Excuse me for the following, I don't want to offend anybody.

But who could answer my question if not the native speakers? How should we know the depths of the culture with its mays and maynots?

I wanted to tell my friend a joke, but I didn't know which word would be a correct one.
The joke concerns homosexuality.
Here, in Russia we call a person who does bad things, who is mean or disturbs the others (for example listens loud music at night) a [pidaras]. This word is half-neutral and may be used to define a 'homosexual' in general.
Which English word would be better to use
in a joke like this:

A: You know, Mr. K is a [pidaras].
B: What? He borrowed money and doesn't give it back?
A: No, in the good sence of the word.

It also can be used in such kind of phrases: [pidarasy] (pl) broke the window/stole the car/painted something on the garage door etc.

Now, as I think I've got the right answer, but I think at least I won't tell this joke to a person who may think it's very rude.

  • 1
    A fairy! A slang term for a homosexual and a magical winged creature. The person would have to be a real fairy though.... ?? – Mari-Lou A Oct 3 '18 at 10:25
  • The jokes you give as examples have nothing to do with homosexuality—and any such word that is about homosexuality would not be be able to replace pidaras in them. So, it's unclear what you're actually looking for. Can you edit your question to include the actual joke you want to tell but with an empty spot for the word? If you don't have a joke—because it depends on the word—then give better criteria for the word itself. – Jason Bassford Oct 3 '18 at 11:43
  • @JasonBassford , the joke is almost as I've already written. Two friends discuss an absent person: there is their dialog – Andorian Oct 3 '18 at 15:23
  • But the joke as you wrote it has nothing to do with homosexuality. Are you asking for a word that, in one sense, means somebody who hasn't returned borrowed money but, in another sense, means a homosexual? (The problem may be that the punchline—joke itself—doesn't translate to English.) – Jason Bassford Oct 3 '18 at 15:27
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    To take this request seriously, an exact translation is going to be difficult, mostly because slang is usually short-lived and has very specific cultural connections. The slang words for homosexual in English (eg 'gay' = lame or ineffectual or non-macho) don't connect with the situations that you describe (mistakes, mean or bad). The closest slang I can think of for your desired situation is 'jackass' (one who messes up things on purpose for fun). – Mitch Oct 3 '18 at 15:37

Cocksucker is a harsh insult that could be said about any mean person (who is male). It is the equivalent of calling someone an "asshole" or a "motherfucker", but not quite as common as those two insults. It also has a literal meaning which is not how it is normally used. (Do not say these words in front of your mother).

cocksucker noun taboo, derogatory, slang

  1. a very despicable person
  2. a person who performs fellatio


The joke is preserved because of the dual meaning. The punchline changes the insult to the 2nd literal definition.

A: "Mr. K is such a cocksucker!"

B: "What? He borrowed money and doesn't give it back?"

A: "No, in the good sense of the word."

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  • You are wise beyond your years, Mr. Wetcircuit – Dr. Shmuel Oct 3 '18 at 13:59

An equivalent kind of word in English might be bastard.

Originally it simply meant an "illegitimate child", one whose parents were not married. But, perhaps like your pidaras, its offensiveness caused it to become a general swear-word to define a nasty individual.

Nowadays, bastard is rarely, if ever, used in its original sense - especially since the stigma of illegitimacy has mostly been removed in western society.

So, in answer to your question bastard is probably the word you need.

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  • The joke doesn't work with bastard though as "No in the good sense of the word" would imply the homosexuality and not the bad behavior of the person in question or if he is a legitimate offspring – Ontamu Oct 3 '18 at 8:51
  • @Ontamu Well I guess the joke would have to be modified to include the possibility of someone being illegitimate. However my answer is purely addressing the linguistic issue. I would hope that the OP understands that in Anglo society we no longer tell jokes about illegitimate children, or homosexuals. – WS2 Oct 3 '18 at 8:55
  • Yeah I just don't see it working as being a bastard doesn't have a good side. I posted my take on it. Though I agree jokes like that are no longer appropriate, I am trying to answer the question and not pass judgement – Ontamu Oct 3 '18 at 9:05

I think that the word "faggot" implies a stronger condemnation than the word "queer". In my opinion the closest to the meaning of the Russian word "pidaras" is probably the word "douche" or better yet: "jerk". So-and-so is such a jerk! That covers many aspects of bad or anti-social behaviour, as well as stupidity and bad manners.

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  • Yes all of that is true but the OP wants to make the joke work. So he needs a word that can convey homosexuality (to be the good side) and to have a use as a bad side (something else that is to be presumed when the word is used). Faggot is indeed a stronger condemnation word but the good sense is lost. The rest of the things you suggest describe the anti-social aspect they also don't have "good sense of the word" that can be linked to homosexuality – Ontamu Oct 3 '18 at 9:13

I believe "Queer" is the closest thing to what you are looking for. It has been a historical derogatory term about homosexual people but it has also been used as describing someone that isn't acting "manly" enough.

So the joke has to be modified to something like:

[A]Mr K is such a queer.

[B]What? He chickened out of the bungee jump?

[A]No, no, in the good sense of the word

I hope I haven't offended anyone, but I am trying to answer the question asked, regardless of how I feel about the joke.

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  • 1
    It doesn't work. Jokes which rely on ambiguous/multiple meanings are often untranslatable in another language. Someone who is afraid of doing something can be called a sissy, and it carries strong effeminate connotations but there are no positive connotations. – Mari-Lou A Oct 3 '18 at 10:19

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