禁句 - Different from swear/curse words?

I’m guessing there’s a reason why the translations for this specifically don’t include the two most common names for ‘bad words’ in English. Is this more like if someone were to say ‘We don’t use the word “can’t” in this house’?

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Taboo is a concept, not a specific word or word combo. It can be anything. It could be the prohibition to talk about politics within a household, that would then be an example of a taboo topic. Or to talk about sex. Another taboo subject in many parts of society.

So, taboo, is different from swear or curse words yes.

Info on Jisho is found here: 禁句 - Jisho.org

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So this doesn’t really mean ‘bad word’, then? Is that included to help people who don’t understand what taboo means?

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Yeah, the definition in the Japanese dictionary is:

  1. 和歌や俳諧 (はいかい) などで、使ってはならない語句。止め句。

  2. 聞き手の感情を害したり刺激したりするのをはばかって避けるべき言葉や話。「受験生の前では、落ちる、すべるの類は―だよ」

The word meaning “profanity” is 卑語 (ひご).

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Aye, pretty much. The 3rd example sentence best illustrates this:

トーフグソフトボールチームに入る際の第二規則は、お腹がすきすぎちゃうので、昼食前には「ベーコン」という言葉は禁句だということを肝に銘じることです。
The second rule of Tofugu’s softball team is that you have to keep in mind that “bacon” is a taboo word before lunch time because it makes us too hungry.

The first two context sentences are actually pretty bad since they don’t really elaborate on what exactly was said. If you imagine them both as a response to someone saying “bacon” before lunch then it makes more sense.

I find it interesting that we refer to it that way in English since “profane” is probably closer in meaning to 禁句.

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Also, “vulgarity” means “used by the common people” in the original Klingon Latin.

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probably. Since taboo is much broader than any specific words or phrases. But, sure, it could be a word, but usually, it’s much broader than that.

Like in Faulty Towers, the episode with the German tourists visiting and he’s told to “Don’t mention the war”, that’s an example of him flauntingly ignoring this social taboo, with his actions.

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Got it - thanks, everyone!

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