Naughty Language

I was pounding the sandbag yesterday (one-two, hook, one-two, hook) when Sensei put a CD on the stereo. The song he chose was a rather angry sounding hip-hop rap sort of thing.

It had naughty lyrics. Very naughty. Some of the words were ones I never even think, much less say…or sing…or rap.

I gave Sensei a wry look over my shoulder and he gave me a bad-little-boy smirk.

When the bell rang ending the round, he turned the music down and asked, innocently, “Eda-san, bad English?” “Yes, Sensei. Bad English.” I didn’t mind, really. The intensity of the anger in the song actually complimented the intensity of the exercise.

Sensei doesn’t speak English, but I know he knows all the naughty words. He was once at an international karate competition and was given an Australian roommate. With no language in common, the Ozzie spent his free time teaching Sensei all the naughty words. And foreign CDs sold in Japan always have a translation of the lyrics included with the liner notes.

The funny thing is that there aren’t many naughty words in Japanese. There’s バカ (baka = stupid) and クソ (kuso = poo), but that’s about it.  So if you’re watching one of those awful movies that contain nothing but naughty language, the sub-titles look something like this:

バカ バカ バカ。 クソ クソ クソ。
バカ クソ バカ。 クソ クソ。 バカ。

Many years ago, I was teaching at a commercial English conversation school and one day I had a private student who asked me, “What is ‘sheep’?”


“I was watching an Eddie Murphy movie last night and he kept saying things like, ‘Where’s the sheep?’ and ‘What a pile of sheep.’ and ‘Holy sheep!’ What does that mean?”

I looked at him for a moment, thinking, “Hmmm…I really don’t like you enough to take a chance on getting in trouble for teaching you something which you would probably never use, or more likely use at an inappropriate time.” (My old landlady used to give me the finger all the time. She thought it was funny.) And clearly he wasn’t paying very close attention if he mistook “sheep” for what Eddie was really saying.

So I said, “Maybe he doesn’t like sheep.”

My mother always said it is much more effective to stamp your foot and say “Butterflies!” than to use naughty language. And she’s right; people do notice when you do something like that, but it does make you look like a bit of a weenie.

Shoot! I was going to go for a nice long walk on this mild Saturday but it’s starting to rain.

バカ weather.  クソ.  Sheep.


8 thoughts on “Naughty Language”

  1. I got told that aho is kind of like baka in Kansai (and for some reason baka is super naughty in kansai and aho is super naughty in Tokyo. I like your out burst at the end 😀

  2. OMG love3 it Eda! thank you for a good laugh! tall order for people from hawaii; the island of make-you-choke-and-pee laughs. and you didn’t use a single bad word to get it…that’s rare for me. 🙂 don’t tell my mom i said that either. she still smacks me upside the head when i get バカ。。。usually for saying sheep too much.

  3. With the arrival of grandchildren and your sister’s request that I clean up my vocabulary (which was never very smutty in the first place) I’ve found myself saying “Oh Bother!” like Winnie the Pooh. Weenie? (which itself was a naughty word in my childhood)

    1. I guess weenie is a bit naughty, but I meant it in the non-anatomical sense, more of the wimp sense, and that’s not so naughty.

Any opinions about that? I love to hear from you.

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