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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (8)

-1
votes
2answers
50 views
0
votes
4answers
112 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
86 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
3answers
942 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
1k 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
77 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
104 views

How to add emphasis without using profanity [closed]

My son uses fuck or fucking to emphasize his statements. I told him there are words that you can use that aren't so offensive for my 3 year old grandchild to parrot! He asked what word is so globally ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Is “Jap” more commonly used in media with space restrictions?

From time to time, I encounter people using the word "Jap" on Twitter. One explanation I've seen for its use is that it's shorter than "Japanese" or "Japan", so it's easier to write tweets that fit ...
3
votes
6answers
165 views

What is the English equivalent of a vulgar expression for continuous nagging?

In more than one language I know, when someone keeps nagging about a subject that you do not want to hear about but you have to because that person is your boss or your wife and their talking goes on ...
1
vote
7answers
389 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
280 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
971 views

What is the name of a word like “shite”?

Whilst watching the 3rd Test match between England and Australia, from Edgbaston, this week, the Barmy Army of England fans were singing as ever (the Australians are not terrace-singers in quite the ...
23
votes
12answers
4k views

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

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
45 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

Is “Dutch wife” one of those “Dutch words”?

The term "Dutch wife" is listed as having several somewhat related meanings. Wiktionary describes it as meaning 1) a body-length pillow, 2) a wicker or bamboo tube that someone sleeps in (also called ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views
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 ...
1
vote
5answers
108 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
120 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
513 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
516 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 ...
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 ...
42
votes
5answers
14k views

“Screwed” vs. “nailed”: why is the slang so different?

While the two names nail and screw have similar shapes and functions, why do the verbs differ so much? Someone has screwed something sounds like they have ruined something to me, while someone has ...
0
votes
2answers
90 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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
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
99 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
2k views

What is the precise meaning of “f***” in the context of the hip hop mantra, “F*** bitches, get money”? [closed]

I've been hearing the line "Fuck bitches / Get money" in hip hop songs recently. I mostly noticed it lately in a couple of notable songs by Lil Wayne and other Young Money affiliated artists, but ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

How many different parts of speech can the f-word be used as?

In an "interesting" thread of comments we began to look at the word fuck in several different uses. Most of them were interjections and verb uses as would be expected. But, perhaps dialectally, the ...
8
votes
6answers
5k views

Why does swearing 'turn the air blue'?

Why do we say that the air is blue when someone has been swearing a lot?
6
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
350 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). ...
0
votes
1answer
91 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
306 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
107 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Does using the word “crony” necessitate a negative connotation?

I have always heard the word "crony" in the context of acquaintanceships between people exploiting their closeness for less than noble means. Despite its definitions in the usual places as simply ...
13
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
3k 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

When and how do words become offensive?

Disclaimer: Not strictly English language question, but still a question on language use I've just had a discussion with a member, who argued that the word "lunatic" is offensive and therefore should ...
7
votes
4answers
332k views

What does “thot” mean and when was it first used?

The word thot is all over Twitter. The @lovihatibot Twitterbot routinely finds it in searches for "I love the word [X]" and "I hate the word [X]", in fact it's the most hated word and third most ...
2
votes
1answer
336 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
11k 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?
4
votes
3answers
452 views

Isn't “dummy” in “HTML Parser for Dummies” considered offensive?

What does "dummy" mean here (in the section Getting Started)? Getting Started For novice users, an introductory guide on how to set up your environment to use the HTML Parser is provided in ...
19
votes
6answers
128k views

Meaning and usage of “bite me”

I often come across the phrase bite me in many TV shows. What does it mean and is there a specific context in which this phrase can be used?
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Vulgar way of saying “he killed himself”

I'm trying to translate my acquaintance's cartoon to cite it in an article written in English. For the subject of the article it is important that the translation will be direct, thus very vulgar ...
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
330 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Why are promiscuous women known as “slappers”?

Women who aren't interested in much more than sex are referred to as "slappers" in British English. British informal, derogatory a promiscuous or vulgar woman. Why is this? I can't find any ...