pierre trudeau

On this day, in 1972, Pierre Trudeau was sworn-in as Prime Minister of Canada (the second of four terms) in Rideau Hall, Ottawa. A little less than 43 years, later, his first-born son, Justin Trudeau, was himself sworn-in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada in Rideau Hall.

In this picture, taken in 1973, Prime Minister Trudeau is carrying Justin to Rideau Hall. Little did he know then, that his son would walk, quite literally, in his footsteps.

Circumstance found me on the wikipedia page for ‘Unparliamentary Language’ today and boy howdy is it an interesting demographical survey on what words exactly can get you kicked out of a room full of important people. It starts slower than you might expect:

Australia:

  • liar
  • dumbo

Then picks up to a nice clip

Ireland:

United Kingdom:

  • blackguard
  • coward
  • dodgy
  • git
  • guttersnipe
  • hooligan
  • hypocrite
  • idiot
  • ignoramus
  • liar
  • pipsqueak[16]
  • rat
  • swine
  • stoolpigeon
  • tart
  • traitor[17]
  • sod
  • slimy
  • wart

And then things start to get a little weird, from New Zealand’s strange analogies

  • idle vapourings of a mind diseased (1946)
  • his brains could revolve inside a peanut shell for a thousand years without touching the sides (1949)
  • energy of a tired snail returning home from a funeral (1963)

To Canada’s absurd mix of profanity and the polite but absurd, half of which are about or uttered by Pierre Trudeau (including, of course, the legendary ‘fuddle duddle’).

  • parliamentary pugilist (1875)
  • a bag of wind (1878)
  • inspired by forty-rod whiskey (1881)[3]
  • coming into the world by accident (1886)
  • blatherskite (1890)
  • the political sewer pipe from Carleton County (1917)
  • lacking in intelligence (1934)
  • a dim-witted saboteur (1956)
  • liar (consistently from 1959 to the present)
  • a trained seal (1961)
  • evil genius (1962)
  • Canadian Mussolini (1964)
  • pompous ass (1967)
  • fuddle duddle (1971)
  • pig (1977)
  • jerk (1980)
  • sleaze bag (1984)
  • racist (1986)
  • scuzzball (1988)
  • girouette (French for “weathervane”, Québec 2007)
  • bully (2011)
  • a piece of shit