The top 5 of hurtful words in the Netherlands among 18 to 25-year-olds is, according to a recent study:
- Kanker (cancer)
- Godverdomme (god damn me)
- Hoer (whore)
- Neger (negro)
- Tering (tuberculosis)
The study was commissioned by Bond Tegen Vloeken. A whopping 71% of those interviewed considered the word ‘kanker’ to be hurtful.
Bond Tegen Vloeken is a Christian organisation that wants people to stop using their gods’ names in vain. In their press release they use the word scheldwoorden instead of krachttermen, a distinction the English language doesn’t seem to make to this Dutchman. The former means ‘words with which you abuse others’, the latter are words of pain or anger that aren’t directed at anyone in particular.
Of the top 5, the words ‘kanker’, ‘tering’ and ‘godverdomme’ are considered krachttermen, although the first two can easily be used in compound terms of abuse, e.g. ‘kankerhoer’.