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

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What drives the usage of 'God', 'Jesus', and 'Jesus Christ' as expletives? [closed]

I grew up in a conservative Christian home, and was taught that we do not 'take God's name in vain'. Interestingly, among some churches I grew up in, the consensus was that the common usage of God or ...
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1answer
527 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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470 views

How bad is the use of “n***er” today?

If I call a Black person "nigger", how bad is this today? If a Black calls another Black with this word, is it wrong?
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5answers
2k views

How to express desires in English so that they don't sound like commands?

At that time I won't want you to again land up in the thread to tell me the rules. With the above statement, I wanted to express my desire, but it was interpreted as a command. How can I rewrite ...
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1answer
642 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
594 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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2answers
522 views

Word meant to describe a crime where women beat men

Word meant to describe a crime where women beat men and men often do not report it. Supposedly , the most unreported crime there is. This was famous term used around the time of Lorena Bobbitt's ...
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1answer
684 views

Is there a pejorative term or phrase that lesbians use to refer to straight women?

Is there a pejorative term or phrase that lesbians use to refer to straight women? There seems to be a wealth of terms (both offensive and inoffensive) that are used in the other direction. I ask ...
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1answer
709 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
915 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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3answers
4k 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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1answer
83 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 ...
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1answer
253 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 ...
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4answers
678 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, ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
304 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
80 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 ...
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249 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 ...
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1answer
291 views

Is “specialness” a mock euphemistic noun form of “mentally retarded”?

In https://gist.github.com/brixen/6705046, there's I recommend monkey patching Symbol#name in MRI. You can even do this with refinements for extra specialness. (As background, refinements is a ...
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76 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, ...
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2answers
93 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 ...
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1answer
57 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 ...
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1answer
108 views

Is “muck” used as a minced version of “f———” 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 ...
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1answer
272 views

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

I have been told that it's a racist derogatory term.
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7answers
856 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, ...
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1answer
422 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
105 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?
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255 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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6answers
30k views

What is a polite substitute for badass (used as a noun)? [closed]

Badass and BAMF are both modern words with approximately the same meaning: "Someone who is awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority." Is there another noun or title ...
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0answers
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In a formal paper, should I censor “brainf**k”, the name of a programming language? [migrated]

I'm working on a formal paper about programming languages. I am going to talk about two intentionally difficult languages, brainfuck and JSFuck. Should I leave the names as they are, or censor the ...
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1answer
213 views

Looking for a list of “english words” that exist in other languages, but with different meanings

I had a terrible misunderstanding with a semi-conservative Turkish woman who was offended when I said "Let's have brunch, and I'll bring some platonic female friends" I'm told that in Turkey, ...
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2answers
624 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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176 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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5answers
884 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 ...
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3answers
6k views

What to call someone who doesn't like foreigners who lack manners and basic knowledge of the country and culture they are mixing themselves in? [closed]

For instance, a French person is coming from a different culture and hence may come across as being rude in a British person's eyes. Moreover, he is ignorant about the different culture in Britain and ...
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3answers
35k views

How to use “you are so lame!” or “you are so retard!” with friends? [closed]

I heard lots of these words from my colleagues. Definitions in Dictionary do not help me much. What I really want to know is what these words actually mean when using with friends and what situation ...
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2answers
313 views

Can “fornicate” be used as a transitive verb? [closed]

(I’m asking this for someone else who doesn’t know about this site (yet).) Could fornicate be used as a transitive verb, as in We have to keep A from fornicating B. I don’t believe it can.
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1answer
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Is f**kstick really an abusive word?

I have heard the word fuckstick in a lot of Hollywood movies, most notably in 'The Shawshank Redemption'. What is this word even meant to convey? An insult? Is it even abusive? Or is just a ...
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190 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 ...
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1answer
324 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 ...
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2answers
6k views

What is another name for Dick?

Coming from "Changes in English names of people" telling: Richard → Dick Can I substitute Dick by Richard? I need it to know because my Emails with the use of name Dick are being returned by ...
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2answers
211 views

If we use “fairy” in our band name, will people think of sprites or gay men?

Seems like a really weird question but here's what it's about: Me and my band are currently searching for a bandname which seems to be very hard. We recently (finally) found one name that we all ...
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3answers
146 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 ...
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1answer
124 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 ...
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4answers
22k views

Polite swearing words? [closed]

I hate to swear, i.e to say "fuck you" or whatsoever of those words. However sometimes I get angry and I wish there are words that could be a polite replacement for those swearing. I wish there's a ...
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1answer
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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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“Pain in the neck” and similar expressions [closed]

Are there any other expressions equivalent in meaning to "pain in the neck" that mention another part of the body (e.g, "pain in the ass")? How would you rate each of those expressions (including the ...
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1answer
64 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 ...
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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 ...
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8answers
233 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 ...