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

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-2
votes
4answers
91 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

In what English-speaking communities does “trump” refer to the breaking of wind?

It is clear from this site that the verb to trump has been used extensively across Britain to refer to the breaking of wind. It is especially the case in the North, in Wales and certainly in Norfolk, ...
26
votes
20answers
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 ...
-2
votes
3answers
5k views

Can “f— someone's brains out” be used to mean “steal someone's heart”? [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 ...
5
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Usage of Beautiful [on hold]

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
55 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
83 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. ...
10
votes
5answers
71k views

What is the origin and history of the word “motherf---er”?

I'm not a native English speaker, but I would like to know how and why people started using mother fucker. Today it seems it has lost its meaning because people use it all the time, but was there a ...
0
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

The usage of word “assignment” in technical communication

I was wondering if the word assignment is offensive to title the jobs expected from someone which has been delegated to do some tasks or not? I would like to know it in University-based ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
88 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
31k views

Is “Eskimo” a universally offensive term?

I know that "Eskimo" is an offensive term in Canada; they use the term "Inuit". But I see the term "Eskimo" popping up regularly in news articles that I read; I hardly see the term "Inuit" being ...
7
votes
3answers
864 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
2k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

When and why did the N-word and “negro” go apart?

Both the terms nigger and negro come from the Spanish and Portuguese Negro which denotes "black". But today they have widely different connotations, the former is considered a horrible racial slur, ...
21
votes
6answers
54k views

“Hooker”, “whore”, “prostitute”, when to use which?

"Hooker", "whore", and "prostitute" all mean whore; what are the differences between them?
8
votes
7answers
6k views

Why does swearing 'turn the air blue'?

Why do we say that the air is blue when someone has been swearing a lot?
4
votes
4answers
119 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
144 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
8k views

Why is the term “touched” no longer commonly used?

I’ve heard the term touched used to refer to someone who is “not quite right”. I’m curious as to where this term came from, what it really means, and why it doesn’t tend to be used often anymore. Is ...
0
votes
8answers
203 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
94 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,
2
votes
2answers
87 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?
7
votes
4answers
14k views

Is the term “halfcast” racist?

When I was at university in the late 90s, a girl I shared a flat with would use the term "halfcast" to describe people of mixed race, especially in the context of people who had a similar skin colour ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Is schmuck really an obscene word?

Schmuck is supposedly an obscene Yiddish term for the male sex organ, yet it appears all of the time in the media as an American idiom for a jerk. Can one use it in polite company?
2
votes
3answers
4k views

What is origin of the phrase “tits up”

I like this phrase a lot but wonder where it comes from.
1
vote
1answer
163 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
60
votes
8answers
14k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
446 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?
8
votes
3answers
129 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Where does the word “wankers” come from?

The term wanker is derived from the verb wank in the sense of to masturbate. However, neither the OED nor Etymonline can trace it further back than that: both claim it is of “obscure origin”, which ...
6
votes
3answers
16k views

What is the origin of the word “wog”?

Some friend of mine told me it was an acronym for "western oriental gentleman" and was a form of sarcastic politeness. Is this true, and is it offensive to use this word?
29
votes
5answers
40k views

Is there a difference between “arse” and “ass”?

From a comment here, in frequent usage, arse and ass are often interchangeable when used to refer to buttocks or to a person of dubious charms. However, although “to arse about” has a vague connection ...
1
vote
1answer
103 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 ...
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", ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Where does the word “jism” come from?

Another word of mysterious origins of jism, in the sense of spunk. The OED mentions it is sometimes spelled jizz, and may even be the precursor word to jazz. But neither the OED nor Etymonline ...
7
votes
5answers
9k views

What is currently the most obscene word in British English? [closed]

In a recent question, I realized that while I know what's currently considered the most obscene word in American English ("cunt"), I am told that word is much more unexceptional and workaday in ...
-1
votes
2answers
98 views
0
votes
4answers
574 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
165 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Where does the word “*ag” come from?

Once upon a time in America, particularly during the 1970s, if you asked an American whether they ‘fancied a shag’, they might well have thought of this: And therefore declined the offer for fear ...
0
votes
1answer
222 views

What does this vulgar expression mean?

I found several mentions, only online, and have no idea what this means. But obviously people repeat this phrase, so they mean something particular. Here is one example: It is still morning here ...