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La justice nique sa mère

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by john_riemann_soong, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    It's in the context of a French rap song "Nique La Police" - "La justice nique sa mère, le dernier juge que j'ai vu avait plus de vice que le dealer de ma rue". I can't find out what "niquer" exactly means by itself either - WR only gives a noun form "nique". I'm mainly curious because I don't know why it's "sa" and not "ta".

    I have this feeling this song is somehow related to N.W.A's (in)famous "Fuck tha' police" single, but anyway, I have wide musical tastes. Forgive me. :p
     
  2. pheelineerie

    pheelineerie Senior Member

    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    American English
    Because it's referring to "justice's mother" not your mother.

    It can also be used impersonally, as illustrated in "putain-qu'est-ce-qu'il-fait-froid-nique-sa-mère" (!) (sorry for anyone with virgin eyes)
     
  3. rosalind Senior Member

    Tokai, Japan
    USA, American English
    Well, I'm not a native speaker, but I think it seems pretty clear what it means.

    For a far-too-literal translation:

    "The justice system fucks its [own] mother,
    The last judge I saw is more corrupt than the dealer down in my street."

    "Nique ta mère" is an insulting formula that means "fuck your mother." (In AE, the equivalent, I think, would be "Yo' mama.") It's argot, which, I can only assume, is why it isn't in the WF dictionary (I don't know, is that policy or what?)

    I assume the song uses "sa" instead of "ta" because the insult is directed at the justice system, not at you, the listener. If it said "The justice system fucks YOUR mom," that would be... well, complicated, I think. The way this insult works is that the person whose mom gets fucked is the target of the insult, because the implication is that the insultee's mother is a whore.

    Ah, le language familier. :) Anyway, does this make sense?

    (BTW, who is the song by?)
     
  4. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    Hmm. That didn't occur to me. I guess in English we would be more inclined to comment on the reflexive so much that we would explicitly mark "its own mother", but it might be unwieldy as a catchphrase even in English too.
     
  5. pheelineerie

    pheelineerie Senior Member

    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    American English

    I think it's "la justice, nique sa mère" ... so, "Justice, fuck its mother", not "Justice fucks its own mother" :)

    Or rather the oh-so-eloquent and simple "Fuck justice".
     
  6. rosalind Senior Member

    Tokai, Japan
    USA, American English
    Which takes us all the way back to "Fuck tha' police!"

    Awesome, indeed. :)
     
  7. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    That's an interesting take on it. Heh, the French conjugation system has it set up so that the "tu" imperative and the third person merge for most regular verbs, so it's slightly difficult to tell exactly.

    I could see what you mean, but street language can get pretty abrasive at times, and there's also the concept of showing solidarity with someone by playfully insulting them. In this context, I would have used "ta" because it would imply "the system is so bad, it'll get even your own mother [i.e. you]!".

    Over in Singapore there's a blogger who writes anti-government posts using scathing language, including "f*** your mother chee bai" when the anger is directed at the authorities, not the audience.

    The version I have is by Supreme NTM and Cut Killer, but apparently the French Wikipedia entry for rap français tells me that the quoted phrase "La justice nique sa mère, le dernier juge que j'ai vu ..." apparently was originally by the group Assassin.
     
  8. rosalind Senior Member

    Tokai, Japan
    USA, American English
    I'm afraid I don't know any Chinese at all. What does "chee bai" mean?

    Thanks! I am quite interested in French hip-hop, and I'm always looking for info and recommendations.
     
  9. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    Ah, you're acquainted with the piece? ;) Both of the songs are rather similar in content, atmosphere and attitude - even the vocal qualities of the artists of each piece seem to resemble each other. They are however different enough in style to make me unsure if the French one was directly inspired by the other (since Fuck tha' police was released in 1988, and Wikipedia cites Assassin's' as 1991).
     
  10. rosalind Senior Member

    Tokai, Japan
    USA, American English
    Well, if pheelineerie is right, though, the line should actually be parsed as:

    La justice, / nique sa mère!

    which would come out more as "Fuck the mother of the justice system!"

    In that context, "ta" wouldn't work, it seems.
     
  11. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    Hmm, we probably need a native speaker who happens to be acquainted with hip-hop to clarify. Wikipedia seems to hint that "la justice" is the agent of the verb "nique" in this context, though.

    And oh, as for "chee bai", it's Hokkien, one of the many languages (a Chinese dialect specifically) which our Singlish borrows from. As for its meaning, uh ... I'll let this link to the Coxford Singlish dictionary clarify. ;)

    As for recommendations, would this be good for the cultural forum? I don't know myself. I have quite a few.
     
  12. Chocapic Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    French - France
    Hi :)
    I'll try to help you but i apology for all the mistakes i'm gonna make in English :).

    " Niquer " could be translated by fuck.It's slang.
    " la justice nique sa mere ". It's like if the justice was a personne.So she has got a mother.It's like fuck the justice's mother or justice, fuck her mother.
    because of the " sa " , i translate it like that but if it was " ta " i'll translate it justice, fuck YOUR mother.
    I hope this help :)

    By the way, if you like french hip hop, you gotta hear TTC's song Dans le club and all the album " batards-sensibles" wich is one of my favorites =)
     
  13. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    Est-ce qu'il y une virgule entre "la justice" et "nique"? Pour moi, je préfère l'interpretation que "nique" est rendu en l'indicatif (la justice nique sa mère) et pas en l'imperatif (la justice, nique sa mère). Il me semble que c'est plus certain en cette façon

    "La justice, nique ta mère!" est quelquechose auquel je ne pensais pas. Hmm...

