Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 449
    #1

    misbegotten son

    Does the expression misbegotten son have an offensive connotation?
    If yes, what expression may be used to avoid offending the person you are talking about?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 2,585
    #2

    Re: misbegotten son

    Yes; it seems to imply that the person was conceived in dubious circumstances.

    I'm not sure it's possible to convey that thought, without giving offence – or did you want to convey some other meaning?

    MrP
    ·
    Not a professional ESL teacher.
    ·


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 449
    #3

    Re: misbegotten son

    I was looking for an expression which can refer to a child born from an extramarital relationship without giving offence.
    In Italy those children were usually refer to as illegitimate but this expression has been banned from legal documents and the expression which has now come into use is natural sons (of course this is a literal translation and it may make no sense in English). Is there an expression like this in English?
    Last edited by Englishlanguage; 10-Nov-2007 at 13:08.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #4

    Re: misbegotten son

    If you mean, his parents were not married, one can say that the person is illegitimate. But note : to talk in any terms about this subject directly to a person can be offensive.
    Misbegotten can also have the meaning contemptible, despicable. A recent book, The Misbegotten Son" is about a 'monster', a psychopath in the making as he grows up.
    "Mr. Shawcross was a ticking bomb, a fact obvious to even the most casual observer from an early age when he displayed what criminologists call the classic homicide triad—fire-setting, torturing small animals and bed-wetting. Despite the clear misgivings of every therapist who came in contact with him, he was released from prison—not so much to society as upon it."
    This has nothing to do whether he was or wasn't illegitimate, but that his character began to form and manifest itself over time, as he turned into a contemptible serial killer.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 449
    #5

    Re: misbegotten son

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    If you mean, his parents were not married, one can say that the person is illegitimate. But note : to talk in any terms about this subject directly to a person can be offensive.
    Misbegotten can also have the meaning contemptible, despicable. A recent book, The Misbegotten Son" is about a 'monster', a psychopath in the making as he grows up.
    "Mr. Shawcross was a ticking bomb, a fact obvious to even the most casual observer from an early age when he displayed what criminologists call the classic homicide triad—fire-setting, torturing small animals and bed-wetting. Despite the clear misgivings of every therapist who came in contact with him, he was released from prison—not so much to society as upon it."
    This has nothing to do whether he was or wasn't illegitimate, but that his character began to form and manifest itself over time, as he turned into a contemptible serial killer.
    I'll give an example of what I mean.
    John and Lucy are married and so are Michael and Kate. John and Kate have a relationship and they have a baby. Let's suppose Lucy decides to John because of his sexual relationship with Kate and goes to court. In his judgement, how will the judge call the baby John and Kate have had? I guess he will not call him misbegotten nor illegitimate because it may sound offensive.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #6

    Re: misbegotten son

    You replied with more detail while I was composing my first reply, so much of what I wrote is not relevant to this situation.
    In a court, the judge may use the phrase "born out of wedlock" which is the formal and polite way of saying it.
    These days, so many children are born of people living together but not married, few people think it is worth referring to. If they did, they might state it as the obvious: his parents weren't married.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 449
    #7

    Re: misbegotten son

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    You replied with more detail while I was composing my first reply, so much of what I wrote is not relevant to this situation.
    I understand, I've been through it as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    In a court, the judge may use the phrase "born out of wedlock" which is the formal and polite way of saying it.
    These days, so many children are born of people living together but not married, few people think it is worth referring to. If they did, they might state it as the obvious: his parents weren't married.
    Thank you...This is definitely what I was looking for. Does the phrase natural son (which is the literal translation of the expression used in Italy and, I think, in other civil law states) make any sense in English?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #8

    Re: misbegotten son

    Yes. It means that he is the biological father of the boy, as opposed to,say,
    being the son of his wife by a previous marriage; or a boy having been adopted by a couple.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 449
    #9

    Re: misbegotten son

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Yes. It means that he is the biological father of the boy, as opposed to,say,
    being the son of his wife by a previous marriage; or a boy having been adopted by a couple.
    Thank you very much...


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #10

    Re: misbegotten son

    Having said that, in casual conversation one would be more likely to refer to the boy as "his natural son" if the situation arose, (actually, there would be some context in which this arose in casual conversation, and I would be more likely to say, "Peter is his own son"; but in a legal report, you would write, "He is the biological father".

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •