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Armenian Swear Words: Exploring the Language’s Raw Expressions

Armenian swear words, though rarely highlighted in traditional language courses, offer a unique window into the cultural and emotional underpinnings of the society. In this blog post, we will explore some of these expressions, not to promote their use, but to better understand the context and nuances behind them. This educational journey is intended for mature Armenian learners and aims to enrich your understanding of Armenian slang, especially the type of expressions people use when they’re angry or pretending to be.

So, whether you are a newbie to the language or an advanced Armenian learner who wants to add some spice to your vocabulary, here are 16 colourful Armenian insults and their meanings.

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1.  Kak ger (Eat sh*t)

Short, not-so-sweet, and to the point, "kak ger" is the Armenian equivalent of telling someone to, well, eat something very unpleasant. This insult is thrown around in arguments when someone has really crossed the line.

2.  Barab glir (Empty )

More on the quirky side, "Barab glir" refers to someone who is considered a loser or a failure. It's not the most graphic of insults but carries a strong connotation of worthlessness, which can hurt even more than a strong insult.

3.  Ters goghmen aptagem kezi (May I slap you silly)

This Armenian swear words literally translates to “May I slap you from the crooked side [of my hand]?”.  It's used to express extreme annoyance or the desire to bring someone back to reality from their nonsense.

4.  Kna kounvir (Go f**k yourself)

Straightforward and universal, "kna kounvir" conveys a message that's clear in just about every language. It's a harsh dismissal, indicating the speaker wants nothing more to do with the conversation or the person.

5.  Eshou tsak (Son of a donkey)

An insult to one's lineage, "Eshou tsak" compares someone to the offspring of a donkey, implying they are stubborn, stupid, or both. It's derogatory and dismissive.

6.  Abgeh (An imbecile)

A simple yet effective Armenian ‘bad word’, "abgeh" is used to describe someone lacking intelligence or common sense. It's a common retort to foolish behaviour or idiotic statements.

7.  Choratsats ookhti poots (Dry camel pussy)

This phrase is crass and highly offensive, used to shock or express extreme disdain. It's certainly not for polite company and is one of those terms that's heavy with insult.

8.  Eh Shoo Dtzak (Imbecile's child)

Another jab at one’s lineage, "Eh Shoo Dtzak" implies that not only is the person an imbecile, but they come from a long line of them. It's an insult that hits generational notes. Like most Armenian insults in today’s blog, this is one you may want to save for really extreme situations.

9.  Gandon Pchogh (Condom Blower)

A bizarre and humorous insult, "Gandon Pchogh" is used to call someone useless or inept. It paints a silly picture but is derogatory nonetheless.

10.  Angraget (Illiterate)

Direct and to the point, "angraget" criticises someone's lack of education or sophistication. It's an insult to intelligence and learning.

Couple arguing

11.  Hetamnac (Undeveloped)

This term paints someone as outdated or not keeping up with the times, whether in terms of technology, ideas, or behaviour. It's a way to call someone backwards, old-fashioned or obsolete.

12.  Gyughaci / Geghaci (Uncivilised)

These words, which literally translate to “villager”, throw shade on someone’s manners or sophistication, equating them with being a country bumpkin or uncouth. It’s derogatory, suggesting lack of refinement or worldliness.

13.  Portabujts (Parasite, freeloader, tumour)

This insult is used for someone who takes without giving, leeching off others like a parasite. It's a harsh critique of someone's character and behaviour, so make sure you have a real reason to use it.

14.  Gesh mundar (Ugly and repulsive)

Reserved for the worst offences to the eyes, "Gesh mundar" is used to describe something (or someone) extremely unpleasant or repulsive. It can be used to refer to someone’s appearance or the unpleasantness of a situation.

15.  Peranet kaknem (May I sh*t in your mouth)

This phrase is as graphic as they come. Predominantly used in extreme anger or disgust, "Peranet kaknem" is not something you'd hear in polite conversation. It's the kind of Armenian curse that instantly escalates the tension in any confrontation.

Our exploration into the world of Armenian swear words reveals more than just the power of words to convey anger or disdain; it offers insights into the values and social structures that define Armenian culture. The fact that so many of these Armenian insults are related to lineage and education underscores the society's deep-rooted pride in family heritage and intellectual achievement.

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Understanding these expressions in their cultural context provides a richer, more nuanced understanding of the Armenian people and their traditions. It’s a reminder that language learning is not just about vocabulary or grammar, but about connecting people.

At Listen & Learn, we invite you to dive deeper into the Armenian language and its cultural nuances. Our native instructors are not only language experts but cultural ambassadors, ready to guide you beyond conventional learning, to explore the uniqueness of Armenian culture and language.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact Listen & Learn now and we’ll arrange an Armenian course for you in London, Liverpool or any other city in the UK! Dasyntatsy sksenq! Let the learning begin!