curse
Posted: 17 August 2007 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Is there a first known curse in the sense of an insult, mild or otherwise?
I remember reading in an inflight magazine that Egyptian hieroglyphs revealed “You crocodile!” which the article said was equivalent to something innocuous like “You rascal!”

[ Edited: 17 August 2007 10:56 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 18 August 2007 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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From my intro to a book on curses and insults that should be appearing soon:

Of course, curses and insults have doubtless been uttered as long as people have used language.  Already in the earliest known epic, Gilgamesh insults Ishtar so badly that she goes to her parents and complains: “Father, Gilgamesh has insulted me over and over, he’s said terrible things about me, despicable deeds and curses!”

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Posted: 20 August 2007 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Looking forward to that book, LH.
As Gilgamesh is the earliest known work of lit this would be the earliest source I think.
The only other thing I can remember from the inflight article is a young man being mocked for his blackheads which must have been more of a problem in a world without mirrors! I’m assuming this was from demotic Egyptian script on papyrus rather than stuff inscribed in stone.

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Posted: 20 August 2007 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes, the book has gone straight on to my wishlist too. I hope it contains the gloriously long curse in Tristram Shandy, lh.

Tristram Shandy curse

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Posted: 21 August 2007 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Alas, no, but it should have!

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Posted: 26 August 2007 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Does it contain the Archbishop of Glasgow’s GREIT CURSING of the Border Reivers? It certainly ought to!

http://www.gaddgedlar.com/curse.htm

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Posted: 26 August 2007 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Where were all you people when I was looking for good early curses?

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Posted: 27 August 2007 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I remembered a Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” ie in times of political or social turmoil when business is interrupted. I asked a Taiwanese diplomat about it once because I’d seen it cited in many articles in the English-language Asian press and he’d never heard of it.

I have just googled around and is there anything wiki doesn’t cover? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_you_live_in_interesting_times

It is a faux curse. Are there others?

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Posted: 27 August 2007 10:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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That reminds me of what is supposed to be a jewish curse: “I wish you a big company with many employees”. It could be just as faux, I guess.

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Posted: 28 August 2007 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dutchtoo - 27 August 2007 10:48 PM

That reminds me of what is supposed to be a jewish curse: “I wish you a big company with many employees”. It could be just as faux, I guess.

Hmm, I think that’s the kind of curse I could live with!

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Posted: 28 August 2007 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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"May you have the builders in”
“May you be the father of a Bishop”

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