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  #1  
Old 07-06-2009, 09:07 AM
Ronald C. Semone Ronald C. Semone is offline
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"Bull Shit" in other languages

Do other languages have an equivalent to the American expression "bull shit"? For that matter, do non-American English-speaking countries use the expression "bull shit" as it is used in the United States?
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2009, 09:12 AM
Jerseyman Jerseyman is offline
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Yes but in Ireland and the UK, it would come 3rd after Bollocks or Cobblers (rhyming slang: Cobbler's awl). Irishism, He's a bollox - useless and usually unpleasant with it.
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2009, 09:12 AM
Olentzero Olentzero is offline
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Swedish: 'skitsnack' - don't ask me to transcribe the pronunciation - which is used in the same way.
Russian has херня (kher-NYA) - used in the same manner.

Be careful, however, if you're collecting these expressions for later use. Most Swedes wouldn't blink if you used the word, although some might show mild disapproval, whereas using the Russian word will automatically give everyone within earshot a very low opinion of you.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:18 AM
bordelond bordelond is offline
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Originally Posted by Jerseyman View Post
... or Cobblers (rhyming slang: Cobbler's awl).
... what does "Cobbler's awl" rhyme with?
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2009, 10:29 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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I used to have a boss from El Salvador who jokingly said "mierda de toro" which is a literal translation into Spanish, but then said they don't actually say that. She didn't say whether they had a different idiom with the same meaning.
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2009, 10:59 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bordelond View Post
... what does "Cobbler's awl" rhyme with?
Balls. http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-cob1.htm
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2009, 11:00 AM
Superfluous Parentheses Superfluous Parentheses is offline
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Dutch: "gelul". Scroll down the the entry on Lol
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2009, 11:34 AM
wintertime wintertime is offline
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There are quite a lot of German words that have a similar, but in each case slightly different meaning:

Bockmist
Firlefanz
Schmarrn (in place of all the innumerous dialect words)
Kladderadatsch
Larifari
Mumpitz
Schmonzes, Schmoo (Yiddish)

.. and many more.

I'd say that Firlefanz, Kladderadatsch and Mumpitz are pretty close in meaning, but, as these things go, a better one will cross my mind a second after I have clicked the post-button.
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2009, 01:07 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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French: "merde." But that's excrement generally, and not necessarily that of a barnyard animal.
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2009, 01:11 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Originally Posted by Superfluous Parentheses View Post
So if somebody did something for the lulz, would penis ensue?
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2009, 01:29 PM
Sapo Sapo is offline
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In Venezuela they use "paja" (both "straw" as what you feed to cows, and "semen" as what you ejaculate). Someone is "hablando paja" means someone is bullshitting you. People might also say "he can feed herds" to mean someone prone to bullshit. You can also do the jerk off hand sign to signify without words that someone is bullshitting you.
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2009, 01:55 PM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is offline
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Very common phrase in New Zealand. Often shortened to just 'bull', or, more commonly, 'no bull,' when you're challenged on what you're saying.


"You're telling me you drank six pints of beer in five minutes?"

"Yeah, no bull!"
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2009, 01:59 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
Very common phrase in New Zealand. Often shortened to just 'bull', or, more commonly, 'no bull,' when you're challenged on what you're saying.
That's common American usage, too.
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2009, 03:56 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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I seem to recall that in Guatemala, the word was basura (garbage) said very forcefully.
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2009, 04:09 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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I'd heard the Chinese equivalent was "dog farts". Is that correct?
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2009, 05:39 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Place your arms in front of your chest, with the right one on top of the left. Take the first 2 fingers of your right hand, and point them up at an angle, like a bull's ears. With your left hand, lift all the fingers together, like a bull's tail being lifted to ...

That is "bullshit" in American Sign Language. (But I'm pretty sure it is an unofficial addition to the language.) But a clear & memorable meaning!
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  #17  
Old 07-06-2009, 05:40 PM
wintertime wintertime is offline
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Ok, I might have been stupid the first time I answered: did you mean by bull shit a vulgarism or did you also mean it in its sense as a variety of nonsense?

In the first sense, you can strike off all of my listed words except for the first one; if you refered to its second meaning, strike off none.

Last edited by wintertime; 07-06-2009 at 05:43 PM..
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  #18  
Old 07-06-2009, 09:54 PM
MarcinCiez MarcinCiez is offline
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Originally Posted by sandra_nz View Post
Very common phrase in New Zealand. Often shortened to just 'bull', or, more commonly, 'no bull,' when you're challenged on what you're saying.


