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

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How long have people been swearing in English?

I was looking through my old A-Level English set books from 1989 at the weekend. We had to study the Canterbury Tales and I can still remember our delight when we discovered that 'queynte' was the ...
3
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2answers
919 views

When did “fag” become an offensive word?

I'm from Pennsylvania. With the recent threat by the Westboro Baptist Church to protest the funeral of seven children who perished in a fire, I've been thinking a lot about their infamous catchphrase: ...
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2answers
2k views

Shut your mouth

I’m confused regarding these expressions: Shut up Shut your mouth Shut your mouth up Shut up your mouth After some research, I’ve come to believe they are all correct except “Shut ...
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3answers
394 views

How offensive is a word f**k in English? [duplicate]

I hear it quite often in movies, radio , books, songs even in some interviews with actors .In my native language is a word like that very strong and awfully offensive but I think it is not that strong ...
3
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2answers
226 views

Is the word “queer” an accepted and polite word for lesbian?

I was reading an article on the promulgation of the dental dam as a means of preventing sexually transmitted disease. Article here. The author of the article Arielle Duhaime-Ross consistently refers ...
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3answers
340 views

Is “senility” pejorative?

Could you please give your opinion on whether or not "senility" is a pejorative term? My sentence is: Although there wasn't any real upper age limit, elders who seemed to be affected by senility ...
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3answers
634 views

What does “[expletive] it up” mean?

When I was in San Diego, I asked to a girl "how can I get to the freeway?" She answered me, "Go straight on, you can't fuck it up." What does it mean? Is this a usable phrase or it is too vulgar? Is ...
3
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1answer
482 views

How to describe factually correct but irrelevant answers [closed]

When you ask someone a question and they provide a factually correct but irrelevant answer how can you describe that answer with a few choice words indicating your poor opinion of the answer? I'm ...
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1answer
402 views

Pejorative terms for children or teenagers using the Internet

In Poland we have got many names for young children or teenagers using the Internet. For example we could see on the Internet that many have mangled the mother tongue and have been writing like this: ...
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3answers
5k views

Idiot vs stupid

What is the difference between the subject words?
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1answer
1k views

How did “fuck” become taboo? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How long has the f-word been in use as an abusive term? What makes a word offensive? I recognize that this is similar to Etymology of the term "curse words" ...
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3answers
2k views

Is it better to be “hung like a pike” or “hung like a stickleback”?

More from the British movie The Football Factory. The background is that the main character and his best friend have picked up these two girls at a bar; things proceed swimmingly, and the two head ...
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2answers
212 views

Meaning of the word “congratufukinlation” [closed]

What does congratu-fukin-lations mean?
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3answers
593 views

Does this sound vulgar or have sexual connotations? [closed]

I'd like to ask you to help me clarifying if a brand name sounds sexual/vulgar/queer for native English speakers. It is "I Job You" which is a social job recommendation site. However, we had some ...
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1answer
191 views

Is there a pejorative word for an ethnic appeal?

When ultra-conservative Jesse Helms ran against Congressman Nick Galifianakis in 1972, he is considered to have gained ground with the slogan, "Jesse Helms: He's One of Us," presumably referring to ...
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3answers
284 views

How accepted is ‘f***ing’ in informal conversation?

I live in Brazil and speak English as a foreign language. For the past twenty years I've heard people use the adjective fucking more often than ever before in the US: in real life, in movies and on ...
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6answers
7k views

Which one is it? “Damn” or “damned”?

I know that commonly in America, they use "damn" or "damned" to describe things. Sometimes, more appropriately, it's even "darn" or "darned". For example, This damn/damned computer is too slow. ...
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4answers
484 views

How to insult a Tory (or people holding a conservative viewpoint in general)?

I am writing a contemporary theatre play where one character - a senior businessman - first introduces himself as a not particularly conservative person. Later in the play, his protégé finds that the ...
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5answers
7k views

Synonym for “half-ass”

As in: I don't want to half-ass this project or I'll be fired. Don't half-ass this project or I'll fire you. I half-assed this project and was fired.
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3answers
139 views

Is “vacuous” offensive? [closed]

I am not an native English speaker and I would like to know if the use of the word "vacuous" is offensive. I am writing a reply to a request where I am asked to do something that has no sense at all ...
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4answers
227 views

Is 'she-woman' an acceptable counterpart of 'he-man'?

If this is, as it is, a real English example, I wanted to know what role his women played in persuading him that he was this incredible he-man. can this I wanted to know what role her men ...
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1answer
451 views

Where did the word “quim” come from?

Both the OED and Etymonline offer no clue as to origin of the slang term quim, meaning minge. The OED’s earliest citations are from the 18th, which isn’t quite as old as Adam, but has certainly been ...
2
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1answer
136 views

Does “Japanese tourist” have any meaning other than a tourist from Japan?

I was under the impression that "Japanese tourist" had a meaning more than just a tourist who happens to be from Japan. For example, TV Tropes has an entry on Japanese Tourist, and French fashion ...
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1answer
200 views

When Americans say someone has ''no accent'', what do they mean exactly? [duplicate]

As in my title question. Do they mean a specific region of the US, something else?
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2answers
449 views

Question about likely vulgar expressions

The terms "screw up" and "crap" are frequently used on American TV that I'm not sure whether they're euphemisms, my first assumption, or just vulgar. I don't want to make mistakes, especially when ...
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3answers
276 views

Is “I'm not racist, but …” more common in Australian English than other dialects? [closed]

Is the phrase "I'm not racist, but ..." more common in Australian English than other dialects? The phrase is used as a prefix to something that's likely to be interpreted as racist, probably because ...
2
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1answer
844 views

What is a “woggy dago”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the origin of the word “wog”? I was listening to a song the other day, and it featured the words "woggy dago". Now I did manage to find out what ...
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2answers
996 views

Swearing: “bollixed”

The House Ethics Committee has now hired an outside counsel to investigate its own bollixed investigation into the conduct of Representative Maxine Waters. (“The House’s Farcical ...
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1answer
763 views

Where does the word “minge” come from?

