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.

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4
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3answers
613 views

Where does the expression “to shine someone on” come from? And does it have racist origins?

Someone suggested to me that the idiom "to shine someone on" is racist in origin. I'm not talking about shine on or shine or any of those other uses. What I'm referring to is shining someone ...
6
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3answers
4k views

Meaning of the expression “Eat sh**”

What does the expression "eat shit" represent in the following sentences? Eat shit, I'm not going to do your dirty work. Is this similar to "I dislike doing your dirty work"? Or does it mean "Go ...
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2answers
83 views

What is a better, less vulgar phrase than “take s**t from”?

I'm looking for something better than "take shit". For example, "The clerk refused to take shit from the enraged customer." Specifically, I'm looking for something less vulgar. ...
5
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6answers
49k views

Is it “damn thing” or “damned thing”?

I know Americans commonly use "damn" or "damned" to describe things. Sometimes, more appropriately, it's even "darn" or "darned". For example, This damn/damned ...
98
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10answers
79k views

Alternative terms to “Blacklist” and “Whitelist” [closed]

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. ...
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5answers
6k views

How to express desires in English so that they don't sound like commands?

At that time I won't want you to again land up in the thread to tell me the rules. With the above statement, I wanted to express my desire, but it was interpreted as a command. How can I rewrite the ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Is that a curse word?

I'm French so there are a few words and expressions that I know, but I don't know whether they count as curse words or whether I can say them without giving offence. Like fricking, for example in He ...
9
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6answers
62k 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 ...
1
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0answers
75 views

Is there such expression as “Charlie someone out”?

There is the following exchange in Deadwood series season 1 episode 3 ... Johnny: Al? Al: Yeah. Johnny: That cherry New York dude is downstairs askin’ for ya. Al: No good. Charlie him the fuck out. (...
2
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1answer
138 views

Would an American girl aged 12-14 really use the “F-word” casually like this in 1947?

In the 1997 movie "Lolita", in the beginning set in 1947, there is a scene where Dolores Haze (12 or 14, White, girl) has this conversation with a friend: Mary Rose: "See you later, ...
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7answers
4k views

How did “pissed” come to mean “drunk” or “angry”?

How did "pissed" come to mean "drunk" or "angry" in expressions such as: "I'm pissed" OR "I'm pissed off"? All dictionaries I consulted just gave that definition. So, does it have anything to do - ...
6
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9answers
14k 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 ...
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3answers
8k views

Why isn't “it” used in place of “he or she”, “he/she”, “s/he” etc.?

There is a related discussion on this Q&A site. My question is different. I'm all for gender awareness, but why hasn't a properly defined pronoun "it" been used instead of "he/she" or "he or she",...
5
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1answer
6k views

“Obscene yourself” (literally) in Hemingway's “For Whom The Bell Tolls”

I am reading Hemingway's "For Whom The Bell Tolls" (an edition from 1960). Throughout the book, strong words and obscenities are replaced literally by the term "obscenity" or similar. For example (...
117
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11answers
48k views

What is the difference between “tits” and “boobs”?

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.
23
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5answers
334k 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 ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Why so many curses have religious references?

In particular those of surprise or anger. For example Bloody hell, Oh my god, God dammit, Holy crap, Jesus Christ, F*#king hell,
2
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1answer
104 views

Origin of machine term “Sawmill N—er”

Yes, it's an offensive term and the origin may seem obvious but I wanted to dig deeper. The mechanical device in a sawmill which turned (rotated) the logs in order to saw a new face was known as a &...
0
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2answers
56 views

Is word "crapy' considered a swear? [closed]

Is word "crapy' considered a swear? Will it be considered impolite or rude?
5
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4answers
15k views

Are there any commonly used “Couldn't organise an X in a Y” phrases that aren't vulgar?

Are there any phrases like "Couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery" or "Couldn't organise a root in a brothel" that are reasonably common, indicate organisational incompetence, have a degree of ...
28
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5answers
11k views

Was the word that is now considered a slur against Japanese people ever considered simply a standard, neutral demonym?

It seems the word 'Jap' could have formed along the same lines as 'Finn' (for Finland) and 'Swede' (for Sweden). Perhaps it became more emotively charged during the war?
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0answers
152 views

'I would be so grateful if…' rude?

I am a high school student and I often use 'I would be so grateful if you could take a moment to...' or 'I would be so grateful if you could help me.' or something like that when I am writing an ...
4
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2answers
8k views

What is the origin of “breaking one's balls”?

While watching Goodfellas for the first time ever, I have stumbled upon the expression: "... and I am breaking your balls..." (for context: Clip from Goodfellas) Since I am Italian by birth, I ...
0
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1answer
179 views

On a certain pejorative in contemporary British English

According to the OED https://www.oed.com/viewdictionaryentry/Entry/67623) "faggot" and "fag", used to refer to gay men in a derogatory way are "originally and chiefly North ...
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5answers
17k views

Why does swearing 'turn the air blue'?

Why do we say that the air is blue when someone has been swearing a lot?
0
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1answer
51 views

Why is 'used to troll' a potentially bad keyword? [closed]

CharcoalHQ caught a post about appealing a network wide ban on Meta.SE yesterday. Potentially bad keyword in body The bad keyword is apparently 'used to troll.' What's toxic or potentially bad about ...
2
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1answer
154 views

Term for “the fatty” used by teenagers

"In seventh grade, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. My nightmare began. A brace restricted my movement and my life; I could not bend or turn, let alone continue with my favorite hobby—dancing. I was ...
1
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2answers
116 views

Gender-unspecific pejorative for somebody selling themselves for personal benefit (not prostitution)

What would be alternative words for whore which do not primarily reference women? In this case by whore I do not mean a prostitute, but a person who is willing to sell themselves out for personal ...
3
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2answers
835 views

What is the grammatical structure of the expression “F*** you!” and its derivatives?

