Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spanking Terms Around the World

 (A British headmaster. All the more attractive with a proper accent.
Picture courtesy of Sound Punishment.)

In his comment on the little spanking fantasy which I posted recently, our reader Fenris asked about a proper German translation for some of the English spanking terms that I used and thus brought up the topic of spanking play and different languages. I know that some spankos are language fetishists as well and love to play out scenes in different languages. Some even seem to have very clearly defined preferences like female tops speaking French. I wouldn't call myself a language fetishist, but certain terms are certainly important triggers when it comes to spanking play.

And since I'm mostly reading and writing about this topic in English, which isn't my native language, language differences are something I am constantly confronted with. Sometimes, when I write about real-life accounts of Ludwig and me, I have to find proper translations for the German words that we use in our spanking play. And sometimes, I am so much in English language mode when it comes to the topic of erotic spanking that the first expression that comes to my mind is an English one and I have to think hard to come up with the German equivalent.

(Ludwig and I, of course, speak German in our private scenes.
Even if we don't have a proper word for spanking.
Ludwig and I don't need lots of words, anyway.)

Actually, as Niki Flynn already mentioned in the cattle prod spanking clip, we don't even have a proper word for spanking in Germany! "Hintern versohlen", which roughly translates to "bottom beating", is a composite noun and not very wieldy, anyway. So we really use the English word "spanking" in order to refer to erotic adult spanking. But we have some other great words in Germany, instead. For instance, there is the word "Züchtigung" which can be translated as "corporal punishment", "beating" or "chastisement". But in my ears it sounds much cooler (it even has an umlaut) than all of these English terms and it also seems to be more poignant to me in order to describe many scenarios that I like, implying that someone is subjected to corporal chastisement by an institutionalised authority to keep up order and discipline. Then there is "Rohrstock" for "cane" which in my opinion sounds much more guttural and menacing. I also love the word "ungezogen" much more than "ill-mannered" or even "naughty", a term I am not particularly fond of. And finally, there is another word which is even known to many non-native speakers of the German language: "Fräulein". A word that I find somewhat sexier than "young lady".

But, depending on the scene, I also prefer other languages sometimes. Especially if they come with the right accent. I mean, what is better than a stern headmaster or headmistress with a cane and a British accent? Of course the language isn't the only thing that matters, though. I have to say that Pavel Stastny, for example, makes for an impressive headmaster as well, despite of speaking Czech, because of his special charisma and attitude. But the English original still has a special attraction in my opinion. I have to introduce you to my most favourite example one day.

(What is a military scene without a: "Yes, Sir / Ma'am!"
Picture courtesy of Spanked in Uniform.)

Then there are military scenarios. In Germany, we have one problem here. There isn't a proper German equivalent for the simple words "Sir" and "Ma'am". Superior officers in Germany are addressed by "Herr" or "Frau" plus rank, for example: "Jawohl, Herr Major." I guess that's one reason why the expressions "Sir" and "Ma'am" aren't changed in the German dubbed versions of English TV shows. There simply aren't any similarly short German words for them. I like the short reply "Yes, Sir!" to an order, though, and I guess I therefore wouldn't shy away from using the word in German as well.

And finally, we have another of my favourite scenarios, the martial arts scenario. I am a fan of Japanese, too, as long as it isn't pronounced too softly. Japanese can be a rather soft or a rather hard language, depending on the pronunciation, and I clearly prefer the latter. So, a sharp "Hai, sensei!" in reply to a martial arts trainer's order sounds very sexy to me.

(I love martial arts scenarios. And why not use the correct Asian terms?
Picture courtesy of Spanking Central.)

What about you? Are you a language fetishist? Are certain scenarios or certain roles for you connected with a certain language or accent? And do you have any favourite spanking-related words, either in your native or in a foreign language? I am curious to hear about your thoughts! Maybe we even manage to assemble a collection of great sounding spanking-related terms in different languages from all around the world. We have so many readers from so many different countries, so please feel free to join in and introduce us to the most wonderful erotic spanking expressions in your language!


Julia said...

Interesting! I am German, but live in the US and thought I just forgot what the german term for spanking would be. Apparently I am not as forgetful as I thought. Thank you!

Pandora said...

