how to seear in Vietnamese -- du ma

What Does “Du Ma” Mean in Vietnamese?

What does đụ má mean in Vietnamese? It is short for đụ má mày which is a Vietnamese expletive that is roughly the same as “f you” in English. If someone is saying this to you, remove yourself from the situation!

“Đụ má” is actually less offensive than…

“Đụ má” is a softer version of the more serious expletive địt mẹ, which literally means “mother f**ker”.

“Đụ má” is to “địt mẹ” as “F you” is to “f**k you”.

Both expressions are serious insults and should not be said in public or in polite company. Neither are said on TV nor are written in state-sanctioned publications. The only reason to know the meaning of these words is to be aware of angry people who may want to F you up.

How do you say “Mo Fo” in Vietnamese?

The cute-and-cuddly version of the English “Mother F**ker” is Mo Fo. Likewise, in Vietnamese, the slightly-funny/slightly-more-acceptable version of đụ má is đờ mờ, which translates to “d m” (i.e. it is an acronym). Đờ mờ is likely to elicit more smiles than disgust.

As a foreigner, saying đụ má or đờ mờ may be funny at the club or among adults, but aside from acting like a joker, you really shouldn’t say either of them.

On the plus-side, you can yell “F**K!!” in public to your heart’s content, because such words have no emotional impact on Vietnamese people. In fact, for young Vietnamese who listen to hip hop music or watch American movies, “f**k” is one of the most frequent English words that they hear — it is as un-evocative as “hello!”

How to pronounce “Đụ má” in Vietnamese?

Đụ má

Đụ is pronounced with the hard English-D, while the “ụ” is pronounced with the short down-tone (like a quick percusive, truncated, low-pitch sound).

has an up-tone — a rising pitch inflection as if asking a question.

Learn more about the 6 Vietnamese tones here.

Learn More Vietnamese Slangs

fun vietnamese slang words

My favourite way to learn Vietnamese is to focus on its slangs — they make Vietnamese people laugh, they reveal the tacit anxieties of the culture, and of course they are fun.

READ MORE: Learn 12 common (and useful) Vietnamese slangs.

Alternatively, learn also how to speak politely in Vietnamese.

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One Comment

  1. Vietnamese here. No, it’s not necessarily a “fuck you” when you hear Du Ma. Du Ma only means “fuck”. That’s what you say when you messed something or you’re cursing at yourself. Like “fuck! I burned my finger” or “fuck! My day sucked”.

    It’s only a “fuck YOU” when they add “may” to the end – “du ma MAY”. “May” means “you”. THATS when you know they’re cursing at YOU.

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