    It also appears to me that it might not really be in the imperative. When you tell someone "fuck your mother!", well, it's not really a command. (You don't really expect them to.) It could be more of the subjunctive-directive almost, e.g. "let your mother get fucked" or "I wish that your mother was being fucked". When it's put in the third person, e.g. "fuck him!" or "fuck his mother" - when your grudge is against a third person and not your audience, you're not really telling the audience to screw that person. I guess the equivalent construction would be "qu'on nique sa mère" ...

    This seems to be where Latin's case system would resolve a lot of things, so we'd know whether "la justice" was being addressed in the vocative or the locative or whatnot. ;) And ooh, what delicate subject matter ...
     
  14. Ori12 New Member

    French, Switzerland (Geneva)
    You shouldn't search a meaning in that kind of sentences ^^
    He just wanted to say that he doesn't like the justice.
    Anyway, I think that he said "the justice is fucking its own mother".
    He was meaning that the justice is not good, that's it.
     
  15. archijacq Senior Member

    Albi
    french France
    I agree. It means justice violates its own original values
     
  16. pheelineerie

    pheelineerie Senior Member

    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    American English
    Normally I wouldn't dare contradict a native speaker, but I really think that "nique sa mère" is a set phrase and is definitely not saying that justice fucks its own mother. That makes no sense. I am practically sure that "la justice(,) nique sa mère" means the same thing as "nique la justice".
     
  17. Chocapic Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    French - France
    i agree with pheelineerie, i'm quit sur that this means fuck the justice.
    Like you said it's a set phrase.
     
  18. vittel

    vittel Senior Member

    french, France
    Well, this expression and its variants are used to express many things. Here,
    "La justice nique sa mère" = Justice is fucked up (because it betrays its own values). It's not an imperative form.

    Joey Starr (one of the singer) recently explained why, 15 years ago, they chose such an offensive band name (NTM = nique ta mère). he answered that it was to express a state of emergency, that things are going bad in the country, that things have to change.

    It states the malfunctioning of a system/of sth. In correct french it would have been:
    "La justice se fourvoie, (car) le dernier juge que j'ai vu... "

    It's also a simple insult:
    nique ta mère = va te faire foutre = fuck yourself.
    Moi la justice, je lui nique sa mère! = Fuck justice! La justice peut aller se faire foutre (i don't respect it, I don't abide by it).

    And it's also an interjection (usually using "sa mère"):
    Like "putain".
    Nique sa mère, il fait un froid de chien!

    Note: there also is a variant: "nique sa race", used in the same cases than "nique sa mère".

    That's the way I hear (and sometimes use) this expression.
     
  19. archijacq Senior Member

    Albi
    french France
    no "pa-nique": yes, you're right
     
  20. vittel

    vittel Senior Member

    french, France
    I'm sorry to insist, but I disagree with this interpretation.

    The coma, precisely, changes the meaning.
    La justice nique sa mère. -> justice fucks its own values.
    La justice, nique sa mère! -> fuck justice.
     
  21. hoshiko Senior Member

    Paris
    Tolosa/Toulouse - Occitan/Catalan/Français
    ROTFLOL
    I'd love to hear Joey Starr speak like that!!!
    Thanks for that image you brought, Vittel!

    Seriously, if there is a comma, I think it changes the meaning in "Justice, may it get fucked!" and it seems more accurate.
    Anyway, that's poetry, everyone understands it the way they like...
     
  22. RuK Senior Member

    Outside Paris
    English/lives France
    We have exactly the same formulation in English - we call someone a 'motherfucker', meaning, à l'Oedipe, he fucks his own mother. That's why it's still a very powerful insult, in both languages.
     
  23. archijacq Senior Member

    Albi
    french France
    quelle que soit l'interprétation, il doit y avoir une nuance entre "fucking" et "motherfucking" (comme ici)
     
  24. rosalind Senior Member

    Tokai, Japan
    USA, American English
    Well, there is a difference between "fucking" (adj.), "motherfucking" (adj.), and "fuck your mother." (Also, possibly, between "Fuck your mother," "Go fuck your mother," and "I fuck your mother." But this would bring a whole new set of insults into play. :) )

    Actually, in the United States, I think it's rare that anyone is invited to go fuck his own mother. You may be called a "motherfucker" (often), you may be told to "go fuck yourself" (incessantly), or it may be implied that the speaker or someone else has had frequent and thorough carnal knowledge of your mother. But the imprecation "Go fuck your mother" -- while the intent would be clear enough -- would, I think, take most English-speakers, or at least most Americans, by surprise.
     
  25. rosalind Senior Member

    Tokai, Japan
    USA, American English
    When I think about it, though, this may be simply because it would lay the speaker so easily open to rebuttal. It's easy to turn against someone; all you would have to say is "I can't, 'cause your mama would be disappointed" -- or something to that effect.

    Ah, the subtle beauties of le langage de la rue!
     
  26. john_riemann_soong

    john_riemann_soong Senior Member

    Singapore / United States
    English, Singlish, Chinese; Singapore
    Hmm, rechecking the song again, I've found out indeed it does use "nique ta mère" - it's just not as said often as they pound "sa mère" into the listener. It repeats 'justice nique sa mère' about six times in the opening before they suddenly switch to "ta mère".
     

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