Author Topic: 5 Quebec French Swear Words That Are Super Strange For People From France  (Read 1005 times)

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Offline W1RC

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I wondered why Quebec French swear words all have a religious connotation, so I looked into it. Apparently, the church was too powerful in 19th-century Quebec, controlling the population and therefore causing lots of frustration. Quebecers started turning religious terms into profanities, as a linguistic way to raise their middle finger.

Today, perhaps unsurprisingly, Quebec is by many measures the least religious province in Canada.

Here are five local Quebec curse words that are super weird for expats from France, until one day you have difficulty waking up for work and "tabarnak" is the first word that comes to mind.

Tabarnak

This equivalent to "f*ck" in Canadian French has to be my favourite swear word in this list, and perhaps the worst sacre of all. It comes from "tabernacle," a box where the host and blood of Christ are stored so where they put the sacred bread and wine basically.

Criss

Meaning "Christ," here's another interjection that you can use instead of saying "sh*t" or as a verb. For example, "s'en crisser" means '"to not give a damn." I hear this one at least once a week. Sorry, Jesus.

Esti

Used as a demeaning noun or adjective, this term derives from the holy host, which is the sacred bread Christians eat during mass. You can use ostie, estie, estiand evenstie, whatever floats your boat.

Calisse

This word comes from "chalice," the shiny goblet used in Christian ceremonies for holy wine. Can you believe nowadays the term means DAMN?

Ciboire

This one still sounds very weird to my ears. I don't hear it as much as "tabarnak," though they mean the same thing. The word comes from the "ciborium," the container for the Eucharist. You can also call someone by that name but you'll probably make a new enemy.