What an interesting post! I'm totally with you on "yes, Sir"I'm afraid I don't have much experience in non-English spanking, other than the SM Circus shoots. Not understanding the language really helped me get into the pet headspace, and the harsher side of German was very effectively for the hard, barked commands. (Although of course despite the stereotype, German can be a very lilting and soft language too).

I remember at the Night of the Cane in 2011 the winners of the caning competition were Spanish:

The winners were a Spanish couple named Ivan and Elisa, who had won the judges approbation with a very powerful caning accompanied by a very husky count "Uno, Gracias Sénor. Duos, Gracias Sénor..."

I'm fond of some of the French words too: fessée is a very elegant phrase for sensual erotic spanking, although it feels less fitting for beating/punishment. And of course derrière is entirely charming.

Fenris said...

Thank you very much for writing about this subject which is most interesting indeed, in my humble opinion.
For those readers who don't know, my native language is German as well, although I tend to read mostly English blogs when it comes to kinky subjects.
As I have already written in my last comment which Kaelah was so kind to mention in her article, the German terms hold much more emotional and erotic attachment for me. I am pretty much hard-wired when it comes to my kink. Actually, like lots of other spankos, I can track back my interest to as early as primary school, although I do not remember a "big bang" which sparked my kink. But I do remember vividly many situations in which "Hintern versohlen" was mentioned, mostly jokingly, by teachers or school mates.
For those readers from other parts of the world who don't know, corporal punishment was abolished in most federal states in 1973 and in Bavaria in 1983. So, there was no chance of actually "getting it" (I love this expression, by the way, in English as in German, "es kriegen" is a literal translation). Nonetheless, quite a few of our older teachers who were in their sixties had received CP in their school days, mostly by caning, and mostly on the hands. We had one French teacher of whom we were quite afraid, as he was very strict and seemed to enjoy humiliating students in front of the class. After a vocabulary test in which most of the class seemed to have failed his expectations, he reprimanded us and mentioned that in the days when he went to school, we would have gotten the cane for our less than satisfactory results. The funny thing is that the fantasy of actually getting a caning in front of the class was thrilling and horrifying at the same time, but I was very glad that CP had been abolished.
Another situation I remember very well: For a certain additional exam before leaving school, we awaited a group of inspectors from another European country. We were quite nervous, of course, and with some kind of gallows humor, a female classmate and myself were cracking jokes, trying to outdo each other in imagining how strict the inspectors would be and how they would deal with us in the oral exam. Finally, she said something about "Hose runter" (trousers down) and "Rohrstock" (cane) when describing how the exam would turn out for us. My fellow spankos can probably imagine the scenarios my perverted mind got instilled with. And I asked myself whether she was like me, questions for which I will never find answers, as it seems. And by the way, for those who are interested in boring details, the inspectors were very nice, not Pavel Stastny doubles.
Nonetheless, I always tried to act cool, as the prospect of getting outed was mortifying. It was the same thing when reading books in school which had CP scenes in it, like "Dead Poets Society" or "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". I was always afraid that it would be my turn of being chosen to read exactly these scenes aloud.
Fiona Locke aka Niki Flynn describes in her book "Over the Knee" how the main character Angela Harker looked after words connected with spanking and CP in dictionaries. Well, I did exactly that, believe it or not.
Somehow, Latin lessons always held a kinky touch for me. Of course, there are some pervy parts in the Latin classics. For example, how about this from Ovid's "Ars Amatoria"?
Nec maledicta puta, nec verbera ferre puellae
Turpe, nec ad teneros oscula ferre pedes.

Don't think it a disgrace to suffer curses or blows
from the girl, or plant kisses on her tender feet.

Apart from these nice little gems you find in school literature, it was more the fact that in my twisted mind, Latin teachers were very strict, the lessons very formal and demanding with lots CP administered. Well, my teacher was more like teddy bear, I think we actually called him so in secret. But perverting reality is one of my favourite hobbies.

Fenris said...


But let's get back to topic (sorry, Kaelah, I feel a bit like hijacking the comment section). Actually, this was the first kinky blog on which I found the courage to comment. One might assume that it would be easier to write about such an emotional and personal topic in one's native language, but I prefer to write in a foreign language as it gives me much more distance. Odd as it sounds, but it would be much more difficult for me to write this comment in German, not because of the grammar and vocabulary, of course, but because of the emotions attached to the subject.

