Questions tagged [offensive-language]

This tag is for questions about offensive language. It is for questions about words or phrases that could be considered offensive. If reason of offensiveness is belittling or painting a negative light instead of 'just offending' CONSIDER using the tag PEJORATIVE-LANGUAGE.

161
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7answers
219k views

What the #$@&%*! is that called?

Is there a name for the use of symbols in place of curse words, for example #$@&%*!?
115
votes
11answers
44k views

Differences between slang words for breasts

What is the difference between “tits” and “boobs”? P.S. I'm not sure if this question is appropriate but as English is not my native language I really would love to know the difference.
64
votes
5answers
15k views

“Pregnant” as a taboo word

This recent article from The Sun states that the term pregnant, in this specific case referred to Meghan Markle, is considered vulgar by the Queen. According to a recently-resurfaced Us Weekly ...
62
votes
8answers
51k 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 been,...
59
votes
12answers
20k views

Is there a non-vulgar version of “pulled it out of their ass”? [duplicate]

Is there a non-vulgar version of “pulled it out of their ass” ? It's a useful phrase, but not one to be used in professional environments. For example: There is no way John’s projections for next ...
56
votes
5answers
42k 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 ...
52
votes
8answers
61k views

Polite alternative to the term “bitch” when referring to a female dog

I'm writing an example of constructing logic, and I need to differentiate between an adult female dog, an adult male dog and a puppy and am searching for polite terms. Unfortunately, the word "bitch" ...
49
votes
16answers
71k views

What do you call a person who uses vulgar words too often? [closed]

Is there a word which has this definition: usage of vulgar or abusive words too often especially while chatting or talking to someone or while giving a speech. What do you call a person who uses ...
45
votes
8answers
18k views

What is a less controversial name for the clothing item known as a “wife-beater” in the United States?

In the United States, a white sleeveless shirt is often referred to as a "wife-beater". Typically I try to avoid using "wife-beater" due to its negative connotation. I've tried using a few different ...
45
votes
5answers
5k views

Who is Jesus H. Christ?

When used as an expletive, the name Jesus Christ often gets an H inserted into the middle of it for some reason. I've heard lots of guesses about what the H stands for, the most popular one being ...
41
votes
8answers
26k views

Alternative term to “Blacklist” and “Whitelist”

In short, my company is developing a management tool for managing SIM cards. One of the features of the tool is to block the SIM card if it's put into a disallowed device by device IMEI validation. ...
40
votes
7answers
25k views

Less vulgar synonyms for “circlejerk”

Someone asked in the Math.StackExchange chatroom what a "more refined word for circlejerk" might be. UrbanDictionary defines this (in our desired usage) as: [...] pompous, self-congratulatory ...
38
votes
6answers
11k views

How did “Jew” become pejorative?

For some reason, the word Jew often carries a pejorative or offensive connotation, which the related adjective Jewish does not carry. This is most obvious when either word is used as an attributive: ...
37
votes
7answers
16k views

How bad is the f-word, really?

I am confused: on the one hand, many of my native-speaker friends keep telling me that the f-word is very, very bad. Much worse than the s-word for example. On the other hand, I see it being used ...
35
votes
10answers
9k 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 ...
33
votes
18answers
10k views

Are there any words whose spelling was deliberately changed to make them non-offensive?

I am looking for some examples of words that, possibly due to their non-Latin origin, would have sounded offensive if they went through the English language rules. For example, if a specialty Bohemian ...
33
votes
6answers
84k 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 ...
31
votes
14answers
8k views

What do you call a person who is always noisy on the Internet?

Noisy, in a way, that he always post on Facebook or Twitter anything he did like it is his diary, always commenting other people's posts, retweets every minute or hour, etc. An attention whore or ...
31
votes
8answers
8k views

Offensiveness of “black” in reference to race or skin colour

Is black offensive when used to refer to race or skin colour? If so, should we then not use white as well?
31
votes
12answers
7k views

Just how offensive are the terms “retarded” and “gay”?

My college-age son and his friends use the terms "retarded" and "gay" pretty much interchangeably to mean substandard, bad, lame (in the sense of ineffectual or weak) or just plain wrong. I've ...
28
votes
8answers
18k views

Is “went out like stink, died like a pig” just an unfortunate choice of words?

The CBC commentator Byron MacDonald said the following after a Chinese swimmer started out very fast and inevitably slowed down during sprint (the whole story): The little 14-year-old from China ...
28
votes
22answers
6k 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 ...
28
votes
4answers
3k views

How was sexual intercourse referred to before 'sex'?

It seems that the word "sex" in the context of sexual intercourse is a fairly recent development. How would sexual intercourse have been referred to before the 1920's? Coitus? Is there a more casual ...
28
votes
6answers
275k 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?
27
votes
7answers
8k 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 is ...
27
votes
4answers
71k views

What's the difference between “informal”, “colloquial”, “slang”, and “vulgar”?

