I ran into an old post on your blog, and felt compelled to text wall you. Hope you don't mind, and you might find this interesiting. I'm not Serbian, but Croatian, and our languages are for all practical purposes quite simmilar dialects the same basic language. The swearing is legendary in world terms and Serbo-Croatian swearing is (reputedly) second only to Hungarian, but I can't really imagine that, for reasons that might be obvious to you allready. I shudder to think that somewhere out there is a culture that could outdo either of us in swearing.
I actually wrote a paper on the northern Balkan swearing in colledge (can't seem to find it now) - is practicaly, in some cases factualy, POETRY. Thing is, plenty of the stuff that comes up in these swearwords can have deeper meaning, making for an interesting phenomenon: a foreigner who thinks the curses are mindbogglingly offensive is not nearly close to how insanely offensive some of the things REALLY are. Seriously, people can get killed over such an insult, but as a general rule the more embellished and outlandish a swearword is the less it is taken seriously.
For example: "Jebem ti mater" ("I (will) fuck/shit on your mother") or "Jebem ti Boga" ("I (will) fuck/shit on your God") can get you beaten up, knifed, or shot in certain rural places if you aim it at someone. It's the kind of thing people used to deliberately start a fight. On the other hand "Jebem ti juvu od čavala Isusovih" (Fuck the soup made with the nails Jesus was crucified with) is sometihng you might yell if you drop a tray you were carrying, hit yourself on the thumb with a hammer, or are just frustrated because you can't seem to expalin sometihing to someone. The embelished ones are more like a contest of experssing frustration, agony or exasperation and are surprisingly common but, as a rule, if it includes God or someone's Mother and "Jebem ti" - them's fighting words.
"Jebem ti" actually means "(I) fuck your", as for example "Jebem ti seme i pleme (serb.)" or "Jebem ti rod i porod (cro.)" means "I fuck both your ancestors and your progeny". The fucking part is methaphorical, what youre actually saying, in an incredibly offensive and clear fashion is "I consider the entire strain of humanity that resulted in you, and all humans that will descend from you, to be worth fuck-all". Only, in serbian and croatian it rolls of the tongue and doesn't sound that academic. "Jebem ti" and "Serem ti se" ("I shit on your") are interchangable, "Serem ti se" being a lot more typical for Serbian. "Serem ti se u čarapu" ("I shit in your sock") became part of the modern folklore as a part of a Balkan you-tube meme called "Kita u Billa" (Bill's Dick), a short clip from Kill Bill vol.1 with a Serbian dub that is untraslatably offensive.
If you want to give "Jebem ti" it an "especially rude and primordial" feel you can use "Prčim ti" as Prčenje (prchenye, with a slavic hard r, and a very hard ch like in the end of russian surnames) is violent anal sex done by incredibly crude macho redneck types to women, men, goats or basicaly anything. There is, and I kid you not, serious debate wether true Prčenje can be done in real life as it is ment to be incredibly one sided, depraved and demeaning to the party being, well, ass raped, yet if the other person doesn't find it iresistable, you are just raping someone. At the same time the person doing it to somebody else is required not to feel in any way interested, or god forbid ASK if the party being buggered is having fun. Seriously, we have a couple of hundred years old word for the cencept of "violent ass rape of your life". Although, actual successfull performance of that in real life has of yet only being speculated upon. However, women have been coming to Croatia for sex tourism for years, can't imagine why...
But that is just a tip of the iceberg. You got the "Dabogda" curses. "Da Bog da" means, literaly, "May God intervene on my behalf and make it so". The fun about those is that that phrase is a part of Christian tradition/liturgy so pairing it of with an obscene profanity could make southern baptist heads explode if they could compredhend what is being said. "Dabogda te mater u čevapu prepoznala" you allready know ("May God personally make it so that your mother recognizes you in kebab meat") or the even more mean spirited "Dabogda te mater kukom po Neretvi tražila" ("May God personaly make it so that your mother ends up sarching for you all over the Neretva river with a hook on a pole"). These full meaning translations don't really convey three things 1) you snuck both God and Mother in there 2) it rolls of the tongue and can be said in a single breath 3) it's indirectly offensive to christians on so many levels - it's EPIC, nay, BIBLICAL blasphemy. In the part where I come from there is a tendency to line up half a dozen obscenities aimed at someone and punctuate it with "daboda" basicaly challenging God to strike you down if the other guy doesn't deserve it. A popular rap song did a take on that as a voice-solo, it is considered mind blowingly obscene even for our standards.
