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    #1

    how to call your spouse

    In a translation task, I was supposed to find an English equivalent to address someone, but I have no idea what word natives will use in such circunstances:
    When someone close to you, say, husband, is known to have an affair with another woman, is it possible to say: You bastard/You jerk/(you devil?), how dare you say you don't have an affair?
    In Chinese, we have certain ways to call our husband or love,which will only be used when we're irritated by their behavior but still affection or closeness can be felt. Sometimes, it can even be used in flirting. We do not actually refer to them as bastard or jerk. But I really don't know if there is certain word used in English in this case.
    I'm not sure if I have expressed myself clearly. Maybe there is difference in languages, but maybe there is also similarity. I'm looking forward to your help.

  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: how to call your spouse

    I'm not a teacher, but I think it's a cultural difference. I know some Chinese, so if you write the expression said by Chinese with some explanation, maybe I can explain it to native speakers.
    In Korea, we call such spouses sometimes "You! womanizer" or any swear word you want to say depending on your mood. And I guess native speakers will say various things depending on their mood or how serious the affair is.
    As Chinese and Korean share the same Chinese characters, I might be able to understand your expression.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: how to call your spouse

    In the heat of the moment of discovery, I don't think we apply much thought to the words that come from our mouths. Probably 'b*st*ard' would be one of the more common words that women might use to their errant spouses; some men would settle for 'b*tch' for their partners.

    When it happened to me a few years ago, I believe I said, "Oh, damn". I doubt if that's very common.

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    #4

    Re: how to call your spouse

    You're asking about disparaging names used in a playful fashion?

    I don't think that there is any common practice of doing this.

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    #5

    Re: how to call your spouse

    After the fact, the only phrase I can think of is "that cheating/lying" man:bastard, woman:bitch. But that's not friendly/flirty in any way. "Womanizer" or "to have a wondering eye" are possible, but those don't presume to include adultery.
    Last edited by BobSmith; 18-Apr-2012 at 21:01. Reason: added missing "don't"

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: how to call your spouse

    My problem with the question is equating "irritation" with how you would feel if you find out your spouse is cheating on you. I don't think a lot of people will be concerned with choosing words that still have a loving feeling.
    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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    #7

    Re: how to call your spouse

    Many English words or phrases that are seemingly abrasive, but when spoken with a smile, will be softened in order to playfully tease your spouse.

    You are teasing your husband, so you might want to call him a cad or a regular Don Juan.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: how to call your spouse

    Quote Originally Posted by magimagicE View Post
    Many English words or phrases that are seemingly abrasive, but when spoken with a smile, will be softened in order to playfully tease your spouse.

    You are teasing your husband, so you might want to call him a cad or a regular Don Juan.
    I doubt if many wives have used such expresions in the last fifty years or so.

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    #9

    Re: how to call your spouse

    If you want to be more abrasive when referring to your husband, then you might call him a philanderer.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: how to call your spouse

    Quote Originally Posted by magimagicE View Post
    If you want to be more abrasive when referring to your husband, then you might call him a philanderer.
    No. That's not more abrasive, merely dated.

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