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Are those the correct characters? I understand it to be profanity but how bad is it? Worse than 你妈的 ? Any insight would be appreciated, just find this to be a funny expression that I haven't heard of before.

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妈(了)个巴子 is Northeastern dialect, it means of 妈了个逼 (your mother's vagina) and it is much worse than 你妈的. This expression is known to all Northern China but primarily used in Northeastern China. –  NS.X. Oct 20 '13 at 21:52
    
Yes I heard it a lot from Dongbei people! –  grayQuant Oct 21 '13 at 19:58

2 Answers 2

Well, I agree that @NS.X said.

First, it should be "妈了个巴子", not "妈个巴子".

Second, it is much worse than "他妈的".

Actually, if you are angry with something, you can say "他妈的", to express your dissatisfied emotion. But please do not use it to a person. However, please do not use "妈了个巴子" even if for a thing, since it is too coarse.

Anyway, it is not good to say these kind of word in China. Others may look down on you.

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It sounds quite funny in my southern ears. –  Inglis Baderson Oct 23 '13 at 9:19
    
@AgreeOrNot If you listen to 单田芳's storytelling 《乱世枭雄》 or 《民国十大军阀演义》, you'll understand how the phrase is actually pronounced and how it's (extensively) used by the Northeastern warlords to show defiance to others. –  NS.X. Oct 23 '13 at 18:57
    
Got it, I won't lose face then! I don't say this kind of stuff anyway. –  grayQuant Oct 23 '13 at 19:13

Are those the correct characters?

Not exactly. This is a word used to curse others when you are very angry. So this words are ONLY more for pronunciations than the meaning of the fixed word itself.

I understand it to be profanity but how bad is it? Worse than 你妈的 ?

Hard to say, both of them are very profantiy. DON'T use them anywhere;)

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I thought 他妈的, or similar variations are "acceptable" sort of like damn in English. From NS.X answer, it seems like this is worse. I see how the words work now, only for the sounds. –  grayQuant Oct 21 '13 at 19:58

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