How to swear in Romanian
When setting off on an adventure in a new country, every responsible backpacker should learn a few useful words and phrases in the local language. To help you get around on a daily basis, check out our list of Basic Words for Travelers in Romania. To really get to know the culture of a country, the first thing a serious traveler needs to learn is how to swear like a local! Admit it, it’s the first thing YOU wanted to learn too. To make your life easier, we selected the best local swears to teach you how to swear in Romanian.
Warning: the following may be offensive and is not intended for young or impressionable readers. (Grandma, please stop reading now – why don’t you have a look at our guests’ stories instead?)
Here are a few of the most common swear words you might encounter around Romania with a convenient English pronunciation guide and the appropriate situations to use them. So you want so swear in Romanian? Start from here:
La naiba! [la NIGH-baa] = Shit/Dammit !
Commonly used when you’ve been trying to do something without success or for unexpected events that attempt to ruin your day. E.g.: you missed the bus; when you got a parking ticket or when you stepped in a puddle
Futu-i [FOO-Too-ee] = Fuck!
Used in the same context as La naiba!, Cacat and Futu-i! are the next levels. When a situation or event it’s bad, then La naiba! it is appropriate. If it is worse, then you’re in Cacat! (Shit) and if it is the worst then you are futut (fucked) and the exclamation that goes with it is Futu-i! (Fuck!)
Du-te dracu! [DO tay DRAH koo] = Go to hell!
This selection of words is used for that special someone who is really stepping on your nerves and you just want to send them in a place that suits them better.
Pe dracu! [pe DRA-ku] = Bullshit!
If something is too good to be true, then it’s Bullshit! Pe dracu! is an interjection used in the moments of surprised caused by all those blatant lies and fragrant untruths out there. Literally meaning On the Devil! it implies that only him (the Devil) can believe that.
Ma-ta! [MUH-Tah] = Yo’ mamma!
We all know things get serious when you bring up your mum in a conversation. So be careful when you use Ma-ta! because there is no going back. Even more, is usually the catalyst of a swears war so make sure you are prepared for the battle.
If taking someone back to their origins is not enough, there are a few variations of the Ma-ta! swear that can help you intensify your feelings:
Te-a facut ma-ta pe cojile de seminte! [Te-a fuh-cut muh-tah pe coʒi de suh-min-tzee] = WIth no equivalent in English language, it literally means that you mum made you on the peels of sunflower seeds.
Some more explanations may be needed here. Basically, the sunflower seeds are a reference of the part of the population from the slums, with questionable endeavours and personal hygiene. So, this swear world implies that someone’s behaviour belongs there.
Du-te-n pisicii ma-tii! [DO-tayn pee-SEE-chee mah-tee] = Fuck off! (literally “Go into your mother’s cats”)
Another gem from yo’mamma section it implies cats and it sends someone into their mother’s cats. Why? Because why not?
Ceapa ma-tii! [CHA-pa MUH-tee] = Damn you! (literally “Your mother’s onions!”)
And, a personal favourite, this one involves the traditional cuisine. You mu
st have learnt by now that Romanian food is big on onions, but they’re use doesn’t stop here. So if you really want to swear in Romanian you need to know this one. Ceapa ma-tii! is that yo’mamma swear that makes an appeal to someone’s origins while keeping a level of decency by bringing this beloved vegetable in discussion.
Bou [Bow] = Asshole!(literally “ox”. Used when referring to a most delightful male specimen. Yes, that is sarcasm!)
When to use: in traffic! It also apply whenever a male does something stupid or/and annoying.
Măgar [muh-GAR] = Jackass!
It is used by the feminine sex to describe their male counterparts who are behaving in a rude or disrespectful way. A famous Romanian saying calls all the men Jackasses (“Toţi bărbaţii sunt măgari!)
Scorpie [SCORE-pee-eh] = Bitch
(referring to the female counterpart of “bou”. Together they make the perfect couple!) It is used by the males to describes all those women that have not treat them right and. so. they are scorpii (plural of scorpie). Eg. one’s mother-in-law can be a scorpie.
Curva [KUR-va] = Slut
A more aggressive way to call a woman, it implies that she is sneaky or/and a gold digger and/or she sleeps around.
Cur [kur] = ass
The slang term for buttocks.
Ţâţe [TSI-tse] = tits
The slang term for women’ breasts.
Ce puii mei? [Chay POO-ee May]= What the hell? (literally “What my chickens?)
Ce pusca mea / Ce pana mea? [chay POOSH-ka may-ah / chay PA-na may-ah] = What the fuck?! (literally “What my gun? / What my feather?)
From the section of rhetoric questions, someone may asks themselves Ce puii mei?/Ce pusca mea?/ Ce pans mea? happened in a certain unpleasant
situation, when nothing seems to make sense.
Plimba ursu! [PLEEM-bah OOR-sue] = Get the fuck out
! (literally “walk the bear!”
It used when you are trying to get rid of someone, so you kindly suggest them to take the bear for a walk. E.g. a rude way to avoid a salesman or a beggar.
Ma doare-n cot /paispe! [mah DWAR-en Kote / PIE-shpeh] = I don’t give a fuck! (literally “My elbow hurts / My fourteen parts hurt!)
When your elbow/fourteen parts hurt/s you reached a very painful situation that no doctor could cure. It means you could not care less about a certain something or someone.
Ma freci la icre / melodie! [muh FRE-chee la EE-kreh/ MELLOW-dee-eh] = You’re pissin’ me off ! (literally “You’re rubbing my fish eggs / my melody”)
You tell this to someone very annoying, where all the other allusions have failed to make a point. Ma freci la icre/ melodie is pretty clear that someone’s company is neither enjoyed nor desired.
La Muie [La Moo-Yeh] = Blowjob
This is dangerously close to the word for lemon, [LE MY-ya] and as a foreigner you can “accidentally” confuse the two and still sound cute – for example asking a waitress : “Excuse me Miss, could I have a “lemon” with my drink?”
And last but not least, certainly the most commonly used one, by all ages and genders usually as a sign of frustration or irritation, is:
Pula mea [POO-la MAY-uh] = What the Hell? Fuck! Shit! (liter
ally “my dick”)
As always when you swear in Romanian, remember to use your new vocabulary carefully, and choose your opportunities to practice wisely. We won’t take responsibility for black eyes or bloody noses if you test your skills at the wrong moment. On the other hand, a well placed obscenity might just win you some friends and a beer to boot out at the bar, so give it a try! Good luck with your pronunciation, and let’s hope you won’t find yourself in a situation where you’d actually have to use these! Happy vulgarity to you, friend!