Blackguard as verb? (don't swear vs. don't curse)

Hi, in Kiev Lavra caves I came across this phrase:
Do not blackgurad.

Now, can blackguard be used as a verb? If so what does it mean? Interestingly enough, in the Russian version of the instructions there was a line that read don’t swear. Maybe, that’s what the English version is supposed to mean too?

Thanks in advance,

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Hi Torsten,

Just about acceptable apparently as a verb but somewhat unusual with the meaning of abuse indecently as in the choice of language. Perhaps it would come out as swear.


Alan, thanks for your immediate response. Could you please also tell me the difference between don’t swear and don’t curse? I mean, swear can have two completely different meanings.[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi Torsten,

Curse is rather an old fashioned expression suggesting evil being put upon either things or people like the opposite of bless. Very often this was done by witches and warlocks who would cast a spell. In a more general sense today people talk about a curse on families. The most famous example is perhaps on the American Kennedy family that people say are cursed because of the tragedies they have experienced, most obviously the murders of the two brothers. On a lighter side you could quite innocently say: Curse it! when the battery on your car is flat. Swear of course apart from serious occasions like swearing an oath on for example the Bible if you are a Christian when you have to take part in a legal proceeding such as on a jury and then there is the use of what television now quaintly refers to as: This programme contains strong language, of which I of course can’t give examples!


Hi Torsten

In addition to the meaning that Alan mentioned, the word curse is also quite synonymous with swear in AmE (“using bad language”). However, in many areas you’ll hear people say cuss instead of curse.
Don’t cuss at him like that!
Jack cussed me out after I totaled his new car.