Debate and Discussion

Why do people swear?
humorman at 2:45PM, April 2, 2009
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The main reason why we use swear words usually falls into two categories:

1. You're genuinely angry and feel the need to vent by saying a profanity.

2. You want to insult someone for some reason.


However, it seems that people today (mostly younger people), swear in everyday conversation. I can remember back in the day when Beavis and Butthead was considered vulgar because they used the word “sucks”. Now, it seems like every middle school kid can spout F-bombs, and all the kids around treat it as normal. Is this the new slang, or are kids just getting less clever nowadays?



By the way, whenever I see anyone post swear words in forums just to look cool on the Internet, it makes me want to punch them in the back of the neck.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:51PM
Aurora Moon at 3:28PM, April 2, 2009
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I'm one of those people who swears to vent.. .but at the same time I also use some mild swear words to emphasize certain words or how I felt about an situation.

for example: “What the fuck/Hell?! O_O” that would be an emphasis on how shocked/stunned I was about an certain situation that was just… really out there, you know?
so that would be a example of how certain swear words when in certain contexts isn't really meant to be offensive… and wasn't really offensive at all.

Take “bitch”… that's a word for an female dog. You hear that word all the time on Animal planet when they're having those contests to see who's the best dog, the best breed, etc.

They say it like this: “And here the owner is trotting out with her. The bitch's gait is very good, and her coat is looking very healthy. That bitch clearly has some of the finest breeding that I've ever seen.”

Every swear word out there tends to have different meanings, etc…. so really it's just all relative.

Although I do agree with you that it's stupid to say certain things for no good reason, just so you could look “cool” on the net. And it doesn't even have to be swear words… I've known some anime fans out there who would use random Japanese words in their English sentences, which is just weird….and lame.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Hawk at 4:08PM, April 2, 2009
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I really know I shouldn't, but when somebody swears a lot in their everyday speech I get the impression that they're not very smart. I guess it's the idea that they might have a very small vocabulary. I need to work on not judging people like that.

I do think excessive swearing is silly, though. Swear words were meant to be special and saved for occasions where the emphasis is needed. If you're saying the F-word as filler in any given sentence, what are you going to use when a shark bites your leg off, or you're trapped inside a burning house? We won't take you as seriously, because you used the F-word to describe your car, the Red Sox, and a restaurant only moments before.

Using any word too much diminishes its value. And it gets on my nerves, too.

My favorite swear word is “bastard”. And one of these days I'm going to use it, and it'll be awesome.

Aurora Moon
I've known some anime fans out there who would use random Japanese words in their English sentences, which is just weird….and lame.

Goodness, I hate that. Then after they tell you how “kawaii” something was, they go buy Pocky, because it gives them otaku street-cred. I can't stand those kinds of anime fans.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Chernobog at 4:51PM, April 2, 2009
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The anime thing… completely. I cringe anytime I see a whitebread kid/write use ‘baka’.
 
 
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
Aurora Moon at 7:42PM, April 2, 2009
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Hawk
Aurora Moon
I've known some anime fans out there who would use random Japanese words in their English sentences, which is just weird….and lame.

Goodness, I hate that. Then after they tell you how “kawaii” something was, they go buy Pocky, because it gives them otaku street-cred. I can't stand those kinds of anime fans.

^^;; I'm an anime fan myself… and I do love pocky very much I have to admit.
I've imported pocky of all flavors from overseas that I can't get in the normal pocky vending stores here. I do this because I actually enjoy the flavors, and certainly not because of the “otaku cred” thing. I don't let that define me at all… I'm also an fan of American cartoons.. and even the non-animated TV shows like Smallville, Supernatural,Heroes, etc. So I guess I'm more than just some “anime fan”.

However, I'd like to think that I'm one of the more rational anime fans out there. I have never used Japanese words randomly in my sentences unless it was to mock/ make fun of some hardcore fan who seriously needed to take it easy on the random Japanese words.

I have to admit that it does annoy me if they get the stuff not because they actually like it, but because they're trying to be a part of the hardcore otaku culture. The same thing with thinking that every anime series/movie/etc out there is the greatest thing ever just simply because it's ANIME!! Um, they do realize there can be some anime series that is…put simply, a piece of shit?

