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  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: piss off = vulgar?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Note that pissed off (angry) is more common, and less shocking, in Canada and the UK than in the US.
    Is this true just of this phrase or is Canada generally more relaxed about swearing, etc?

  2. #12
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: piss off = vulgar?

    In Canadian English, to be pissed can be both to be angry or to be drunk.

    And then there is another expression to explain that someone has no money.................. "He doesn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out!" Not a very nice expression, though.

  3. #13
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: piss off = vulgar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Is this true just of this phrase or is Canada generally more relaxed about swearing, etc?

    I certainly wouldn't use these expressions in a business setting.

  4. #14
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: piss off = vulgar?

    Not business, but they'd pass the 'mum test' suggested earlier in my case.

  5. #15
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: piss off = vulgar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Not business, but they'd pass the 'mum test' suggested earlier in my case.
    I don't think that's a valid test. Everyone's Mum is different. None of this would pass my Mum's test. On the other hand, I find offensive what a lot of other people's mums say.
    Perhaps a better test is the "new fiancee's mum test". This has the same flaws, but in this encounter you are in uncharted waters.

  6. #16
    mfwills is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: piss off = vulgar?

    Attitudes toward the vulgarity of a given phrase or word can change.

    Piss was one of George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" back in 1971 or so. This would have included any of the variants I can think of (piss=urinate; piss off=anger, go away; pissing contest=pointless argument; piss away=waste; piss on=ignore, insult).

    Cut to the late Nineties, early 2Ks. I can't tell you exactly which episode of "The West Wing" it happened in nor can I quote the exact lines, but I can remember being somewhat jolted when I heard First Lady Abigail Bartlet, in a conversation with her husband, saying someone had pissed someone else off. I have heard it more than a few times since then.

    This is not to say piss in other contexts is acceptable on TV, though other analogies are so (e.g., "take a leak"). Personally, I still consider "piss" vulgar, regardless of the context. I will occasionally describe something as a "pissing contest," but that's about it.

    So, basically, thirty-some years later, piss as it appears in to "piss off" is now OK to use on TV, and we're down to "Six Words You Can Never Say on Television."
    Last edited by mfwills; 12-Jul-2009 at 15:41.

  7. #17
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: piss off = vulgar?

    When the critic Kenneth Tynan first used the f-word on the BBC in the 1960s, his stammer led to the joke that this was the first 13-syllable 4-letter word. Sadly, the BBC didn't keep a copy of the programme.

  8. #18
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: piss off = vulgar?

    Still, I think the thread needs to stress the difference between the degree of vulgarity in the imperative "Piss off!" and the verb meaning to anger. The former is Hell's Kitchen nastiness and the latter is only mildly vulgar, in general.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: piss off = vulgar?

    I would not use the word in front of my children. Instead of "Piss off," I would say, "Beat it," or "Get lost," and instead of saying I was, "Pissed off," I would say I was "angry" or "mad." That's just my opinion, but remember, just because something is on television or especially the Internet, does not make it appropriate.

  10. #20
    nitikasnv is offline Banned
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    Default Yes its a vulgar word:

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsense View Post
    Well, the Oxford does note that the word "piss" is taboo or slang. Also keep in mind that the first definition of "piss" is to urinate, so you can see how the derivative phrases could be regarded as unpleasant. They are often associated with anger and vulgar language (at least in American culture). There may be a difference in use or connotation between American and British English. I have heard that in England "to be pissed" means to be drunk, while in America it means to be extremely angry.

    ETYMOLOGY: Middle English pissen, from Old French pissier, from Vulgar Latin *pissiare, of imitative origin.
    Hi,

    I agree with you oxford doesn't have word like this.

    Thanks

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