17 May 2005

One area in which Japanese innovation is sadly lacking

While it is not true that the Japanese language has no swear words, standards of vituperation are certainly lower than in English. Even the word commonly used to mean “you bastard” — kisama — is simply an impolite way of saying “you”.

The worst that one can do in daily speech would be Shine bakayaro!, which means little more than “Drop dead, you idiot!” Such is the dearth of salty invective that angry Japanese turn increasingly to a reliable English expression, pronounced the Japanese way: Fakkyuu.

- The Times, 7 May 2005

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