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View Full Version : Pardon my french...(Warning - R rated)


06-03-1999, 10:29 PM
Being a rabid anglophile with about 90% of the books I read being set in England, my favorite swear word is "Bloody", even though I'm Texas born and raised.

#1 - How bad is this in England? Is this not very bad, like damn, or really bad?

#2 - Where did this come from? Most cussing is about family, God or bodily functions we just don't discuss in mixed company. Where does this fit in? Or are you to embarrased to tell me?

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Mastery is not perfection but a journey, and the true master must be willing to try and fail and try again

06-03-1999, 11:21 PM
#1 - How bad is this in England? Is this not very bad, like damn, or really bad?
Well not being from England, I can't say for sure. However, my World Civ teacher goes berserk when he hears someone using that word jokingly. He said it's the equivalent to the big bad "f word" here. Couldn't tell ya if it's true...but I thought I'd pass it on.

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~*brandie*~
"Free thinkers are dangerous."~Serj

06-03-1999, 11:42 PM
Ethel Mertz attempting to comprehend directions from a British passer-by:

I'm sorry but we're Americans; we don't speak English.

I can't imagine it's all that bad, or it would get bleeped out of television shows. You can't curse in spanish on t.v., so I doubt they'd let British-English through.

06-04-1999, 12:13 AM
What about the film, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"? Has this title actually caused some controversy over there, as I have heard?

-Monte

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"Oxen are slow, but the earth is patient." -- some Chinese guy

06-04-1999, 05:30 AM
Finally, something I can claim to be an authority on!

I haven't got a clue where the word comes from, etymology is not my strong point. Probably something to do with Jesus' blood pr something.

my World Civ teacher goes berserk when
he hears someone using that word jokingly.

Your teacher must be very sensitive, as 'bloody' is in no way comparable to the dreaded 'f-word'. I use it in front of my granny - and she's not known for her love of swearing.

The word is also very popular in Australia - it's sometimes referred to as 'the Australian adjective'.

And finally....
[QOUTE]What about the film, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"? Has this title actually caused
some controversy over there, as I have heard?[/QUOTE]

It certainly has. I couldn't beleive that they could get away with calling a film that! They can't even mention it on the Radio - they just have to refer to it as the new Austin Powers film. Over here, if you shag someone you, well, how can I put this politely? You give them a bloody good seeing to. What on earth does it mean over there?

06-04-1999, 08:20 AM
Biggles, it means the same here in the US, but with a much lower obcenity value than the "F" word.

I think it has to do with the fact that it's "foreign". As far as I know, it was never in the common vernacular of the US, so it's obcenity was never really internalized, if that makes sense.

06-04-1999, 09:04 AM
You could check at Cecil's Mailbag...

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbloody.html

...where Terey discusses the word "bloody" in some detail.

06-04-1999, 09:15 AM
I heard it was a contraction of "By Our Lady." Bloody. Since Americans don't have a Queen it is not proper for us to use their word.
This came up in the old AOL MB. Somebody said I was wrong, but it still sounds good to me, so I think it's right.

JACK

06-04-1999, 09:24 AM
I wish the Benny Hill show was still on tv. Bawdy British humor you bloody well believe.

06-04-1999, 09:30 AM
Exscusez moi, but this topic isn't about French at all. It's about the British and English. Which raises another question.
Why do English speaking people say Pardon my French when they are referring to improper language? Is this an attack on the French speech by British speakers? Do Anglos think the French swear too much? too risque?

06-04-1999, 10:05 AM
Not at all! It's actually a matter of contrast. French is generally regarded by english speakers as an elegant and sophisticated language. Cursing, by contrast, is considered the lowest form of expression (no matter what the language). When a person uses coarse words and then follows up with "pardon my french," they're really just making a small joke, refering to something low and ugly as high and elegant.

Of course, by now the phrase has fallen into cliche, and many people use it automatically without considering the humor that should be implicit.

humorous attempt to portray the


When a speaker uses coarse words and then follows up with "pardon my french" he is, somewhat humorously, asking us to believe that

06-04-1999, 10:07 AM
Ignore the last two lines of the previous message. A few draft sentences made it through.

06-04-1999, 11:38 AM
Over here, if you shag someone you, well, how can I put this politely? You give them a bloody good seeing to. What on earth does it mean over there? -- Biggles
Definitely means the same thing. I'm suprised that it carries such impact in England tho. It is because it is a title rather than a part of conversation? Perhaps radio is more delicate than television?

Quote from Black Adder II "Money" (which originally ran on BBC, of course)

"How much do you charge for a good, hard, shag?"

