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I'm looking for some possible slangy words that are equivalent to this Ríoplatense term:

bochar

No aprobar a alguien tras haber rendido un examen o cursado una asignatura.

"lo bocharon en literatura"

???

To fail a student after they had taken an exam or a course.

(a short example, please)

The word is used mainly for focusing on the person who graded you, often with bad connotations, as if even you didn't have a chance to take the exam or course because the teacher didn't like you.

The references for that word are vague, I searched the word in all the dictionaries and only found something like 'flunk', but I don't know if English speakers use it with the same connotation.

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    Hi, this seems to be in many dictionaries with this sense. Please check a dictionary and include the translation.
    – livresque
    Feb 16, 2023 at 1:44
  • @livresque I didn't understand what you're asking for. The references for that word are vague, I searched the word in all the dictionaries and only found something like 'flunk', but I don't know if english speakers use it with the same connotation
    – tac
    Feb 16, 2023 at 1:55
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    When you translate "no apta" as "not apt" do you mean that they have taken the exam and scored badly in it or do you mean that the teacher has decided that the student is not ready for the exam and has prevented them from taking it? "Not apt" in English does not really convey either concept but is closer to the second one. I think that "apt" and "apta" are probably 'false friends' in English and Rioplatenese (which I assume is the dialect of Spanish spoken in the Rio Plate are of South America)
    – BoldBen
    Feb 16, 2023 at 8:50
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    The term is still unclear: is this a case where someone should have passed the exam but was given a failing grade or barred from advancement because the teacher didn't like them? Or is this a case where the teacher was just so bad at teaching that the student had no chance of passing?
    – Yorik
    Feb 16, 2023 at 17:16
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    disapprove here is an outright English error. Please look up that word. apto and apt are false friends.
    – Lambie
    Feb 16, 2023 at 18:34

3 Answers 3

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The verb to flunk (in American slang) can mean "to deny a student a passing grade" (see Wiktionary). It does tend to shift blame onto the teacher, though it isn't necessarily an insult towards them. An example usage would be:

I tried my best on the essay, but my English teacher flunked me anyways.

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I am unfamiliar with the "Ríoplatense" idiom. If this is the same as the Spanish "fracasar," then "fail" would work well in English. For example:

They failed in literature.

A colloquial term for "fail" might be "bomb", as in "he bombed the test," or as a two-word verb "bomb out", e.g. "they bombed out in math."

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  • No, it means to 'make' someone fail. You might bomb an exam but it's correct to say that my teacher bombed me in an exam? Or that my teacher bombed me out in math?
    – tac
    Feb 16, 2023 at 3:29
  • No, the teacher cannot make you bomb out on the exam. If you bomb the exam, it's your own fault.
    – Biblasia
    Feb 16, 2023 at 3:30
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    In that case, the word "flunk" is more appropriate. The teacher can flunk you.
    – Biblasia
    Feb 16, 2023 at 3:31
  • "Bochar" is reminiscent of "botch" in English, but if I "botch" the exam, again it is my own fault.
    – Biblasia
    Feb 16, 2023 at 3:40
  • Nice to know it, interesting despite not answering the question
    – tac
    Feb 16, 2023 at 3:52
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No aprobar a alguien tras haber rendido un examen o cursado una asignatura.

"lo bocharon en literatura"

As a translator, and therefore, as my own reference:

Not pass someone after they take an exam or a course

They flunked him in literature.

Spanish reference:

II. 1. tr. Ar, Ur. Reprobar alguien a un alumno en un examen o asignatura. est.

Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española

Translation: II. 1. Transitive, Argentina, Uruguay To fail a student on an exam or in a course.

The slang term in English is to flunk (someone)

Please note: The professor flunked me. I flunked the exam. flunk is the slang equivalent.

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