European Disgusts

“I love the smell of Europe in the morning. How are you?”

Eddi Izzard

Illustration - disgustBeurk! Yuck! Eca! Bleah! Disgust is experienced primarily in relation to the sense of taste (either perceived or imagined), and secondarily to anything which causes a similar feeling by sense of smell, touch, or vision. Researchers found that the emotion of disgust has evolved as a response to offensive foods that may cause harm to the organism. Experiences even showed that human beings naturally express disgust in reactions to mouldy milk or contaminated meat. To some extend, it is then quite funny to discover that all European languages developed their own words to express disgust in front of a dirty mark, a distasteful meal or a horrible smell.  This led to a great diversity of onomatopoeia across Europe. Once again, making the list of these words shows the great potential for creativity of our languages… Hopping it won’t repulse you…

European Disgusts


Portugal - EcaEca!

In Portugal, there is one single way to express disgust in front of a dish or when something particularly disgusting occurs. And this is “Eca”!


Spain - Puaj¡Puaj! – ¡Puf!

“Puaj ! There is a fly in my soup !” Spaniards can use either ¡Puaj! or ¡Puf! to express disgust. Got it ?


France - BeurkBeurk!

When something is repulsive, or just tastes bad, French people pronounce a long “Beurk” to comment it !


Iceland- OjOj!

This is somehow funny to notice that the way Icelanders express disgust sounds like the way Santa Claus laugh “Oj! Oj! Oj! Oj!”


Ireland - BokeBoke!

In Ireland, this is quite easy to express your disgust. Try it when you don’t like the meal a friend is offering to you or the smell of your neighbor in the underground : “Boke!”


United-Kingdom - YuckYuck! – Urgh! – Ew!

In the United-Kingdom, one express disgust with the word “Yuck”! Yuck is also an indie rock band that originated in London…


Norway - æsjæsj!

A bit difficult to pronounce, the Norwegian interjection to express disgust is just “aesj!” It has the same meaning as “Yuck!” in English…


Sweden - UschUsch! – Fy! – Blä!

Three different ways in Sweden to express disgust : you can either say “Usch!”, “Fy!” or “Blä!” depending on the (disgusting) situation!


Finland - YökYök! – Yäk!

“Yök!” or “Yäk!” : the difference is slight, fut Fines can pick and choose what they want to say when they express aversion.


Denmark - FøjFøj! – Pøj!

Here come two interjections with typical Nordic letters “Føj!” and “Pøj!”. They both express disgust…


Netherlands - BahBah!

“Bah!” is the Dutch interjection to express aversion in front of something disgusting. It is also used in Flanders, the Flemish speaking part of Belgium.


Belgium - BahBah! – Beurk! – Igitt!

With three different official languages, Belgians are then really resourceful when it comes to express disgust. They can either say the French “Beurk!”, the Dutch “Bah!” or the German “Igitt!”.


Germany - IgittIgitt! – Pfui! – Bäh! – Iiii!

The German interjection to express aversion is somehow funny. In other languages “Iggit!” is not the word you would used instinctively. If you can’t, you can always use “Pfui!” or “Bäh!”…


Austria - WahWah!

Austrians have their own German interjections to qualify distasteful dishes, and this is “Wah!”.


Switzerland - IgittIgitt! – Beurk!

In Switzerland, just choose the language in which you express disgust, and then say “Igitt!” if you’re German speaking and “Beurk!” if you’re French speaking…


Italy - BleahBleah! – Puah!

Italians express their aversion with the interjection “Bleah!” or sometimes “Puah!”, but given the quality of the food in Italy, it is quite rare!

Czech Republic

Czech Republic - FujFuj!

Czech people are using a common “Fuj!” to express disgust. We find this interjection in many other Eastern European countries..


Slovakia - FujFuj!

Just as in Czech Republic and in Poland, Slovakians say “Fuj!” to express aversion in front of a dish or a bad smell.


Poland - FujFuj!

Polish people express disgust with the expression “Fuj!”. They share it with their Czech and Slovakian neighbors…


Lithuania - FuFu!

Let’s say “Fu!” in Lithuanian to communicate your reluctance for a dish you particularly dislike.


Latvia - FuFu!

The same as in Lithuania. Latvians will usually say “Fu!” to express disgust whenever they are confronted to a bad smell or meal.


Estonia - ÖäkÖäk!

In Estonia, there is one way to express reluctance, and it is the onomatopoeia “öäk” with many vocals. Try it !


Belarus - фуфу! (fu!) – тьфу! (t’fu!) – фе! (fe!) – фи! (fi!)

Well, in Belarus, you have four different expressions for disgust but you have to learn the alphabet first !


Ukraine - ТьхуТьху! (tʹkhu!)

No kidding, in Ukrainian, you express disgust in front of a meal with the expression “t’khu”. It comes direct from the throat !

Romania – Moldova

Romania - CâhCâh!

Romanian and Moldovan people have the same onomatopoeia to say when it comes to disapprove a bad smell or dish. It is “câh” !


Hungary - PfujPfuj! – Fúj!

Two ways to express disgust in Hungary : either “Pfuj” or “Fúj”. It is up to you to choose the most appropriate.


Slovenia - BljakBljak!

The Slovenian word to define something disgusting is really self-explenatory : “Bljak”. Quite efficient !


Albania - YffYff!

In Albania, you would express disgust with a short but funny “Yff”.

Croatia – Serbia – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia - BljakBljak! (бљак!) – Ljak! – Fuj! (фуј!)

Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian have three different ways to express disgust : “Bljak!”, “Ljak!” and “Fuj!”.


Bulgaria - ПуПфу!

Bulgarians have a short word to express disgust when they are confronted to a bad smell or dish.


Macedonia - уфуф! – Ny!

In Macedonia, you have two words for reluctance, either “уф!” and “Ny!”…


Greece - ίουίου! (íou!) – μπλιαχ! (bliach!) – μπλιαξ! (bliax!)  

You can express disgust in Greece in three different ways, either “ίου!”, “μπλιαχ!” and “μπλιαξ!”.


Turkey - IğrençIğrenç! – Iy! – Öğk! – Iyk!

And last but not least, you have four ways to express disgust in Turkey, the longest one being “Iğrenç!”.


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