It seems many people get confused about the differences (and similarities) between "colloquial" and "slang", so what exactly does each term apply to? But to be even more thorough it seems to me we ...
25
votes
13answers
5k views

Is there any “swearword” in English not associated with excrements, the genitals, sexual activity or religion?

SWEARWORD - A popular term for a word or phrase that is obscene, abusive, and socially offensive. For some reason, all of them seem to be associated with excrements, sex and religion. This question ...
24
votes
6answers
109k views

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

"Hooker", "whore", and "prostitute" all mean whore; what are the differences between them?
24
votes
6answers
73k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
7k views

Does “gay” still include the meaning “merry”?

Dictionary.com lists eight meanings of gay, with “merry, lively” as the first entry. Microsoft banned an Xbox user for listing Fort Gay (a real place) as his hometown: Xbox Live considered the term ...
24
votes
10answers
81k views

Why is 'c*nt' so much more derogatory in the US than the UK?

What accounts for the strong disapproval of anyone using the word 'cunt' in the US, when the sentiment doesn't exist to the same extent in the UK? To be clear, it's still a strong word to use in the ...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

Explain this pickup line: “If Bangkok invaded Djibouti, would Greece help?”

I was at an Model UN conference and often notes like the following get passed. As I'm not a native speaker, I assume that this has to do with some pronunciational issue. Can you please explain what's ...
23
votes
5answers
24k views

Is “what on earth” still commonly used in real life? Is there any alternative that is not cursing or obscene?

I'm a non-native speaker. When I was at school, we were taught that "on earth" is used for emphasis in questions such as: What on earth are you talking about? However, from my experience (English ...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

BrEng: “pull your finger out”, “cock up” and “stuff it” What do they mean?

In the British sitcom, The Thin Blue Line, Detective Grim makes three intelligently crafted sentences, which are given below. What do they mean? It's my arse on the line, so you better pull your ...
23
votes
7answers
74k views

How derogatory is “chicks” when used to refer to women?

A comment in “What is a feminine version of guys?” got me wondering: how derogatory is the use of chicks to refer to women (either in general, or to a specific group). To me (I'm a man), it was quite ...
22
votes
19answers
13k views

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____” [closed]

I am writing a poem for school. The verse with the word I need to change is this: 7 hours is too long In much too short a day You really don’t care if you get an answer wrong Because you don’...
22
votes
12answers
5k 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
8k views

In my native language, we have this obscene saying - don't take a dump in the barrel of honey

The implication is that one must not display a disrespectful behavior in regards to his/her friends or the people he/she knows very well, because as the honey in the barrel won't be edible anymore ...
22
votes
7answers
75k views

Non-offensive substitute for a swear word

What term describes a non-offensive substitute for a swear word? For example, Battlestar Galactica used frack instead of fuck. Another example is the use of snap instead of shit. I think I may have ...
22
votes
11answers
17k 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
635k views

“Dammit” vs. “damnit” [closed]

What is the correct spelling, dammit or damnit? And what is the difference? Just writing this question brings up a red squiggly underneath damnit and the suggestions include dammit and damn it.
21
votes
4answers
274k views

Where did the phrase “batsh*t crazy” come from?

I am curious how this term came to be. I've found this question on various forums, but none of them seem to agree where the term came from. The most popular explanation seems to come from "bat in the ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there anything wrong with the word “denigrate”?

A few years ago there was a controversy over the word niggardly — a perfectly innocent word that unfortunately sounds like a racial slur. Given that controversy, is it safe to use denigrate, which ...
19
votes
15answers
5k views

Derogatory term for people from places like San Francisco [duplicate]

I'm looking for a derogatory term for people from liberal metropolitain areas who think they are better educated and more enlightened than those from rural, conservative areas. Carthage, TX is to ...
19
votes
10answers
3k views

Language Gibberish

Sometimes, in humor (or an attempt thereof), people will make up gibberish in a certain language in an attempt to poke fun at a language or its speakers. Made-up French, German, Italian, Chinese, most ...
18
votes
2answers
7k 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, ...
18
votes
4answers
24k views

What is the past tense form of s--t [closed]

Are shit, shat, and shitted all correct and fine to use as the past tense of shit? After a little bit of searching it seems that they are, with shat being Old English. Is any form more common in ...
17
votes
4answers
17k views

What does “balls” mean as a reply word or interjection?

Here’s a question again in Jeffery Archer’s The Prodigal Daughter. Richard (husband of Florentina Kane, the heroine of the novel) finds in The Wall Street Journal that Jake Thomas, chairman of Lester’...
17
votes
4answers
164k views

Difference between “smart” and “clever”

What is the difference between smart and clever? As far as I understand the latter is offensive. But the Cambrige Dictionary gives similar definitions of smart and clever.
17
votes
9answers
10k views

Is “layman” an offensive term?

Is it offensive to use the term layman nowadays? Does it insinuate that the people to whom you are referring are uneducated? I am wanting to say This is just one of the ways that CERN's research ...