06-04-1999, 11:41 AM
I wish the Benny Hill show was still on tv. Bawdy British humor you bloody well believe. -- Cheese Head
While I think that in general, British comedy is about 10 times better than American comedy, Benny Hill is a bit too sophmoric for my taste.

06-04-1999, 08:43 PM
What about the film, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"? Has this title actually caused some controversy over there, as I have heard?

All I've heard is that Singapore made them change the name of the film, as the government there doesn't much appreciate such terms...


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~jon

06-04-1999, 08:52 PM
I remember a time (1970s?) when the only term for fornification that was acceptable for broadcast was "whoopie" or "making whoopie". "The Newlyweds Game" used it a lot.

06-04-1999, 08:57 PM
You could check at Cecil's Mailbag...

Darn - my first question and someone's already answered it! :)

Exscusez[sic] moi, but this topic isn't about French at all. It's about the British and English.

True, but I liked the irony using the phrase in regards to an American's question about British language.

My WAG about this phrase was that you were trying to pass off an english vulgarism as really a foreign word, the user must have misheard you ;) OTOH, the French are a lot more casual about bodily functions than english speakers. (A favorite french word: enmerdement)

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Mastery is not perfection but a journey, and the true master must be willing to try and fail and try again

06-04-1999, 09:56 PM
It is a shortened version of "by the blood of Christ", which in England's older times was a terribly blasphmous thing to say. Today in England it is a very casual curse, much like "damn" or "Jeeee-sus" is over in the states.

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"Man prefers to believe what her prefers to be true" -Albert Einstein

06-04-1999, 11:54 PM
Alias -- NO. It is NOT.

I really wish people would (a) check the archives and (b) read what others had written, before posting misleading, false, and half-assed opinions.

06-05-1999, 08:39 AM
There is what I considered to be a common vernacular meaning for the word "shag" in the U.S. - as a verb transitive, to chase after, fetch, retrieve i.e. "He shagged golf balls at the driving range for a living." Has this usage become obsolete?

06-05-1999, 09:07 AM
Well, I don't know if everyone would have the same reaction, but I would give someone a pretty funny look if they started talking about shagging golf balls....

06-05-1999, 10:06 AM
There is what I considered to be a common vernacular meaning for the word "shag" in the U.S. - as a verb transitive, to
chase after, fetch, retrieve i.e. "He shagged golf balls at the driving range for a living." Has this usage become obsolete?

Not hardly. Outfielders still shag flies every day in batting practice.

I'm sure UDD's imagining all sorts of horrid things being done to household pests now... :)


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~jon

06-05-1999, 10:35 AM
Maybe it's a regional thing. I've got to admit, when I hear "shag" it's soccer practice that comes to mind, not porking, boinking or doing...

06-05-1999, 10:49 AM
Until Austin Powers, I'd only heard shag used in relation to 20 year old carpet.

06-05-1999, 10:53 AM
Surely we cannot forget a "shag" haircut?

06-05-1999, 10:59 AM
I remember in the 70s, when the two women from the band Heart had shag haircuts. The joke at the time was "What's black and blonde, has four legs, and barks?"

Does anybody still cut their hair like that, anymore? Except Rod Stewart, of course.

06-05-1999, 02:07 PM
It certainly has. I couldn't beleive that they could get away with calling a film that!

You can't be serious, Biggles. As a viewer of British comedy (one of the reasons why I watch PBS despite their weekly groveling for money), I have heard the word "shag" used in several instances, especially in Blackadder and Monty Python. Why would it be acceptable on television and not in a movie?

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"[He] beat his fist down upon the table and hurt his hand and became so
further enraged... that he beat his fist down upon the table even harder and
hurt his hand some more." -- Joseph Heller's Catch-22

06-05-1999, 05:19 PM
I've also heard "shag" as an early '60s slang term for dancing. Or maybe it was a particular kind of dance -- the shag, like the twist? Not having been around back then, I'm not 100% clear.

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"The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean that you're an artist."

06-05-1999, 05:31 PM
When I was in England recently, I heard the word "shag" all the time. Granted, I stayed with people who were in their twenties and they were talking about this bird shagged that bloke and the like...I don't think I ever heard it either in front of or coming from more conservative adults.

imagine this title "Austin Powers; The Spy who F***** Me"

sorry - made me chuckle

06-05-1999, 08:07 PM
I heard the Monkees had a real hard time with the song "Randy Scouse Git." It was just called Song #12 or something equally bland. I asked an English friend of mine and he just laughed in my face, and refused to explain it to me. Come to think of it, he's not that great of a friend.

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Cave Canem. Beware the Dog.

