Is it rude?

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heger47

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Hi, everybody!
I just received the last newsletter and have found under NEW SLANG The runs
The description is :If someone has the runs, they have diarrhoea (diarrhea).
My question is, is it rude to say someone has the runs?

Regards!
heger47
 

Horsa

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Its considered more humourous than rude. It doesn't usually give rise to offence. :)
 

Anglika

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It's a pretty standard euphemism. Certainly not regarded as a rudity.
 

mfwills

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I think it is more often something you might say about yourself rather than about someone else. Whether it is viewed as rude really depends on your relationship to the afflicted person, and to whom you're saying it.
 

Barb_D

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Just as a side note: One thing I have learned since I started participating in ESL forums is that other cultures are FAR more comfortable talking about bodily functions than we are in the US or the UK.

Unless you know the person VERY well, there's little likelihood of discussing this at all. If I had to say something, I'd be more likely to say something like "A bit of tummy trouble" or "a stomach flu."

I wouldn't find it rude if you used that phrase with me, but I'd wonder why on earth you thought I should know it.
 

poolofmire

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"Having the runs" is a slang expression but not vulgar like other slang expressions are. But like much slang, it can only be used with people you know; strangers might take offense. It is a funny expression more than anything :)
 

susiedqq

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Other expressions include:
Running around or running off at the mouth -
but these don't have anything to do with bodily functions :lol:
 

ladybird987

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Just as a side note: One thing I have learned since I started participating in ESL forums is that other cultures are FAR more comfortable talking about bodily functions than we are in the US or the UK.

Unless you know the person VERY well, there's little likelihood of discussing this at all. If I had to say something, I'd be more likely to say something like "A bit of tummy trouble" or "a stomach flu."

I wouldn't find it rude if you used that phrase with me, but I'd wonder why on earth you thought I should know it.

You see, it's much different when you express yourself in a foreign language. It takes years to get the feeling. Like feeling the difference between formal and informal, offensive, slang etc. I bet many of us never say much about their body functions in everyday life. I would say at most "stomach problems".
It's just language classes, when you have to speak rubbish, just to use the language and to learn it. It's dictionary - a bad one, or badly used.
 

Soup

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Hi, everybody!
I just received the last newsletter and have found under NEW SLANG The runs
The description is :If someone has the runs, they have diarrhoea (diarrhea).
My question is, is it rude to say someone has the runs?

Regards!
heger47
I agree with the other posters, as well as with their humble and learned advice, specifically about knowing the person before deciding to use "body (parts) slang".

My aunt, for example, uses the euphemism hershey squirts to refer to the runs.
__________________
SillyJokes.co.uk's Dictionary of Farting
 

ficklefiend

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My aunt, for example, uses the euphemism hershey squirts to refer to the runs.

Oh dear that is.. descriptive.

If I'm calling work or something I'll say "upset stomach", that's a more polite euphemism. Saying you have the runs isn't rude, just more vulgar.
 

Anglika

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Oh dear that is.. descriptive.

If I'm calling work or something I'll say "upset stomach", that's a more polite euphemism. Saying you have the runs isn't rude, just more vulgar.

Itmight be less explicit when talking to the office, but an upset stomach will not necessarily mean the same thing. "The runs" is very specific and I would say pretty commonly used without being vulgar.
 
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I’d like to ask about the origin of the implication of this slang expression.

Does it come from RUN; either as a verb or as a noun, because when someone suffers from diarrhea s/he usually runs to toilet to do it.
 
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Yes, it's rude. It refers to the consistency of the excreta. And, as such, is not mentionable by polite people. The aunt referred to in a previous reply had given a peculiarly noisome coloration (hardly a euphemism) to the standard, now obsolete, English expression "the squirts," which "the runs" is rather an elaboration upon than a euphemism for. Say "diarrhea" or don't say it at all.
 

Anglika

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Yes, it's rude. It refers to the consistency of the excreta. And, as such, is not mentionable by polite people. The aunt referred to in a previous reply had given a peculiarly noisome coloration (hardly a euphemism) to the standard, now obsolete, English expression "the squirts," which "the runs" is rather an elaboration upon than a euphemism for. Say "diarrhea" or don't say it at all.

What post are you replying to?

And many people would prefer to use the colloquialism, which they find less embarrassing.
 

stuartnz

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I agree with Anglika. The phrase "the runs" is a colloquialism that would NOT be thought of as vulgar by many native speakers. Informal, definitely, but not rude or vulgar. I personally would not use it a business setting, but that's because of its informality, not out of any fear of giving offence. I would feel comfortable using it in conversation if I was talknig with a business colleague I knew well from long acquaintance.
 
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I was replying to Heger47's original question--I thought, the original in this thread--"Is it rude to say that one, or someone, has 'the runs'?" I wasn't addressing the question of "embarrassing," but rather the question of "rudeness." It is unspeakably, nauseatingly, vilely rude (indecent and improper) to refer to the consistency of one's own or anybody else's excreta, as one does, perforce, in using the nasty vulgarism "the runs." Of course, that is exactly what is referred to, under cover of "the decent obscurity of a learned tongue," with the word "diarrhea," which means in Greek, "a flowing through." So, I suggest, outside of a discussion with one's doctor, we don't mention it at all. An "upset stomach" is the most that well-bred persons need ever admit to publicly.
 

Anglika

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I think you are making too much of this - the consensus is that it is not rude and that it is quite acceptable. No-one will be able to stop the use of euphemism or colloquialism. Life would become altogether too serious is everyone had to use the "proper" word for something on all occasions.
 

bhaisahab

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To say you have 'the runs' is certainly not considered rude.

I find it vulgar, personally I wouldn't use it, and I don't like to hear it, but hey, people speak how they want to speak.;-)
 
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