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  #21  
Old 20.10.2011, 14:58
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

Normal or not is irrelevant actually. In some parts of the world, it's 'normal' to cut off a woman's clitoris and labia.

Your husband is saying things that hurt you and make you feel bad. I suspect that even if you return to him with "I've checked and it's not normal in Switzerland," he'll simply deny it and say it is. I think you need him to understand that it makes you feel rotten, so there's the incentive to change given he loves you. And well, most people want to make those they love feel fabulous. At least, they should.

*big hug*
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  #22  
Old 20.10.2011, 15:01
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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In some dialects they leave the 'h' off so it's more uura or even uu'a or uu'u. So it could equally well be the German 'ur' meaning genuine or ultra. But even if it does mean 'huara', it's no longer used to mean that any more and through common usage it has lost its offensive bite.
I'm not 100% sure of its etymology, but I think you might be confusing things a bit as I'm fairly sure it has nothing to do with the German "ur" (meaning genuine or ultra). This website gives an etymology, but I admit I haven't checked whether their information holds up.

Starting from "huere", there is also the possibility of using "uu-huere" to give a boost (like using "mega" in English). That might be what you were hearing when you describe "uu'a".

Personally, I find it no less offensive for being used more frequently now then in years past. However, I completely agree with MathNut, that probably the "huere" is the lesser of your problems.
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Old 20.10.2011, 15:03
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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Ask him if he would use that kind of language when addressing his own mother.

That might make him think a bit more about the kind of language he uses in front of his child and you.
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Yeap, I have. No, he doesn't. His explanation is: "She doesn't act like you, she knows how to behave.....", sweet, ha!!!?

drmom, he uses this rude language in everyday life... simply everything is hura "whatever"...

sad
Huere is a normal word in Swiss-German, and has nothing to do with its etymological meaning. A polite old granny could say "es isch es huere puff" literally "it's a whore brothel" but what she means is "it's a mess/dirty" and is a very normal expression in Switzerland. Bear in mind that most foreigners don't understand the subtleties of Swiss-German swear words, some are perfectly fine even in polite society, others, as you mentioned, he wouldn't use with his step-mother.

Last edited by MusicChick; 21.10.2011 at 15:22. Reason: fixed quotes
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  #24  
Old 20.10.2011, 15:08
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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I disagree, I find it out of order in a family setting. Huere comes from whore, after all, and although I have no issues with the profession personally, it is still a negative thing. But you are right about the lack of education, sounds like this person could do with a bit of bringing up...
Wrong Kittster, that's the kind of missinformation that is potentially dangerous and puts an unduly bad light on Swiss-German speakers that regularely use it. Even though "huere" has two meanings, whore and much, the much-version comes from uhuere and is a normal, common expression.

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huere – zeigt als Adjektiv/Adverb Intensivierung an, kann je nach Dialekt und Kontext als üblicher umgangssprachlicher Ausdruck (insbesondere in der Jugendsprache) oder als derber Fluch verstanden werden.
translation: depending on context and dialect a normal expression or a bad swearword.
Or, from the.frollein's link:

"Aber schon im 19. Jh. hat man vor Haupt- und Eigenschaftswörtern als reines Verstärkungswort im Sinne von "sehr" ohne negative Bedeutung verwendet — ähnlich wie im deutschen umgangssprachlichen "verdammt" wie in "verdammt schön"."

rough translation: already in the 19th century the word lost its original negative meaning.

Swiss people don't think about whores when jusing huere just as English speakers don't think of damnation when using damn.
Be careful before you judge people's language if you don't know it well enough.
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Old 20.10.2011, 15:10
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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Normal or not is irrelevant actually. In some parts of the world, it's 'normal' to cut off a woman's clitoris and labia.

Your husband is saying things that hurt you and make you feel bad. I suspect that even if you return to him with "I've checked and it's not normal in Switzerland," he'll simply deny it and say it is. I think you need him to understand that it makes you feel rotten, so there's the incentive to change given he loves you. And well, most people want to make those they love feel fabulous. At least, they should.

*big hug*
I think that your post sums it up perfectly. It doesn't matter what the content, etymology and semantics are - what matters is the impact that it has on the person who is being spoken to.

There was a recent thread discussing the use of the "c" word and, whilst most people find it offensive, it is sometimes used in an affectionate way in Scotland (I was quite shocked when I first heard it though...!).

