Questions related to words or phrases that may be considered offensive in English

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3
votes
1answer
46 views

Usage of “black” vs. “African-American”

One of the things I've learned (the hard way, may I add) is that in the USA it is very frowned upon to say that someone is black ---if anything, you say they are African-American. I do get the social ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

What's the origin of this vulgar internet slang term?

The word fuckboy seems to have materialized from the aether somewhat recently and I can't get a grasp on what it's supposed to mean or where it came from. I've heard one suggestion that it originated ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Why do non-native speakers consider “bitch” to mean “prostitute”? [closed]

Why do so many non-native speakers from very different linguistic backgrounds seem to understand the term bitch as being a synonym for prostitute?-- I have never heard a native speaker use the former ...
8
votes
6answers
131 views

How to communicate the idea of a “brown-noser” without the vulgar connotations?

What term would communicate something similar to "brown noser", without the vulgar connotation? (Here's one citation of the term being used by WWII soldiers, but I'm guessing it was used before that. ...
1
vote
5answers
234 views

Is “bollocks” really a swear word?

Today my laptop battery died while I was finishing off a sticky note and so naturally I just went 'Oh, bollocks!'. After all, it didn't warrant one of the "big six"; it was more a "damn" moment. So I ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

Is calling someone 'didactic' risking offense?

As I understand it, 'didactic' is used to mean something that has the ulterior motive of teaching especially in a moral connotation and also to mean patronising, or appearing patronising. So does ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Offensive phrase: what does “**ck my brains out” mean? [closed]

Does this expression have to do with actual sex intercourse? Or it is mostly used to describe a situation of some conflicts over little petty meaningless things, for example, preparing a work report? ...
7
votes
2answers
924 views

Foul language vs. vulgar language [closed]

I have been able to find the differences between many pairs of words/phrases of similar meaning on Stack Exchange except for one — vulgar language and foul language. Could anyone shed some light on ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

The colloquial use of the pronoun “you” followed by “adjectives”

Utterances like you pig!, you bastard! or you silly! are quite common but it is hard to find grammatical explanation about them as they are prevalent in the colloquialism. I would be glad if ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

Why has “Caucasian” remained in use, while similar terms for other races have fallen out of use?

Why has the term "Caucasian" remained in use, while equivalent terms, such as those used for Asian people, African people, and Australian Aborigines have fallen out of use in polite society? I came ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Slang meaning of “sheltered workshop”

When used metaphorically as slang (the literal meaning, possibly considered politically incorrect, is a workplace specifically for disabled people), what does the term "sheltered workshop" mean? ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

What's another way of saying “to hell with it”? [closed]

How do you express displeasure and disregard over something (e.g. To hell with that new policy _____'s office has come up with! I'm going to do whatever the hell I want) without sounding crude? I am ...
2
votes
7answers
409 views

What is a less vulgar, but informal phrase for “talk a lot of s***”? [closed]

For some reason the phrase "talk a lot of stick" is coming into my mind when I think of a person who talks a lot of shit, but I couldn't find anything when I Googled it. Is there any phrase which ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

Is “dandy” considered offensive? [closed]

Is calling someone a dandy considered offensive or has a negative meaning nowadays? English is not my native language, so I wanted to clarify this for me. I understand the meaning of the word, but I ...
13
votes
12answers
4k views

“God's own country”

According to Collins-Robert English-French Dictionary by Beryl T. Atkins, Alain Duval, and Rosemary C. Milne, ed. 1985, manufactured in the United States of America by Rand McNally & Company, (...
7
votes
10answers
1k views

Colorful idiom/phrase equivalent to French “s'en fourrer jusque là/plein la panse”

Is there an expression/idiom in English that comes anywhere close in flavor to the colorful French expression, s'en mettre (or fourrer or foutre) jusque là s'en mettre (or fourrer or foutre) ...
6
votes
8answers
946 views

English equivalent for the French expression “péter de santé”

Is there an expression/idiom in English that carries pretty much the same connotation as what is implied by French "péter de santé"? WordReference actually gives for translation, "be bursting with ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Expletive or exclamation meaning “exactly” or “precisely” [closed]

I have a friend who is an excellent non-native English speaker. However, when agreeing emphatically via text message, he will sometimes say "exact-fucking-ly!" This sounds odd compared to "abso-...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Does English slang have a feminine version of “breaking someone's balls”?

