The Insult That Hurts Worldwide

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2009 4:51 AM CDT
The invective "motherf_cker" is a cross-cultural phenomenon that anthropologists say draws on two key elements in any good insult, sex and family.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Next time you want to indulge in a pulse-pounding, worldwide tradition, call somebody a motherf**ker, Nina Shen Rastogi writes at Slate. The Chinese, Africans, and Arabs are among those who have hurled versions of the indignity for generations. Anthropologists say it works because, like religion and scatology, family and sex are key elements in a good insult.

Variations around the world include:

  • "I urinate on your father's head and have intercourse with your mother!" (Turco-Mongolia)
  • "Go eat your mother's anus!" (Kenya)
  • "Grass mud horse!" (China—long story)
To learn about the history of the insult in America, click the link below.