If it's upsetting you enough for you to need to ask others what they think on here, then I would say that you have enough of an indication that it can be considered to be "bad language".

Good luck!

Last edited by LouisaB; 20.10.2011 at 15:11. Reason: grammar
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  #26  
Old 20.10.2011, 15:10
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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If this were all, I'd say he probably just has some coarse habits of speech - I have certainly heard enough Swiss teens and 20-somethings whose speech is strewn with huure this and huure that. I would say it's about equivalent to the f-word in English: not very nice, certainly not the way you want your kid to grow up talking - but it won't turn heads in a train carriage either, and it may indeed be normal for him and his buddies. (Is he fairly young? Have you been married long?)
Amen to that, considering that "geile siech" (which literally translates to sth. like "horny sicko") is about the highest compliment for a straight young man to another.

Context is very important, just as in the french where a guy saying to his wife "putain, tu me stresses" (which literally translated means "whore/hooker you stress me out") does not call her a hooker but merely uses putain as an emphasis, along the line of "dammit, you..(get on my nerves, etc)".

It still is "bad language" though, and I personally would certainly refrain from using it in most circumstances.

One last bit: To my, native Swiss-German ears, "Dummi Chueh" has a slightly different connotation from its english translation, as it is in no way a statement about the intelligence of the person in question ("dumb cow" definitely "sounds" different to me, you know like "dumb"). Is that correct?

You can say "she's incredibly bright, but such a dumb cow" in Swiss-German without creating much of a paradox, as "dummi chueh" means primarily "anoying person".
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  #27  
Old 20.10.2011, 15:40
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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One last bit: To my, native Swiss-German ears, "Dummi Chueh" has a slightly different connotation from its english translation, as it is in no way a statement about the intelligence of the person in question ("dumb cow" definitely "sounds" different to me, you know like "dumb"). Is that correct?

You can say "she's incredibly bright, but such a dumb cow" in Swiss-German without creating much of a paradox, as "dummi chueh" means primarily "anoying person".
Correct, dummi chueh (stupid cow) is aimed at behavior (annoying) not intelligence. If you intentionally do something that annoys or bothers others you could be called "e dummi chueh" whereas a guy would be called "e blöde siech" (a stupid sicko), while both are negative words they are not offensive because they aim at the behavior of a person (in that moment, not in general) not the person itself.
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  #28  
Old 20.10.2011, 15:45
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

I wouldn’t dare to offer any advice, but reading this made me sick to my stomach.
All I cans see is a certain imbalance: he expects you to accept his “Swiss” ways and doesn’t seem to acknowledge or respect that in your culture such language is inappropriate to say the least.
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  #29  
Old 20.10.2011, 15:48
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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Wrong Kittster, that's the kind of missinformation that is potentially dangerous and puts an unduly bad light on Swiss-German speakers that regularely use it. Even though "huere" has two meanings, whore and much, the much-version comes from uhuere and is a normal, common expression.
Well, maybe this is another one of those regional variants but we were told off for using "Huere" in both Kindergarten and school and expressly told that it's a bad word to use. I would also look dimly upon someone using such language in a business content, so even if you may feel it's ok to use, there are still many who feel it isn't. And I certainly wouldn't want my child to use it as a normal word.
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Old 20.10.2011, 15:50
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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Huere is a normal word in Swiss-German, and has nothing to do with its etymological meaning. A polite old granny could say "es isch es huere puff" literally "it's a whore brothel" but what she means is "it's a mess/dirty" and is a very normal expression in Switzerland. Bear in mind that most foreigners don't understand the subtleties of Swiss-German swear words, some are perfectly fine even in polite society, others, as you mentioned, he wouldn't use with his step-mother.
I wasn't referring particularly to any of the words but the general attitude with which he seems to speak to the OP. Whatever the words are that he uses with their origins and subtleties, the sentiment seems downright disrespectful and I, for one, wouldn't stand for it. I'm guessing she wouldn't take that kind of talk from anyone so why should she take it from the person that is supposed to love her above anyone?
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Old 20.10.2011, 16:05
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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Well, maybe this is another one of those regional variants but we were told off for using "Huere" in both Kindergarten and school and expressly told that it's a bad word to use. I would also look dimly upon someone using such language in a business content, so even if you may feel it's ok to use, there are still many who feel it isn't. And I certainly wouldn't want my child to use it as a normal word.
It's a regional thing, as the source cited, in much of Switzerland it stopped having a negative meaning as far back as the 19th century. My grandparents, who are perfectly respectable people by the way, would use it without a second thought. They would also tell me off for such harmless as "gopferdammi" which is roughly the Swiss equivalent for damnit, because it's a swearword, which huere is not. Again, people should be very careful when translating words to their language, they DO NOT have the same meaning, and someone could be led to believe that even old gentle grannies have a really coarse language which couldn't be further from the truth.
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  #32  
Old 20.10.2011, 16:09
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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It's a regional thing, as the source cited, in much of Switzerland it stopped having a negative meaning as far back as the 19th century. My grandparents, who are perfectly respectable people by the way, would use it without a second thought. They would also tell me off for such harmless as "gopferdammi" which is roughly the Swiss equivalent for damnit, because it's a swearword, which huere is not. Again, people should be very careful when translating words to their language, they DO NOT have the same meaning, and someone could be led to believe that even old gentle grannies have a really coarse language which couldn't be further from the truth.
It's a question of context and I would still not use "huere" in front of anyone other than my friends and age peers. Maybe I'm über old-school but it's just not a word I use in polite company and was discouraged from using where I grew up (Freiamt, Limmattal-Region).
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Old 20.10.2011, 16:20
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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It's a regional thing, as the source cited, in much of Switzerland it stopped having a negative meaning as far back as the 19th century. My grandparents, who are perfectly respectable people by the way, would use it without a second thought.
It might have a regional component to it - I know that my grandparents (mother's parents) from Kanton Thurgau near Schaffhausen *never* used it and would have been horrified had I used it. My mother same, my aunt except for rare instances same.

