I read the following mailbag entry and was a little surprised: http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbloody.html
When I studied German, I learned the word bloed (The e can also be represented by an umlaut over the o), which means ‘stupid’ and is considered quite rude. I had always thought that the English term ‘bloody’ was somehow related to that German term. Is this simply a serendipitous coincedence or are there no coincedences?
In another matter, one of the smilies that can be used says the word ‘Putz’. This is actually the Yiddish word for the Hebrew word ‘pot’ (pronounced like the name of the guy from the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge, not like the popular name for marijuana). At any rate, this means ‘vagina’. Schmuck, incidently, means a penis. It is beyond me why it is that in Yiddish, genital organs are rude, but such is the case. There is just something entertaining about the fact that calling someone a schmuck or a putz is not considered offensive, and yet calling them a dick is…
The item you’re commenting on is a Straight Dope Staff Report (formerly called Cecil’s Mailbag), which are written by Cecil’s minions, not Cecil himself. I’ll move this thread over to the Comments on Staff Reports forum.
And putz is a more offensive word than schmuck, although both have lost most of their literal meaning and have reverted to being words for fools or idiots.
You’ll find that there are lots of real experts on words here, and that uncited guesses about word origins or meanings will get jumped on very quickly. Especially from people who can’t write or spell basic English.
I do not want to hijack your thread but, how is ‘Pol Pot’ pronounced? The ‘Pot’ sounds just like ‘pot’. My wife is Cambodian and I lived in Cambodia for 4 months. I have heard many people say ‘Pol Pot’. They say it just lke cooking ‘pot’, or ‘pot’ as marijuana.