Spankingfreunde.DE said...

Wenn du Pfingsten noch nichts besseres vor hast ...

Ich denke da wären einige neue Erfahrungen für dich drin, auch was Rhetorik betrifft.

Und Donpascal als Schulleiter schlägt jeden headmaster *grins*

Donpascual said...

OK, Rainer, Du musstes das ja loswerden!

I read the post and can only confirm what Kaelah and the commenters have written.
I have a large collection of spanking literature, German and English. In my opinion, English spanking literature is better by far than are German publications. Books by Rosaleen Young, Niki Flynn, Eve Howard, Anne Rice are just examples.
It is not only content but also the language that seems to express spanking concepts much better. Maybe, that this is due to special "signal" words/phrases, maybe that there is a longer and more refined tradition of erotic writing in these countries.
The only German book that equals the English literature is the German translation of Timo Malfattis "Die Peitsche der Artemis" (My opinion, of course).

Ursus Lewis said...

Being a German native speaker as well, I fully agree. The words "Züchtigung" and "Bestrafung" usually turn me on right away. I like "Bestrafung" even better then "punishment" although "punishment" is not bad itself.
Because I started to play only after I moved to New York, I only played in English so far (except one try in German with a non German native speaker).
I'd love to play in German though one day or even better in Swiss German. I can imagine though, I would struggle to find the right words...

Spankingfreunde.DE said...


I don´t think so. I only think, a lot off german book sound more after a Dream from a "Wunschzettel" Order!

I think is more Klatsch, Klatsch as a Storie, you know.

But a few writer play with the words and than you will like the books or stories.

Spanking and BDSM are more a mixted in Germany.

Kaelah said...

@ Julia:
Welcome and thank you very much for your comment! Yes, it seems that we have a lot of composite expressions for spanking like "Hintern versohlen", "Hosenboden strammziehen" or "Po hauen", but no single word like the English "spanking".

@ Pandora:
Yes, German is quite suitable for barking commands, and Direktor Sands is a perfect example. Spanish sounds like a very interesting language for a spanking scene as well. And I can imagine French to be great not only for erotic scenes but for quiet formal scenes with an affectionate, yet determined top as well.

@ Fenris:
Don't worry, I don't feel like you are hijacking my post. Quite the contrary, it's nice to see that my post brought up so many thoughts and memories. :-)

You reminded me of some expressions that I love as well. "Den Hintern voll kriegen." (roughly: "To get one's bottom full.") is one of them. And "Hosen runter" ("trousers down") is indeed great, too!

@ Spankingfreunde / Rainer:
Thanks for the kind invitation! Ludwig and I aren't so much into group role-play (too introverted), though, let alone school role-play. I guess that there are good spanking books in English as well as in German, but I have to admit that I don't read lots of books about erotic spanking, anyway. Most of my kinky fantasies are taken from "vanilla" books.

@ Donpascual:
As I already wrote in my reply to Rainer, I haven't read lots of spanking-related literature. That said, I read Niki Flynn's "Dances With Werewolves" and I think it is excellent.

@ Ursus Lewis:
Are there any special spanking-related words in Swiss German? I have to admit that I had to laugh when I thought about playing out a spanking scene in Swiss German, because I somehow pictured a top telling me that he is going to spank my bottom with a "Stöckli". ;-)

Ursus Lewis said...

Not really. There is only one word that comes to my mind: "Fuditätsch". It's used by parents to threaten their young kids with. Like: "If you don't stop your bad behavior you'll get a Fuditäsch." It basically means "Hinternklatsche".

Kaelah said...

@ Ursus Lewis:
So, even threatening people to spank them sounds nice and friendly in Swiss German! "Fuditätsch" is a great word, thanks for sharing. :-)

Spankingfreunde.DE said...


sure vanilla book are much better for the one fantasy!

But RL ? Put your fantasy in stories and your partner will unterstand much better your feelings!

Kaelah said...

@ Spankingfreunde / Rainer:
Of course I tell Ludwig about my fantasies and vice versa. We usually don't write them down, though, we just talk about them and use them to create ideas for scenes.