Dear Lord Arran and Melvyn,
I wasn't sure but thought it sounded pretty baaad... Gosh, one of the two utterly worst Cantonese insults of all... wow.... Now you've got me wondering what the other one is... :-O
In BL there is a fabulous thread about fine single-malt whiskys, including one from the Isle of Arran.
Now if whisky, which is clearly an Epicurean Delight, can also legitimately be considered within the realm of the Beaux Arts
, I wonder if we might, with a little poetic licence and in a spirit (no pun intended) of reciprocity, consider a well-crafted and juicy insult, which is undoubtedly to be counted amongst the Belles Lettres
, as one of life's many Epicurean Delights. After all, a finely-honed insult can be savoured and bring pleasure to recall even years after being deployed.
Two examples come to mind. The first regards a very good-looking young couple who ran a shop in the alley on which I lived in the heart of Rome. They once got into a flaming row out in the little street. People peered out of their windows to see what was going on and to enjoy the show. After a while an elegant and refined, but no longer young, lady who lived upstairs grew tired of the noise. She leaned out of her window and asked the contendants to pipe down. The young woman who had been quarreling in the street stared up at her, eyes blazing with scorn, and without missing a beat roared back:
"Ma statte zitta tu, vecchia troja fallita!"
(trans.: "Shut up yourself, you old bankrupt whore!")
This splendid triple whammy went down in history and is still remembered with smiles of admiration by all who witnessed it (except the target perhaps).
The other example is something of a mystery and may even not be an insult at all. In fact it may even be an urban myth. A friend of mine claims that by the door of the Finnish Embassy to the Holy See there is brass plaque under the door-bell. He claims that engraved on this plaque are the words "Fukka Tahaan". It might mean something like "Press here" or "No Tradesmen" but after tumbler or three of Lagavulin we enjoy speculating on what or who the "Tahaan" might be, or whether perhaps His Excellency might be taking advantage of the obscurity of his language to pull his visitors' legs.
With warmest regards,