TOP 5: Accidental Sexual Innuendos

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In some countries, Americans are known for being slightly less than chaste. But even when our actions are pure, accidental slips of the tongue can reinforce our reputation as philandering leaders of the free world. Here are five language gaffes you definitely don’t want to make when…

Dating in Japan:   

"I went on a date with a local Japanese man and we were sharing stories about traveling abroad. As I described my trip to Israel and the night I spent at a Bedouin camp, I realized I knew the Japanese word for 'nomad,' but wasn’t quite sure how to say, 'to spend one night at.' I took a guess and was quite pleased with myself when he reacted with surprise. I figured he was thinking, 'What a rare experience!' As it turns out, he was actually shocked because I had just told him that I had a one-night stand with a nomad."
- Kate Maruyama

Visiting a Russian bathhouse:

"A few American friends and I went to a banya, a Russian bathhouse, where it is customary for people to walk around unclothed. It was incredibly hot sitting in the sauna so I said to my friend in Russian, 'I am really hot, I am going outside for a minute.' The Russian woman next to me gave me a very strange look. I quickly learned that there are two words for 'hot,' and only one refers to temperature. I had just announced to a room full of naked women that I was really horny."
- Doreen Ciavrarelli

Dining in France:

"I was sitting at the dining room table with a nice French lady who cooked for me in exchange for garden labor. I looked at the silverware on the table and pointed out, 'I have a very large spoon.' It was indeed big. She looked somewhat shocked, then started laughing. Apparently, my incorrect inflection had led me to say that I was well-endowed in a certain private area."
- W. Dalen Rice

Meeting A Tanzanian host family:

"When describing our interests to our prospective host families, I said in Swahili, 'I like to dance,' and did a little gyrating motion. My director pulled me aside soon afterward to let me know that the phrase I used is also slang for, 'I like to have sex.' Needless to say, I was the last student chosen for a host family."
- Andrew Waggoner

Playing basketball in New Zealand:

"My American friend was on a basketball team in New Zealand and during practice one day asked the coach, 'Should I shag some balls for you?' There, 'shagging' has the same connotation as it does in Austin Powers movies; naturally, the 60-year-old coach was quite shocked!"
- Aubrey Hall

Did you accidentally make yourself out to be a sex fiend while abroad? Share your story in a comment below!



Posted on 5/28/2009 by

Michael Lynch

Michael  Lynch

When I only knew some basic Japanese, I visited a Sushi Bar along the seafront. I had hit it off well with the owner on a drinking expidition a few months earlier and stopped by to say hello. The fellow wasn't there, but his well-endowed daughter was behind the counter. I ordered some sashimi and a beer and when things slowed down decided to ask how her father was doing. I remembered "Ha-ha" and "Chi-chi" meant mother and father. When I asked how her Chi-chi was, I almost got slapped out of my barstool ! Chi-chi, also means breasts; you only call your father Chi-chi; someone else's father is Otoosan !

Posted on 8/23/2009 by

Derek Bernard

Derek Bernard

While studying in Australia I attended a rugby match with some locals I had meet during my stay. Once we arrived at the match I was telling all of them about "how hard I'm going to ROOT for our team" everyone in the group burst into laughter. Apparently to "root" is the equivalent of wanting to have sex with someone or in my case the entire Gold Coast TItans rugby team.

Posted on 8/25/2009 by

Bert Bell

Bert Bell

When first living in Italy I had gone to the post office to mail a package. As usual, things were much more complicated than I had expected and the postal clerk gave me detailed instructions as to how the parcel was to be wrapped. Leaving the post office with package in hand I met a friend who asked me what I was up to. I explained to him that I was goiing home to rewrap my package according to the rigid Italian regulations. Unfortunately, I made a pronunciation error and instead of saying that I was going to glue (incollare) the wrapping I said that I was going to sodomize (inculare) the package. My friend seemed surprised, but then on second thought I suppose he just assumed we did things differently in the USA.

Posted on 11/14/2009 by

Genevieve Studer

Genevieve Studer

Learning German also meant learning the cultural nuances of respectful and familiar forms of addressing people, such as teachers as opposed to friends, respectively. While transitioning in the traditional way from the Sie (respectful) to the du (familiar) forms by each winding our right arm around the other's, hooked at the elbow and drinking simultaneously from a liter Bierstein, I proudly invited my soccer coach - for the whole team to hear - not to use the familiar form with me as I'd thought, but rather to shower with me. He smiled and suggested that we "take one step at a time..."

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