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  1. #1
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    Default Swearword and Taboo in British and American

    Hi Everybody,

    As in this forum, there are many people from UK and US, I'd like to learn more about the Swear words and Taboos which frequently use in your country, my purpose is not to say this with people, I just want to know if some people say this to me, I can understand what they say. Please list them below and give the real meaning.


    e.g. Bollocks means Testicle (British English)

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Swearword and Taboo in British and American

    That's the technical meaning, but it is usually used with a different meaning- if you say something is b*ll*cks, it normally means it's rubbish/poor quality. However if something is the [dog's] b*ll*cks, it's excellent, the best. It can also be a verb (to mess things up) and the gerund means a scolding. As with many such words, the dictionary definition is one of the less common usage.

    It also means the village priest, though the only time I have seen this used is in a novel by Samuel Becket. It was used, I think, as a defence when the Sex Pistols' first album title was released and a shop was prosecuted for displaying it.

    Do please remember that these terms are taboo for a reason and some people find them objectionable.

  3. #3
    magimagicE is offline Member
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    Default Re: Swearword and Taboo in British and American

    In some of the better language schools in the UK, swearing (the words, definitions, usage and their accompanying gestures) is recognised as a part of the English language and so a whole lesson is usually devoted to it.

    Even though it may not be formally stated as being part of the syllabus, any English language teacher, worth his salt, will include it.

    The aim is to send the student out equipped with the necessary skills and savvy to help them blend in.


    Like with many British English swear words, context and how it is vocalised will alter its meaning.

    Bollocks as an expletive is quite mild in potency; and has a mischievous quality about it. I wouldn't use it to swear at someone (it has one syllable too many) or use it to vent anger - I'd use something much stronger (eg fuck).

    Observe the conversations between Tom and Harry:

    Tom: Yeah, its as light as a feather - kitted out with Dura Ace bits, carbon wheelset...
    Harry: Your bike is the dogs [bollocks]!


    Tom: That Danny geezer is doing that flip all wrong. He should've pedalled harder up the tree...
    Harry: So, you're saying you can do better? You're talking bollocks, mate.


    Tom: We won! All six numbers and the bonus number too!
    Harry: Bollllllllooooooccccckkkkkkkksssssssss!!!


    Tom: We're gonna get a right bollocking for being late again.
    Harry: Sorry, mate. I forgot to set the alarm clock last night.


    Tom: Straighten up, you just clipped that wing mirror.
    Harry: Bollocks!


    etc
    .
    .
    .


    Other variations of the word bollocks can be used in the same or similar way.

    For example:

    The mutts nuts = The dogs bollocks


    Tom: Yeah, its as light as a feather - kitted out with Dura Ace bits, carbon wheelset...
    Harry: Your bike is the mutts nuts!

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Swearword and Taboo in British and American

    mutt's/dog's/it's

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