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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117
votes
11answers
49k 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.
25
votes
6answers
90k 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 ...
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?
25
votes
10answers
108k 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
50k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Obscenities considered less obscene in compounds? [NSFW]

There are at least a few cases in which a compound word or phrase, transparently containing an obscene word, seems to be considered less obscene (in some dialect/registers/circumstances) than the word ...
24
votes
6answers
124k views

“Hooker”, “whore”, “prostitute”, when to use which? [closed]

"Hooker", "whore", and "prostitute" all mean whore; what are the differences between them?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What does 'mothercanuckers' mean?

First of all, sorry if it is offensive (I think it somewhat is). I was going through http://bleacherreport.com/articles/424590-the-funniest-promos-and-moments-in-wwe-history#page/20 The Rock ...
6
votes
6answers
25k views

Where does the phrase “holy crap on a cracker” come from?

Where does the phrase "holy crap on a cracker" come from?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

“Woman is the 'n-word' of the world”?

The other day I was watching a video, in which one white teacher was being accused of using the word "nigger" in reference to one of his students who was black. The newscasters, before showing the ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Why the opposite meanings of the word “bollocks”?

The phrases the dog’s bollocks, the bee’s bollocks, and golden bollocks are used to mean something or someone excellent, fine, or well thought of. But if one were to say a load of bollocks, or ...
34
votes
11answers
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
29k views

What does “X is not a four-letter word” mean?

Once in a while I see phrases like "Think" is not a four-letter word and just about any word can be where "think" is. I looked up the Wikipedia and looks like it says that "four-letter word" means ...
18
votes
10answers
100k views

Is it offensive to call a redhead a “ginger”?

So I just re-watched this great comedy by Tim Minchin, and here are the questions: How bad/offensive is the g-word really (other than being an anagram of the n-word)? What are alternatives? Is "...
5
votes
3answers
53k views

“idiot” vs “stupid” [closed]

What is the difference between the words "idiot" and "stupid"?
5
votes
1answer
11k views

Where and how is Geil used?

The urban dictionary writes: GEIL (Guy-el) The best colloquial word ever established by the German language. It has slowly assimilated itself into English speaking culture, particularly ...
35
votes
6answers
111k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do you suck at XYZ?

How bad is the usage of the word suck in English? Is this "bad boy" language or commonly used?
25
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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 ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Are -er insults a British phenomenon?

In the UK there are a lot of insulting words which end in -er, like this: scrubber (slut), tosser (masturbator), chancer (untrustworthy person), poofter (homosexual), wanker (masturbator, generally ...
8
votes
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",...
37
votes
7answers
20k 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 ...

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