Today, I will introduce you to some funny Armenian insults! Why? Because why not! 🙂 I am sure that if not all then most of them will sound very bizarre to you especially when you only read the English translations. We, Armenians, have many phrases that are merged into our daily communication and we don’t always realize their literal meaning when we use them in various situations.
So, let’s have a look at my favorite funny Armenian insults:
- Heriqa qez shlangi tegh dnes (English: stop pretending to be a hose)
- Gna groghi cocy (English: go to the writer’s/devil’s bed)
- Gna glkhid dur dir (English: go install a door on your head)
- Hoghem glukhd (English: let me pour dirt on your head)
- Tipyd kytyrvi (English: may your type be cut)
- Hamy hanum es (English: you are taking the taste out)
- Khelqyd haci het kerar? (English: did you eat your brain with bread)
- Ay tnashen (English: you home builder!)
- Anpoch gdal (English: spoon without a tail)
- Ttvac demq (English: pickled face)
- Sarac tolma (English: lukewarm dolma)
- Zahrahmar! (English: snake poison)
For your information, there is an Armenian girl whose name is Mariam Azatyan and she is engaged in making illustrations of Armenian funny and well-known sayings. If you get curious after reading this post you can definitely have a look at her Instagram page for more expressions.
So, now I think is the best time to start exploring more about the meanings and usage of some Armenian insult phrases. Don’t forget to pick your favorite and most weird expressions and share them with me on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I am very eager to learn your thoughts!
Heriqa qez shlangi tegh dnes – Հերիքա քեզ շլանգի տեղ դնես
If we translate this insult literally it would mean “stop pretending to be a hose”, and I think it’s pretty funny. Armenians usually use this when they basically want to say do not pretend that you don’t understand what’s going on when in reality you actually do. Even though the word “shlang” comes from Russian, Armenians still use it in their communication. I’d say we don’t even think about this word as a foreign word, to be honest. And the phrase is normally said on autopilot, we don’t think of its literal meaning.
Gna groghi cocy – Գնա գրողի ծոցը
This can sound a little strange at first as the translation of “gna groghi cocy” is “go to the writer’s/devil’s bed.” What makes this insult funny is that the word “grogh” actually means two things in Armenian; one is “writer” and the other is “devil”. So, when people use the expression they use the second meaning of the word intending to say get lost or go to hell. But if you like to take it as an instruction to have some kind of romantic relationship with a writer, go ahead, we’ve got many talented writers in Armenia. 🙂
Gna glkhid dur dir – Գնա գլխիդ դուռ դիր
This is one of my favorite insults in Armenian because my sister uses it a lot. To be entirely honest, I’m not 100% sure if it’s widespread in the whole country, or just in my family. But that doesn’t make it any less hilarious in my opinion. The translation of “gna glkhit dur dir” is “go install a door on your head”. I have no clue what it means, but I can guess that it suggests your head has so much wind in it (it’s empty) that it’s probably caused by it missing a door. Haha! I don’t know.
It’s used when you say something outrageous, like if you seriously announce that you’re planning to fly to Mars while being clearly unfit for anything remotely physically challenging. Once I felt like I needed a digital detox for a couple of days and I told my sister about it. To express her skepticism towards this idea and the fact she thought it was a stupid idea she suggested I should install a door on my head. 🙂
Hoghem glukhd – Հողեմ գլուխդ
This insult is funny because it’s really morbid. I don’t know where it’s coming from. But we do have really harsh phrases in Armenian, even if the emotion they express is much more low-key. This insult means “let me pour dirt on your head.” This expression is often used by older people as a curse word to show dissatisfaction with the person.
Tipd ktrivi – Տիպդ կտրվի
Not all insults in Armenian are bad though! We do have funny insults that are used in a rather friendly manner. This insult is a prime example of that. In English, “tipd ktrvi” would translate into “may your type be cut” which basically means “may your type of people be gone”. I know it sounds harsh, but it actually means a form of admiration. You say it when someone does something really smart or when someone looks really good. I guess we just don’t like competition. 🙂
But don’t say it to people you don’t know well. Typically it’s used by people who’re very close. . The illustration for this insult shows the cutting of a sticker and as you’ve probably already guessed “tip” also means a sticker in Armenian
Hamy hanum es – Համը հանում ես
This can be a very useful insult in daily communication especially when you get irritated by someone and just want them to stop misbehaving. The literal translation is “you are taking the taste out” which means “you’re crossing the line”. So, if you want to tell this to your friend you can easily do that as this idiom is more friendly and not super insulting.
Khelqyd haci het kerar? – Խելքդ հացի հետ կերա՞ր
This insult is as Armenian as one can get! And it is a funny one! It means “to eat the brain with bread.” You can say this to someone who does or says something stupid. If you want to show that whatever someone said was out of one’s mind or something that makes no sense, you may use the phrase and say “khelqyd haci het kerar.” Technically it’s a question. You’re asking the person if they ate their brain while eating their bread. I think this is also a very old saying because the days when people would eat just bread for a meal are long gone.
Ay tnashen – Այ տնաշեն
Literally, this means “you home builder!” It is an insult that I’ve heard from my loving Armenian mom so many times! It is just a friendly way of berating someone as in weirdo. So, when you want to rebuke someone who does/says something wrong, naive, inappropriate, strange, or has no knowledge of something that is well-known you can simply say “ay tnashen” to them. No idea why we chose “a home builder” as a symbol of something “stupid”. This makes no sense whatever way you think about it, but that’s just it.
Anpoch gdal – Անպոչ գդալ
The next insult is actually cute! It translates as “spoon without a tail”. When someone gets involved in something that is not their business you can tell them they’re like an “anpoch gdal.” They will immediately understand what you’re trying to say. This is a great way to say “this is none of your business”.
Ttvac demq – Թթված դեմք
As funny as it may sound, this insult is equivalent to the meaning of “pickled face” and is a very friendly way of telling someone they are not in the mood. So, when someone shows no desire for something and is just sitting around doing nothing you can tell them they have a pickled face 😀
Sarac tolma – Սառած տոլմա
This one is quite funny and I would even say a strange Armenian insult as it involves a dish in its translation. The phrase means “lukewarm dolma”, or maybe even “cold dolma” is a better translation. It is frequently used when someone is being extremely inattentive to events happening around them, completely disengaged.
If you’re with a group of Armenian friends and you’re not making any effort to participate in their conversation, they might call you a “cold dolma”. I think this shows that we appreciate our traditional main dishes like dolma, nice and hot, and once dolma gets cold it’s boring and uninspiring for us.
Zahrahmar! – Զահրմար
This insult is mainly used by Persian-Armenians and it translates as “snake poison.” However, you can say this phrase to someone who is annoying. So, for example, when someone is getting on your nerves by loudly calling your name, while you’re trying to focus on something, you can say “Zahrahmar”. It’s a pretty harsh one, so they might actually stop doing what they’re doing. For more Persian-Armenian sayings like this, you can watch this funny video below.
Final thoughts on funny Armenian insults
As you might know, the Armenian language is very rich and of course, these types of expressions are not only limited to this list. There is really a lot more for just one post. If you find these Armenian insults funny, you might want to see my weird Armenian phrases list to learn more. And for foodies, I have an overview of weird Armenian food, where I put together 10 of our strangest dishes.
Now, you know some funny Armenian insults! How are you going to use them? Who are you going to practice using them with? 🙂 Let me know on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips. Looking forward to hearing your insults. Haha! Peace!
Featured image credits: Tim Douglas on Pexels