Swear in different languages

Swear in Different Languages

Discover 'Swear' in 134 Languages: Dive into Translations, Hear Pronunciations, and Uncover Cultural Insights.

Updated on March 6, 2024

Swearing is a part of many cultures and languages around the world. It can be used to express strong emotions, emphasize a point, or even add humor to a conversation. But have you ever wondered how to swear in different languages?

Understanding the translation of swear words can provide insight into the cultural significance of certain phrases and the values of a society. For example, in German, 'Scheisse' is a common swear word, which literally translates to 'shit'. However, it's important to note that using such words in different cultural contexts can have varying degrees of offensiveness and acceptability.

Moreover, exploring the etymology of swear words can reveal fascinating historical contexts. For instance, the English word 'goddamn' originated as a euphemism to avoid taking the Lord's name in vain. Meanwhile, the Spanish equivalent, 'joder', is believed to have originated from the verb 'to bother' or 'to annoy'.

Join us as we delve into the translations of the word 'swear' in different languages and discover the unique cultural nuances that come with it.


Swear in Sub-Saharan African Languages

The word "vloek" in Afrikaans can also mean "curse" and is derived from the Proto-West Germanic word "*flōkan", meaning "to lament" or "to cry out in grief".
The word "እምለው" also means "to curse" or "to revile".
'Rantsuwa' is also a word for 'oath' and shares the same origin with 'ranto', meaning 'promise'.
Igboụọ iyi
In Igbo cosmology, the act of swearing is believed to be a powerful force that can have both positive and negative consequences, depending on the intention and circumstances.
The word "mianiana" in Malagasy is derived from the Arabic word "ma'na" meaning "oath".
Nyanja (Chichewa)lumbira
The word "lumbira" can also mean "to curse" in Nyanja.
"Kupika" can also mean to "mix" or "stir" a liquid in Shona.
"Dhaarid" is related to the Somali word "dhaar," which means "vow" or "oath," and the Proto-Somali word "*dheer," which means "straight" or "long."
The Sesotho word 'hlapanya' originates from the Bantu root '-lapana', which also means 'to smear' or 'to plaster' and is related to the noun 'lepa' (mud plaster)
The word "kuapa" in Swahili has several meanings, including "to swear," "to promise," and "to take an oath."
The Xhosa word "funga" can also mean "to promise" or "to vow."
The Yoruba word "búra" also means "curse" or "malediction".
In some contexts, "funga" can also refer to making a promise or vow.
Bambaraka kalen
Eweka atam
Lingalakolapa ndai
Twi (Akan)ka ntam

Swear in North African & Middle Eastern Languages

In addition to “swearing,” aṣama (أقسم) meant “to cause to share” in pre-Islamic Arabic, and can still have this second meaning in certain contexts and expressions.
The Hebrew verb "לְקַלֵל" (l'kalel) can also mean "to curse" or "to speak evil of".
Pashtoقسم کول
The Pashto word "قسم کول" also denotes "to declare solemnly" or "to pledge or to promise."
In addition to “swearing,” aṣama (أقسم) meant “to cause to share” in pre-Islamic Arabic, and can still have this second meaning in certain contexts and expressions.

Swear in Western European Languages

The word "betohem" in Albanian originates from the Proto-Albanian word "b*t-n-o" meaning "oath" or "curse".
Basquezin egin
The Basque word 'zin egin' is literally translated to 'to do sin', suggesting that the act of swearing was once considered an immoral act
In Catalan, "jurar" can also mean "to swear an oath" or "to vow".
Croatianzakleti se
Croatian verb "zakleti se" also means to curse and has many synonyms, including "kletva" and "kleti".
The Danish word "sværge" also has the meanings "to curse" and "to vow".
The Dutch word "zweer" can also mean "ulcer" or "abscess".
The verb “swear” comes from the Old English word “swerian,” meaning "to make an oath or promise."
In French, "jurer" can also mean "to make a formal statement under oath" or "to declare solemnly".
The Frisian word 'swarre' is cognate with English 'swear', but its root is in Old Norse 'svarra', meaning 'to answer'.
"Xurar" originates from the Latin "iūro" and also means "to attest" or "to assure" in Galician.
The term "schwören" in German traces its origins to the Proto-Germanic root "swer-", meaning "to answer or agree".
The Icelandic word "sverja" is also used to refer to an oath or vow, and is related to the Old Norse word "sverja", meaning "to swear".
The word "mionn" can also mean "promise" or "vow".
The word "giurare" derives from the Latin word "iurare" and originally meant to "speak solemnly" or "promise under oath".
"Schwieren" has a double meaning: to swear an oath or to swear at somebody.
The Maltese word "naħlef" is also used to refer to a solemn promise or oath
The Norwegian word "sverge" has its roots in the Old Norse word "sverja", which means "to promise solemnly to do or not to do something"
Portuguese (Portugal, Brazil)xingar
The Brazilian word "xingar" comes from the Portuguese "chingar", which itself derives from the Spanish "cingar", ultimately tracing back to the Latin "cingere" ("to envelop").
Scots Gaelicmionnachadh
The word "mionnachadh" can also refer to a "vow" or "oath" in Scots Gaelic.
The verb "jurar" can also mean "to promise" or "to assure" in Spanish.
In Swedish, svära can also refer to a parent-in-law or swearing at someone.
The Welsh word "rhegi" also means "to crack, split or burst", a meaning derived from its Proto-Celtic and Proto-Indo-European roots.

