Maledicta—the International Journal of Verbal Aggression

Maledicta cover 001‘…Once a year he’d get the latest issue of Maledicta,a journal of scatological invective and insult, unashamedly incorrect, wilfully scurrilous, and pretty funny, and read me the highlights…’

Interview with Stanley Kubrick by screenwriter Michael Herr,published in Vanity Fair.


Maledicta : the International Journal of Verbal Aggression, edited since 1995 by the German-born chemical engineer-turned- philologist, Reinhold Aman, comes out of Santa Rosa, California. In the UK the nearest we have to it is the Profanisaurus section ofViz magazine, which has been edited for several years by the fictional TV presenter Roger Mellie ( ‘the man from the telly’). Both Viz and Maledictainvite readers to contribute scurrilous material, but while Mellie publishes scurrility usually made up by himself and his readers, Maledicta is a serious academic journal, despite the fact that in his frequent and furious attacks on the politically correct Aman  is liable to describe  prison authorities as ‘ sons-of-bitches ‘ and female opponents of free speech as ‘ militant lesbians ‘.


Maledicta occupies a unique position in the academic world as a place in which international bad language—graffiti, scatology, sexual and other popular jargon — is explored by academics and interested amateurs alike. For instance, in issue XII (1996) which we found at Jot HQ, one can find a disquisition on Domino Pizza jargon by an ex employee of the restaurant chain and a compendium entitled ‘Dutch Soldiers’ Latrinalia’ by a former Dutch soldier, alongside an analysis of medieval swear words by Dr Aman, a paper on the ‘ Lexical Categories of Homosexual  Behaviour in Modern Burmese ‘ by the head of the Himalayan languages project at Leiden, and a language analysis of Yoruba EEbu by a Nigerian professor of English.


Maledicta is also full of rather good jokes. As you might suspect, Aman, as the victim of a very damaging divorce settlement, has favourite targets, one of which is lawyers.


‘The devil offers a lawyer untold wealth, professional success, long life and good health in exchange for the souls of his wife, their children, his parents, his wife’s parents, and his brothers and sisters. After a long pause the lawyer says, “I don’t get it. Where’s the catch?’


Unfortunately, much of the material in this issue of Maledictais unpublishable in the UK, although Vizs eems to get away with it. Here’s another joke.


‘Two women are having coffee when the lady of the house sees her husband approaching with a bouquet of roses. “Oh, my God”, she laments to her friend. “This means I’ll have to lie naked in bed for a week with my knees drawn up to my chest.”  “Why is that”, asks her friend. “Don’t you have a vase?”


It’s difficult to guess Aman’s political allegiance from reading this issue of Maledicta,but we do know that he wasn’t a fan of Hillary Clinton. There are two whole pages of savage quips on the Clintons, most of them aimed at Hillary, who in the equally scathing satire, Hillary Clinton’s Pen Pal (1996) is condemned as a hypocrite and a liar by Aman. Fast forward twenty years and it is presidential candidate Donald Trump who is making the same allegations against her. Prescient or what?






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