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    #1

    that soft bastard Latin

    I love the language, that soft bastard Latin, 25
    Which melts like kisses from a female mouth,
    And sounds as if it should be writ on satin,
    With syllables which breathe of the sweet South,
    And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in,
    That not a single accent seems uncouth, 30
    Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural,
    Which we’re obliged to hiss, and spit, and sputter all.

    http://www.bartleby.com/205/107.html
    What does "bastard" mean here?
    Last edited by sitifan; 29-Jul-2015 at 09:24.
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #2

    Re: that soft bastard Latin

    He's writing about Italy and Italian is derived from Latin- it is the child of the parent language.

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    #3

    Re: that soft bastard Latin

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    He's writing about Italy and Italian is derived from Latin- it is the child of the parent language.
    Isn't bastad a very offensive word? Was Byron extolling Italian, whose ancient parent was Latin?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #4

    Re: that soft bastard Latin

    Byron loves Italian. 'Bastard' is not always offensive. Here are definitions 5 and 6 in Collins dictionary:


    • something irregular, abnormal, or inferior
    • a hybrid, esp an accidental or inferior one

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: that soft bastard Latin

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    Isn't bastad a very offensive word? Was Byron extolling Italian, whose ancient parent was Latin?
    In earlier times, "bastard" was just a simple description of reality.
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 29-Jul-2015 at 21:05. Reason: typo

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: that soft bastard Latin

    Bastard is also used to refer to something that's between two sizes or grades.

    For example, a bastard sword (also known as a hand-and-a-half sword) is between a single handed and double handed sword in overall length. A bastard file is a specific cut (the spacing between the teeth) or coarseness of a file between a rough cut and a second cut.

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