What do native English speakers use in place of 'spoiled'?

Tan Elaine

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Where I live, everything that is no longer working is spoilt. For example, My radio is spoiled, My watch is spoiled, My car is spoiled. My mobile is spoiled. (In fact, any device can be spoiled.)

I believe native speakers do not use the word spoiled so liberally.

May I know what terms native English speakers use in place of spoiled?

Thanks.
 
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andrewg927

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"My phone is about as useful as tits on a nun."

Good grief, Robert. You have watched The Sound of Music too many times.

I use "on the fritz".
 
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emsr2d2

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In BrE, we'd say "My mobile is broken/kaput/knackered/buggered/dead/screwed/f*cked", but not "spoiled/spoilt".
 

Lynxear

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"not working", "broken", "out of order", "malfunctioning", or:

"My phone is about as useful as tits on a nun." And you're right; I at least do not use 'spoiled' in this way. Others might.

Hahaha... Well Robert, I think you would get a negative reaction from any nun who reads/listens to that.

Where I come from we would say "My phone is as useful as tits on a boar/bull."

More to the question, I would use "spoiled" for the state of vegetables, children whose parents give them everything and concepts that are ruined by some means.

"The lettuce is spoiled and not fit to be eaten."

"I wish that spoiled brat would stop crying."

"You spoiled my presentation with your stupid comments!"

As far as malfunctioning equipment goes you could use the following "broken", "not working", "finished" and if you are really mad and not in the presence of polite company you could use the acronym "FUBAR" or "SNAFU". (actually SNAFU is not considered as obscene as it was decades ago.)

"My phone is FUBAR!"

"What a day! It is just one snafu after another with my phone."


There are many ways to describe such situations. I have listed only a couple of them. We would never use "spoiled" though.
 
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JMurray

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The examples that emsr2d2 gives are all to be heard in Aust/NZ English. A couple more that occur to me are 'stuffed' and 'on the blink'.
It used to be very common to hear 'it's gone bung', but not so much these days.
There's an old New Zealand form that was commonly expressed as "it's pukarooed, mate", from the Maori "pakaru", to break, smash. I heard it often in my youth, but I feel it's also less widespread now.

tedmc: yes, I should have mentioned that, in line with emsr2d2's post, these are informal terms.
 
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tedmc

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The examples that emsr2d2 gives are all to be heard in Aust/NZ English. A couple more that occur to me are 'stuffed' and 'on the blink'.
It used to be very common to hear 'it's gone bung', but not so much these days.
There's an old New Zealand form that was commonly expressed as "it's pukarooed, mate", from the Maori "pakaru", to break, smash. I heard it often in my youth, but I feel it's also less widespread now.

Those are the colloquial way of saying it.
I guess the formal word for it is "out of order" or "not working". "Malfunctioning" does not mean something is not working but not as it is supposed to be.
 

andrewg927

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"Malfunctioning" does mean something is not working.
 

bubbha

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"broken" is the most common way of saying this, in my experience. I've never heard "spoiled" use for machinery.

Usually "spoiled" is used for food or drink (especially milk) that's gone bad. It also describes children who have been overindulged by their parents and as a result become narcissistic, ego-centric brats.
 
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tedmc

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"Malfunctioning" does mean something is not working.


malfunction

  • 1.
    (of a piece of equipment or machinery) fail to function normally or satisfactorily.

    An equipment could be working but not satisfactorily.

 
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andrewg927

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I don't know if perhaps in Chinese you distinguish between functioning and working but in English "fail to function normally" means it is not working.
 

tedmc

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Don't you distinguish between something that is working but not satisfactorily (slight malfunction?) and and something that is not working at all?
 

andrewg927

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We do say something like "my phone is acting up" to mean it is not working properly but not broken. If we say "the machine is malfunctioning", it means it is not working. I know English can be confusing to non-natives.
 

Tdol

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A couple more that occur to me are 'stuffed' and 'on the blink'.

In BrE, on the blink can mean that something works intermittently rather than being dead.
 

emsr2d2

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In BrE, we also use "playing up" to mean that something's not functioning as it should but isn't completely broken yet.

My internet is playing up - the signal drops out about four times a day.
His car's playing up - some mornings it starts first time but sometimes it won't start at all.
My dad's mobile is playing up - the ringer doesn't work on incoming calls and he can't access his contacts list.
 

Lynxear

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In Canadian English we would use "acting up" for electronics or machinery intermittently not working properly. I would use "playing up" for troublesome children as well as "acting up". I am trying to think when I would use one or the other with respect to children. I think "acting up" would be a more serious situation with children. "Playing up" might be a child wanting something from someone (a parent), whereas, a child "acting up" would be just a brat.
 

Tdol

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In BrE, I think you could say that something electronic was playing up if it was a new problem that you did not expect to last.
 
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