Where I can find an overview about swear words in Esperanto? Which of them are most often used?

I'm a little bit curious. How does cursing work in Esperanto at all? According to me, cursing is always a cultural affair. How does it work in a multicultural environment where people come from different cultural backgrounds?

3 Answers 3


Swear words in any language are emotionally charged and are, as you say, highly intertwined with a language's culture. Some languages use religious imagery (Sweden: "jävlar!" Québécois French: "Tabernacle!") and some use sexual imagery (Polish: "kurwa!", Italian: "Che cazzo!"). Any language also invents milder forms of these, so as not to "name the devil": Swedish "järnvägars!" (as having to do with railroads) or "järnspikar!" (iron nails). Italian: "Che cavolo!" (what cabbage!)

As a result of the intermingling of cultures and languages in Eo, we have a richness of expressions, ranging from the religious "Diable!" to the Slavic "Iru kacen!" (example glumarko.) The international (or at least Germanic) expression "Schiet!" (low German) has its parallel in Esperanto: "Fek^!".

On a related point, psychological research shows that swear words aren't "saved" in the brain with the other words - we can lose many of our language abilities to aphasia but keep the swearing. That they are highly emotionally charged in our native languages is the reason we might be reluctant to use them in our mother tongue, but pepper our language with "Fuck!" and "Vaffanculo!" in other languages to feel more fluent. I'd say this probably makes it easier for us L2 Esperanto speakers to swear in Esperanto. For a thorough course in at least the sexual side of swearing in Esperanto, I suggest: How to talk dirty in Esperanto

For a more thorough overview on this topic, see: Esperanto swearing

  • Your link "How to talk dirty in Esperanto" is about constructing word around sex. While it may be funny and interesting with beginners, these creative words are not emotionnaly charged and are not very suitable for cursing and swearing.
    – Vanege
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 11:33

There’s a short dictionary of taboo words which now seems to be freely downloadable. It has a list at the back of esprimoj kaj sakroj and another of insultoj. I can’t vouch for how good the book is, the only swear word from the list that I would say I hear often is kace (meaning ‘in the manner of a cock / cockly’). I also quite often hear the related expression piĉe (c*nt-ly) or a combination of the two piĉkace, but these aren’t in the list. Some of the expressions are quite funny:

Aktoj de la Akademio! (acts of the academy!)

Fundamenta Krestomatio

I like the idea that instead of swearing about religion an esperantist would blaspheme the sanctity of the fundamento :) To be honest though I’ve never actually heard any of these used in conversation.

I agree that swearing is very much a cultural affair. When people swear in my native language I flinch a little but if it’s in another language I’m not phased much, even if I know the language relatively well. This is evidenced by the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to write the “C-word” above but I can quite happily write piĉo.


"Knedu min, sinjorino" is also a good source. I believe it's still available for sale. Of course, for examples of the use of some interesting words, I'd suggest Sekretaj Sonetoj.

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