Can Spike say this on TV?

Sorry it’s another Buffy thread but this had us wondering…

In the past few episodes shown on Sky 1 here in Blighty (UK), Spike has said both wnker and bllocks, but before the 9pm watershed. So have the swearing rules been suddenly relaxed or aren’t these swear words in America and the broadcasters forgot to remove them?

Thanks in advance, sorry if this should be in GQ…

I doubt most Americans know what those words mean. As far as they’re concerned, they’re just amusing Britishisms, no more profane than “bloody hell”.

What is a “B*llocks” anyway?

Not a b*llocks. It’s plural. Here’s a clue - a gentleman has two of them and a lady doesn’t have any (unless she’s got hold of yours ;)). Only five guesses for that missing vowel.

Bollocks is to testicles what sht is to faeces, and used in similar circumstances - "Oh Bllocks, I’ve dropped a hammer on my foot", etc. (OK maybe not used in the adjective form).

Us bloody Americans do hear spike say profanities all the time. Also he does the “two fingers on one hand pointed to the sky” obscenity. I don’t think most Americans realize that bollocks and bloody are bad words, but, eh, whatcha gonna do, we say asshole and shit on tv now-we didn’t used to…

keen, now i can swear in two languages, American and english! (actually, i know spanish and japanese naughty words as well, but the joke is less funny that way)

What is the finger thing?

Am I the only one who chuckled when Spike called Buffy a ‘bint’? Choice bit of English swearing that.

I also have a childhood memory of Michael Knight saying that KITT was ‘bllocksed’ at three on a Saturday afternoon. At the time he might as well have said 'The fcking banger’s f*cked’ at that hour of the day.

On a similar note, I heard one of the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 say ‘pissed’ during the afternoon a few years ago. Maybe TV censors just assume that Americans don’t curse on broadcast TV, so only the phrases that translate incorrectly get through. ‘Pissed’ is ‘drunk’, and quite a rude way of putting it. ‘Pissed off’ is the same as in merkinspeak, though.

Shoot, I hear “pissed” all the time. It’s apparently Aaron Sorkin’s favorite word.

I believe that this insult goes back to the 12th century at least (1066 and all that).
The story goes, that when English archers were captured by the enemy (french), they would have the first and second fingers of their hand amputated so that they could no longer draw a longbow.
In battle, they would emphasise that they could still draw a longbow by prominently and antagonistically displaying their current ability to draw a longbow by prominently displaying said fingers in the infamous “V” sign, ie "We’ve still got our fingers you bastards!!!"

Back of hand towards the target = “eat me” etc
palm towards the target = “Victory!” “we’re all in this together, kid” etc.

Don’t know when the “Victory” sign was first observed, Winston “I personally won’t fight them on the beaches, you poor bastards will be doing that, not me” Churchill is the first one that I can recall.

Hope this helps.


I meant eleventh.

“Bollocks” doesn’t raise much attention in the US. You can probably get away with it easier on TV than “balls”. “Wanker” is a little more iffy, but we usually only hear Brit or Aussie characters use it, so it tends to get a pass. Both words might be considered rude by most people, but not profane. People don’t even bat an eye at “bloody” over here.

I have to explain the old “two-fingered salute” to lots of my fellow Americans. Aren’t several of the characters on the poster/ box cover for The Commitments giving the salute to the camera? Most people here never even noticed.

Minor hijack:

You might give old Winston a break - he was 65 years old when the war started, which was a bit aged even for the Home Guard. And IIRC he showed no lack of physical courage as a young officer of the 4th Hussars on the Northwest Frontier of India, in the Sudan, and during the Boer War.


It should also be noted, while we’re on differences between British and American cursing, that “bugger” over here is often used as a term of endearment mixed with frustration. For instance, when talking about the children you’re babysitting whom you can’t find at the moment, one might say “Where are those little buggers?”

It can get confusing to someone who alternates between countries. We had Scottish nuns when we were in parochial school and one once mentioned to me that when she went home to visit, she accidentally called her nieces and nephews “little buggers”! Why she told a 12-year-old student this, I still don’t know.

And everyone knows about “knock up”, I’m sure.


I dunno, I heard Ozzy say the f-word on Leno the other night. They bleeped him for the rest of the show, though, so I’m thinking that someone was just a little slow on the time-delay censoring!

1 entry found for bollocks.


v : make a mess of, destroy or ruin

It’s not dirty after all!

I’m dating myself here, but I immediately thought of Spike saying “shit” in The Transformers: The Movie.

You’re not the only one. :wink:

Though as a friend of mine pointed out, if Spike could say “shit,” why didn’t he also say “ass” as well? Instead, he gets saddled with “We’ll kick Megatron’s tail across the galaxy.”