Then you have the "collorfull" ones that can range from daily usable ones like "Jebem ti sunce na nebu" that could be the one about fucking the sun out of the sky, but the really masterfull ones come up when people are trying to shock their friends with what they herd or came up with. These can get to be psychadellic clusterfucks, and are basically poetry so they are required to have a certain rythm and flow to them (rap is incredibly popular in these parts) and that is lost unless you are a native speaker. Needless to say they are by default incredbly offensive. For example: "Prčim ti tri silosa žita zno po zrno a na svakom zrnu četiri isukrsta na karte igraju" - "(Because of how angry you're making me I am just about ready to) analy violate three silos worth of wheat, grain by grain, and on each grain do the same to the four Jesus Christs that are playing cards there". Its got it all, anal rape, absurdity, disrespect for food (also a major no-no in our culture), blasphemy, sugesting that not only is there is not one Jesus... you get the picture. The "Jebem ti mrtvu mater na ćaćinom grobu krvavim kurcem u očne duplje" ("I'll fuck your dead mother on your fathers grave with a bleeding cock up the eye sockets"), of which you have a variant on your blog, falls into this category as it too poetic to be spontaneous and kind of like a gore version of some famous Serbian/Croatian modernist poetry.
I hope I haven't disgusted you or bored you too much.
Hi again, Joanna
sorry for taking so long to reply, and yes I don't mind if you post all this on your blog, as youre not the first person interested in all that, and the phenomenon of northern Balkans swearing is sort of a pinnacle of human achievement in that area, if I may say so, what with me being from the said region... Either that, or a link to olden times that wasn't really written down in the history books as i can't imagine any church, gouvernment or cultural authority really approving of that kind of stuff, but I see a lot of them trying to stamp it out. Basicaly, one of the biggest reasons people in Croatia don't take their TV program seriously is that swearing is sort of forbidden even in drama shows, and because of that the media products around here feel fake.
What do I mean by that?
"Kurac" means cock in Croatian and Serbian, but it is used in coloquial conversation as a comma, punctuation mark, universal pronoun, much like "fuck" is in English, yet you can't hear it on television. That makes all talk on television seem incredibly uptight, official, insincere and unauthentic. Which brings me to the fact that i haven't explained a good part of Croatian (and possibly Serbian) swearing, slang and incredibly offensive phrases that you might be interested in (as I didn't know if you still were interested in them)
So, without further ado, here is some more Balkan swearnig in the form of a text wall :)
"Pička materina" means "Mothers pussy", and it is the byword for swearing as in the popular phrase "Odi u pičku materinu!" - "Go back into your mothers pussy!", or the more harsh "Mrš u pičku materinu!" - "March off into your mothers pussy!". They are both common everyday dismissals of basicaly anything thats bothering you. "Pička ti materina!" (full literal meaning being "By your mothers cunt!" or "May you soon be inevitably bound straight for your mothers cunt") is sort of a reply to someone or something who pissed you off in some way. It could be accurately treanslated to mean "Go meet you maker in a profane and uncomfortable fashion!"
Now, where this common phrase take a turn for the bizzare is the EVEN MORE common phrase that derives from it: "Odi u tri pičke materine!" which is a paradoxical statement verging on the "Stick your elbow up your nose" and it means either "Go back into three of your mothers' pussies" or "Go back into your mothers three pussies". I'll let you wrap your head around that one yourself, I don't think it was ever meant to make any sense. One explanation about how that one came to be, besides everything being more fun with cool numbers like three, seven or a hundred, is the common phrase "kurvin sin" - "son of a whore (prostitute)", which would imply having more than one "father", and this would make the person in question an incredible bastard as that person would be the bioloical offspring of three different mothers (not even counting fathers).
"Pička" (pronounced pitchka, like in "pitch") itself is sort of weird, as it is much harder than "pussy", its more like "cunt", but there is no softer term for the vagina that is not seen as kindergarden talk. Vaigina, the latin term, is used very very rarely, only in medical textbooks, and the thin itself is ussually reffered in polite company as "the female sex organ" (same for "kurac" - "cock"). I guess most people having sex reffer to it as "down there" as it is considered incredibly offensive to refer to a particular, present vagina as "pička". Funny as it is, the term "pička" started at some point to be used to describe an incredibly gorgeous and desirable woman, even by women themselves, and it can be taken as quite a compliment in certain situations where people are close. Telling someone she is a "pička" would mean "you are the girl people would pick over any other girl in a dance club" for example. It got so out of hand that people are using the term "spičkati se" - "to pussy up" whenever they put effort in their appearance, even if they are guys (it's sort of like saying you "pimped yourself").
