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Thread: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    This is a thread about slang and swearing in English speaking countries.

    Number one - don't swear unless you speak quite good English. Otherwise you only sound stupid and ignorant.

    Secondly - women should avoid swearing, in English it sounds 10 times more vulgar when women swear than men. Many women from other countries do not realise this and accidentally end up seeming very rude and vulgar. If in doubt, do not swear!!!

    But it's useful to know these words because many people use them a lot.

    Some swear words and slang from the United Kingdom:

    "Bloody"
    Example: "Bloody French people, they are so bloody annoying" Bloody is actually quite rude even though it doesn't sound like. It's less rude than f-ing though.

    Can't be bothered, Other options: Can't be fussed, Can't be arsed.... Example "I can't be bothered to clean the bathroom right now... " (I know I ought to clean, but I don't feel like it). This is a very common expression but don't use it with people that you want to give a serious and professional impression to. Don't use it at work.

    "Brilliant"
    Example: That film was brilliant (it was an excellent film). Americans use the word "awesome" instead. Brilliant is an ok word and can be used by anybody at any time.

    "Bugger" This is a very rude word. It can be used in many ways. "Bugger off" "Where is that little bugger..?" (said about a person that you don't like. Male usage only!) This word is related to homosexuality, so it is a bit insulting.

    "Darn" I think this is a slightly less way to say "damn" and "damned" Example: He's a darned idiot who keeps saying darn stupid things.


    More coming soon!
    Others, please add and learners feel free to ask questions!

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    "Brilliant" is a slang?! I felt a shock . I thought this word is like Russian "блестящий", but if it's a slang, then "потрясный" is a more close word.

  3. #3
    Hanna
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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Well, used in that way I think it is slang.. But not bad slang, quite normal. The Queen probably would not use it though! She'd say "That was quite an extraordinary film, very well made" or something like that. I think.

    The reason I started this thread is because I personally have made MANY mistakes with slang. I worked with only men and started speaking like them - sometimes I sounded very vulgar and sometimes I misunderstood the slang expressions. This is not a problem for me at all anymore, but I have not forgotten how easy it is to make mistakes with slang.

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    It's so strange: the word derived from "a brilliant", and a brilliant is a most noble gem. This information is very, very, very unexpected and sudden for me.

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Звездочёт
    "Brilliant" is a slang?! I felt a shock . I thought this word is like Russian "блестящий", but if it's a slang, then "потрясный" is a more close word.
    Okay, over across the pond here, we use "brilliant" the opposite way... as in putting someone down. If you did something really stupid it would be, "Well that was a brilliant idea." with the emphasis on the word, brilliant, and usually rolling your eyes at the same time.
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Okay, over across the pond here, we use "brilliant" the opposite way... as in putting someone down. If you did something really stupid it would be, "Well that was a brilliant idea." with the emphasis on the word, brilliant, and usually rolling your eyes at the same time.
    So, do you use the word for sarcasm and irony only?

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Well, you could say "He is a brilliant scientist" meaning he is a very talented scientist, a leader in his field. Wouldn't that work in American English rockzmom?

    You could also say "Jane and John threw a brilliant party, everything was perfect!"
    Gosh there is plenty of scope for translatlantic confusion!

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Звездочёт
    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Okay, over across the pond here, we use "brilliant" the opposite way... as in putting someone down. If you did something really stupid it would be, "Well that was a brilliant idea." with the emphasis on the word, brilliant, and usually rolling your eyes at the same time.
    So, do you use the word for sarcasm and irony only?
    That's a very good question! You have me thinking now. I guess I would also use it as a character trait, to describe someone, "He is a truly a brilliant person." But I don't think I would use it as say, "He had/has a brilliant idea." It sounds too corny now days.

    Just to be clear, it is fine to use the word that way, just it sounds odd (false) because it is used so much the other way now (for sarcasm and irony).
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    I expected this word is a word of “high” speech style, that it’s a literately word, because it derived from “a brilliant”. When I say “brilliant” (adjective), I see a brilliant, which revolves in a light, I see how glimmers, small lights and irises sparkle and dance on facets. And I can’t imagine, that a word, which has so charmed internal beauty and harmony, is just… a slang and corny .

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Well, you could say "He is a brilliant scientist" meaning he is a very talented scientist, a leader in his field.
    Хм... I do not understand now. If I say “brilliant idea”, is it literately and bookish? Or I should avoid them in a “high” speech (like Queen )?

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    "bugger" sounds awfully British

    if you're using that cheesy or corny term 'darn' or 'darn-it' (exc. god darnit! = god damnit,dammit! )you'll come off as a little slow or late southern hick (at the extreme) old in other words it is a bit outdated (in most parts of the us) like that sh!t you get from hollywood movies - if making a point to mock something someones stupidity stress it with sarcasm

  11. #11
    Hanna
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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Well, you could say "He is a brilliant scientist" meaning he is a very talented scientist, a leader in his field.
    Хм... I do not understand now. If I say “brilliant idea”, is it literately and bookish? Or I should avoid them in a “high” speech (like Queen )?
    Well judging from Rockzmom's comments, "brilliant" is a complicated word in the US.
    But in the UK it is quite safe to use it. It is completely normal and yes, you can say "that is a brilliant idea". It does not sound silly to me at all. I say it myself a lot.