06-05-1999, 08:31 PM
hehehe

randy = horny

here's a pretty good link if you want to figure out what British words are equivilent to in America, and American words in Britain - The American·British British·American Dictionary (http://www.peak.org/~jeremy/dictionary/dict.html)

06-05-1999, 08:34 PM
oops - forgot to add this

scouse = a person from Liverpool

git = stupid person, jerk, also nasty person, real bastard

all together = not a very nice name for a song - lol

06-05-1999, 09:08 PM
Outfielders still shag flies every day in batting practice. -- Jon Morse
What those baseball wierdos do in the privacy of their home with consenting adults is there business, but...

06-06-1999, 10:42 AM
What about the film, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"? Has this title actually caused some controversy over there, as I have heard?

All I've heard is that Singapore made them change the name of the film, as the government there doesn't much appreciate such terms...
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~jon

Okay, as far as Singapore goes...

As far as I know, Singapore is the only place where the controversy got as big as it did.

Due to the controversy, they (I have no idea who "they" are) changed the name of the movie to "The Spy Who Shoiked Me," which, in the local slang, means "treated me nicely."

Apparently, they recently decided that they'd let the original title slide, and it will be shown as "The Spy Who Shagged Me" now in Singapore.


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Steve Christ
God in Training

06-15-1999, 12:58 AM
You can't be serious, Biggles. As a viewer of British comedy (one of the reasons why I watch PBS despite their weekly groveling for money), I have heard the word "shag" used in several instances, especially in Blackadder and Monty Python. Why would it be acceptable on television and not in a movie?

It's perfectly (well mostly) acceptable IN the film, but as the TITLE of a film it's a different matter. By way of comparison consider NYPD Blue. That programme uses a good number of words that would no major Hollywood studio would ever allow in a film title.

For the record, I confirm that back on the isle the word 'bloody' is no big deal anymore, though this was certainly not always the case. Unlike Biggles I probably would not use it in front of my grannies, but then they're both Irish :)

06-15-1999, 02:08 PM
Shall we discuss the James Bond flick "Octopussy" now? How the H*LL did that ever get by the censors?

06-15-1999, 02:31 PM
Regarding "Octopussy" Pussy is what those crazy brits call , yes. their cats. It is the Yanks who put it in the gutter. I'm wondering because a 007 film is probably a British made and subsequently released production, we Yanks would have no say in the title. This is just a guess. BUT I would say that if the Brits wanted to do a sequel called Octobeaver, it wouldn't make it.

06-15-1999, 09:24 PM
How then do you account for the character Pussy Galore in Goldfinger? A cat reference?

06-16-1999, 05:26 AM
In Japan the equivalent would be 'baka' (literally 'fool'). But you hear it on TV, from children etc. Its not the word itself, but how you say it. On the other hand they have pronouns for 'you' over here that will start a fight.

Anata wa America-jin desu ka? = Are you an American?

Temae American-jin desu ka? = Hey you fucking asshole, are you an American?

Also, most Japanese equate the word fuck with rape for some reason.

Some of the Brits I know over here can bandy around 'fuck' with what seems to be a little less vulgarity than when an American uses the word. So, what's in a word?

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There is no course of life so weak and sottish as that which is managed by order, method, and discipline. -Montaigne

06-16-1999, 09:36 PM
Regarding "Octopussy" Pussy is what those crazy brits call , yes. their cats. It is the Yanks who put it in the gutter. I'm wondering because a 007 film is probably a British made and subsequently released production, we Yanks would have no say in the title. This is just a guess. BUT I would say that if the Brits wanted to do a sequel called Octobeaver, it wouldn't make it.

We understand 'pussy' perfectly thank you very much :) The word's double meaning made it permissible, but it wasn't completely without controversy.

06-18-1999, 11:24 PM
I can't believe all the incredible nonsense put forward in regard to 'bloody.' "Shag" getting such a large response off-topic to boot.

I was in England some years ago and asked an English charwoman (maid/janitor/cleaner) about the word and was told that it was considered vulgar because "it refers to me menses, sair." After several further inquiries (involving much down-ward turned eyes and blushing) this was easily confirmed.

"Bloody" refers to a woman's period. Period. Why the fuss? That the Brits would be discmofitted is nae surprise. Americans? Grow up.

06-19-1999, 10:48 AM
I can't believe all the incredible nonsense put forward in regard to 'bloody.' "Shag" getting such a large response off-topic to boot.

I think the members were having a little fun. I suppose you would like the last bloody word on the subject.

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There is no course of life so weak and sottish as that which is managed by order, method, and discipline. -Montaigne