I can't help but think this: “Look… you don't have to eat pocky just to be an ‘otaku’. If you actually like the snacks and aren't eating it just to fit in with the crowd, then fine. And any rational person would realize that just like everywhere else, there is bad series alongside the good ones.
So to say that the worst anime series ever is an masterpiece just simply because it's Japanese or some crap clearly shows that you have a problem.
It's perfectly okay for an person to think that sucks and that the only anime they've ever liked is . It's perfectly okay if the same person is more an fan of American cartoons, or even fans of non-animated tv shows!
So just relax, lay off the fandom a little bit, and then maybe you'll realize that there's more to life than the Japanese stuff.”

They have NO IDEA how the Japanese really views otakus as an whole.. and how they actually use this as an insult. Otherwise I'm not sure that they would be so proud of being an “otaku”.

going: “OMG!! That's sooo kawaii! I so want it but my baka mom won't let me have one!!!”
is equally stupid as some man going:
“F**king yeah!! the sox f**king rocks!! Hell yeah, take that you bitches!! oh man, I feel f**king GREAT! wanna go grab some damn great beer at that bar? pick up some bitches while we're at it. ooohhhh f**K yeah!!”

in both cases, those people are using plenty of unnecessary words for no good reason… quite sad at that.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Product Placement at 10:13PM, April 2, 2009
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Chernobog
The anime thing… completely. I cringe anytime I see a whitebread kid/write use ‘baka’.
O o. Oh it's a good thing we don't have that where I live. Insistently, didn't firefly use Chinese curse words to hide behind censors.

Most of my native curses are about insulting someones intelligence. However most of our new curses are of the English variety and thus I have to deal with little brats that throw in the word fuck in between every other word that they say. I guess they're my version of ‘baka’brats. sigh..
Aurora Moon
I'm also an fan of American cartoons.. and even the non-animated TV shows like Smallville, Supernatural,Heroes, etc.
Sounds like we have similar tastes. I haven't seen Supernatural though. How is it?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
bravo1102 at 6:37AM, April 3, 2009
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Here's one: Baka and Baka-tani were in the American venacular during WWII. Inthe Pacific campaign it was natural to denegrate the “Nips”.

Nisei units in the US Army mixed Japanese and American English freely and those who fought by their side picked it up. Then there is Hawaiian pidgin.

I wonder how many Anime baka know about that? ;)

As for fucking swearing… swearing is taking the name of God in fucking vain, not using fucking words about fucking or taking a shit. Long before those ghetto fucks ruined fucking great vulgarisms with their fucking shitty rap crap, there were those fucking masters; the Drill Sergeant and the military type. Fuck we used it freely because we were always fucking frustrated and pissed. That came into American language from the English during WWI and WWII. Before that fuck was relatively rare in American English except among Irish-Americans and those who spoke freely with them. (see Wartime by Paul Fussel and The Fifties by Halberstam as well as works on American culture during the US Civil War)(This use of language is easily satirized as Clerks acknowledges Fuckin' Fuckers Fucked) ;) American fucking civilians just don't fucking know how to fucking swear. God damn mother-fucking amatuers. ;)

Watch Three Weddings and a Funeral and then Clerks and finally "Full Metal jacket and you'll see the masters using vulgarisms and the slackers.

Swearing is as old as any belief in a diety. You swear by his/her name hoping for his/her help or why didn't he/she help? The diety probably didn't really start condemning the use of His name in vain until after the 10 Commandments. :) Before then it was quite normal. By the gods! Swear all you want by them they won't mind. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 8:58AM, April 3, 2009
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Product Placement
O o. Oh it's a good thing we don't have that where I live. Insistently, didn't firefly use Chinese curse words to hide behind censors.
eh, lame… Red Dwarf used to use common British schoolboy swearing get get around things… Smeg-head, Sodding this and that, and invented stuff like Twonk.
And Farscape used the substitute words “frell” and frack" but not in the childish way that other people and TV shows tend to, they'd intelligently and carefully contextualise them pretty often so you KNEW exactly what they meant if you watched it regularly (the forceful sex act and various other things), so that worked very well.

In Father Ted the word “fek” was extremely common. It's really just an accented way of saying F*ck, but the Irish have turned it into a new word in its own right, (like the way the Americans transformed “Fanny” from “vagina” the more acceptable “bottom” ), in that show they use it liberally and it could be shown at times when little kids could watch (at least in Australia).
—————

It's irritating when people use language to prove their own status- whether swearing, using deliberately confusing jargon, or something else, and it's annoying when people use a single word too much in their speech: “F*ck the F*cking f*ckers! What the f*ck are they f*cking around here for? Those dumb F*cks! This is such a clusterf*ck!” etc
It's like listening to a smurf.

