 '12 at 15:23
    
"Je suis niqué" est une traduction littérale. Je me vois mal dire ça. Peut être je suis dans la merde? Et "t'es vraiment trop con" est souvent dit ironiquement. –  Knu Nov 18 '13 at 16:32

The Wiktionnaire has some categories that might be interesting in this case and they have their counterparts in the Wiktionary.

the French ones are quite extensive, perhaps too much, and the English ones are not perfectly accurate and somewhat small, but between them, you should have enough material to swear better¹ than a native speaker.


1. Or worse, depending on your point of view.

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