"You're telling me you drank six pints of beer in five minutes?"

"Yeah, no bull!"
Yep.. aussie as well... Plus "Bull Crap". Or... "are you shitting me?" (there are others, but I wanted to stick to the theme)

Polish - "gówno" (shit).
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  #19  
Old 07-06-2009, 10:37 PM
missred missred is offline
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I'm not certain if it's used in general French, but when I was with a student group touring France a million and two years, we would play the card game Bullshit while in traffic on the tour bus. Our student chaperone, however, insisted that we get in the spirit of travel and rename it Merde de vache.
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  #20  
Old 07-06-2009, 11:15 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Originally Posted by MarcinCiez View Post
Yep.. aussie as well... Plus "Bull Crap". Or... "are you shitting me?" (there are others, but I wanted to stick to the theme)
Canada too.
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  #21  
Old 07-07-2009, 12:47 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Northeastern Spain:

In the sense of "nonsense", chorradas would be an impolite version; deja ya de decir chorradas could be translated as an irate "cut the crap, damnit." The polite version of "nonsense" is tonterías (lit. "stupid stuff"). Catalan the same, xorrades (sounds like chorradas but the x is softer than the ch) or tonterías (the o is halfway to u and the a is halfway to e).

As a verb, it can be decir chorradas/tonterías, or it can be tomar el pelo (lit "grab (someone) by his hair"). In Catalan this would be aixecar la faldilla or aixecar la camisa, lit "to lift her skirts" or "to lift his shirt" (yes, that's sexual); the Catalan version can also mean "to con someone" or be used in its actual literal meaning.

Someone who's full of bullshit está cargado de puñetas (està carregat de punyetas in Catalan). Puñetas are a specific kind of lace which used to decorate the sleeves of lawyers (and in the UK still does), so someone who's full of bullshit is... a lawyer.
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  #22  
Old 07-07-2009, 01:49 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseyman View Post
Yes but in Ireland and the UK, it would come 3rd after Bollocks or Cobblers (rhyming slang: Cobbler's awl). Irishism, He's a bollox - useless and usually unpleasant with it.
If a cockney rhyming slang term can be found on the internet, it is no longer current slang.


t-bonham@scc.net, I was taught: In ASL, take your right hand and form "horns" with your index and little fingers, the rest forming a fist. Cross your arms over your chest, right over left. With the left hand make flicking gestures with all the digits.
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  #23  
Old 07-07-2009, 01:54 AM
Myrrajh Myrrajh is offline
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My dad always told us kids that "El toro poopoo" meant BS in Spanish.
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  #24  
Old 07-07-2009, 01:56 AM
jovan jovan is offline
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
French: "merde." But that's excrement generally, and not necessarily that of a barnyard animal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by missred View Post
I'm not certain if it's used in general French, but when I was with a student group touring France a million and two years, we would play the card game Bullshit while in traffic on the tour bus. Our student chaperone, however, insisted that we get in the spirit of travel and rename it Merde de vache.
Merde is used a lot in French, but not really in the sense of "bullshit". If you say of something that it's "merde," it means that it's a piece of shit. You might say it of something someone said, but the connotation is slightly different: "your opinion's shit." Also, in some contexts, merde can mean "luck." So, in French, if you tell someone you won the lottery and they tell you you're "full of shit," they actually mean that you're a lucky bastard!

The closest you can come to "bullshit" in French is connerie.

French Canadians often use the English "bullshit" when speaking French.
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  #25  
Old 07-07-2009, 02:24 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by Myrrajh View Post
My dad always told us kids that "El toro poopoo" meant BS in Spanish.
Poopoo is a kiddie word for shit, but that's a literal (and kiddie) translation with extreme bad grammar; the correct gramar would be popó de toro (in grownup, mierda de toro). Nobody would understand what the heck you're talking about though, whether your grammar was correct or not, except if they've been subjected to a sufficient amount of mistranslated English.