But the meanings of words change over time and in context. If you're hanging around with a bunch of bravado filled young soldiers, builders, sailors, miners, even gamers or any group that has their testosterone levels up, they'll swear a lot but it doesn't have any meaning or force; It's just the way they communicate. It's funny when they actually DO need to swear because they just can't find the right words, they tend to fall back on going through the words they've been saying in normal conversation anyway and they just lack the same menace and shock value…. People that swear a lot don't tend to swear very well.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
Product Placement at 1:04PM, April 3, 2009
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bravo1102
Here's one: Baka and Baka-tani were in the American venacular during WWII. Inthe Pacific campaign it was natural to denegrate the “Nips”.
Any form of foreign influence can contaminate a language. I guess it doesn't matter if you send hundreds of thousands of troops over to an enemy country or have a high percentage of your youth watch children shows made by them.

I knew that the words Harakiri and Kamikaze are Japanese words that infiltrated the American vocabulary during that word. The actions that these words represented were very alien to the US troops so they used the native words to describe them. Today you'll find them in the US dictionary. At least that's what the history books taught me.
ozoneocean
And Farscape used the substitute words “frell” and frack"…
Hey! Those guys stole those words from Battlestar Gallactica.. and I'm talking about the old series. The new adaptation of the show also used “frack” for cursing but they shorted it down to “frak” because the show creator really wanted it to be a four letter word.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
DMH at 4:49PM, April 3, 2009
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Personally, I only swear occasionally, but mostly by accident.

As for ym writing, my characters tend to use those types of words more often than I would. Most of the time it's because I can't find a more appropriate word for what I want them to say. “Gosh darn you to heck” just doesn't have the impact I want, so I go up.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
machinehead at 5:38PM, April 3, 2009
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I swear because I try to be funny all the time and adding a bitch here or an @@%#@#, I think personally makes things funnier. And to the people I hang with it works.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:49PM
HippieVan at 7:59PM, April 3, 2009
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machinehead
I swear because I try to be funny all the time and adding a bitch here or an @@%#@#, I think personally makes things funnier. And to the people I hang with it works.

Hmmm, well it's not really translating very well to an online form.

I only use curse words when I'm quite upset. It has a lot more impact that way, so people know I'm not joking around when I start dropping f-bombs.

Instead, the insults or exclamations that I use on a regular basis are usually just kind of silly. I think it relieves more of the tension from the situations where I would be using them.
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Mr Lostman at 10:55PM, April 3, 2009
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Resevoir Dogs is one of my favorite movies, so that sorta says something about me.

Swearing is taking the name of the FMS in vain. You KNOW that's serious business.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Hawk at 10:58PM, April 3, 2009
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You know what I think is funny? Somebody not swearing when you thought they were going to. Like in the first Hellboy movie, there's a part when Hellboy just falls short of catching a ledge. As he misses it he says, “aw, CRAP!” I don't know why, but I got a big kick out of that.

There have been a few occasions where I found swearing funny, but it was always coming from a person you wouldn't expect to swear. So anyone trying to be funny by swearing a lot might just be missing the point.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
c_arnold at 1:52PM, April 4, 2009
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This sort of makes me think of folks debating why the writers from Battlestar Galactica came up with “Frak”?
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BffSatan at 3:18AM, April 5, 2009
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You have a problem with swears? What are you like 80?
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CatCatDragoo at 9:48AM, April 5, 2009
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Hmh, I happen to have a problem with swearing as well, despite my young age and living in a very ‘wangster’ town. It's kinda tough, hearing people say the ‘f’ and ‘b’ word all the time twenty-four-seven. ono Especially when they're trying to look cool… And more often it's that one nice man who avoids saying badwords that get's all the attention and friends. Then there's the type of person who uses swears much too often, so much so that swears loose their meaning and… ‘value’. You know the ones.
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JoeL_CQB at 1:49PM, April 5, 2009
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i find myself saying damn or dammit out of frustration.

and then i say shit, when i mean stuff or things or trash or some other noun. like for the shamwow, “this shit actually soaks shit up!” usually unconsciously, and when i'm trying to emphasize on something.

and then usually somebody will tell me that there are kids around, and then it's like “whoops.”

and then i use the other swear words for jokes. usually referencing some quote.

and then some friends and i make up “swears” just because it's funny.
“aw snagglepuss.”

and also, around here, it feels like the word “fuck” has lost it's feel and shock value. it's like “meh.”
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bravo1102 at 12:14AM, April 6, 2009
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Ozone I have to disagree about those who swear a lot running out of colorful expressions. Some do. But then there is the true creativity of an R. Lee. Ermy. That is creative profanity at it's finest. "Un-be-fucking be-LEEVE a-fucking Bull! I just fucking creamed my pants that was so fucking eloquent. lol!

