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Germany

Hey Pig! Germany's Steep Fines For Animal Insults ('Stinkefingers' Ain't Cheap Either)

Humans often hurl animal-based insults at each other. But in Germany, crass language can be costly, especially if you call someone an “alte sau.” Silly goose, not so much.

Germany's language police prefer cows to pigs
Germany's language police prefer cows to pigs

Every year, thousands of German drivers learn the hard way that it's just not OK to call someone a "dumb pig." The insult risks a fine of between 500 and 2,000 euros.

Call someone an "alte sau" or "old sow" – the highest level of verbal abuse – and the fine is even stiffer: 2,500 euros. On the other end of the scale are tamer insults like "silly goose" or "stupid cow." German authorities consider these to be less serious than pig-based affronts, and fines only cost around 300 euros.

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Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Thursday, where more Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol, Sri Lanka defaults on its debt,and George W. Bush offers an epic geopolitical gaffe. Meanwhile, Lili Bai in Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at what’s driving the current “expat exodus” at play in Shanghai.

[*Latvian]

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