Tag Archives: cursing

Urdu slang insult/swearing

Context: The informant is a college-age male whose parents are both from Pakistan originally. He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. He currently lives in Southern California in a joint family and has also visited Pakistan multiple times since he was very young. He recalls a curse his father would say “when he got really angry”:

___ ko goli maar/ ___ ko maro goli

which means literally “Shoot ___ (with a bullet)” or something close to the English profane phrases “F*ck ___” or “Screw ___”.

Analysis: As a swearword, this phrase is relatively straightforward: the speaker is expressing how little they care about something; so little that if the other person were to shoot it, it wouldn’t bother them. The fact that the informant is male and he learned from an older male family member suggests that it is a phrase that is most commonly used by the adult males of the group in the company of other adult (or sub-adult) males. This suggests a certain respect for the opposite sex, or at least a divide between them. And the fact that the word is a violent one instead of a sexual one (like f*ck or screw) may imply that there are certain taboos around sex that are not present for when dealing with or discussing violence.

Miss Suzie’s Steamboat

Miss Suzie had a steamboat
The steamboat had a bell (toot toot) 
Miss Suzie went to heaven 
The steamboat went to 
Hello operator, please give me number 9
If you disconnect me, I’ll chop off your 
Behind the refrigerator laid a piece of glass 
Miss Suzie sat upon it and broke her little
Ask me no more questions, please give me no more lies 
The boys are in bathroom pulling down their 
Flies are in the meadow, the bees are in the park 
Miss Suzie and her boyfriend are kissing in the DARK DARK DARK! 
Is like a movie, a movie’s like a show, a show is on TV 
And that’s all I know know know!

This is one of the many chants that is recited with a certain clapping pattern that I learned in elementary school.  Back then, many girls would say these chants during recess as a way of spending their free time.  I remember learning it from my best friend, who had learned it from other girls in her class.  Once we both knew it, we would frequently play this clapping game, whether we were at school or at each other’s houses.  It was a way of passing time when we were bored.
Looking back at my elementary school days, chanting this rhyme was extremely enjoyable.  Not only did it help ease my boredom, but it also provided me with fun.  Chanting the words with my friends made me laugh because of the words in the chant.  It implies inappropriate words without actually being inappropriate.
Remembering the chant reminds me of how much fun I had as a kid.  When I hear other kids recite these chants and play clapping games, I remember more specific memories that I had as a child.  This chant gives me a connection to my past.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget this chant because it has been implanted in my brain from reciting it so much.