Background Information: I noticed that there were commonalities between swear-words or phrases in different languages. In particular, vulgarities related to mothers and sex seemed to transcend linguistic barriers. I interviewed Tanuj Gupta about the word, “maaderchod”, which means “motherfucker”, in Hindi. Tanuj grew up in Lucknow, India, and came to USC for his graduate degree, and speaks primarily Hindi and English. He first heard and began using the word at school, in the fifth grade.

Original script: मादरचोद

Phonetic script: Maaderchoad

Transliteration: Mother-fuck

Full translation: Motherfucker

Thoughts: I find it interesting how vulgarities like this one have evolved to become a part of individuals’ everyday speech and vernacular. Tanuj uses the word frequently when he is speaking Hindi with his friends, as an expression of frustration, amazement, or just for general emphasis. As Tanuj said, he learned the word in school as a child, and has continued to use it frequently. I find it interesting that vulgarities like this one are used in specific domains. It is learned and used among friends and equals, rather than with superiors, as it seems to express a level of comfort and familiarity within the group it is used in. It would also be interesting to analyze the seemingly cross-cultural taboo of associating “mothers” with sex.