Talk:Quebec French profanity

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Long and rambling parenthetical, possibly OR[edit]

This part under non-profane uses is quite rambling and difficult to follow for the layperson:

"sacrer son camp ("leave", "run away", literally "consecrate the camp while leaving it" -- actually it looks like the Québécois just replaced the French foutre with calisser/crisser/sacrer. Fous-moi le camp! -> Décrisse! / Sacre le camp!, Foutre une baffe -> Calisser une clacque, je m'en fous--> je m'en sacre/je m'en calice/je m'en contre-fous"

There's also no citation or justification for the chain that comes after the emdash.- (talk) 11:49, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Moved section[edit]

In D'Amour P. Q. Jacques Godbout uses the expression maudite marde de pape en plastique. Is that a common expression or his own creation? Jfitzg

No, this is his own creation. "Maudite marde" is very common though. Junesun

Thanks. It's a great expression.Jfitzg
Yup. One of the best features of sacre is indeed that you can string together pretty much any amount you want. - Montréalais 02:51, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Maudite marde is more or less equivalent to "holy shit". I use it sometimes. Hugo Dufort 19:53, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
I disagree, it's more like "Fucking shit".. you wouldn't use it in the same impressed manner as holy shit. haha..Dan Carkner 16:41, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
The literal translation would be "Damned shit". It is much less shocking than "fucking shit". You can utter "maudite marde" in front of your mother in law, and get away with a frown. Hugo Dufort 17:31, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Hugo about the literal translation.

I thought it would amuse everybody here to know that sacres are not unique to the Quebecer language. I heard some of them quite often in Bavaria too -- namely Sacrament and Crucifix. Valmi Dufour 05:58, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Hardly just the Scots use "shite". It's common across the UK and Ireland, as well as many Commonwealth nations such as Australian and New Zealand.

Are you sure that cristie is derived from hostie? I thought it was from Christ and also not as mild as the article claims. Sympleko 18:31, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm shure cristie is derived from crisse, but it can sound less offensive from its use in other ceontexts i.e.: Agatha Christie the author or Mr Christie a cookie company
I'm pretty sure that "cristie" is derived from "sacristie" (which is the room at the back of the church). I might also be a deformation of "christ", or even both! Hugo Dufort 19:52, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

The decrease of the catholic church, and the change in quebecois profanity. From my experience, church swearing has become less offensive, and english swearwords such as 'fuck' have come into play. Notably, 'shit' plays less of a role, as 'merde' offers a decent substitute.

'Shit' is very common and not very offensive, just like 'fuck'
Yes, the usage of the "shit" and "fuck" aren't as profane when used in French as when they are used in English. I'm pretty sure that I've seen a show on which someone used "shit", "fuck" and even "fucké"--as in "fucked-up", or "screwed-up", it's milder version.

'Shit' is not only used as an expression of dismay, but also to refer to some type of gunk or dirt and, although not as often, to clutter. I believe this is similar to uses of 'shit' in English. But 'marde' is so much more effective when referring to feces...

I've just removed the following item from the list, with its accompanying comment. The comment shouldn't be in the article, and I have no idea myself whether the profanity is legit or not. --PeruvianLlama(spit) 20:38, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

  • étole (Note from S. D. Lacombe : I'm a French Canadian born and living in Quebec, and I've never heard that one)
neither have I.

May 18, 2006, R. Denis: "étole" refers to a liturgic decorated fabric strip worn around the shoulders by priests. I am 53 years old born and living in Québec and I have heard this one very often. I agree that the expression has aged somewhat nowadays surely because the religion has aged also...

I have heard it (believe it or not) in a humorous beer publicity ("C'est bon en étole!"). Old people sometimes use it, but it is getting out of fashion. Hugo Dufort 03:20, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
I've mostly heard it used when refering to someone : "Toé, mon étole....". --Marc pasquin 18:44, 19 May 2006 (UTC)


Victor Hugo used "Sacrer" to refer to swearing, and he certainly was not from Québec... Juppiter 05:33, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

If it was in one of his novel written after his "exile" to the channel islands, it might be indicative on its use *there*.--Marc pasquin 18:44, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Bon Cop Bad Cop[edit]

There is a "lesson in sacre" given to an Ontarian police officer by a Quebec police officer in the movie "Bon Cop Bad Cop" (2006). It would be nice to add a reference in the wiki article. By the way this wiki page is well done and quite relevant. Hugo Dufort 19:50, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Convoluted intro[edit]

I don't understand the convoluted introduction.

'The literal translation of the French verb sacrer is "to consecrate". However, in Quebec it is the proper word for the form of profanity used in Quebec French. The noun form is sacre.'

Rather, I would consider that the proper translation would be "to swear". The correct french word for "to consecrate" would be "consacrer". We might note that the french word takes its root from "holy" rather than from "oath" as in english, but it's hardly the only word where different languages have different etymologies, and we don't write down every little quirk that might arise from a literal translation on every article. UnHoly 13:49, 17 July 2007 (UTC)


I have a Québécois-French dictionary [1] (compiled by a guy called Léandre Bergeron) which might be helpful for backing up some of the citations-needed in this article (which is actually a pretty good article, n my opinion, but then I love Quebec profanity). Other texts that might be useful would be literary ones, which would contain examples of usage; Tremblay's 'Les Belles-Soeurs'[2] is one, and another famously profanity-ridden exercise in written joual is Jacques Renaud's late 60s novel 'Le Cassé'[3], which I only have in translation. I would just go through all these texts and see if I can't put in the sources myself, but then I have a small baby right now. Lexo 11:40, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Bergeron's book lists most of these, however it omits ciboire. It has some euphemisms, but not the word itself; it is probably just an oversight. (talk) 21:34, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Religious roots of québécois profanity[edit]

Using religious-oriented vocabulary "in vain" (i.e., one of the commandments) was acutally considered a sin for which you could be excommunicated. Thus, the sacres where used as a strategy to avoid this.

