View Full Version : Curse Origin ; Fleas, Camel, Beard

08-06-2014, 10:56 AM
Where did the following curse originate;

"May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your beard."

Now I know Johnny Carson used variants of it (substitute 'crotch', 'armpit', etc.) back in the 70's, but I'm specifically asking about the exact quote referring to a beard. I assume that's where Carson got it from.

I clearly remember, and I've heard so from other people, that it was used in some old Black & White movie from maybe the 30's or 40's, but I can't find it. And maybe it goes back even further.

One person suggested the quote I'm chasing is actually drawn from an earlier quote;

"May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your enemy's beard."

I'd be happy to find out about either. Cites, anyone?

08-06-2014, 12:18 PM
In Classical Arabic:

لِتُعَشِّشْ بَراغيثُ أَلْفُ جَمَلٍ لِحْيَةَ عَدُوِّكَ

Li-tu‘ashshish barāghīth alf jamal liḥyat ‘adūwik