Much ado is being made about the spirited exchange between Joe Biden and some corpulent guy in Iowa that took him to task about his son's dealings with some Ukrainian company.

Biden's supposed to have said to the guy :

  • Look, fat, look, here's the deal...


Now the use of the adjective on its own as form of invective that can be addressed to someone just like that strikes me as odd. I'd have expected something like fatty, fatso or fat something (pig, cow etc.). I'm not a native speaker and I'm wondering if the transcript is right or if Biden actually said something else.

  • 1
    I think he definitely said, "fat" but it felt more to me like an involuntary vocalized stream-of-consciousness observation rather than deliberate name calling. – Jim Dec 6 '19 at 19:21
  • um no @Jim the whole exchange is antipathetic and Biden is being a rule arse to this guy. – Arm the good guys in America Dec 6 '19 at 23:24
  • IT appears (ie, sounds like) Biden does say 'fat.' As such, it would be a kind of descriptor, almost a name or nickname (Biden is trying not to be a complerte arse hole in this small meeting). alternatively the man could have had on a name tag with the name 'Fat' on it, or someone else could have addressed him 'Fat'. maybe he likes to be called that. maybe that's his name. who knows. problem with sound bites or bytes or whatever – Arm the good guys in America Dec 6 '19 at 23:27
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    -1 for the question because I do not think, unlike covfefe, this question adds much here, and this is not a discussion forum, and you yourself know several forms of invective that are usually used. so why ask about a one-off usage? we dont know. see above comment for possibilities as to why we don't know. – Arm the good guys in America Dec 6 '19 at 23:30
  • @green_ideas Thanks for your remarks that amount to an answer. I'm asking because I was not sure about this being some kind of quirk. Other languages I know would allow for adjectives on their own to be used in addressing someone (e.g. German or French, Hör mal, du Fetter!, Ecoute, (le) gros !). – petitrien Dec 7 '19 at 7:03

I never heard this but I can't imagine Joe Biden insulting anyone in public. If he said "fat", well, he was mad at the time, and held in, lest he had said "fatso" or "fatass" or worse. (Not "fat pig"- this doesn't sound right, nor "fat cow", as the gentleman he was talking to was - well, a man.)

Oh, well, "Fat" is not a derogatory term. It's an adjective. Maybe it's a word broken off. Got any better examples, like impromptu phrases from a you-know-who?

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