Firefly's Chinese Swear Words

matthew's picture

So if you, like me, have been watching the DVDs of Firefly lately, and have been wondering what the actual translations of the Chinese curses used by the cast are, well, wonder no more.

If you actually like this kind of stuff, well, you're probably right up there with the people who use Klingon to swear at their mommas. But hey, I'm going to learn a couple of these, so that I can use them instead of my more mundane curses! I mean, why settle for a simple "Crap!" when you can say "Da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh la-doo-tze!" (Explosive diarrhea of an elephant) instead?

(Hey! You! Chinese Language Purist about to rip me a new one because you can't figure out what is said above! Why not read the site -- linked above as "wonder no more" -- before getting on my case? I'm just the messenger, and have absolutely zero interest in learning how to do anything in Chinese other than mutter unintelligible curses.)

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paul@murphymaphia.com's picture

cursing

I'm good with English curses. I've been practicing them so long, I've gotten really good at them.

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Visit my blog, eh!
The Murphy Maphia

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*This signature is an experiment in Google Bombing
mot propre

matthew's picture

Serenity...

Heh, with the recent release of Serenity, this page is getting hammered! And it's just a link to the page that has the info, not the source of the info itself...

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

paul@murphymaphia.com's picture

well...

Well, Ai ya, hwai leh! That's great!

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Visit my blog, eh!
The Murphy Maphia

--------
*This signature is an experiment in Google Bombing
mot propre

You can't even [expletive deleted] use

You can't even [expletive deleted] use proper pinyin to write the words? [expletive deleted] idiot. People who actually have taken the [expletive deleted] time the study Chinese won't be able to figure out what your [expletive deleted] is trying to write. ...[expletive deleted].

weed's picture

Wow, You're Cool

I know the topic is curse words, but you need to clean up your language. Check out the site and realize we talk like civilized folks around here.

Dropping f-bombs isn't a way to get your point across, nor the a-hole comment at the end. All it shows is you can't control your temper or language.

My $.02
Weed

My $.02
Weed

matthew's picture

Commentary

I think it's an interesting social commentary that the person who's castigating me for my inability to write Chinese is unable to write a coherent sentence in English himself. Really, I don't mind getting tongue-lashings for my language skills by someone without any.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

weed's picture

I'm Glad

I'm glad you did the needful and deleted his expletives ;)

My $.02
Weed

My $.02
Weed

Alot of the curses are in

Alot of the curses are in mandarin chinese, but I think I have heard a few in cantonese..

you can find a few here

http://www.insultmonger.com/swearing/mandarin.htm

matthew's picture

Cool, thanks!

Cool, thanks for the follow-up information!

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Chinese swear words

If you are looking to learn how to swear in Chinese, My friends and I have
put together a Chinese Swear Words Flashcard Software. You can
down load it from our website.

http://www.baianed.com/index.html

If you want to add a link to our page, here are a bunch of link Images I created.

http://www.baianed.com/page/page/3575137.htm

Hope this helps.

-Brian

matthew's picture

Useful!

See, now that's a useful comment! What could be more useful than studying Chinese so that you can swear in the language more effectively?

Then again, if you're involved in any manufacturing or textiles business, Chinese is rapidly becoming a lingua franca to get it done for a reasonable cost...

--
Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

A good book to get if you're into cursing

Hi,
Great idea to transcribe the curses! I wanted to let you know of a good book called _Outrageous Chinese: A Guide to Chinese Street Language_ and it's by James J. Wang. It has a variety of curse words as well as warnings about homophones -- how to avoid inadvertently saying something inappropriate.

Oh -- and for the person who's irate about the pinyin -- even though that's the most modern method of transliteration, it's not the only one, and anyone who's studied Chinese and pinyin for any length of time would be able to figure it out. Try thinking instead of swearing.

Testify!

Mr/Ms Anonymous here speaks for all speakers and students of Chinese. You really need your pinyin, buddy. In Chinese, tones change the meaning of a word, not just the emphasis. Using the four tones of Mandarin, respectively, "ma" can mean "mother," "hemp," "horse," and "to curse". Also, if you believe "ma" without a designated tone to be a tone of its own, then "ma" is a particle indicating a question.
In short, you need to do your research.

Dictionary?

matthew's picture

Why are you telling me this?

Umm, dude/dudette, why are you telling me this? I just found this nifty site which explains the meaning of the various Chinese swear phrases found in Firefly. The point is to entertain those who have watched the US show and would like to know what those phrases mean... not the other way around.

Regardless, they've improved the site in the YEARS since I posted this original entry. I've updated this ancient blog entry to reflect the sensibilities of someone too lazy to bother clicking a link to figure out what I'm talking about.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

JB's picture

Say it aint so.. .

/start sarcasm

Say it aint so... Things have changed in 2 years ?

/end sarcasm

Timpane's picture

FUNNIEST SITE ON THE PLANET!!

Good lord, there are a lot of random people chiming in on old posts.

I did my research.. by watching more Firefly. All hail Whedon.

Visit the Official Justin Timpane Website
Music, Acting, and More!
www.timpane.com

NVZ: NINJAS VS ZOMBIES - THE MOVIE - www.nvzmovie.com
THE OFFICIAL JUSTIN TIMPANE WEBSITE - www.timpane.com

matthew's picture

Mm, Firefly!

Christy bought me the series for Christmas. Or did she buy it for her? Anyway, it's unopened down in the basement... Time to turn on the subtitles, pop some popcorn, and do some "research"!

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

Swearing in Chinese Software

Hey! I worked on Serenity! My friends and I got together and made a Software for Learning Chinese. Here is the Swearing One.

Insult away! Impress your friends, surprise your enemies, get slapped, or beaten up. It's now your choice how far to take it.

