By Martin Austad


2019-03-15 11:57:30 8 Comments

In Norwegian we use an expression which in direct translation means:

to swear in church

The expression is used in a situation where you give your opinion that is totally outrageous in the eyes of the people you are talking/writing to.

Is there a similar expression in English?

2 comments

@J. Mac Jordan 2019-03-15 23:11:48

Yes, I guess I am unsure if you want a word for the speech act or the speaker or the speech in general. That being said, I'll try to cover all three (the first example being specifically non-religious; the rest carrying religious weight.

A challenger in a specific context: An Agitator speaks to agitate a group or a people. Their speech act is agitation.

A challenger in a religious context: A Heretic speaks heresy against the church. They are heretical before the Church.

Other words that describe such a person without as strong a force "Heretic" conveys, for example, (the person who speaks - the idea/position - the type of speech) as used in the context of a Church:

Apostate - Apostasy - to Apostatize (to dissent, to denigrate)

Sectarian - Sectarianism - no direct verb (to imprecate, to execrate)

Pagan - Paganism - "Paganry," while a word I've heard and used for its humor....apparently is not a word (we can change that!!!), but to speak as though one were a pagan, basically any speech form that offends the church works - "to blaspheme" is probably the most applicable for someone who engages in "Paganry," as a specific speech act.

@Mike C 2019-03-15 17:46:27

The one that springs most quickly to mind is to blaspheme, or to be blasphemous: to speak irreverantly about God or sacred things. Blasphemy is commonly understood to include behaving inappropriately in a church but is also used colloquially (and jokily) for many other things outside a religious context. For example: I might say that Team A were far better than Team B and I might be told that my view was blasphemous.

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