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

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23
votes
12answers
4k views

Single Word Request for an adjective to replace my use of the word “gay” to describe [on hold]

Single word request for an adjective to describe the disdain and contempt I feel toward someone else's cringe-inducing, affected, precious and pretentious behavior. I currently say that behaviour is ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Did “Dutch defence” pre-date the chess term?

Did the phrase "Dutch defence" pre-date the use of the term in chess? The Wikipedia article on Dutch Defence says the concept described by the term originated in the 18th century: Elias Stein ...
1
vote
5answers
97 views

How do you say “people, who unfortunately weren't fully exterminated” in English?

Imagine, there is a social group, which I think is so evil they have to be banished or exterminated. For example: Freedom Party of Austria represents not fully exterminated Nazi scum and their ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Is “muck” used as a minced version of “fuck” in Australian English?

While "muck" deals with the taboo of filth, while "fuck" deals with the taboo of sex, the two verbs can be used similarly in some circumstances in Australian English. For example "muck up", "muck ...
25
votes
7answers
5k views

Is 'I f*cked the dog' an actual idiom and are there alternatives

I am a non-native speaker from Germany. In German there's one idiom that goes: Sich die Eier schaukeln Literally translated, this means "to rock the eggs", where "the eggs" are testicles. This ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

Another word for sultry

I understand sultry means: (of the air or weather) hot and humid. (of a person, especially a woman) attractive in a way that suggests a passionate nature. Lot of people associate sultry ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Polite, non-profane equivalent to ‘kick a**’

So, you have a web site to which you've posted a review stating "How to Kick Ass". This gets censored, which I can understand. What's a very colloquial, not necessarily modern slang, easily ...
2
votes
9answers
1k views

Verb meaning “giving people sh*t”

I'm looking for a specific verb that mean 'giving people shit' (as in teasing them, keeping them honest). It needs to capture that the teasing is warranted, and that the criticism is correct.
0
votes
3answers
96 views

Is it offensive or unusual to use “Mongolian” in the sense of race?

It's nowadays generally considered offensive to use "mongoloid" or the like to refer to Down's Syndrome. But what about with regards to race? Would it be offensive or unusual to talk about "the ...
2
votes
3answers
104 views

Swear words in common usage by educated people in 1916

What swear words might have been commonly used in conversation (and, in particular, oral argument) in and around 1916, by literate men? As sources from the time are largely written, it is difficult to ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Is “Zionist” an offensive term? [closed]

Is asking someone if they are a Zionist considered offensive? Is it equivalent to asking someone about their religious or political affiliations?
2
votes
4answers
244 views

Racist and offensive term for a black person during the Civil War

Is there a word like "colored" or "darkie" that would be offensive to a white southerner during the Civil War? I don't think the N word would work here. I'm working on a screenplay and want a southern ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

“Good for Me!” as a response to someone doing something nice for you

I have done many nice things for a relative (e.g. reorganize the outdoor deck space) and upon seeing whatever I try & do nice for her she replies "Good for Me!" I find this offensive—am I ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

What's a word to describe topics that would be impolite to talk about?

What's a word for this? I thought of taboo (or from MW - taboo). But I'm not sure that this is the right word. Examples of this kind of topic include: money sex other people not present Is there a ...
5
votes
2answers
264 views

Is it offensive to say that somone “fell pregnant”?

That's my question in the headline. It implies that it was an accident, and/or that the pregnancy, so therefore the unborn child, is a burden, like an illness. Seems offensive, yet I hear it all the ...
1
vote
2answers
140 views

'Ass' (“fool”): vulgar?

My kid heard the word ass somewhere and asked what it meant. My wife said not to use it as it's not a nice word. (She meant that it's vulgar or obscene.) Later (when the kid wasn't around), I objected ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

What does Ginga, Gingka or Ginkga mean? [closed]

I have been told that it's a racist derogatory term.
2
votes
3answers
309 views

“Homosexual” or “Gay and Lesbian”? [closed]

I have faced a problem with my writing which I could really do with some clarification on. My question applies to both British and American English (which is fairly standard on the internet). ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is origin of the phrase “tits up”

I like this phrase a lot but wonder where it comes from.
12
votes
5answers
509 views

Was the BrEng term “coloured” derogatory in the 1970s?

