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Khanzeer, or Khinzeer, is an Arabic word mentioned in the Quran, and it translates to swine/pig but is also used for a dead animal. In Quran, it was used in a Surah to prohibit Muslims from eating the meat of swine, along with a prohibition on alcohol and fornication outside marriage. In Punjabi, however, Khanzeer is used as a cuss word. Although pig (used as soor) is also used as a cuss word and implies the same, Khanzeer has a different feel and is preferred by Muslims over pig because saying the latter word out loud, according to many people, results in one’s tongue remaining unclean for forty days, as is the case with the drinking of alcohol. Khanzeer is used quite frequently in Punjabi offensively and casually, depending on the situation and context where it is used. Khanzeer is also used to refer to the meat of dead animals, like buffalos and cows.

Although the word was already quite popular, it was further popularized (among mummy daddy circles as well) by controversial religious scholar and erstwhile head of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan – a party that is more of an extremist pressure group – Khadim Hussain Rizvi. He didn’t shy away from calling his political and religious opponents “Khanzeer.” The word is used inside houses, on the streets, the tea stalls, among other spaces.

Some of the sentences or curses that feature Khanzeer are:

  • O khanzeeraa (you pig)

  • Bohat wadda khanzeer ayn tu (you are such a pig)

  • Khanzeer da putar (son of a pig)

  • Barray barray khanzeer wekhay ne par tere jeha maa ne nahi jameya (I have seen many pigs in life but haven’t seen one quite like you)

  • Khanzeer khaada hoyaa ee? (Have you eaten dead flesh or what?)

  • Dafa ho khanzeera (fuck off, you pig)

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