Do ‘wop’ or ‘greaseball’ carry the same semantic meaning as mangiamaccheroni? Is muso giallo an adequate translation of ‘chink’ or ‘zipperhead’? Do such insults exist in the Italian lingua-culture or are they inventions of audiovisual translators? Controversial and politically loaded, racial slurs have been studied from various interdisciplinary perspectives but from a Translation Studies standpoint this culture-bound lexical minefield is largely unexplored. The present enquiry investigates the meaning transfer of racial insults and taboo language across the language pair English/Italian. In a case study of the film Gran Torino (2008), offensive language in the original film script is analysed from a CDA perspective and compared with the renderings in the dubbed version. Strategies and outcomes of the translation process are discussed in the light of the ideological, cultural and sociolinguistic impact of the translator’s choices on the target text and on the receiving culture as a whole. Students, scholars, and practitioners of translation and intercultural communication will find the book a challenging and original reflection on cross-cultural meaning transfer of societal taboos.