Klala is translated as curse, but that means when one curses someone to die or curses God or his parents, hamekalel aviv v'imo mot yumat.

but would that imply that cursing vulgarities is permitted?

are there any sources which forbid cursing in this way?

what is inherently bad about common colloquial curse words?

  • 2
    (Related: yodeya.com/q/40165.) There's a proposal to close this as a duplicate of "Halachot of Lashon Naki (clean speech)". But that question's focused on explicit terminology for private body parts and the like versus euphemism and this is focused on common colloquial curse words. It doesn't seem like a duplicate to me. Just MHO.
    – msh210
    May 13, 2015 at 12:43
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    Quick thoughts - "Watch what comes out of your mouth" (Devarim regarding vows, but IIRC commentaries generalize this to all speech), harming others by words (ona'at devarim) - BTW, that can be done even w/o cursing, so cursing is more harmful!; possibly Chukot Hagoyim as well. Goyim have a tendency to use assorted vulgarities as meaningless "emphasis" in their speech. You know what I mean. It makes even an intelligent person look filthy and stupid, as it adds nothing useful to their message.
    – DanF
    May 13, 2015 at 13:23
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    I'm not yet convinced that this is a dupe, but it is vague, for me. Can you specify your use of the curse words? Is it used in the context of insulting someone else this way or you mean including these words plainly in a "colloquial" sentence when speaking to someone as in "That was F-G good," and similar?
    – DanF
    May 13, 2015 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


See Shabbos 33a: בַּעֲוֹן נַבְלוּת פֶּה צָרוֹת רַבּוֹת, וּגְזֵירוֹת קָשׁוֹת מִתְחַדְּשׁוֹת, וּבַחוּרֵי שׂוֹנְאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵתִים, יְתוֹמִים וְאַלְמָנוֹת צוֹעֲקִין וְאֵינָן נַעֲנִין, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״עַל כֵּן עַל בַּחוּרָיו לֹא יִשְׂמַח ה׳ וְאֶת יְתוֹמָיו (וְאַלְמְנוֹתָיו) [וְאֶת אַלְמְנוֹתָיו] לֹא יְרַחֵם כִּי כֻלּוֹ חָנֵף וּמֵרַע וְכׇל פֶּה דּוֹבֵר נְבָלָה בְּכׇל זֹאת לֹא שָׁב אַפּוֹ וְעוֹד יָדוֹ נְטוּיָה״. Due to the sin of vulgar speech, troubles abound, and harsh decrees are renewed, and the youth among the enemies of Israel, a euphemistic reference to Israel, die, and orphans and widows cry out for help and are not answered, as it is stated: “Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall He have compassion on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is ungodly and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks wantonness. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still” (Isaiah 9:16).

  • This answer could be improved by demonstrating that the term ניבול פה means using curse words/profanities. Jun 9, 2023 at 20:20

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