“Fuck!” says the Brit, “Putain!” answers the French, “Cazzo!” replies the Italian, “Kurwa!” says the Pole… Europeans have their own words to express anger, irritation, contempt, or disappointment, but they don’t use the same swear metaphors.
You may not know but “Romanians are aces in love”, “in the morning even yogurt makes you fat” in Serbia, “Cheese has a smell” in Croatia, “Karin shave well” in Sweden, or “mice have no grandsons” in Italy…
What happens if you bite your tongue in Serbia? If a bird shit on you in Lithuania? If you spill wine on the table in Portugal? If you knock on wood in Germany? Or if you touch the red pompom of a sailor’s beret in France?
Imagine Switzerland's William Tell, riding the polish Dragon of Krakow through the French Broceliande Forest… Dream of the iIalian Befana joining the witch’s ride in Austria… Visualize the Flying Dutchman sailing along Scotland's Loch Ness, with the German temptress Lorelei...
Cheers, Santé, Prost, Saúde, Skål, Kippis, Na zdravje or Egészségedre – those little words hide the most interesting tales. And they might just be the first words a foreigner learns when arriving in another European country…
English is the language of Shakespeare; German, the language of Goethe; Italian the language of Dante or Dutch the language of Vondel. All these expressions refer to famous writers, who are not only important for their national audience, but also to Europe's fame in the world.
But who are we poking fun at? Belgian jokes are very popular in France, such as jokes on Swedes are very common in the Nordics. In the Baltic countries, people tend to laugh at Estonians, whereas in Balkan countries, they do jokes on Bosnians.
“She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore", “Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal”, “Les chaussettes de l’archi-duchesse, sont-elles sèches, archi-sèches ?” Tongue Twisters will teach you a lot on European culture and history.
Jaimito in Spain, Toto in France, Pikku-Kalle in Finland, Jantje in the Netherlands, Oin-Oin in Switzerland and Pierino in Italy... In almost every single European country, there is an equivalent for the Little Johnny jokes.
‘Anticonstitutionnellement’, ‘Antidisestablishmentarianism’, ‘Menneskerettighetsorganisasjonene’ Did you know that a German 79-letters word is the European longest word? Or that the Irish Gaelic one is the shortest (longest) word in Europe?