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Thread: a real bastard

  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    a real bastard

    Hi.
    I found in my documents the following sentence including its German translation.
    The question is a real bastard.

    According to the translation it means that this question is extremely difficult to answer.
    So can you really say that in English?

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a real bastard

    Yes, although the term (which many consider at least mildly offensive) is of course also used to refer to a person.

    You will similarly hear both things and people referred to as a 'real b*tch'.

    Idiomatically, both mean the object or person in question is difficult or problematic.

    Bastard is also a designation for a size that is somewhere between adjacent sizes or grades. For example, a bastard file refers to a particular grade of tooth fineness on a file. A bastard sword is one that's bigger than a one-handed sword, but smaller than a two-handed sword.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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    #3

    Re: a real bastard

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    You will similarly hear both things and people referred to as a 'real b*tch'.
    And, in BrE, 'a (real) bugger'.

    (I have not censored the word. Although considered offensive by some, it is commonly used. In the right context, it can be used to express sympathy, or even affection.)
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 02-Feb-2017 at 11:44. Reason: Fixed typo

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a real bastard

    From a "level of swearing" point of view, I'd have been more likely to add asterisks to bastard, than to bitch or bugger.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: a real bastard

    First of all thanks for your explanation and confirmation.

    Although I'm quite sure that this won't work but let me asking you anyway.

    What about the following sentences?

    "The familiar situation was a real bastard."

    I don't think that this sentence will describe a personal situation as extremely difficult, but you never know.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: a real bastard

    What do you mean by "The familiar situation"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: a real bastard

    That was a mistake of course.
    I mean the family situation. Instead of "family situation" you can also take "personal situation".

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