I heard that expression along with its derivatives so many times, in movies or otherwise, but I can't get it grammatically, meaning, does it stand for a complete sentence like "I will fuck you!" or "I ...
15
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12answers
5k views

Does English use the word ‘thou’ in any situations nowadays? [closed]

Does English use the word thou in situations nowadays? For example, to humiliate an opponent by being overly familiar?
3
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3answers
213 views

How does suffixing adjectives with “ass” work out grammatically?

Why is it grammatically correct apparently to say, for example "My annoying-ass art teacher"? Or is it? If ass is a noun normally, then what part of speech is it when used to suffix an adjective? Can ...
16
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4answers
5k views

Was the N-word an offensive word in Mark Twain's day?

Was the word "nigger" a deliberately derogatory and offensive word in Mark Twain's time, or was it just a normal word to describe an ethnicity in those days? Background: I'm curious as to whether ...
2
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2answers
125 views

How can I replace the most popular cuss words with words which don't sound overly deliberately euphemistic and outright childish? [closed]

It's not that I curse a lot, even when I'm angry, but I don't particularly like the origin of certain, particularly the most popular English ones, cuss words, so I am trying to stop using them ...
1
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2answers
431 views

Sun doesn't / don't shine? [duplicate]

I'm curious about the grammar in the vulgar idiom "Where the sun don't shine". Why is there a don't instead of doesn't? The latter strikes me as the correct grammatical form, but I'm not sure.
2
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0answers
119 views

Has “f**k” lost its profanity? [closed]

I thought that "fuck" was quite vulgar and offensive. However it's used by a nine year old main character in a book aimed at children and young teenagers. [...] even though he told him to ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Can the word FAQ be considered offensive?

The pronunciation of abbreviation FAQ is not uniform (cf. What is the commonly accepted pronunciation of FAQ?). One of commonly encountered ones is /fæk/. This one, at least to my untrained, non-...
12
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3answers
3k views

How to ask a knowledge question without causing offence?

By "knowledge question", I mean any sort of question intended to check whether the listener already knows the answer or not. For example: Are you familiar with how an operating system works? Do you ...
0
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2answers
132 views

Any less impolite alternatives for the too-informal interjection “Hell”?

Consider the passage: Mathematicians are pretty comfortable with treating spaces without any embedding. A surface can just exist—no need for a volume for it to hover in. It does so with all its ...
8
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2answers
9k views

Where does English get the word “condom” from?

Although once a word that dared not speak its name, thanks to popular-culture references as well as the devastating AIDS tragedy, condom seems to be on everyone’s lips these days. But does anybody ...
3
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5answers
16k views

Is “bollocks” really a swear word? [closed]

Today my laptop battery died while I was finishing off a sticky note and so naturally I just went 'Oh, bollocks!'. After all, it didn't warrant one of the "big six"; it was more a "damn" moment. So I ...
9
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4answers
2k views

“Foreign students” vs “International students”

An etymological doubt has hit me. To my surprise, the "writing enhancement software," Grammarly flagged the phrase "foreign students" and suggested "International students" in its place. The reasoning:...
42
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8answers
34k 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-...
0
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2answers
272 views

Why are there so many American phrases about derrières?

Some examples: Piece-of-ass Move that ass Haul your ass Your ass is mine I'm gonna beat your ass Get that ass in gear Get your ass over here put a cap in that ass cover my ass kick ass ass kicking ...
-2
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1answer
189 views

What does it mean to call someone a wipe?

By the swear words I know it is some insult, I posted this as an answer because the question was stupid. but I am not sure what it exactly means. I heard it in a video at about 0:21 for reference. ...
1
vote
1answer
385 views

Is “retard” offensive when used as a verb? [closed]

Obviously calling someone a "retard" or "retarded" is considered offensive. As a noun, it is considered a dated, offensive and pejorative term when used to refer to a person who has a mental ...
0
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1answer
114 views

Using the F word in the middle of the word [duplicate]

Not sure if I can use the F words here, therefore I will refer to it as f*** or f***in I know that we can use F word in the middle of the sentence like You may f***in not do that or She is f*...
3
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4answers
2k views

Does this vulgar expression necessarily imply a certain body part?

My question is about the expression "suck on it." Background (you can skip this paragraph if you want): at Spanish SE we were doing some back-translating of a game we were playing in Spanish. When ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Why is “wong” a bad word?

I just use "wong" as if I am saying "wrong" without the "r". For example "You are wong. try again" However, this word is moderated in roblox chat several times. Merriam Webster and other dictionaries ...
5
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1answer
607 views

Is there a way to determine how offensive a word is? [closed]

Outside of slang, I'm looking for a list of words that have been co-opted by society to mean something derogatory. In some senses, they are also "trigger words" and phrases. The word cult, for ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Do religious people avoid all exclamations that start with “holy”? [closed]

When I googled exclamations beginning with "Holy", I found that there is a character on an educational show for kids who said "holy cow" when he saw an elephant Does that mean that exclamations that ...

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