Swear in Eastern European Languages

The word "лаяцца" is derived from the Proto-Slavic word "lajati", which means "to scold or to curse".
Bosniankunem se
The word "kunem se" also means "curse or vow" in Bosnian.
Bulgarianзакълни се
The word "Закълни се" also means "to pledge" or "to vow" in Bulgarian.
As a noun, "přísaha" can also mean "oath"
In Estonian, the word "vanduma" not only means to swear, but also to take an oath, make a vow, or curse.
"Vannoa" may derive from the word "vanha" ("old", "venerable") by way of the concept of "swearing an oath upon something old", i.e. swearing solemnly.
The word "esküszik" derives from the Proto-Uralic word for "to speak", indicating that taking an oath was originally seen as a speech act.
"Zvēru" in Latvian derives from Proto-Slavic "*zveriti", which meant "to make an animal roar", "to call upon animals", "to hunt" and "to chase".
The word "prisiekti" can also mean "to take an oath".
Macedonianсе колнам
The Proto-Slavic form *klęti (from Proto-Indo-European *ḱelh₂-) could also imply 'invoke', in the sense of uttering a religious oath as a magical formula.
The Polish word "przysięgać" also means "to swear an oath" in English.
The word "jura" in Romanian is derived from the Latin word "jurare", meaning "to swear" or "to take an oath", and has the same meaning in Romanian.
The Russian word "клянусь" can also mean "to promise".
Serbianзакуни се
The verb 'Закуни се' can also mean 'to swear an oath' or 'to make a promise'.
The word "prisahať" shares its root with the word "prisaha" (oath) and means "to take an oath" or "to make a vow".
The word "preklinjati" is derived from the Proto-Slavic word "preklinati", which means "to curse" or "to invoke evil upon someone". In Slovenian, it has retained this meaning, as well as acquiring the additional meaning of "to swear".
The word "присягати" in Ukrainian derives from the Old Church Slavonic "присѣгати", meaning "to make a promise"

Swear in South Asian Languages

"কসম" can be traced back to the Sanskrit word "kuśama" meaning "to be angry or enraged"
Gujaratiશપથ લેવો
The word "શપથ" (oath) is derived from the Sanskrit word "śapatha" meaning "promise". In Gujarati, it also means to "take an oath" or to "vow".
Hindiकसम खाता
The word 'कसम खाता' can also mean 'to promise' or 'to vow' in Hindi, and is derived from the Sanskrit word 'svaṃ saṃsthā', meaning 'one's own establishment'.
Kannadaಪ್ರತಿಜ್ಞೆ ಮಾಡಿ
The word "ಪ್ರತಿಜ್ಞೆ ಮಾಡಿ" in Kannada has its roots in the Sanskrit word "प्रतिज्ञा" meaning "oath". It can also refer to a promise or vow made to a deity or a respected person.
Malayalamസത്യം ചെയ്യുക
In ancient Sanskrit, 'സത്യം' meant 'truth' or 'reality', and 'ചെയ്യുക' means 'to do' or 'to perform', hence its literal meaning is 'to perform truth' or 'to speak the truth'.
The Marathi word "शपथ" (śapatha) has its roots in the Sanskrit word "सपथ" (sapath), meaning "oath" or "vow". It also has a less common meaning of "an agreement" or "a promise".
The word "कसम" derives from the Sanskrit word "शपथ" (śapatha), meaning "oath" or "vow".
Punjabiਸਹੁੰ ਖਾਓ
The word 'ਸਹੁੰ ਖਾਓ' ultimately derives from Ancient Greek 'homilos' via Arabic and Persian, and also means 'oath, vow', 'promise, pledge, sacred promise', 'word of honour', 'covenant', 'troth', 'faith', 'engagement', and 'warranty'.
Sinhala (Sinhalese)දිවුරන්න
The verb "දිවුරන්න" is derived from the Sanskrit word "div" meaning "to swear". It can also mean "to affirm", "to promise", or "to take an oath".
Urduقسم کھانا
قسم کھانا means 'to swear' in Urdu and has additional meanings like 'to promise' or 'to vow'.

