Pardon my french...(Warning - R rated)

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?

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

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.

“Free thinkers are dangerous.”~Serj

Ethel Mertz attempting to comprehend directions from a British passer-by:

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.

What about the film, “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”? Has this title actually caused some controversy over there, as I have heard?


“Oxen are slow, but the earth is patient.” – some Chinese guy

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.

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?

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?

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.

You could check at Cecil’s Mailbag…

…where Terey discusses the word “bloody” in some detail.

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.


I wish the Benny Hill show was still on tv. Bawdy British humor you bloody well believe.

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?

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

Ignore the last two lines of the previous message. A few draft sentences made it through.

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?”

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.

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…


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.

Darn - my first question and someone’s already answered it! :slight_smile:

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 :wink: OTOH, the French are a lot more casual about bodily functions than english speakers. (A favorite french word: enmerdement)

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

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.

“Man prefers to believe what her prefers to be true” -Albert Einstein

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.

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?