Ms. Z is an elementary school Maths and Chinese teacher in Shenyang, China. We were having dinner together when I mentioned my folklore collection project. She then shared some of the interesting folklores she’s learned of from the kids in her class or from her colleagues.
The Main Piece:
Z: After the graduation of some of the kids in one of my classes, they came back to visit me and told me about one of the rhymes they’ve made in elementary school, which is used to curse others.
It goes as follows:
orignial text: 操你妈，操你爸，操你全家嘎啦哈，操你奶奶高血压，操你爷爷被车轧
Phonetic script: cao ni ma, cao ni ba, cao ni quan jia galaha, cao ni nai nai gao xue ya, cao ni ye ye bei che ya
Word to Word translation: fuck your mother, fuck your father, fuck your whole family galaha (this is the name of a traditional folk toy in Northeast China made of the leg bones of pigs. But it is used here maily to keep the rhyme and rythm, with to specific meaning), fuck your grandma, high blood pressure, fuck your grandpa, run over by a car
A more artistic translation that keeps the flow and the rhyme: Fuck your mom. Fuck your Pa. Fuck your whole family from the bottom up. Fuck you grandma with an attack in the heart. Fuck your grandpa, he got hit by a car.
Z: I knew that they had such a dirty rhyme, but I didn’t know it was as offensive as this one! I’ve gotten angry with this when they were in school. But thinking about it now, they were quite creative.
Although these are not the most offensive things I can imagine, they are quite offensive for elementary school kids. This dirty little rhyme perfectly shows how creative, and cruel and mean, kids can be. Using this rhyme to curse others makes cursing a fun thing to do, and it even stimulates innovations in cursing, because kids might want to come up with more humorous and offensive ways to curse others.
Also, 操你妈， or “fuck your mom” is the most commonly used curse word in China. Its presence in such rhyme shows that by the age for elementary school, most kids have already been exposed to curse words, either from the outside world or from their family. I remember when I was in elementary school, I was super excited to use curse words or learn about new curse words. This rhyme can also show the strong interest of young children, especially elementary school kids, in curse words