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  1. #1
    sb70012 is offline Banned
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    Default (Goof - Make a gaffe - Make a Faux pas - Make a "cock up" - To boob - Blunder)

    Hello teachers,

    On the internet I asked the differences of these verbs: = meaning (to make an embarrasing mistake)

    (Goof - Make a gaffe - Make a Faux pas - Make a "cock up" - To boob - Blunder)

    They explained them to me and I thanked them so much.

    I just want to ask you my last question. As you know some of the verbs are British and some are American.

    Would you please tell me which one of them is a comprehensive one? I mean not only British and not only American and used in both countries.

    Goof = American only
    Make a gaffe = Mostly used in British and little used in American
    Make a Faux pas = Mostly used in British and little used in American
    Make a cock up = British only
    To boob (as a verb) = British only
    Blunder = British and American

    Now I want you to tell me which verb is the most comprehensive one and used in both British and American language? (to mean to make an embarrassing mistake)

    Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: (Goof - Make a gaffe - Make a Faux pas - Make a "cock up" - To boob - Blunder)

    Quote Originally Posted by sb70012 View Post
    Hello teachers,

    On the internet I asked the differences of these verbs: = meaning (to make an embarrasing mistake)

    (Goof - Make a gaffe - Make a Faux pas - Make a "cock up" - To boob - Blunder)

    They explained them to me and I thanked them so much.

    I just want to ask you my last question. As you know some of the verbs are British and some are American.

    Would you please tell me which one of them is a comprehensive one? I mean not only British and not only American and used in both countries.

    Goof = American only
    Make a gaffe = Mostly used in British and little used in American
    Make a Faux pas = Mostly used in British and little used in American
    Make a cock up = British only
    To boob (as a verb) = British only
    Blunder = British and American

    Now I want you to tell me which verb is the most comprehensive one and used in both British and American language? (to mean to make an embarrassing mistake)

    Thanks so much.
    You need to expand your list (at least for AmE): screw up, botch, blow it, flub, goof up, mess up, muck up.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: (Goof - Make a gaffe - Make a Faux pas - Make a "cock up" - To boob - Blunder)

    And in BrE, you can add screw up, balls up, f*ck up, mess up, cock up.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: (Goof - Make a gaffe - Make a Faux pas - Make a "cock up" - To boob - Blunder)

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    And in BrE, you can add screw up, balls up, f*ck up, mess up, cock up.
    It appears we share f*ck up.
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 15-Jul-2013 at 18:48.

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: (Goof - Make a gaffe - Make a Faux pas - Make a "cock up" - To boob - Blunder)

    Yes, but some are used as primarily as nouns and some as verbs. You will hear gaffe and faux pas in the US as well - I disagree that those are chiefly British.

    Some are more linked to actions - what made a real faux pas when she referred to his second wife by his first wife's name.
    Some are more linked to results - like if you look closely at the paint job in my bathroom, you'll see a lot of goofs, or mess-ups - places where I screwed up.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    probus's Avatar
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    Default

    Hello sb:

    I applaud the excellent research you have done and agree with all of your conclusions but for the exceptions noted by Barb_D. In formal usage blunder is the best and works on both sides of the pond. In less formal usage "screw up" is also pretty universally understood.
    Last edited by probus; 15-Jul-2013 at 05:55.

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: (Goof - Make a gaffe - Make a Faux pas - Make a "cock up" - To boob - Blunder)

    You could probably choose any verb you like, and in the right context of "Well, you sure <verbed> that up!" it would understood.
    As probus has alluded to, not all of these terms are appropriate for all situations (some you can say in front of your maiden aunt, and some you can't).

    PS: No offence meant to maiden aunts; I know it's a stereotype.

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: (Goof - Make a gaffe - Make a Faux pas - Make a "cock up" - To boob - Blunder)

    Of course, one can also "err."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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