SAM Look... I owe it to myself to say this to you, okay? Leave Tony Crane. Just go far away from him. He's gonna ask you to marry him and he's gonna make you a business partner. EVE Is ...
-1
votes
1answer
81 views

A chink in the English language [closed]

The idiom "chink in one's armor" refers to an area of vulnerability Wikipedia Unfortunately, while a 'chink' can be a weakness, in recent times it has become a derogatory statement. This makes ...
17
votes
9answers
4k views

Is “layman” an offensive term?

Is it offensive to use the term layman nowadays? Does it insinuate that the people to whom you are referring are uneducated? I am wanting to say This is just one of the ways that CERN's research ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the past tense form of s--t [closed]

Are shit, shat, and shitted all correct and fine to use as the past tense of shit? After a little bit of searching it seems that they are, with shat being Old English. Is any form more common in ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

Martini, Extra Dirty

This expression is from the show "True Detective" (Session 1 Episode 6) A guy buys a woman a drink when they have just met, then she asks waiter to "martini, extra dirty". This is the first time I've ...
-5
votes
1answer
217 views

Tolerance in English for names with vulgar everyday meaning? [closed]

Why does English (and perhaps other languages) allow collisions between names and nouns with vulgar/offensive meanings? I'm thinking of course of Dick vs. dick. Possible explanations (in no ...
4
votes
3answers
927 views

What does “talk to the hand” mean?

I saw the phrase "talk to the hand" on many funny stickers which seems like expressing the idea that you want to stop the topic or conversation which you feel uncomfortable or not interested in. But ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Removing offensiveness from swear word [closed]

Is there a consensus in terms of the ranking of offensiveness given by the word "damn" and its derivatives? Damn Darn Dang Ding (as in ding-busted) I assume that the less a word sounds like the ...
5
votes
2answers
445 views

What's the origin of the phrase “men are pigs”?

I believe every man and woman has either read about or heard this phrase been spoken at least once in their lifetime. Besides the obvious connotation ascribing men to pigs, what is the reasoning ...
1
vote
7answers
306 views

Adjective for someone who is an a-hole?

I'm trying to identify an effective adjective for someone who is unpleasant to others, mean spirited, and self-centered enough to qualify as a colloquial "a$$hole". I've looked at this question, ...
2
votes
1answer
235 views

Why do people pronounce “f***ing” like “f***en”? [duplicate]

I'm not a native English speaker so I might not be exactly accurate with this, but whenever people (e.g. in films) say fucking, it sounds something like fucken. There's no "g" at the end and instead ...
4
votes
4answers
405 views

American word for commode

I know several words for the toilet, i.e. bathroom. However I want to know the colloquial word for the seat on which one sits while defecating. I have read john somewhere but never heard an American ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Is “root access” acceptable in a professional setting in Australian English?

In Australian English, which has a slang meaning of "root" which is best avoided in a professional setting, is "root access" acceptable in a professional setting? If not, what synonyms, preferably ...
-1
votes
3answers
3k views

What is an alternative to “f— someone's brains out”? [closed]

In Persian, we use a sentence,مخ کسی را زدن [pron.:Mokh-e Kasi Ra Zadan], literally meaning "to hit someone's mind", to mean attracting someone and making them interested for dating, or stealing ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Is “German measles” regarded as offensive?

