Earlier today, we asked for help coming up with a word for that thing where a word is innocent in its native language, but sounds like a dirty word to foreign speakers. And not only did we come up with a word — "sordophone" — but also, a pretty impressive list of words that travelers should be careful about saying.
Offered Tomb: R.O.A.C.H. ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ:
Slut means end in Swedish. Visitors in Sweden tend to find this sordophone really funny. Oh and Fart means speed in Swedish.
Which, as many people pointed out, would drastically change Keanu Reeves' most famous movie about a potentially exploding bus.
Countered Dan Entwistle:
I always enjoy it on American shows when they refer to a "fanny pack".
As I understand it, "fanny" is "bottom" in American English, whereas in the Queen's English, it means "vagina". Before I'd figured that out, I always thought it was a surprisingly rude joke in many of my favourite Saturday morning cartoons.
Fun fact: we Brits call it a bumbag.
patrulje had a funny anecdote about David Lynch's famous book adaptation:
The Danish word for dune is "klit", made the posters for the movie when it came out in the 80s give me a double take, particularly with the worm on it.
And comment_comment had a cautionary anecdote:
Went to school in Sweden, they have a traditional coffee break called 'fika' but, for the german students there, that means 'to fuck'. So, as my schools principle is explaining how 'important it is to take the time for fika, fika with your classmates and with anyone you meet in the school. Fika is important to stay focused and relaxed so you can work harder...' you get the point. My friend Bjorn was going to explode he was laughing so hard.
There's tons more at the link — although beware, some commenters do mention actual regular curse words in the context of explaining their favorite sordophones. Plus don't read this in a place where you might get busted for laughing too loud.