For example, instead of saying "tabernacle", québécois would say "tabarnak" (So they could say it without "really" saying it), in the same way that English people might say "shoot" or "fudge", or in the same way that modern-day Québécois now say "tabarnouche" or "cibol" instead of "tabarnak" or "ciboire". However, over time these watered-down sacres became "hard-core" sacres in their own right.

I'm a student in linguistics (and have taken sociolinguistics courses here in Québec), but I unfortunately don't have the sources for any of this handy. If I ever dig them up I'll add them to this page. It's fascinating stuff! (Or, as a Québécois might say, "C'est le fun en crisse!")


Mozusse is most likely a euphemism for Maudit. There is no reason to think Québécois would use the English word Moses to swear. Maudit is pronounced Mo-dzi. You can find "mon mozusse/modzusse" with the same meaning as "mon maudit", or "en mozusse" to mean "en maudit". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree 100%, mozusse is a minced oath for maudit, it has nothing at all to do with Moses. (talk) 07:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Article needs work[edit]

This article has its plusses, but it has many problems, only two of which I can fix.

  1. The lead is terrible. A proper Wikipedia lead begins "Article subject [verb]...". So this should say, "Quebec French profanity, or sacre, uses...." The article itself should then discuss the word sacre, and any such discussion should take into account what was said above; to wit, sacre means "swear". Of course the literal translation should also be pointed out. This one I can fix, but since I am, at best, a beginner at French, someone should look carefully at anything I do. The other I can fix is the italicising of sacre. When a foreign word is used over and over again, it shouldn't be italicised. That's especially true where, as here, the meaning of the word is discussed.
  2. The next problem is the lack of a large part of the subject area. The lead says, "Quebec French...uses a number of the same types of foul language as in standard French, dealing with sex and excrement (such as merde, "shit")." How can this be considered even close to a complete treatment of the topic if it doesn't include the sex and excrement terms? It would be one thing if there were a broader article about French profanity, but there isn't. So if this article aims to be about a Quebec phenomenon relating to religious profanity, it needs to be tightened up and renamed "Quebec French religious profanity". If it aims to give the reader an explanation of "Quebec French profanity", it needs to give basics like how to say, "they fucked last night", "fuck your mother", "American beer smells like piss", "if I don't shit soon, my asshole will explode," etc.
  3. A related problem follows in the next sentence: "These are usually rather mild, and stronger profanity is expressed using words and expressions related to Catholicism and its liturgy." Does this mean that standard French doesn't use religious swears? That needs to be clarified.
  4. Relatedly, it is not clear why this article purports to focus on Quebec profanity. If religious profanity is mostly a Quebec phenomenon with little or no expression in the rest of the francaphone world, that needs to be made much clearer. As it stands, only the Maritimes and Acadia are mentioned. If it is common among among French speakers, the whole article needs to be reframed.
  5. The first two paragraphs of the "Use" section belong in the section "List of common sacre", which should be renamed "Common sacre". What's more, the first sentence of the passage says, "A very strong way to express anger or frustration is to use the words tabarnac, sacrament, and câlice." Aside from being put a bit oddly, it singles out three words for definition. That sentence gives me the impression that using one equates to motherfucker in "That motherfucking cop won't leave," and using all three is like saying, "That motherfucking, cocksucking cunt of a waitress won't bring the check." Great, but what do the other six words do? Are the they used the same way, but just aren't as strong? That needs to be cleared up.
  6. The third paragraph of what is now "Use" should be its own section called "Other profanity" or some such.
  7. The title "Non-profane uses" doesn't make sense. The uses described there strike me as profane. This might make sense with the first two paragraphs of "Use"
  8. The "Sacres outside French Quebec", as noted with a template, needs support. In addition, the reference to La Guerre, Yes Sir! is not clear. It seems to be about something in English translated from French that uses Quebec profanity. That isn't really a use of "sacre" outside French Quebec. It should really be mentioned as a source of further profanity, or better yet, mined for more sacres to be listed here.
  9. Finally, the there is a need for copyediting, but that should really wait until the other issues are dealt with. -Rrius (talk) 05:05, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I think the entire section on "Sacres outside French Quebec" can be removed. Most of it lends little to the article, and strays entirely off topic. I added a tag to that effect. --Bastique ☎ call me! 05:11, 29 March 2012 (UTC)


Schools Advisory Council on Religious Education

Southend on Sea Local Authority established 1998 after ceding from Essex County Council

SACRE Chair Kevin Ryan

Kevin Ryan elected Chair of Southend on Sea SACRE in July 1998 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kevsy7 (talkcontribs) 22:40, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Censorship guidelines in media[edit]

What are the guidelines on censorship of these words on television/radio. The CRTC are adamant that is is not allowed, but Radio-Canada seems to be ambigious. What's private media like? I'm rewatching a Christmas special of Gars Frustré from MusiquePlus where calice, tabarnac etc are bleeped out, yet sacrament and ciboire aren't.

Crime que c'est difficile a comprendre en taba... Neasden Villa (talk) 21:40, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

coltord from "cold-tar"?[edit]

Except that "cold-tar" doesn't mean anything in English. Should this be coal tar? (talk) 21:21, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

"The virgin Mary" and "hosts" are profanities?[edit]

I thought a host is something promoted or promotional, and who uses the virgin Mary as an expletive? 2607:FB90:429:E348:0:4C:4B9C:E501 (talk) 08:25, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

The host here refers to the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 09:38, 13 January 2016 (UTC)