Last edited by Nava; 07-07-2009 at 02:26 AM..
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  #26  
Old 07-07-2009, 02:33 AM
Myrrajh Myrrajh is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Poopoo is a kiddie word for shit, but that's a literal (and kiddie) translation with extreme bad grammar; the correct gramar would be popó de toro (in grownup, mierda de toro). Nobody would understand what the heck you're talking about though, whether your grammar was correct or not, except if they've been subjected to a sufficient amount of mistranslated English.
I should have added that dad said that with a twinkle in his eye. We knew he was kidding, but it sounded funny and we laughed about it for years.
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  #27  
Old 07-07-2009, 03:03 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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"Bullshit" (pronounced Boolsheet) is used in Hebrew, alongside more traditional words like Shtuyot ("nonsense"), Charta (a bastardized Arabic word for "crap") and Ziyun Moach ("brain fuck").

Last edited by Alessan; 07-07-2009 at 03:03 AM..
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  #28  
Old 07-07-2009, 03:09 AM
Lars Aruns Lars Aruns is offline
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Italian has the word stronzata for this. It sort of means "turd stuff", coming from stronzo, turd. This is mostly for Central and Southern Italy.
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  #29  
Old 07-07-2009, 03:57 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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In Chinese, one way to state bluntly that a proposition is invalid would be 不是 bú shì. Literally means 'it is not', but when pronounced with gusto--a rising tone followed by a falling tone-- it sort of makes a homonym with you-know-what.
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  #30  
Old 07-07-2009, 04:35 AM
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" Bakwas " means nonsense in Hindi .
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  #31  
Old 07-07-2009, 05:06 AM
grimpixie grimpixie is offline
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In Afrikaans the word for shit is "kak" and is used pretty much as bullshit is used in South African English.
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  #32  
Old 07-07-2009, 05:55 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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I just remembered a similar expression in Spanish but it's a false friend, it means something else. Just thought I'd mention it for our posters who might get confused if they encounter it: caca de la vaca indicates a worthless object or worthless information which had initially been thought to be worth something. For example "that 'antique' vase? Turns out it was a copy, caca de la vaca."
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  #33  
Old 07-07-2009, 08:47 AM
smithsb smithsb is offline
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In American Military English, they teach the Colonels who are about to become Generals (and will face more public forums) to say, "amazing".
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  #34  
Old 07-07-2009, 01:55 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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In Czech, there's a word that comes pretty close to "to bullshit," except in its most literal sense as bovine excrement. "Kecat" (pron. KETS-at) can mean to tell a whopper, to talk nonsense, or to shoot the breeze with a friend about matters of little importance.

Last edited by pravnik; 07-07-2009 at 01:55 PM..
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  #35  
Old 07-07-2009, 02:13 PM
Peanuthead Peanuthead is offline
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Originally Posted by Myrrajh View Post
I should have added that dad said that with a twinkle in his eye. We knew he was kidding, but it sounded funny and we laughed about it for years.
Here's one for the old man. Joe "King" Carrasco
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  #36  
Old 07-07-2009, 02:23 PM
Duke Duke is offline
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
"Bullshit" (pronounced Boolsheet) is used in Hebrew...
When I lived in a flat with two Welshmen, I only picked up two "words" in Welsh: "bullshit" and "fuckin'." Even when they spoke in Welsh, they would swear in English.
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  #37  
Old 07-07-2009, 03:26 PM
Superfluous Parentheses Superfluous Parentheses is offline
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Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
So if somebody did something for the lulz, would penis ensue?
penii
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  #38  
Old 07-07-2009, 03:38 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Originally Posted by Duke View Post
When I lived in a flat with two Welshmen, I only picked up two "words" in Welsh: "bullshit" and "fuckin'." Even when they spoke in Welsh, they would swear in English.
Hebrew is great at integrating foreign cure-words; your average Israeli will find ways to swear in English, Arabic, Yiddish, Russian and Ladino. Probably has something to do with the fact that Hebrew has very few profanities of its own.

Actually, it isn't just profanity. When Israelis meet, they usually say "Hi" or "Ahalan"; when they part, it's often with a "Yallah bye" - the Hebrew equivalent of "see ya." It's an interesting language.
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  #39  
Old 07-07-2009, 06:29 PM
Satellite^Guy Satellite^Guy is offline
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Courtesy of The Smothers Brothers:

"El Toro Crappo!"

S^G
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  #40  
Old 07-08-2009, 12:22 AM
Oslo Ostragoth Oslo Ostragoth is offline
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An interesting thread. To me, an exclamation of "Bullshit", more likely means "You're lying", than "You've just said a bit of nonsense".

