11

I have seen this word used in the media, I think it's a (British?) profane word and that is why it has asterisks in it. What is the full word spelled out though? Here is an example where it is used:

One furious Brit said: 'It's an utter p***take that we're being left here like this.'

Daily Mail

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    @Damila not "taking a piss on" but "taking the piss out of", i.e. insulting – Chris H Jan 28 at 10:41
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    @ChrisH I don't think "insulting" is quite spot-on. I'd go for "deriding" or "mocking" – Phil M Jones Jan 28 at 13:08
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    I think censoring a word in a discussion about language and its usage is not very helpful nor is it common in a British context. So, why use asterisks at all? Nobody reading the word pi**take will get less offended than reading pisstake. – Ian Jan 28 at 13:52
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    @ian That's how OP has encountered the word. The question asks what is being censored. – Tashus Jan 28 at 14:57
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    @nigel222 taken to extremes by the Sun, printing "t*ts" in text despite being willing to show pictures of bare breasts – Chris H Jan 28 at 16:42
39

The Oxford English Dictionary has this definition:

piss-take  n. colloquial (chiefly British, Australian, and New Zealand) a parody, a send-up; an instance of mockery

Related to this is the earlier attested expression take the piss (out of):

colloquial (chiefly British, Australian, and New Zealand): to make fun (of), to mock, deride, satirize

(Ibid.)

  • How unusual is this? I can't recall ever seeing this before – JollyJoker Jan 28 at 14:02
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    I'm Irish and it is quite common. Even more so in the UK. Also take the piss can also mean to push your luck. – Keith Loughnane Jan 28 at 14:38
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    @JollyJoker If you're British I'm really surprised that you've never heard it. You must have led a very sheltered life:-) Don't worry, I'm extracting the urine! – BoldBen Jan 28 at 15:01
  • @BoldBen JollyJoker was referring to seeing it writte, not hearing it. I can't remember seeing it written like this before, although I probably have. – bornfromanegg Jan 28 at 15:57
  • A common, less crude variant is "taking the mick" – Matthew Daly Jan 28 at 17:00
-2

The word with asterisks is a word for urination that rhymes with "miss".

As for the meaning of the word when made into a compound word with "take", according to Wiktionary, it means "a parody" or "an unpleasant situation that is comparable to a parody".

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    I don't think you need to skate so widely around the word. This site has no issues with mentioning profane words in the context of a serious linguistic discussion. – Rand al'Thor Jan 28 at 10:36

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