Synonyms for basics and for sex terms

That would be a good study: comparing the number of synonyms in various languages. Which synonyms were you thinking of?

I would imagine that most synonyms would be express basic phenomena like “I’m hungry,” “I want…,” “I need,” and “I have to go to the bathroom.”  Let’s see: I’m hungry=I’m famished, starved, ravenous; I could eat a horse./ J’ai faim=J’ai un creux, claque du bec, j’ai les crocs… d’autres ?  What others can you think of?

I wonder how many we could find in other (western?) languages. Ich bin hungrig. Tengo hambre. Πεινάω.

I’ve also noticed that a surprising number of synonyms for sex terms. The film, Last Tango in Paris, was famous for its 32 – I think – words referring to the phallus. Of course, that was both in English and in its French translations because the translations had to keep up with the originals. Sex terms because people are embarassed to say the original word or because it has so many associations or contexts?

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1 Response to Synonyms for basics and for sex terms

  1. Susan says:

    Bernard B. sent us the following synonyms for being hungry. In French: Avoir l’estomac dans les talons and Avoir une faim de loup. In German, Ich bin hungrig > Ich habe Hunger.


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