Any previous posters care to address this interpretation?
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  #41  
Old 07-08-2009, 05:14 AM
wintertime wintertime is offline
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Originally Posted by Oslo Ostragoth View Post
An interesting thread. To me, an exclamation of "Bullshit", more likely means "You're lying", than "You've just said a bit of nonsense".

Any previous posters care to address this interpretation?
I think Harry Frankfurt's distinction between lying and bullshitting is quite useful; the German words I mentioned, especially Mumpitz, Firlefanz and Kladderadatsch, follow a similar thought, though they differ in meaning and usage.
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  #42  
Old 07-08-2009, 11:24 PM
Oslo Ostragoth Oslo Ostragoth is offline
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I think Harry Frankfurt's distinction between lying and bullshitting is quite useful; ....
Yeah. A better explanation than my own.
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  #43  
Old 07-09-2009, 03:11 AM
Peanuthead Peanuthead is offline
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Old Navy joke:

Do you know the difference between a Fairy Tale and a Sea Story?

A Fairy Tale starts out: "Once Upon A Time"

and a Sea Story starts out: "Now This Is No Bullshit".
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  #44  
Old 07-09-2009, 03:27 AM
Tabby_Cat Tabby_Cat is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
In Chinese, one way to state bluntly that a proposition is invalid would be 不是 bú shì. Literally means 'it is not', but when pronounced with gusto--a rising tone followed by a falling tone-- it sort of makes a homonym with you-know-what.
Bu shi is far, far, far too polite. Bu shi sounds about as hoity as "No it is not". BU! Would be more forceful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
I'd heard the Chinese equivalent was "dog farts". Is that correct?
Approximately correct. Although, the typical phrase would be more like "what dog farts you're letting off!"

Wikipedia tells me that "fang pi", or fart (farting), is also used - I'd almost forgotten!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_profanity
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  #45  
Old 07-09-2009, 03:49 AM
auRa auRa is offline
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In Finnish we say "puhua paskaa", to talk shit, said words being "paskapuhetta", shit speak. Something can also be "hevonpaskaa", horse shit, but it's a bit less common. If someone is trying to tell you something that is not true, you can also say they are trying to "kusettaa", or piss you. Also "kusta silmään", to piss in someone's eye, is to deceive someone.

Of course, we have also appropriated the English expression into a handy verb "bullshitata", which is used quite commonly to refer to, for example, what we Marketing students do in our exam answers.
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  #46  
Old 07-09-2009, 04:42 AM
The Stafford Cripps The Stafford Cripps is offline
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Do people in America say "That's (utter) crap!" or "you're talking crap!"? They're pretty common in Britain.

While people in Scotland would know what you meant by "bullshit" I think they'd be more likely to say "that's shite!".
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  #47  
Old 07-09-2009, 04:54 AM
An Arky An Arky is offline
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I know we use the phrase "talkin' shit" in the South, at least. It could mean either bullshit or being provocative.

Last edited by An Arky; 07-09-2009 at 04:55 AM..
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  #48  
Old 07-09-2009, 06:55 AM
Švejk Švejk is offline
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Originally Posted by pravnik View Post
In Czech, there's a word that comes pretty close to "to bullshit," except in its most literal sense as bovine excrement. "Kecat" (pron. KETS-at) can mean to tell a whopper, to talk nonsense, or to shoot the breeze with a friend about matters of little importance.
There's also 'hovno', which is animal shit generally, but which is used as bull shit. There's also 'hnůj', which also means animal shit, but which is used to refer to people.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:48 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by G. Odoreida View Post
Do people in America say "That's (utter) crap!" or "you're talking crap!"? They're pretty common in Britain.
Yes, occasionally, but that's usually stronger than Bullshit! Bullshit! can be said with a grin, which softens it.
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  #50  
Old 07-09-2009, 06:17 PM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jovan View Post
Also, in some contexts, merde can mean "luck." So, in French, if you tell someone you won the lottery and they tell you you're "full of shit," they actually mean that you're a lucky bastard!
I would include a slight correction to this: you say "merde" to someone, indicating "good luck", before they engage in the activity requiring luck, e.g. buying a lottery ticket, going on stage, etc. Kind of like how you tell an actor "Break a leg" in English-speaking countries. If they've already won the lottery, it wouldn't occur to me to say "merde" to them - they've already had the good luck. It would be like telling an actor "Break a leg" after they come offstage and their performance is over.
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