    As a foreigner and particularly a Russian, the best kind of (British) accent to aim for is the "Recieved Pronounciation" accent, which is also called RP, Queen's English and sometimes BBC English. This is the posh (upper-class) way of speaking, but it is also suitable for foreigners. British accents is a very complicated (sensitive) question but just trust me, I am a foreigner and I speak in this way - it has helped a lot. BBC Radio 4 is a good example of this accent - listen online.
    The other option is to speak like an American.

    As I understand it there are some pretty big cultural differences between the UK and the US in terms of slang and swearing. I don't always understand what Americans mean, to be honest - particularly when somebody is speaking New York slang, very fast, like my ex-boss. There are some other tricky accents there too. Real Americans DON'T speak like they do on TV shows and on CNN. Only very few do, those from California I think.
    However Americans are very chilled, relaxed people though, so usually things work out well anyway.

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Quote Originally Posted by Звездочёт
    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Okay, over across the pond here, we use "brilliant" the opposite way... as in putting someone down. If you did something really stupid it would be, "Well that was a brilliant idea." with the emphasis on the word, brilliant, and usually rolling your eyes at the same time.
    So, do you use the word for sarcasm and irony only?
    That's a very good question! You have me thinking now. I guess I would also use it as a character trait, to describe someone, "He is a truly a brilliant person." But I don't think I would use it as say, "He had/has a brilliant idea." It sounds too corny now days.

    Just to be clear, it is fine to use the word that way, just it sounds odd (false) because it is used so much the other way now (for sarcasm and irony).
    I've lived many years in the New York (state not city)/New Jersey area and disagree that brilliant is used mostly for sarcasm and irony. I also disagree that brilliant sounds too corny. Maybe it's the folks I talk with?

    Scott

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    you can use "brilliant!" (and mostly it is) idiomatically as to point out someones extreme screw up but you can use sarcasm at about anything else like awesome dude ( term dude is 'corny' and stresses sarcasm )or 'nice job there' pal (pal is corny ;to keep overusing the term corny)
    by the way I hate the word dude (its so cali and old)
    hohohoho

  14. #14
    Hanna
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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Maybe an American person can explain DUDE and YA' LL (??) and some other American expressions.
    I kind of like "dude" but I don't use it myself.

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Maybe an American person can explain DUDE and YA' LL (??) and some other American expressions.
    I kind of like "dude" but I don't use it myself.
    There actually is an older thread... How to speak Southern Ya'll - The Queen's English

    And you can download a redacted copy of "A DICTIONARY OF THE QUEEN'S ENGLISH, NORTH CAROLINA" that was published in Raleigh, N.C. by the Travel and Tourism Division, Dept. of Commerce, [between 1978 and 1988]

    http://www.mediafire.com/?tkmmmdyymyg

    Now to answer your question about ya'll or y'all... it is used in the Southern U.S. to mean more than one person. Example: "Listen up ya'll" or "Come on y'all, stop fussin'."

    The "listen up ya'll" is one expression that gives me away EVERYTIME because you also tend to throw a big "twang" or a "Southern drawl," in there when ya say it. So my normal middle of the road plain Jane no accent, goes right out the window!
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Maybe an American person can explain DUDE and YA' LL (??) and some other American expressions.
    I kind of like "dude" but I don't use it myself.
    There actually is an older thread... How to speak Southern Ya'll - The Queen's English

    And you can download a redacted copy of "A DICTIONARY OF THE QUEEN'S ENGLISH, NORTH CAROLINA" that was published in Raleigh, N.C. by the Travel and Tourism Division, Dept. of Commerce, [between 1978 and 1988]

    http://www.mediafire.com/?tkmmmdyymyg

    Now to answer your question about ya'll or y'all... it is used in the Southern U.S. to mean more than one person. Example: "Listen up ya'll" or "Come on y'all, stop fussin'."

    The "listen up ya'll" is one expression that gives me away EVERYTIME because you also tend to throw a big "twang" or a "Southern drawl," in there when ya say it. So my normal middle of the road plain Jane no accent, goes right out the window!
    yup,and you definitely sound like a douche if you call someone 'dude' too much

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Maybe an American person can explain DUDE and YA' LL (??) and some other American expressions.
    I kind of like "dude" but I don't use it myself.
    I've heard it mostly used towards males but have heard it towards females. To me it sounds weird directed towards a female.
    Dude can kind of be a replacement for a few words like (man, guy):

    What's up dude?
    Dude you're right.
    Did you see that dude in the red car?
    That's the dude that bought the beer.

    Generally younger folks use it.

    Hope this helps.


    Scott

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna

    Can't be bothered, Other options: Can't be fussed, Can't be arsed.... Example "I can't be bothered to clean the bathroom right now... " (I know I ought to clean, but I don't feel like it). This is a very common expression but don't use it with people that you want to give a serious and professional impression to. Don't use it at work.
    funny you should say that, for that was probably the most used phrase at my work; also its variation "can't be f*cked" or "cannae be hooped" well, those, and "I'm doing f*ck all".

    btw, I've always been wondering, is "knackered" an offensive word? I remember my friend once saying it's the kind of word you wouldn't say to your mother, yet I kept hearing it in various situations, spoken by all kinds of people.

  19. #19
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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    Haha Kamka are you working in IT by any chance?

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    Re: Slang and Swearing in UK, US and other countries

    IT, as in Information Technology?
    nah, was working in a restaurant, learnt LOTS of swear words while being there. Very interesting experience, really, especially language-wise.

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