My father (Bern) uses it, my cousin (daughter of father's brother, also Bern) uses it.

I'm with Kittster on this one - as a native speaker (Swiss German), I don't use it and find it - with certain exceptions - offensive.
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  #34  
Old 20.10.2011, 16:28
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

Now we are at the stage that I have to teach Swiss not only German but also Swiss German?

When I arrived in Switzerland, I found the constant "huere" everything very weird - and looked it up: It has nothing to do with the professional ladies, it is simply a shortened "uhuere" - Standard German "ungeheuer" - "unbelievable/incredible". It can be used in negative as well as positive contexts from "incredibly shitty" to "incredibly pretty".

The reason why your teachers didn't want you to use it is cause it is consider bad style - a simplistic, working class Swiss German. (insert comment on high-class Swiss German here )

So I do not agree that it really is offensive - it is just "below class" for some. I know people from "Spreiti" using it in every second sentence.
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Old 20.10.2011, 16:41
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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it is simply a shortened "uhuere" - Standard German "ungeheuer" -
I agree with you all about everything and don't doubt your vaste knowledge, but this sounds more like a popular etymology.
High-German eu would be either öi, üü, öu or with Umlauthinderung ou or uu.
Swiss German ue comes from old unchanged ue, and old ue does not become eu in High German. There is something illogical here. Going from uhüre to explain it makes it a danish word: uhyre, not Swiss.
On top of it, the grammar of huere- is clear: no adjective ending and no zero-morpheme, so it's an element of a compound word, which is impossible for ungeheuer.

Huere- and Sou- as first part of compound words are similar in the way they operate. No big deal. See Treverus' and Simon's posts for the rest.
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  #36  
Old 20.10.2011, 16:45
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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Now we are at the stage that I have to teach Swiss not only German but also Swiss German?

When I arrived in Switzerland, I found the constant "huere" everything very weird - and looked it up: It has nothing to do with the professional ladies, it is simply a shortened "uhuere" - Standard German "ungeheuer" - "unbelievable/incredible". It can be used in negative as well as positive contexts from "incredibly shitty" to "incredibly pretty".