A question out of curiosity. Probably Not Safe For Work. Often times, I come across this phrase especially in Hollywood movies and sitcoms. Depending on how it's used, it either means that "someone ...
1
vote
3answers
93 views

more professional alternative to offensive phrase [closed]

I'm trying to write a professional letter to someone with whom I am extremely upset. While I feel that sometimes words that are considered offensive are the best words to express certain feelings, ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

The Word Bastard - Origin and Meaning [closed]

How offensive is the word Bastard? And when did it become more of an offense than a term used for child out of wedlock?
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Adjective for 'shite'

The adjective for 'shit' is 'shitty'. And is there no different adjective for the British word 'shite'?
0
votes
1answer
115 views

Subtle version of “Curtains match the carpet” [closed]

The idiom "the curtains match the carpet" -- also heard the other way around and, in American English, swapping in "drapes" and "rug", respectively; I think I've also heard it with "collar" and "cuffs"...
8
votes
10answers
5k views

What is a less offensive term for “Christian mythology” that still implies it's non-empirical?

I'm trying to find an alternative term for "Christian mythology" that characterizes it as non-empirical, but isn't quite so caustic towards those sympathetic to Christian beliefs. I've considered "...
-2
votes
4answers
114 views

A polite substitution for Charlie Foxtrot

Charlie Foxtrot is the NATO phonetic acronym of which is clearly fairly rude. If you were not aware of the meaning, you would have no idea what I was talking about. Is there a polite version to ...
28
votes
22answers
5k views

Is there any curse/ swear equivalent for this Persian curse? “ May your head be covered by soil!”

There is a curse/ swear in Persian that literally means " May your head be covered by soil" and implies that " you'd better die and be buried /be underground!"( you are not important). We use it in ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

Usage of Beautiful [closed]

I have been taught in English language classes that using "Beautiful" for a girl, represent your rudeness? for example you should not say "what a beautiful girl". Is it correct?
0
votes
1answer
113 views

help to find a taboo equivalent

Excuse me for what you are going to read now. If you don't accept the taboo lexics, please don't read this. There is a taboo phrase in Russian: "ебись оно всё конём" /jebis ono vsjo konjom/ which ...
3
votes
2answers
299 views

Is “sh*te” a swear word?

So I was watching The Simpsons just before, the episode being "Fraudcast News". At the end of the episode many Springfield residents follow in Lisa's footsteps and start to print their own newspapers. ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

How do I ask a question and make a comment in the same sentence? [closed]

For example, if I wanted to ask somebody a question and call them an idiot would I write: "What do you know about grammar? You Idiot" or "What do you know about grammar you idiot?" Or is it done ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

What was slang, profanity and swearing like in the 1800's. [closed]

What would surprise us about the vernacular of the common Tennessean or South Carolinian in the early 1800's? What expressions were used profanely that would seem mild or strange today? Given the lack ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

The Kids are All Right

As I was reading some of the responses on Should I use “the wife” or “my wife”?, I agreed with many of the posters stating that using the wife as opposed to my wife was slightly less personal and ...
7
votes
3answers
933 views

Meaning of the expression “Eat sh**”

What does the expression "eat shit" represent in the following sentences? Eat shit, I'm not going to do your dirty work. Is this similar to "I dislike doing your dirty work"? Or does it mean "Go ...
23
votes
11answers
3k views

Is it okay to use the word “Negro” in a historical context? [closed]

