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Doc Rat: Well, I was close.

In my last post, I wondered what the ultimate lapine insult really sounded like. Using some basic linguistic principles of euphony, I came up with "Simbioth Gruata". As it turns out, the actual phrase is

"Bh'angh-hruront pwúl-plobba!"

As Dani described it, the "gh" is a pharyngeal fricative, probably voiced, and the ú indicates a rising tone.

And for lapine, a language full of light, smooth front vowels and sibilant consonants, a phrase like this which is chock-full of back vowels, aspirated consonants, harsh fricatives and long stops is just downright uncharacteristic and harsh.

Probably means "Your mother is a meat-eater and mates with badgers!" or some such...

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Comments

stevenroy
Sep. 22nd, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
If it sounds the way I think it sounds, it probably wouldn't even -need- a meaning!
secoh
Sep. 22nd, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
I believe I have uttered that exact phrase before. Mind you I think I was steering the porcelain bus at the time...
ccdesan
Sep. 23rd, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
marmoe
Sep. 22nd, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
I don't think I'll ever have to actually swear, if I get angry in an English speaking country. Reciting "Die Glocke" in German and with a raised voice should do the trick. :-D
ccdesan
Sep. 23rd, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
Yikes! With all due respect, give anything in German the right intonations and you could sound like a certain failed Austrian artist...

marmoe
Sep. 23rd, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
Ahl bee ... WHAT?!? :-D
deckardcanine
Sep. 22nd, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
My 11th-grade English teacher told me that he asked a Cambodian exchange student how to swear in his native language. The student was too respectful of authority to say it aloud, so he wrote the word and its pronunciation. With some hesitation, he gave the translation: "You are thunder and lightning."

It could be that the English translation of the lapine phrase barely even sounds like an insult.
sleepyjohn00
Sep. 23rd, 2010 04:11 am (UTC)
But it's PRONOUNCED "Throat-Warbler-Mangrove".

There's a scene in an Anne McCaffery story where a pilot tears into a clumsy mechanic for about five minutes in an unknown vitriolic language. She confesses later that all she did was give him the recipe for chicken paprikash. In Hungarian.

Edited at 2010-09-23 04:13 am (UTC)
ccdesan
Sep. 23rd, 2010 05:24 am (UTC)
Real live story: At the Language Training Mission, the Navajo-speaking missionaries who had been on-site for two weeks would impress the next batch of newcomers by getting up and doing a little preaching, thus:

Tʼááłáʼí naaki, Joseph Smith tááʼ dį́į́ʼ ashdlaʼ, sniffle sob hastą́ą́ tsostsʼid Jesus tseebíí, náhástʼéí neeznáá...

Only later did the new ones learn the trick of counting from one to ten, with feeling, to impress the next batch of greenies...
r_caton
Sep. 23rd, 2010 09:52 am (UTC)
An Yan Tan Tethera to youse too.....
ccdesan
Sep. 23rd, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
Best two sources on this interesting bit are here and here

Had a math teacher once who recited a version which had us all in stitches. The true origins, sadly are lost in the mists of time.
lowen_kind
Sep. 23rd, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
Probably means "Your father is a sterile meat eater!"

BTW, I have seen a rabbit eating meat. It was on the side of the road eating an already dead rabbit. 8=0
alaskawolf
Sep. 23rd, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
i wonder if it taste like chicken? :P

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