Uglier Than a Monkey's Armpit

Uglier Than a Monkey’s Armpit

Untranslatable insults, put-downs and curses from around the world
Format: 190 x 127 mm (5 x 7.5 in)
Extent: 128 Pages
Words: 20,000

About the Book

Arranged by language, containing pointers on gestures and beautifully illustrated throughout, Uglier Than a Monkey’s Armpit (a Spanish phrase to avoid) will equip you with the vocabulary to amuse, shock, offend and let off steam, wherever you happen to be.
  • Appeals equally to the linguist, the language-lover, and the student of the profane
  • With a unique icon key to guide you through the degree of profanity and accepted style and place of usage
  • An unusual, illustrated gift book, beautifully packaged, with a long shelf life and endless dip-in potential


“‘You look like the Mona Lisa after a spanking.’ This glorious Czech insult is just one of the priceless put-downs from this collection … The wonderfully named Dr Vanderplank is director of the Oxford University Language Centre: I bet he had no end of fun compiling this. Should do as well as, if not even better than, Adam Jacot de Boinod’s The Meaning of Tingo.
—The Bookseller

About Stephen Dodson

Stephen Dodson has lived in Thailand, Japan and Argentina. He majored in Russian and did graduate work in historical linguistics before going on to a career in editing. His blog,, deals with issues related to language from the perspective of a linguist, an editor and a lover of language in all its forms.

About Robert Vanderplank

Dr Robert Vanderplank is the Director of the Oxford University Language Centre and author of many titles on linguistics and language teaching and learning.
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