Includes several memory games to hone your ability to recognize the Characters, and to think in Chinese,
again choosing the interface you'd like.

Plus! Our Software can be downloaded and used Instantly! No Waiting! Pay, Download, Study. It's that easy.

My english is poor as a

My english is poor as a pity. It isn't my native language, but it's intresting!

Chinese curse words

So, let me get this straight, you're comparing a fondness for the study of a language spoken by over a billion people to a fondness for the study of Klingon, a fake language spoken by 20 people? That, sir, is unbelievably capricious of you.

matthew's picture

Uhh, actually...

I was comparing the interest in learning the obscure, fictional Chinese curses used on a short-lived television series to learning a few curses in a fictional language on another television series. So yeah, I stand by what I said as neither impulsive nor irrational. It is the interest in space-drama television minutiae which is the basis for comparison, you sophomoric boob.

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

Timpane's picture

heh..

you said boob

Visit the Official Justin Timpane Website
Music, Acting, and More!
www.timpane.com

NVZ: NINJAS VS ZOMBIES - THE MOVIE - www.nvzmovie.com
THE OFFICIAL JUSTIN TIMPANE WEBSITE - www.timpane.com

you guys need a Chinese dictionary

this one, www.nciku.com, is excellent, even when you don't know how to input the Chinese character, you can use its Chinese handwriting recognition feature, cool!

matthew's picture

Why do people take this seriously?

Why on earth do people take this page seriously and solemnly intone "you guys need a Chinese dictionary"? It's a discussion regarding someone else's now-defunct web site that purports to translate made-up Chinese curses in an imaginary culture of space-faring cowboys on a short-lived television show...

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

Timpane's picture

Solemnly Intone..

I solemnly intone my love of Joss.

Visit the Official Justin Timpane Website
Music, Acting, and More!
www.timpane.com

NVZ: NINJAS VS ZOMBIES - THE MOVIE - www.nvzmovie.com
THE OFFICIAL JUSTIN TIMPANE WEBSITE - www.timpane.com

But made-up ones are easier...

It's so much frackin' easier to simply use all the frelling shul-va nerfherder curse words from everything else (Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, Stargate, Star Wars, and most importantly, Farscape) instead of some Mandarin felgercarb. At least, I abso-fraggin-lutely think so.

Why it's back...

Wikipedia deleted their list of Firefly curse words, so this page turns up the only link that actually works, and show up near the top of Google.

muchos grassyass

Yes, I am like you...I've been watching firefly DVDs and have been wondering what the epxlicatives uttered are. And while being very fluent in English, Spanish and French cussing, I’ve always wondered what crap (or explosive elephant dung) comes out of these people’s mouths. So thank you...

re:klingon

quote (Klingon, a fake language spoken by 20 people?)

And you sir need to get your head out of your nether regions and learn the extent of the "Klingon language". 20 people?? 20 thousand plus I dare say.

Yes.. new comment to post almost a year old.. I'm aware.;

I love it. Given people are

I love it.
Given people are still arguing about all this stuff is a tribute to the popularity of Firefly...
and correct Chinese or not it sounds cool

Too it is pleasant to me,

Too it is pleasant to me, but I will not correct the Chinese language.

Yay! Firefly Chinese!

I know this is a late comment, but I just happened to come across it now. I just happened to watch Firefly on Hulu, so I had no idea of the Chinese background in the exposition of the story. I speak Chinese, of course, and I was so surprised to hear them speaking Chinese -- it was a space western! But some of the sentences I couldn't understand, so yay for you for putting up this site! I love the show, and I love all the mixtures of cultures and traditions. Thank you for clearing up the confusing phrases, and I'm totally with you on the preference to talk about explosive diarrhea of an elephant!
Don't mind the people who get on your case about pinyin. There's GR, there's Wade-Giles, and they ARE still used sometimes, even though pinyin's the official romanization. If you are interested in using pinyin, one way you can designate the tones is to put the number of the tone immediately after the word. For example, my name is Qiang2 (second tone) and Wu3 (third tone).
But don't worry about it. As you say, you're just clarifying some fun swearing from a great show. Thank you for posting this! I read it with interest.
ZQW

matthew's picture

Nice visitor

Nice to have a visitor that understands the point of the blog entry: to have some fun with Firefly's made-up Chinese swear phrases. I appreciate your note!

--
Matthew P. Barnson

--
Matthew P. Barnson

agree that it was the

agree that it was the coolest part, but, frankly speaking, i didn't really like the film. few episodes were really interesting, but the rest...

I wanted to let you know of

I wanted to let you know of a good book called _Outrageous Chinese: A Guide to Chinese Street Language_ and it's by James J. Wang.

Thanks for sharing great

Thanks for sharing great article mate. I’ve always wondered what crap (or explosive elephant dung) comes out of these people’s mouths. So thank you...

I just happened to watch

I just happened to watch Firefly on Hulu, so I had no idea of the Chinese background in the exposition of the story. I speak Chinese, of course, and I was so surprised to hear them speaking Chinese -- it was a space western! But some of the sentences I couldn't understand, so yay for you for putting up this site! I love the show, and I love all the mixtures of cultures and traditions

Wei!

Wuh duh ma huh tah duh fong kwong duh wai shung, this is so *shiny*! :-D

ur @%#$( stupid

if u practice saying %@#^ bad words in english get a @#%*&%* life u @#%^&$#!! @#%&# off!! @%#&^# heads

Shiny Site mathew...tysm for

Shiny Site mathew...tysm for helping...

Some of the sentences I

Some of the sentences I couldn't understand, so thank you for putting up this site! I love the show, and I love all the mixtures of cultures and traditions. Thank you for clearing up the confusing phrases!