Google NGrams indicates that "rubella" has been more commonly used than "German measles" since approximately the end of the WWII, and that it isn't because people have used "liberty measles" instead. ...
4
votes
2answers
497 views

Is this sentence “derogatory”? [closed]

Is this sentence “derogatory”? He just gave me the biggest fuck you of my career. Intuitively it doesn't seem to rise to the level of derogatory; merely the use of a vulgar idiom. But what ...
1
vote
4answers
260 views

Alternate phrase for “be damned” to avoid profanity

How could you rephrase something like this usage of "be damned" to avoid profanity, but without losing the emphasis conveyed by the idiom itself? I'm going to ask this question on StackExchange, ...
25
votes
13answers
4k views

Is there any “swearword” in English not associated with excrements, the genitals, sexual activity or religion?

SWEARWORD - A popular term for a word or phrase that is obscene, abusive, and socially offensive. For some reason, all of them seem to be associated with excrements, sex and religion. This ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

What slang words and colloquialisms are likely to embarrass an American in England or an Englishman in the U.S.? [duplicate]

An Argentine or Mexican tourist in Madrid, or A Brazilian tourist in Lisbon, will certainly hear phrases he has never heard before and may find some of them offensive. I myself have a list of ...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

BrEng: “pull your finger out”, “cock up” and “stuff it” What do they mean?

In the British sitcom, The Thin Blue Line, Detective Grim makes three intelligently crafted sentences, which are given below. What do they mean? It's my arse on the line, so you better pull your ...
3
votes
1answer
266 views

Would a restaurant name of “Punjab House” be offensive? [closed]

We are looking for a good name for an Indian restaurant that specializes in Punjabi food. We have heard that naming the restaurant "Punjab House" would be offensive. What specifically makes it ...
-1
votes
2answers
188 views

What does “f***ing pay” mean? [closed]

I have never seen "fucking pay" before. what does it mean. I have read this in this sentences " Let's hope you're right. that's all I have to say. Because otherwise... you know? soneone, somewhere is ...
1
vote
5answers
260 views

“Females under the age of…” instead of “Women under the age of…” Is that offensive?

Is it offensive to refer to women as "females", as I've seen posted at the entrance of a night club: "Females under the age of twenty-one will have to...."
0
votes
2answers
134 views

Regarding the usage of some 'bad' language [closed]

Is there a legitimate or edifying literary purpose for the many forms of blasphemy (forgive spelling) that have appeared in many modern works of literature. Does it really help a story line or plot or ...
0
votes
1answer
240 views

Is the word 'stroke' understood, in meaning one of these / \? [closed]

All the meanings of the word 'slash', other than an oblique forward or backward stroke are either violent or obscene. They include cuts made with swords, lashing with a whip, cutting maliciously car ...
3
votes
3answers
662 views

Origin of “name happened” form: from “s*** happens” via “magic happens”?

There’s a form in current English Then <X> happened or <X> happened, where you transition the name of a thing (a person, a fictitious character, or object), to mean the dramatic ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

What does “balls” mean as a reply word or interjection?

Here’s a question again in Jeffery Archer’s The Prodigal Daughter. Richard (husband of Florentina Kane, the heroine of the novel) finds in The Wall Street Journal that Jake Thomas, chairman of ...
-1
votes
1answer
240 views

“Karma is a bitch” [closed]

I recently sent a message to my credit union complaining about the misbehavior of some staff members (treating customers with contempt). I ended my message by writing: Karma is a b*tch. The ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Where does the slang word “bad” + “ass” (badass) come from?

What is the origin of the word badass? Why a "bad" ass/"bad" + "ass"? What is an ass that is bad and how can an ass that is bad describe a tough person?
1
vote
3answers
468 views

How strong/vulgar is using “to bitch” in the meaning of “to complain”?

I understand that calling a woman a bitch is a very strong language. However, is the word vulgar per se? Specifically, when used as a verb to bitch in the meaning of to complain (see What's the ...
4
votes
2answers
292 views

Why is saying “cr@p” more socially acceptable than saying “sh!t” is?

I know shit is generally considered vulgar swearing in any context, while crap (though it's normally used as a swear word) is often used and allowed in decent contexts. How did this happen, since ...