• Alive, he had no underwear; dead he had a temple over his grave.

    Voghck jahmahnaguh vahrdik chounehr, mehrahv neh dahjahr sheenetzeen kehrezmaheen vuhrah

  • It is not an eye, but a hole in the wall.

    achck cheh, bahdee dzag eh

    This is a curse or very derogatory statement. It indicates that someone has an evil eye.

  • It is better to say he is bad than to say he is an ass

    aveli lav eh kehss esshem kan teh ehs

  • We forgot the stable of the big ass

    Mehdz ehsoun akhoruh yenk mortzer

    This saying is used when the most important person, event, or problem was overlooked in a discussion.

  • He has become the two back feet of the dog

    Shan yedhin vodkun eh

    This implies that such a person is worse than a dog as he is compared to the butt of a dog.

  • Kheearr – cucumber

    This word is used as a symbol of foolishness. Kheearroutioun means the act of being a fool or ass. When someone is referred to as a kheearr, it means they are extremely foolish. Kheearr is a Turkish word, but used frequently in Armenian. In fact, many pejorative Turkish words are used in Armenian for cursing or for sarcasm.

  • Bad words never make money

    Chor khoskuh para cuhner – Bad words, less money

    You cannot insult a customer (or relative) and expect them to remain a steady client (or loyal friend).

  • That person’s roof is missing some shingles

    Daghdakuh bagaseh – he is missing some shingles

    My mother would use this saying to describe very foolish persons. It means “That person’s roof is missing some shingles” The equivalent in English is “his brain is missing some screws”.

  • When God gave him/her a tall body, he forgot to give a brain.

    Asdduhvadz boy dvav khelkuh mortzav

    Jon Lien, a “marine, whale professor” at St. John’s University, Newfoundland once remarked: “The species of whale known as the black right whale has four kilos of brains and 1000 kilos of testicles. If it thinks at all we know what he is thinking about.”

    The professor captured the sense of this Armenian saying.

  • God has given him/her long hair and a short (or meager) brain.

    Mazuh yergayn khelkuh gardz

  • I pass stool on your father’s semen

    Babhut goghuh kaknem

    I pass stool on your father’s semen (I pass stool on the fact that you were born – gogh in Armenian means a hip, but it can be interpreted or extended in meaning to imply sperm or genital, etc.).

    This saying was used as a half jest and sometimes with a real nasty intent. Instead of getting mad at a friend one could say in jest babut goghuh kaknem. For example, if someone loses at poker they would say to the winner, babhut goghuh kaknem. When two friends get angry at each other, they might use this phrase in half jest to lighten up the repartee. However, it could also be used with the real intent of cursing someone’s existence.

  • I’ll pass stool in their mouth

    Peranuh kaknem

    This was my aunt Manushag’s favorite saying whenever she was confronted with a troubling situation. It literally means, I’ll pass stool in their mouth.” She used this imprecation to curse anyone or anything. For example, if the state government sent her a letter for property tax, she would say, “Peranuh kaknem, amen nayeluhs, nor tuhram guh bahanchen – I’ll shit in their mouth! Every time I look, they are asking for more money.” If she read a newspaper article about a burglary in the neighborhood, she would say, “Ayit khoghoun perana kahnem – I pass stool in the mouth of that thief.” If she felt cheated by a handyman, she would say “Adour perana kaknem – I pass stool in his mouth.” She was a character.