The slang term minge in the sense of quim dates from the beginning of the 20th century. However, neither the OED nor Etymonline has any idea where it came from. Here are two of the OED’s citations: ...
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3answers
782 views

What is the origin of “cr*p on a crutch”?

Where did the saying "Crap on a crutch" originate? My mother used to use it a lot and I find myself using it also.
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4answers
2k views

Should I use “damn” or “darn”? [closed]

How unseemly these days is it to use the word damn in educated or elderly circles? I have heard that there is a modified and supposedly less intense darn. Should I be careful to avoid the former and ...
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2answers
2k views

Is the word 'hussler' appropriate?

Is wassup hussla? (also gangsta, killa etc.) appropriate to say to a friend or a colleague? I mean, I know that it's not any sort of an official phrase I'd say to my boss. What I mean to ask is ...
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3answers
195 views

How Offensive is ''Grow a Pair?'' [closed]

What does ''grow a pair'' mean exactly? Is it offensive? Does it bring a man to a level of a girl/woman? Is it more offensive when a woman says it? Thank you for the answers, especially from women. ...
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1answer
320 views

Why do they call the counterpart “that woman” to press corps after parting from a female?

Further to my question I posted yesterday on the significance of the term “woman driver” used by Rush Limbaugh, I have another question: Limbaugh’s use of ‘woman driver’ in a derogatory context ...
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1answer
452 views

How would you substitute English vulgar words in foreign phrases?

Subquestioning "Substitute for F*** in emphasizing disbelief, anger, etc": How would you substitute the vulgar English word in foreign phrases like in: 1) brand name: "Fucking beer"? or 2)in ...
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5answers
334 views

Is “monkey around” offensive?

Someone asked me for something and I said, "Do you need it right now, or do I have a couple hours to monkey around with it?" They got really quiet. While certainly unprofessional, is this also ...
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1answer
403 views

Usage and acceptability of the word “queer”

This dictionary.com definition pretty much sums up my understanding of what the word queer is supposed to mean. However, in modern times (at least here in the US, perhap someone else can speak for ...
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1answer
317 views

Meaning of “play to” and “f****t”

According to Urban Dictionary the other sense of faggot means "stupid or a loser"--is that correct? And what's the meaning of "playing to the camera"? P1: guy has the mannerisms of a faggot ...
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2answers
1k views

Use of “brother” in non-family and non-religious contexts

I think the word brother (sometimes spelled brotha or bro) has been used for a long time among African Americans when talking to one another with the meaning of "pal" and not in a family context. ...
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3answers
174 views

What does “in s****” mean in the following context?

I was reading a short story when I stumbled across the following sentence. "[H]e overheard his dad say it wasn’t worth its price in shit." I was a bit surprised with the negation. I'm used to ...
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2answers
4k views

Cleaner alternative for “sucks”. [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Formal alternative for “suck” Since the word "sucks" does not have an origin that would make it a good word to use in many contexts, I want to know whether ...
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1answer
199 views

Is asking “come again?” to a complete stranger over the phone rude?

My Irish colleague told me that when talking to a customer over the phone asking:"come again?" is considered rude and even offensive since it is very informal and almost demanding. Now I did not ...
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1answer
197 views

Polish your mug idiom

Recently I've heard couple of interesting idioms one of which was "Make yourself scarce or I'll polish your mug". So, I was wondering is it really used like that? I've heard of "Make yourself scarce" ...
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2answers
6k views

Origin and meaning of “damn straight”

The phrase "damn straight" is now used as a way to emphatically agree with a statement, but where does it come from, and what did it mean originally?
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2answers
102 views

Etymological analysis of swearwords [closed]

I'm writing a thesis about the etymological analysis of swearwords (profanity) in the English language; that is, I need to compare British and American English regarding the etymology of their ...
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1answer
219 views

How should I use the phrasal verb “to d**k around”?

To waste time Stop dicking me around and get to the point. Would you please stop dicking around with her? To take advantage of You're dicking him around, you know? Don't ...
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0answers
192 views

Idioms for strongly disagreeing to the point of seeming a lie [closed]

I was thinking today about the term "hogwash", which I would define as an idiomatic term meaning something along the lines of "I disagree so strongly, I suspect you may be lying". This is also the ...
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3answers
62 views

Is there an expression for only offending the recipient?

Suppose one makes a statement that is likely to be offensive to its recipient, but will not offend most third parties. Is there a word or expression for this type of statement? Example: I see someone ...
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2answers
288 views

Meaning and usage of the swear word pronounced /ˈkʰʌnt/? [closed]

I’ve been hearing the word cunt used several times now. What kind of situations do you usually use this word, and what sort of person does this swear word usually describe?
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5answers
543 views

“Sl*t” term for males

"Slut" can have two meanings: an immoral woman, or prostitute a dirty and slovenly woman I would like a term for men that is the equivalent of the second meaning. Is there a term for describing a ...