Req: "dirty" words in Sanskrit

Lars Martin Fosse l.m.fosse at
Fri Nov 1 22:59:21 UTC 1996

At 20:49 1.11.96 GMT, you wrote:
>One of my beginning Sanskrit students this year asked me today if 
>Sanskrit had any "dirty" words. As many students who step into my 
>Sanskrit class assume, especially if they come to Sanskrit from an 
>interest in the study of religion, she assumed that it couldn't possibly 
>have any "dirty" words. Ever eager to disabuse students of the idea that 
>Sanskrit is a language in which only spiritual or religious ideas can be 
>expressed, I quickly assured her that it did have some such vocabulary. 
>When asked for an example, I was stumped, red-faced and ashamed of my 
>ignorance. Any suggestions will be most appreciated.
 I believe the one that should have most immediate appeal to Americans is
the verbal root YABH (present indicative YABHATI). It corresponds to a very
common English four-letter word, usually worked to death in American movies
depicting people of lesser breeding. Since I do not want to fall afoul of
the new puritanism in American networks, I refrain from translating it. Look
it up!

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list