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18 Foreign Words That Sound Rude in English

You may not want to use these words in polite company until you know what they mean.

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Aholehole

This is a Hawaiian word for a small silvery fish found in tropical waters.

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Assapanick

Colonial leader Captain John Smith used this word in his journal in 1606. Native American tribes in Virginia used the term to describe a flying squirrel.

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Aktashite

Named for a village in Russia, aktashite is a term for a rare mineral composed of arsenic, copper, and mercury. Don’t miss these 15 words that used to mean completely different things.

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Bastinado

A Spanish word for thrashing or caning the feet, which dates back to the sixteenth century.

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Biche

Far from a derogatory term, this French word means doe.

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Clatterfart

A Tudor dictionary from 1552 defines this word as someone who is a gossip or a blabbermouth. Find out 70 words and phrases you’re probably using wrong.

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Coque

This French word means seashell.

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Dik-Dik

This is the word for a small antelope from Africa that’s known for its elongated snout.

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Fahrt

This German word means a trip or drive. Here are 10 commonly misused words you might be getting wrong.

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Haboob

An Arabic word for a violent sandstorm in the desert.

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Pakapoo

A Chinese term for a lottery that was popular in the nineteenth century. Find out 15 words that were inspired by real-life people.

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Phoque

In French, this term isn’t rude, it’s cute. The word means seal.

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Poonga

The name for an oil that comes from an Indian beech tree and is used to treat skin ailments. Don’t miss these 22 words and phrases that originated in the military.

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Pissala

A French term that originated in Nice that translates as “salted fish.” It’s a condiment made from pureed anchovies, olive oil, garlic, peppers, and herbs.

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Prick

This Dutch term means a dot or a spot. Find out 12 surprisingly offensive words you need to stop using.

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Shittah

This Hebrew term comes from Northeast Africa and the Middle East, where it refers to a type of acacia tree.

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Slagroom

This Dutch word translates into a treat: whipped cream.

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Womit

In German, this term isn’t about getting sick, it’s used by pontificators. The word means “whereby.” Next, enjoy these 12 quirky words with no English equivalent.

 

 

Jen McCaffery
Jen McCaffery is an associate editor for Reader’s Digest. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Prevention, Rhode Island Monthly, and other publications and websites. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s growing veggies or trying to figure out the way home from assorted trails.