Sunday, 23 July 2017

Quebec Swear Words

I have often laughed at actors in movies portraying a frustrated French Canadian yelling out a loud "Tabernak!!" I laughed, but I never really understood the meaning behind the french curse words. This post is for those who have ever wondered why Quebec swear words have a religious tone to them.

photo from MTL Blog

Swear words are words that are meant to stick it to the man, whether it be the government or your boss, or in the case of early Quebec, the Catholic church. In Quebec's case, the church was in the driver's seat. The clergy governed nearly every aspect of society in 19th century Quebec, which naturally pissed off a lot of people. Quebecers converted these words that were deemed sacred by the church, turning the untouchable sayings into harsh profanities. Such as Tabarnak (the tabernacle) , calice (the chalice) or esti (the bread).  

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