Why is everything "bloody?"

Why do the Brits use the word “bloody” all the time?
“It’s bloody awful” “get your bloody asses out of the way” “He is a bloody good student” Is this a form of cursing?

Yes. It’s supposedly a corruption of the expression “by my lady”, meaning the virgin Mary.

If it is a form of cursing it must be rather mild.

Then why do only the Brits say it? (At least they are the only ones I have heard)

A few pretentious Americans say it too.

Why do only Americans say “Darn tooting!”? Different expressions are popular in different places.

What’s tooting mean anyway?

Although the belief that it’s a corruption of “by our Lady”, in fact the etymology of “bloody” has never really been nailed down. Ashley Montague devoted many pages in one of his books (I can’t remember which) to exploring the various alternatives, and concluded that there wasn’t decisive proof for any of them. I’ll bet there’s quite a bit in the OED on this, too.

I understand that in Britain it is (or at least was) considered a stronher oath than it is in the US. Shaw got into hot water when he had Eliza Doolittle use the word in Pygmalion. As my critical edition of the play notes, when they adapted it into the American musical My Fair Lady they had to change the offending word to “arse”, since “in America, no one is offended by ‘bloody’”. In the US, I think “bloody” has always been a mild oath, and frequently a euphenism.

Ehh… Nobody REALLY says “tooting” in the United States.

I’ve always wondered about just how bad a word “bloody” is. IIRC, Ron Weasely says this in one of the Harry Potter movies, so can it really be comparable to the “f-word,” as that SD Mailbag column states?

Space Vampire is absolutely correct. It’s ‘yer darn tootin’, not tooting.

Yeah, and actually I wanted to revise my somewhat overly sweeping statement. I don’t know anybody who would say that in a strictly irony-free way and can’t remember when the last time I’ve heard it was, but obviously I’ve heard SOMEBODY say it since I know what it means. (“You are absolutely right.”) But it’s not exactly on par with “bloody.”

Hey, I resent that! I think it’s a marvelously useful word, that’s all.

And is a quick and inoffensive substitute for the obscenities it replaces in my vocabulary.

Really, though, it seems a bit more common and less pretention than it once was.

Using the word “bloody” doesn’t have the force that using the “f” word does. (IMHO)

Somewhere I got the idea it had to do with phases of the moon and the female of the species.

Hmmm… I have trouble believing it’s on a level with "darn tootin’. " When an English kid moved into my high school, he said that kids were often reprimended for using “bloody” at home, while I don’t think anyone, even my very strict parents, would have had a problem with a 7-year old saying "darn tootin’. "

Australians say ‘bloody’ more often than Poms do. In this country it is an informal colloquialism, not an obscenity.

See <http://www.australianbeers.com/culture/bloody.htm>

"As would be expected, bloody has a long history in Australia._ Baker notes an apology by William Kelly, Life In Victoria (1859):

"‘I must be excused for the frequent use of this odious word in giving colonial dialogues, because general conversation amongst the middle and lower classes at the antipodes is always highly seasoned with it.’_

"And he notes the words of the Bulletin (1893):

"‘The Bulletin calls it the Australian adjective simply because it is more used and used more exclusively by Australians than by any other allegedly civilised nation.’

“In 1939 an Australian magistrate held that ‘bloody’ was not indecent at law, even though it might sometimes be offensive._ The offender was fined one pound in this instance._ By 1942 however, ‘bloody’ was held to not be regarded as swearing._ Nowadays, it is very mild, and its use, rather than causing offence, merely indicates the informality of the situation.”
Then there is this poem:<http://www.uq.edu.au/~mlwham/banjo/the_great_australian_adjective.html>

And this one: <http://www.nina-sd.com/mypages/poetry1.htm>


No, bloody is the most mildest swear-word you can get, I remember one children’s book in the UK which used it repeatedly. You’d have to travel a long way in the UK to find someone whose offended by it.

You’ve not met my mum then, MC? :slight_smile:

I still get a frisson of naughtiness when I say it. Bloody woman. :smiley:


Most of them pronounce it “Blotty” (with a glottal stop), in what they believe is a faultless cockney accent.:wink: