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Author Topic: "Bloody"
nod
I Saw Three Shipments


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Very few words are as tabboo as they used to be - the F word may raise a few eyebrows from over 50s but bloody would go almost completely unremarked. The C word is about the only one I can think of that IS considered NFSKs at all, although it is in common use on almost every playground used by 10 year olds and up! (There again, in times gone by, there was a road in London called Gropec**t Lane - what would now be called a red light district IIRC! Now called Grape Street. Also, G. Lanes were found in other cities throughout England.)

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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It seems "bloody" is still considered a little risque for UK television viewers.
quote:
BRITISH broadcasting authorities have banned the use of the latest advertisements promoting Australian tourism, which feature the slogan "Where the bloody hell are you?"
Ad here.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


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Actually, using the word "bloody" on TV is OK in the general sense here, however adverts are far stricter and any kind of swearing is frowned upon. I'm not sure why this is.

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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I suspect they were hoping to create a bit of controversy with the wording... and I'm probably doing exactly what they what by posting links to it on a messageboard. [lol] This way they don't even have to pay for advertising time.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Tarquin Farquart
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Thinking about it, when I was in Australia I remember a couple of ads featuring swearing, so I doubt similar rules apply.

I have no idea what they were for but the novelty value meant I noticed them. [Eek!]

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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This thread reminds me of the Who song Bellboy in which that word and its varient bleeding--in a rich Cockney accent--is often mentioned.

Dawn--always at someone's bleedin' 'eel!--Storm

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resident deity
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Warning, this post contains language which some may find offensive.

Swearing is something that always goes in cycle with what the culture finds offensive, which varies on a generational and class gap. 500 years ago the conventional swearwords: shit, fuck, cunt etc. were often used matter of factly, whilst blasphemous terms were found offensive.

Then the words switch around, words like shit become offensive and alternatives are found (e.g. tosser for wanker; shag, frig for fuck; crap for shit). Then the alternatives themselves become offensive and new alternatives are found. Then the original swear words become popular and are replaced by other words.

For example, in the past 20 years the conventional words seem to have lost their offensiveness. With the exception of "cunt" - but this is mainly due to the secondary (primarily US) meaning - i.e. a derogatory term for a woman, as opposed to the female genitals. One could argue that other words like "twat" still retain their offensiveness due to the lack of use.

But, we have new offensive terms now, these don't refer to body parts or actions or blasphemous phrases, these refer to what our culture finds offensive. If you really want to shock or offend somebody you use words like "nigger" or "spaz" or "'tard". Words that 50 years ago wouldn't have caused anybody to blink.

The culture bit also makes a difference, whilst "wanker" and "bollocks" have always been post water shed over here (in the UK) - they have been used by the US as ways of swearing during prime time TV for a long time. Similarly, words that have been found offensive in the US ("bitch", "ass") have been used over here on prime time TV.

So, to relate to the topic's subject: bloody used to be offensive, but is now pretty much a common term that you wouldn't expect anybody to be offended over.

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Rach
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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The English equivalent of the Australian word 'bloody' is 'bleedin''.

Although the wording in the controversial advertisment says 'where the bloody hell are you?' ( referring to the Tourism trade), we in Australia would not find that offensive; it just means the same thing as "where are you? we're waiting!' etc..

My apologies if this is blatantly obvious lol; I am Australian and I find it a bit bizarre that it is so controversial [Smile]

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Since when is 'bloody' an 'Australian' word? It's been used for 400 years in England. 'Bleedin' is just one of many dialectal variations established over hundreds of years of use.

The reason the ad sparked annoyance is because of it's tone - 'Where the bloody hell are you?' implies an angered state in the UK, and possible connotations of condescension too, not a particularly suitable approach to foreign markets....

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candycane from strangers
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Forgive me for being a dork and a USAan, but as someone who is watching Harry Potter whilst reading this thread, is it bad, from an English point of view, that Ron Weasley says "bloody" all the time? Even in the ones where he's really young?

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Hans Off
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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It's as much as JK Rowling can get away with him saying whilst making the books/films still suitable for BSKs.

IRL he would probably graduate to "Twatting hell" and then on to "Fuck me sideways!" as the books progressed!

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hudders
I Saw Three Shipments


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It's interesting that nobody has raised an objection to the word "hell" in that sentence.

Hm. Sign of the times, I suppose.

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Eccles9
I Saw Three Shipments


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Although the British Ad council 'banned' the latest Aussie Tourism ads for the use of the word 'bloody', their Canadian equivalent has just done so because of the word 'hell'.

Go figure.

Anyway back to the topic...

Bloody is known as 'the great Australian adjective' (first described as such in 'The Bulletin' of 18 August 1894) and is used as a general intensifier by the majority of Australians ('It's bloody hot') and for emphasis ('he's bloody useless', 'what a bloody mess' 'you bloody beauty!' etc).

In general usage, though not always considered polite, it is not considered offensive by the Australian population at large apart from the odd society matron who may get 'the vapours' upon hearing it...

Like most good old fashioned hard-working Anglo-Saxon words, its status as a profanity has fluctuated greatly over the centuries.

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Arcane Jill
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Perhaps it's just be the circles I move in these days, but "bloody" seems to be well out of fashion. Or maybe it's a regional thing?

As for "wanker", I've always been under the impression that the reason it is so freely used in the USA is because a lot of americans don't know what it means.

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Bored and Dangerous
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Arcane Jill:

As for "wanker", I've always been under the impression that the reason it is so freely used in the USA is because a lot of americans don't know what it means.

Maybe they use it because they do know what it means? [Roll Eyes]

If you'd like to take a patronizing tone towards Americans (see your post on tipping) just for being Americans, please do it somewhere else. It's not a good idea here.

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by Just_this_guy_you_know?:
Very few words are as tabboo as they used to be - the F word may raise a few eyebrows from over 50s but bloody would go almost completely unremarked. The C word is about the only one I can think of that IS considered NFSKs at all, although it is in common use on almost every playground used by 10 year olds and up!

I work with a chap who will happily use every profanity invented except for the "C-word" (he is an avid reader of Viz and Roger's Profanisaurus). Considering his ability to use the F-word as noun, verb and pretty much any other part of speeh, I find it amusing that he always censors himself on the C-word and just says "C-word". He's actually a really charming person. In the middle of a conversation with him and a couple of other male colleagues, a female colleague turned up and he suddenly tempered his languange saying "ladies present". Apparently I don't count as a lady (which, from my point of view is a pity as he's also very cute).

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by Tarquin Farquart:
Thinking about it, when I was in Australia I remember a couple of ads featuring swearing, so I doubt similar rules apply.

I have no idea what they were for but the novelty value meant I noticed them. [Eek!]

In Australia, bloody seems to be used in place of a hyphen! "The Australaise" poem is a good example of its use.

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Arcane Jill
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quote:
Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
Maybe they use it because they do know what it means? [Roll Eyes]

If you'd like to take a patronizing tone towards Americans (see your post on tipping) just for being Americans, please do it somewhere else. It's not a good idea here.

Having seen the word used on primetime TV where what I would consider milder terms are not used, my assumption was no, they don't know what it means. Of course that might also be a cultural difference, which was why I brought it up here.

I see no reason for getting so snarky about it.

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by Arcane Jill:
quote:
Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
Maybe they use it because they do know what it means? [Roll Eyes]

If you'd like to take a patronizing tone towards Americans (see your post on tipping) just for being Americans, please do it somewhere else. It's not a good idea here.

Having seen the word used on primetime TV where what I would consider milder terms are not used, my assumption was no, they don't know what it means. Of course that might also be a cultural difference, which was why I brought it up here.

I've also been pretty surprised to see US TV shows use "wanker", but "hell" is replaced by "heck" and "damn" by "darn". I'm 40 and I still don't use the term "wanker" when my parents are present or around people I don't know particularly well! I'm guessing it hasn't acquired the impact in the US. Mind you, all the bleeped out words on Springer crack me up, swearing is considered bad form here, but not worth bleeping out.

This word & topic came up on a bawdy mailing list a while back. I recall being told of an American TV show with a character called "Miss Wanker". That would have to be changed for the British market. Also the US has the noun "wank" e.g. "he's a wank" (I think it equates to fool?) and "wanker" may have gained that connotation (foolish), but in the UK "wank" has only the sexual connotation.

Interestingly the term "frig" and "friggin'" is more acceptable as it has other connotations e.g. I had to frig it (make a rough and ready temporary "fix"). Or perhaps it's only more common among hardware and software engineers!

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Stoneage Dinosaur
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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
I recall being told of an American TV show with a character called "Miss Wanker". That would have to be changed for the British market.

In Married... With Children, Peg Bundy's maiden name was Wanker, and her family hailed from Wanker County - though this was not changed for the British market (I also thought that this was because Americans used wanker to mean "idiot" or something similar, rather than the original British meaning).

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Alex Buchet
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quote:
Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
quote:
Originally posted by Arcane Jill:

As for "wanker", I've always been under the impression that the reason it is so freely used in the USA is because a lot of americans don't know what it means.

Maybe they use it because they do know what it means? :rolleyes:

If you'd like to take a patronizing tone towards Americans (see your post on tipping) just for being Americans, please do it somewhere else. It's not a good idea here.

Hold your horses. Most Americans DON'T know what it means.

I recall a time-- the early '70s-- when NO Americans knew what the word meant. Proof?

Roy Thomas and Barry Smith sneaked the word into the Comics Code-approved 'Conan the Barbarian' comic #24, 'The Song of Red Sonja':

'You worthless Brythunian wank!'
'Wank, did you say now?'

This, at a time when the Comics Code wouldn't let you say "My God!"

(classic cover: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=26023&zoom=4)

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Bored and Dangerous
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Alex Buchet:
quote:
Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
quote:
Originally posted by Arcane Jill:

As for "wanker", I've always been under the impression that the reason it is so freely used in the USA is because a lot of americans don't know what it means.

Maybe they use it because they do know what it means? [Roll Eyes]

If you'd like to take a patronizing tone towards Americans (see your post on tipping) just for being Americans, please do it somewhere else. It's not a good idea here.

Hold your horses. Most Americans DON'T know what it means.

I recall a time-- the early '70s-- when NO Americans knew what the word meant. Proof?

Roy Thomas and Barry Smith sneaked the word into the Comics Code-approved 'Conan the Barbarian' comic #24, 'The Song of Red Sonja':

'You worthless Brythunian wank!'
'Wank, did you say now?'

This, at a time when the Comics Code wouldn't let you say "My God!"

(classic cover: http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=26023&zoom=4)

One quote from a comic book in the 70s as your proof? Try a more modern-day approach, or at least more of them.

The way it's presented is, "A lot of Americans use the word because they don't know what it means." I happen to know what it means just fine, and I've known what it meant since early teenagehood, and all of my friends know what it means, British style. I have a good many acquaintances that use it in their vocabulary in the British manner. What are the chances that that many people know how to use it if the majority of Americans have no idea what it means? I think it's rather patronising to assume that Americans misuse the word simply because they're ignorant of what it means, British style. There's usually more than one meaning to a word, and just because the British meaning of "wanker" is one you're used to doesn't mean it's the only way that it's correctly used. We've had these discussions before, with the British usually assuming that their words are correct and the American ones are wrong simply because of their British nationality.

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Richard W
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quote:
Bored and Dangerous said:
There's usually more than one meaning to a word, and just because the British meaning of "wanker" is one you're used to doesn't mean it's the only way that it's correctly used.

Perhaps Arcane Jill should have said "they don't know what it means in the UK, where the word originated," then. What does it mean in the USA? I notice that you haven't said...

(edit) I've also seen Americans use the word in a way that suggests that they don't know what it means.

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Ganzfeld
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Since we have been fagging away at these British terms for some time now, I'd like to ask a question that came up at work today: Does anyone use the word "fag" in that sense anymore? That is fag as in "tiresome work".
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Jay Tea
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'Can't be fagged', meaning 'can't be bothered' is a phrase very much in use, certainly around my way.

I've not heard 'fagged out' for a while, and the use of 'fag' as a verb is all but dead as far as I know, certainly in modern use.

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Bored and Dangerous
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
Bored and Dangerous said:
There's usually more than one meaning to a word, and just because the British meaning of "wanker" is one you're used to doesn't mean it's the only way that it's correctly used.

Perhaps Arcane Jill should have said "they don't know what it means in the UK, where the word originated," then. What does it mean in the USA? I notice that you haven't said...

(edit) I've also seen Americans use the word in a way that suggests that they don't know what it means.

And here we go again. Just because it's not used the way you British want it to be used doesn't mean it's not correct.

Usually what it means in the US is what's been said above: a stupid person, an idiot, or someone who masturbates excessively. Although, according to this definition, it can mean either--a masturbator or someone who you detest. Then again, this definition suggests that Americans could be using it properly (in the British view).

I find that most people rarely know everything about their own language (myself included), especially slang, its origins, and its evolution. I think it's highly dismissive of UKers to assume that most Americans don't know what they're saying when they say it--it's like saying all Britons have bad teeth. It's a stereotype.

Other sites that think wanker is more than a dirty word:
This one
Another one

ETA: If we're all using it incorrectly, why don't you demonstrate a correct usage? [Roll Eyes]

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Ganzfeld
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wank wanker wankest [fish]
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Richard W
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quote:
Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
And here we go again. Just because it's not used the way you British want it to be used doesn't mean it's not correct.

It doesn't mean you can ignore its origins, either.

For example, "nigger" isn't much used as a racial slur in the UK - different racial politics mean that most racism is aimed at Asians, and "paki" would be the offensive term there. The racist people I knew at school tended to refer to black people as "wogs".

This doesn't mean it wouldn't be jarring to American readers if we in the UK suddenly decided to take the word "nigger", not really understanding its implications, and use it as a verb to mean "mucking about" or "being silly", say.

To some extent the casual US usage of the word "wanker" is similarly jarring. I'm exaggerating to make the point but hopefully you can see it.

(PS please excuse the racial terms in this post - don't worry, I'm just niggering about.)

(Edit - it's also quite jarring in the UK. I almost thought better of this post and deleted it, but I'll leave it up.)

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Bored and Dangerous
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
And here we go again. Just because it's not used the way you British want it to be used doesn't mean it's not correct.

It doesn't mean you can ignore its origins, either.

For example, "nigger" isn't much used as a racial slur in the UK - different racial politics mean that most racism is aimed at Asians, and "paki" would be the offensive term there. The racist people I knew at school tended to refer to black people as "wogs".

This doesn't mean it wouldn't be jarring to American readers if we in the UK suddenly decided to take the word "nigger", not really understanding its implications, and use it as a verb to mean "mucking about" or "being silly", say.

To some extent the casual US usage of the word "wanker" is similarly jarring. I'm exaggerating to make the point but hopefully you can see it.

(PS please excuse the racial terms in this post - don't worry, I'm just niggering about.)

I'm not ignoring its origins. What I am saying is that some Britons think that because they originated a word, that what they think must be the only meaning for it, and all other meanings are incorrect because they've never used it that way.

Of course words must be taken in their context. To suggest otherwise would be foolish. However, when a word is used a certain way somewhere, it should be recognized that somewhere else it can mean something entirely different, because common usage of words can vary widely throughout cultures and societies. Neither party is likely incorrect--if the word is taken within its context. What I am saying here is that Britons are using the literal term, and Americans are using the figurative (for the most part). Neither is incorrect by definition, but a good many Britons assume that because Americans don't use it thier way that it is incorrect. That is what I'm frustrated about.

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Posts: 2366 | From: Harrisonburg, Virginia | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
jessboo
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
[qb]And here we go again. Just because it's not used the way you British want it to be used doesn't mean it's not correct.

It doesn't mean you can ignore its origins, either.


I'm not ignoring its origins. What I am saying is that some Britons think that because they originated a word, that what they think must be the only meaning for it, and all other meanings are incorrect because they've never used it that way.

the original post was

"As for "wanker", I've always been under the impression that the reason it is so freely used in the USA is because a lot of americans don't know what it means. "

well, i was always under that impression too. you might know it, and your friends might, but you are not 'most americans', are you? that isn't meant to sound snarky- but you're doing the same thing that you're annoyed about the op doing.

on a bit of a tangent. when i was on holiday in florida, i told my friend to "piss off". this guy from new york, who was nearby, fell about laughing, saying he'd never heard the expression. surely americans use it, too?

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Posts: 779 | From: Southampton, England | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Little Pink Pill
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
However, when a word is used a certain way somewhere, it should be recognized that somewhere else it can mean something entirely different, because common usage of words can vary widely throughout cultures and societies. Neither party is likely incorrect--if the word is taken within its context.

Maybe a good example of this would be the word "tit." Both cultures use it to mean 'nipple,' but only Brits use it to describe an imbecile or a push button. It's a mildly offensive word to Americans, and if one heard a Brit calling someone that, they might assume the Brit didn't really know the 'true' definition of the word. But what they should assume is that words vary from culture to culture. They should think, "Hmm, that must not mean the same thing to them as us," not, "Idiot. Must not know what that word means."

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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"Yeah, Old tit-face went tits up, titting around getting a tit-wank off some tart!" [lol]

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bloodaxe
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I think the point that some people are trying to make here is that 'wanker' is very strong language here certainly on a par with 'shit' or '****'. It simply can't have the same strength of usage in the US as they certainly don't use those words on primetime TV. It is obviously considered much milder across there. It is quite a strong term of abuse here, rarely used in, if ever, jest at someone.
Posts: 34 | From: South Shields, England | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
jessboo
The First USA Noel


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[/qb][/QUOTE]Maybe a good example of this would be the word "tit." Both cultures use it to mean 'nipple,' but only Brits use it to describe an imbecile or a push button. [/QB][/QUOTE]

push button? [Confused] i've never heard that

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Join me on Lost - www.lost.eu/edcf

Do you have any wine? All of this would go a lot smoother in an altered state of reality.

Posts: 779 | From: Southampton, England | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Bored and Dangerous
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by jessboo:
quote:
Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Bored and Dangerous:
[qb]And here we go again. Just because it's not used the way you British want it to be used doesn't mean it's not correct.

It doesn't mean you can ignore its origins, either.


I'm not ignoring its origins. What I am saying is that some Britons think that because they originated a word, that what they think must be the only meaning for it, and all other meanings are incorrect because they've never used it that way.

the original post was

"As for "wanker", I've always been under the impression that the reason it is so freely used in the USA is because a lot of americans don't know what it means. "

well, i was always under that impression too. you might know it, and your friends might, but you are not 'most americans', are you? that isn't meant to sound snarky- but you're doing the same thing that you're annoyed about the op doing.

I'd say my friends and I are a pretty varying cross-section of Americans, so, yeah, I'd go with them as typical of "most Americans" and their language abilities.

Okay. Let's see. I wanna say, "All British people have bad teeth (as per my example earlier)." Would I be right? No. If in my limited experience, all I had ever seen was British people who had bad teeth, I might be justified in thinking that. However, I wouldn't be correct. All you've seen is American people using "wanker" incorrectly in the British manner. In your limited experience, you've been told wanker means "masturbator." You've not had anyone explain that it means other things, too. Are you wrong for thinking that it means masturbator? No. Are you correct for thinking it means only masturbator? No.

And did anyone bother to read the definitions that I posted? It's perfectly within proper usage on both sides of the Atlantic to call someone a wanker if they're merely annoying or just an idiot.

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Watch?? I'm gonna pray, man! Know any good religions?--Zaphod Beeblebrox

Posts: 2366 | From: Harrisonburg, Virginia | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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