In a few days, I have to do a class presentation project about the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. I want to say that the movement's original name was the "New Negro Movement," but I'm not sure if that's ...
4
votes
4answers
147 views

anatomically correct without sexual connotation [closed]

I would like to be able to describe something as anatomically correct in the sense that I would have a doll, etc. that is essentially anatomically accurate, without conveying the sense that I am ...
0
votes
1answer
178 views

Is it offensive to refer to women as “a female”? [duplicate]

It was claimed in this comment on this meta thread on The Workplace SE (referring to this Workplace question) that it is insulting to refer to women as "a female", instead of "a woman". She's ...
5
votes
2answers
282 views

What is the lost origin of 'hoodlum'?

The OED Online, in an entry "not yet fully updated (first published 1899)", gives this etymology for 'hoodlum': The name originated in San Francisco about 1870–2, and began to excite attention ...
5
votes
4answers
139 views

Why so many curses have religious references?

In particular those of surprise or anger. For example Bloody hell, Oh my god, God dammit, Holy crap, Jesus Christ, F*#king hell,
35
votes
10answers
5k views

Is the term “aspie” derogatory?

Until today I had never heard of the shortened term "aspie" to refer to someone with Asperger syndrome. While the term strikes me as derogatory and belittling, I'm not a native speaker and obviously ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

Is 'metis' more or less offensive in use than 'halfcaste'? [closed]

Both 'mé-tis' and 'halfcaste' (also 'half-caste') mean, generally, 'of mixed blood'. Is one more or less offensive in contemporary use than the other?
2
votes
1answer
400 views

Is using the expression “pain in the ass” considered rude [closed]

Is using the expression "pain in the ass" considered rude ? I'd like to use this expression in a public talk about diffucult outdoor activities, like for instance: "crossing this river was a major ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Do vulgarity and linguistic flexibility actually correlate? [closed]

Regarding “fuck”, Wikipedia states: [it] has a very flexible role in English grammar, which stems from its vulgarity; the more vulgar a word is, the greater its linguistic flexibility. I ...
0
votes
2answers
126 views

What is a work-appropriate “small” object for a joke? [closed]

Trying to think of a way to make this joke work-appropriate. "If we store GPS coordinates to a precision of 10 decimal points, we could even measure the size of your [expletive deleted]." What is ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I use the F-word in a formal context? [closed]

I want to ask whether I can use the word "Fuck" in a formal context. Apparently, the word dates back to the early 16th century, so it shouldn't be considered slang (although, it is misused as slang ...
8
votes
3answers
137 views

Sorry for the vulgarism, but is “motherf**ker” considered more insulting or racially offensive in some parts of the US?

This is more of a cultural question. A little while back, I was playing basketball at my pickup league - a friend of mine who is white (and from New Hampshire) got whacked pretty bad in the face by ...
60
votes
8answers
18k views

If cow = beef, pig = pork, and deer = venison, then where is the word for human = [flesh as food source]?

Maybe it's the season of Halloween, because it's kind of a grim question, but I have seriously wondered from a language point of view - is there a word for human as 'food-meat', or has there ever been,...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the verb “jimmy” related to “Jim Crow”?

The verb "jimmy" is more often used in American English than other dialects, and the main thing you "jimmy" is a crow bar. Is the verb "jimmy" derived from the American English phrase "Jim Crow", ...
-1
votes
2answers
112 views

American english, Alternative words for a adequate daily language [closed]

What is another alternative for the vulgar terms "fuck" and "shit" for daily use?
0
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the word 'dumb' offensive?

Specifically, if I'm using it in a self-deprecating manner? As in, 'binge watching Netflix may be dumb, but it's my guilty pleasure.' My questions are: Has the original usage referring to deaf or ...
0
votes
5answers
243 views

Offensive single-noun term for “indecisive person”

I'm looking for an offensive single-noun term for "indecisive person," preferably short and cutting. Something along the lines of "nitwit" for "foolish person"; but now instead of "foolish," try "...