Sign up for our newsletter and get a curated list of the top trending stories and exclusive rewards every day.

Trending Topics

Get the MTL Blog app

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

7 Quebec Swear Words You Need To Know To Get Through The Winter

It's here ☃️... tabarnak!
7 Quebec Swear Words You Need To Know To Get Through The Winter

With winter coming up, Montrealers are bracing themselves for their annual dose of Quebec winter depresso (seasonal sadness sounds cuter when you liken it to coffee, doesn't it?) — and sometimes there's nothing to do but swear about it.  

When Quebec gets hit hard by winter — which inevitably happens every year — we usually begin the hibernation process, emerging only to enjoy sporadic winter activities, such as skiing or snowboarding, Nuit Blanche and Igloofest.

Editor's Choice:Bloc Québécois Is Asking Quebecers To Start Saying 'Bonjour-HO!' This Holiday Season

It's unknown whether winter sports will go on as normal this season, and no one's counting on winter festivals, so the only activities we can "look forward" to are the inevitable: falling on ice, cold hands and digging our cars out of heaps of snow.

While much is uncertain in the world right now, here's something we know for sure, as we anticipate the bitter chill of impending winter, curse words are going to come in handy.

And all Quebecers know, Québécois profanities are among the best in the world.

You may know all these French Canadian cusses if you were born and raised in la belle province. Feel free to use them alone or, if you're proficient, try combining them all into one fun sentence!


Jennifer Corklin | Dreamstime

Why You Need To Use It: This word is perfect for when you see the winter's first major snowfall. Directly translated to mean "Christ," the verb crisser can be used in a variety of expressions, like criss ton camp (GTFO).


Dusan Kostic | Dreamstime

Why You Need To Use It: Directly translated from a tabarnacle, a holy box where the host and blood of Christ are stored (it's wine), this word is perfect to use when you're struggling with trying to break the ice on your car's windshield or wheels.


Astrid Gast | Dreamstime

Why You Need To Use It: This word can be uttered when Quebecers are slipping on icy winter sidewalks or trying to trek their way through the province's enormous snowbanks. Directly translated from the Catholic "host," it's perfect to use when the Quebec winter takes its toll on your daily activities.


Johnypan | Dreamstime

Why You Need To Use It: It's immensely satisfying to use this word after you've fumbled and gotten hurt due to harsh Quebec winters. Cut your finger on a sharp icicle? Calisse! Nostrils so cold you can feel their hairs freezing? Calisse!

Nique ta mère

Pavel Biryukov | Dreamstime

Why You Need To Use It: Although this is technically a French swear term, it's widely used in Montreal's Arab communities.

For lack of a better explanation, this term means to engage in sexual activity with a person's mother, making it the perfect term to use when you get into a traffic dispute with an incompetent winter driver.


Marc Bruxelle | Dreamstime

Why You Need To Use It: This word is directly translated to mean ciborium, a container for the Catholic Church's host. It's a versatile word akin to the F-word, and you can pepper it onto any negative winter situation you may encounter in La Belle Province.

Pro tip: Add a "Saint" prefix to make Saint ciboire, the perfect replacement for "holy f**k!"

Esti de calisse de tabarnak!

Masezdromaderi | Dreamstime

Why You Need To Use It: This combination is considered the "holy grail" of Quebec profanity. Although each word has a different meaning, you can use them all interchangeably and combine them to use in an extremely dire winter situation you may find yourself in.

Is your front door snowed in? Esti de calisse de tabarnak! Does your car struggle to start due to extreme winter weather in Quebec? Esti de calisse de tabarnak!

More from MTL Blog

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.