What $#!± should I not say in Persian?

Red collapsable toy donkey - Ask An Iranian - What things should you not say to an Iranian? - Persian insults

What are the first words you learn when learning another language? It’s always the same, of course! You learn how to ask if the meat is halal, if the toilets have a botty-hose, and of course, the names of various four-legged animals. After you’ve impressed any newly-found foreign friends with the names of four-legged animals in their language, they’ll likely proceed to teach you more words. Don’t be confused though when they follow up by telling you to never use any of them. In a similar vein, this episode of the Ask An Iranian podcast is exactly that, in that, we hope you’ll never use any of the Persian, or Farsi insults that we teach you.

Should the suggestion of that have aroused your curiosity, then tune in to enjoy the veritable smorgasbord of Persian insults, innuendos and inappropriate words. Also, within this episode, we read out contributions from our beloved listeners who kindly helped us out in helping you get familiar with the best, the worst and the weirdest Farsi cuss words. So, if you want to know what you should not say to an Iranian, be sure to check this episode out.

Questions we also get answers to in this episode

  • How do I swear in Farsi?
  • Do Iranians think that they swear more than other peoples?
  • Which Iranian serial is good to learn Persian with whilst watching?
  • Do Iranian movies have age certification, or is it all ‘Parental Guidance’?
  • Is it ok for non-Torks to use the term “Tork e Khar” (Tork Donkey)?
  • Did the historical Persian poets ever use profanity in their works?
  • Do Arabs and Iranians have similar insults?
  • How do the Kurdish insult one another?
  • Are people that use bad language, more trust-worthy?

A list of common Persian-language insults and foul language

We feel that it’s important for you to know these Persian insults and to know them by reading how they would sound if spoken. We hope that you never hear them, and we sure hope you never use them.

Persian (Pingilish)English translation
Āb chāghāl:Semen of a male that prefers males
Ahmagh:“Idiot”
An āghā:“Mr Shit”
Azāmātam:Wishing someone continuous death and sorry, and to continually be in mourning
Bi gheirat:A person with no honour
Bi nāmoos:A person with no honour
Chāghi:A male who prefers males, but maybe more passively
Dayoos:“Pimp” or “cuckold”
Gardan koloft:“Thick neck” — a term for bigot
Ghoroom sāgh:“Cuckhold” — or maybe “your wife is a bitch”
Goh/An:“Feces”
Goh to dahanet:“Shit in your mouth” — an insult you’d say to someone
Goh to saret:“Shit on your head” — an insult you’d say to someone
Harām zādeh:“Bastard”
Hezār pedar:“Thousand fathers” — an insult suggesting your mother gets around
Jā kesh:“Place puller” — like a brothel provider
Jendeh:“Prostitute”
Ke ke:“Shit”
Kir:“Dick”
Kiri:A person who is into dick
Kiram to dahanet:“My dick in your mouth”
Koonaki:This probably means, “little arse”
Koon bacheh:A male who prefers males, but maybe more passively
Koon nashoshteh:“Arse not washed” — said to somebody who you want to suggest doesn’t wash their arse
Koon goshād:“Loose arse” — a term used to suggest somebody is lazy
Koon kesh:“Pimp” — for men looking for men
Kos e sher:“Pussy poetry” — meaning, (you’re talking) “bullshit”
Kos kesh:“Pussy puller” — a pimp
Kos khol:“Crazy pussy” — suggesting somebody is a crazy idiot
Khāk to saret:“Mud on your head” — something like, “die!”
Khār koste:“Your sister is a slut” — probably one of the worst insults
Khasis:“Stingy” — being tight with money
Mādar jendeh:“Your mother is a prostitute”
Mādar ghabeh:Referring to another person’s mother as a prostitute
Mādari:A person who is sexually interested in their mother
Martikeh:A way to refer to a man in a belittling way
Martikeh haraam goosht:Kinda like, your meat is haram, and can’t be eaten
Morde shoor:“washer of dead people” — an occupation in itself
Namak nashenas:“Not knowing salt” — kinda used to suggest somebody is ungrateful
Nang:A disgrace
Naneh hamegi:“Mother of everyone” — an insult suggesting that your mother belongs to all
Oskol:“Idiot”
Pedar sag:“Dog father” — like, “you cretin”
Pedar sookhteh:“Burnt dog” — like, “you cheeky so and so”
Pofak sar:“Cheese-puff head”
Shahre Nooei:Somebody from the place known as ‘Shahre No’, a place that was essentially a ‘red light’ district
Tokhm e jen:“A genie’s testicle”
Tokhm e sag:“Dog’s testicles”
Tool e sag:“Child of a dog”
Tork e khar:“Tork donkey” — Torks are ethnic group of Iranians
Yāboo:The name of the animal known as an ass
Zahre mār:“Snake’s poison” — said in response to another, by an upset person
Zer nazan:Kinda like, “don’t talk too much”

“a” appearing without an accent will be pronounced as a short-a, as in “ate”
 “ā” appearing with an accent will be pronounced as a long-a, as in “water”

Tell us your favourite insults in Farsi

We had a lot of help from our listeners in getting these examples, so thanks to all those that contributed. If you feel that we’ve missed anything, please add it below. Also, if you want to contribute to upcoming episodes, be sure to follow us on Instagram and check out our stories, in which we occasional request feedback.

Lastly, If our exhaustive list of how to swear in Persian (Farsi) isn’t satisfactory enough, head here for even more.


Translations of Persian (Farsi) words used during this episode

Persian (Pingilish)English translation
Khodā nakoneh:“God forbid”
Mashgh:“Practice/exercise” — sometimes used for “homework”
Khāk bar saram:“Mud on my head” — like, “bury me”
Lāti:Something like gangster
Kholāseh ke:Slang, kinda like, “…long story short”
Neveshtan:“Writing”
Daste shomā dard nakone:“May your hands not be tired”
Nemishe goftesh:“It can’t be said”
Fākher:“Fine” (as in fine art) — sometimes a family name for Iranians
Khoondan:“Reading”

“a” appearing without an accent will be pronounced as a short-a, as in “ate”
 “ā” appearing with an accent will be pronounced as a long-a, as in “water”

Image credit: ‘red collapsable donkey toy’ edited by Ask An Iranian, 2021. All of the Ask An Iranian podcast covers are available as NFTs here.

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9 Comments

  1. Just came across your website and, as an Iranian, I have to say it’s incredibly interesting and funny! Continue the great job!

    • Hello Foroogh! As one and a half Iranians, we thank you! Keep in touch with us with your comments and share what you like with your friends.

  2. ok but Kiri is not a person who’s in to dicks, it’s more like “a shitty person”

    • Neil friday

      I’m assuming Kiri Te Kanawa isn’t too popular in Iran then 😖

  3. we have the best curse words ever
    like tokhme sag e kiri kose amat 🫠🤣

  4. I have an oncologist who doesn’t display much humor, empathy or personality. What is a good way to pretend I am trying to learn Farsi but only bad words come out?

    • maybe find out a good word and put it in front or behind a bad word so it looks like you’re trying and tell them you know what it means but instead tell them the fake translation you wanna pretend it to be ( like beautiful dayoos … )

  5. I have an oncologist who doesn’t display much humor, empathy or personality. What is a good way to pretend I am trying to learn Farsi but only bad words come out?
    Please answer. Thanks

  6. maybe find out a good word and put it in front or behind a bad word so it looks like you’re trying and tell them you know what it means but instead tell them the fake translation you wanna pretend it to be ( like beautiful dayoos … )

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