However if you call a guy a "pička", you are calling him a "pussy", the meaning is the same as in english. The term for a throphy boyfriend or partner, or a romantically sucessfull, attractive or handsome guy is "jebač" - "fucker", implying not only is he getting laid, but is also good at it so he should be adimred by other guys not envied. A girl or woman could describe a love interest or a partner in a relationship revolving around sex as her "jebač" to her frinds (not in front of him, as he wouldn't call a girl his "pička" in front of her without makin it clear form his tone that it is meant as a compliment). This is taken so far that anything well done or quality made is refered to as "jebački" - "done/made lika a fucker would, or like a fucker deserves". On the other hand, a guy that is primarily rich, wealthy is reffered to as a "mudonja" - "guy with big balls" as he is assumed to have a large "sack" (of money). "Imati muda", "To have balls" however, still means to be brave, "to have the guts", as "mudonja" has a pejorative and disdainfull maning attached to it.
"Pizda", however, is a sinonym for "pička" that is considerd slimy and disgusting, and refering to any woman as "pizda" in any situation whatsoever is simply unthinkable. Women can refer to their own sex organs as "pizda" but it is ment to show disdain and provoke unease. Guys however get called a "pizda" often, and it means they are gullible, naive or bitchy. It can be used in "Odi u tri pizde materine", the one about going into 3 of your mothers' pussies. It is also used in the ever popular curse: "Pizda ti se ogadila" which means: "May you become disgusted with pussy". Also used as a part of a phrase "StrmoPIZDITI se" which means to "tumble accidentally down the stairs/off a steep cliff" implying you will end up in "three mothers pussies" (i.a. meet your maker in an embarassing and umpleasant fashion)"
A popular "stealth" blasphemy having ot do with sex is "Svaka ti dala". It is a form of "thank you" which means: "May every (girl) put out for you", pronounced with the same pious expression and earnest thankfullness as "God bless you mercy". It's a way of saying you really appriciate what someone has done for you, with blasphemy on the side. Added bonus is if you say it to a straight girl.
Scatoloical ones abound in these parts as well. A very nice one that is used when someone is faking knowledge about someting "Vrit si bil i govno znaš" - "You've been up the ass, and you know shit!". "Govnu brat" - "Brother to a turd" is an implication that someone or something is in fact piece of shit himself/itself, just not worth paying attention to. "Nije govno nego se pas posra" would literally mean "It's not a turd it's just dogshit" and fully translate as "Ah, I see, so you're not in fact bullshiting me, youre taking a dump!". "Đubre", pronounced (Jubreh, with an r like Dracula would pronounce it) meaning "Manure", is the default negative descriptor for any malicious or "bad" person, and can be used in a variation af the colourfull phrase "Rasulo ga kao đubre po nikšićkom drumu" - "He's got himself thrown all over the place like manure all over the road in Nikšić", which is a colurfull way of sayin somebody really beat somebody at something (like a bar fight, or a football match).
So that's all for now, not so many bizzare ones, but kind of giving you the basics, and for the end the fun way make an instant clusterfuck:
"Jebo te Bog te jebo da te jebo! (.. te Bog da te jebo dabogda! repeat ad nauseum)". Basicaly untranslatable but meaning "May God fuck you, may He fuck you, God - that's who, may he fuck you, and may God allow God to fuck you, by God....." I'ts meant to sugest a surge of rage and loss for words. Sort of like an agressive mantra :D
Also fun one I just remembered: "Jebo te Bog na današnji dan!" - "May God fuck you on this very day!" implying the monumental historical ocassion of the impending fuck you will recieve from God which will put this day into the calendar to be further on reffered to as "the day God really fucked that guy".
hope you enjoyed it, Luka
Oh, yes, just remembered one more phrase, not sure about it being Serbian, but Croatian it deffinitely is:
"Odjeb" is a noun which somehow came to be, and it means "a fuckoff". As in, if you're using any phrase to put some down, to refuse someone you're giving him a "fuckoff", or you're getting one. If, say, they refuse your job application, if they hang the phon up on you, if a potential partner rebukes your proposal, if the bank refuses ou credit. There is a popular rap song called "Odjeb je lansiran" which means "A fuckoff has been launched" which lists the nuber of things/people the guys are sending their fondest "fuck you's" to.
"Odjebi!" would be the same thing in verb form, imperative, a command meaning "Fuck off!" Where it takes a turn for the bizzare is the phrase "Odjebi u skokovima!" which is ment to be nonsensical and literally translates as "Fuck off while hopping (in a direction away from here)!".