The reason why your teachers didn't want you to use it is cause it is consider bad style - a simplistic, working class Swiss German. (insert comment on high-class Swiss German here )

So I do not agree that it really is offensive - it is just "below class" for some. I know people from "Spreiti" using it in every second sentence.
Not true Trev, the etymological origin is indeed Hure or Huer, the only authorative explanation I could find states

"[QUOTE]Die Herkunft der Beifügung "Huere" (sei sie nun als Adjektiv, Adverb oder Substantiv verstanden) ist eindeutig: das schweizerdeutsche "Huer", die hochdeutsche "Hure" bilden den Ausgangspunkt. (...) Häufiger finden sich demgegenüber Wortverbindungen mit dem Adjektiv bzw. Adverb "huere", so "huere Siech", oder - mit nicht gleicher Bedeutung "Huere tumme Siech", dann auch "u-huere guet", "huere Tubel", oder aus der neueren Jugendsprache: "huere geil". Diese Beispiele belegen, dass Kombinationen mit dem Mundartadjektiv bzw. -adverb "huere" zwar für Auswärtige in jedem Fall unschön wirken, aber nicht zwingend negativ besetzt sind. Das Adjektiv/Adverb hat oft nur den Zweck, den dazugehörigen Ausdruck - positiv oder negativ - zu verstärken. Der Vergleich mit dem luzernischen "rüüdig" ist naheliegend. [/QUOTE]

http://chronologie.gra.ch/index.php?p=6&t=8&id=41

Huere is used as a fortifier word, negative and positive, it is a similar term to the Lucernese term rüüdig which originally meant mangy and is used the same as huere.
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Old 20.10.2011, 16:53
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

I seem to be on the far end of the continuum on this one, but I'm okay with that.

Labelling someONE (instead of their ACTIONS) "stupid" and so on, is verbal abuse. Just because there are no visible marks left, doesn't mean it is acceptable or okay. The damage is being done, and it will accumulate with time, especially during those highly important years of development as a child. When you call him on it, and he justifies it, or blames you for his actions and words, those are major red flags in my mind.

Sadly, it happens all too often.

If I were you, I would let him know your feelings about it, set a boundary and request he change that behavior. Then wait and watch. If it is part of a larger pattern of abuse, it will become more severe, and more frequent. If he's just a bit clueless, your request as his chosen partner should be enough for him to make an effort to change.
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  #38  
Old 20.10.2011, 17:00
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

Hmm, new member, hot-button issue, cartoonishly bad grammar, the member of the opposite sex in question being almost-irredeemably mean and clueless...

All these etymology lessons and nuance are throwing a monkey wrench in the OP's plans, I'm thinking.

So to put the thread back on track: Have you considered leaving him?
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Old 20.10.2011, 17:18
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

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Huere is used as a fortifier word, negative and positive, it is a similar term to the Lucernese term rüüdig which originally meant mangy and is used the same as huere.
During my primary school years in the 'fifties in St. Gallen, everything was "huere," and not using it properly made you a bit of an outcast. "Uuhuere" clearly came later, with "uu-" being kind of an augmentative, like "uugrooss" (= very big), "uuguet" (= very good), "uuschöö" (= very beautiful) etc.. However, for many years we, just being kids, didn't realize the direct connection to a woman of ill repute. "Huere" was just someting like "very", and "uuhuere" was "utterly."

To this day, no one using it has ever been thinking of that etymological background. It's probably not what you would want to use as a radio announcer or in an obituary, but even my mom used it, not frequently, but she did.
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Old 20.10.2011, 20:23
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Re: How much "bad language" is OK for swiss?

Well, well, I didn't mean to cause a big discussion on the HUARA or so terms. But it happened so i will add, something I have noticed myself about the word in the region my husband comes from. There is a clear difference between HUARA = f**** (at least this is how it sounds to me from all contexsts I have heard) and UURA = soo much. So I am very clear on the bad and good imputs. These are actually 2 different words they uese in that region.

But you are generally right, this word is not the biggest issue. It was just one slight example of his language. What about PIG (English), or YOU ARE A PIG . My question in general was, is this kind of language within the family considered appropriate in the German part of Switzerland.... this roughness, ugly words, etc. Probably, I just needed a confirmation on something I was already aware of. Thank you. I could also find the answer in another question: "Did he say all these same words at the beginning of our relationship?"...... no he didn't.

Sagitta, thank you, this is not the only imbalance.... sad.

SamWeiseVielleicht, your explanation about DUMI KUH somehow coinsides with his. But would you call you mom, daughter, wife a dumi kuh. I am not being negative here, just want really to understand it. I am asking innocently and honnestly.

Someone asked how old he is and if he is very young, in other words has the words from his peers, nope, he is in his middle ages even a bit over. Now, thinking about it, I have not heard someone of our family friends to use such a language...... could be that they are from different cantones ))??
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