Swear in East Asian Languages

Chinese (Simplified)发誓
发誓 is also a term used in traditional Chinese oath-taking ceremonies.
Chinese (Traditional)發誓
The character 發 in 發誓 refers to both "hair" and "vows," reflecting the ancient practice of binding vows to locks of hair.
The word '誓う' can also mean to 'promise' or 'vow', and is often used in formal or legal settings.
"저주" can also refer to a curse, imprecation, or an oath
"Тангарагла" - originally meant "to make a promise before Heaven or a god".
Myanmar (Burmese)ကျိန်ဆို
ကျိန်ဆို (swear) derives from a Mon-Khmer root meaning both "to curse" and "to love" and is related to other words for "love" and "affection" in other Southeast Asian languages, suggesting its original meaning may have been closer to "to bind" or "to attach."

Swear in South East Asian Languages

Bersumpah can also mean "to agree", "to swear an oath", or "to bind oneself" in Indonesian.
"Sumpah" in Javanese also means "prayer".
In Khmer, ស្បថ (swear) can also mean to vow or promise solemnly.
"Bersumpah" shares the same root word as "sumpah", which has several different but related meanings depending on context, including "curse" and "oath".
This word has two sources. One is "ศัพท์" which means "word", and the other is "บาน" which means "to open", so it means "to open a word."
Vietnamesexin thề
The word xin thề derives from Chinese 誓 (shì), meaning "oath" or "promise".
Filipino (Tagalog)magmura

Swear in Central Asian Languages

Azerbaijaniand içmək
"And içmək" in Azerbaijani also means "to spit" in Turkish.
Kazakhант беру
The Kazakh word "ант беру" can also refer to "taking an oath" or "making a vow".
"Ант" can be translated as "oath", not only as "curse".
Tajikқасам хӯрдан
In a religious context, "қасам хӯрдан" can also mean to make an oath or affirmation.
Turkmenant iç
Uzbekqasam ichish
In Uzbek, "qasam ichish" also means "to take an oath" or "to give a promise".

Swear in Pacific Languages

The Hawaiian word “hoʻohiki” means to “swear,” but also has the meanings of “to cause to vow,” “to promise,” and “to command.”
The word 'oati' is a corruption of the English word 'oath'.
The word "palauvale" can also mean "to curse" or "to blaspheme".
Tagalog (Filipino)sumpa
"Sumpa" is derived from the Proto-Austronesian root word "*sumpah", which also means "curse" or "oath."

Swear in American Indigenous Languages

Aymaraphuqhaw saña

Swear in International Languages

"Ĵuri" is derived from the French "jurer" and also means "to make a solemn promise."
The word "Testor" can also mean "to prove" or "to bear witness" in Latin.

Swear in Others Languages

In Greek, the word "ορκίζομαι" also means "to cause someone to swear" or "to conjure someone in the name of a deity."
Hmonghais lus dev
The term "hais lus dev" is derived from the Chinese phrase "hài shí lù de," which means "to speak evil words"
Nifirkirin is a colloquial term for swearing, derived from the Arabic word "nifq", meaning "hypocrisy" or "pretense".
Turkishyemin etmek
The word 'yemin' derives from the Arabic root 'yamn', meaning 'right' or 'direction', referring to the ancient practice of swearing by pointing to the right.
The Xhosa word "funga" can also mean "to promise" or "to vow."
The Yiddish word "שווערן" also means "to be pregnant" or "to be heavy".
In some contexts, "funga" can also refer to making a promise or vow.
Aymaraphuqhaw saña
Bhojpuriकसम खाईल
Dogriसगंध खाना
Filipino (Tagalog)magmura
Kurdish (Sorani)سوێند خواردن
Meiteilon (Manipuri)ꯋꯥꯁꯛ ꯁꯛꯄ
Odia (Oriya)ଶପଥ କର
Tatarант ит

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