For me he simple expression : fucking fuckers fucked or FUBAR sums it up succintly and is usually all I need to say.

Then you run out of fucks and start laughing.

“You all out?”
“Yeah, I'm done, I just don't give a fuck anymore.”
“FUBAR Nuff' said.”

The SF series named above were emulating war experiences and movies etc with their use of language. That's why they need the colorful metaphyrs.

“shite” wasn't bleeped on US TV when the Sharpe series was shown. How many Yanks would know what it is as opposed to “shit”? They'll bleep “ass” but not “arse” We Yanks are too stupid to know so it doesn't need to be edited. ;)
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Mr Lostman at 12:57AM, April 6, 2009
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Whoever says “arse” instead of ass is just stupid, alright? Can we agree this just makes you look like a pretentious douche?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
ozoneocean at 1:21AM, April 6, 2009
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Mr Lostman
Whoever says “arse” instead of ass is just stupid, alright? Can we agree this just makes you look like a pretentious douche?
Well no. “Ass” is a United states variation, the rest of the English speaking world had always used the original “arse” when actually referring to a bottom, even in parts of Canada, despite its proximity. :)

Of course it is the original term, the “ass” variant being an extremely obvious pun and used as a polite substitution; like saying “sugar” instead of “shit”, or “fluff” instead of “f*ck”. Eeven in the united states it was used in that fashion…Its transformation from funny pun/substitution word seems to have happened in the 20th century. I mean, there were always the “ass/arse” based silly insults, relying on the fact that the words were substituted, but “ass” doesn't seem to have completely and utterly taken on that meaning by itself until relatively quite late.
-You can still read U.S. stuff from the 19thC where people are called “asses” etc. without it meaning “bottoms”, but the joke in the similar sounding word is implicit.

In any case, if the rest of the English speaking world has a different spelling and a different way of saying things then so be it :)
bravo1102
“shite” wasn't bleeped on US TV when the Sharpe series was shown. How many Yanks would know what it is as opposed to “shit”? They'll bleep “ass” but not “arse” We Yanks are too stupid to know so it doesn't need to be edited. ;)
Well language changes over years and physical distance. Nothing to do with stupidity really. Although the whole “ass” thing still strikes me as being maybe a little problematic. Is it only bleeped in context? What if people ARE talking about the donkey meaning? Or saying someone is behaving like a donkey?
 
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Mr Lostman at 1:31AM, April 6, 2009
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Apparently the rest of the English speaking world consists of primarily the UK and Australia, but mostly UK.

Either way, just say them out loud. Which one carries more energy and meaning when spoken? “Arse” is like speaking with a lisp or something.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
DrLuck at 1:38AM, April 6, 2009
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Mr Lostman
Apparently the rest of the English speaking world consists of primarily the UK and Australia, but mostly UK.

Either way, just say them out loud. Which one carries more energy and meaning when spoken? “Arse” is like speaking with a lisp or something.

Exactly. I use to say, “crud.” I moved to “crap.” Then I went to “shit.” Crud/crap just seems like a censor, which isn't any better. I'm also under the belief that words are words. Now, there are acceptions like racial slang, but overall, saying “shit” isn't going to ruin someone's day. I tend to space out my swearing, but I don't see the issue with it in the long run.
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ozoneocean at 1:57AM, April 6, 2009
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Mr Lostman
Apparently the rest of the English speaking world consists of primarily the UK and Australia, but mostly UK.

Either way, just say them out loud. Which one carries more energy and meaning when spoken? “Arse” is like speaking with a lisp or something.
…if you want to use wiki-anything as a source lol!
Wiki stuff is good for getting a general, beginners idea about things, but it's generally about 65% reliable. -_-

I go by actual dictionaries and experience from reading actual literature from the 19thC. ;)

———
As to the “energy” etc, that depends on what word you're more used to hearing in the correct contexts. Neither words has ANY intrinsic “energy” or force what so ever, it's simply your own expectation and imagination that supplies it. Basically, in terms of use, it's whatever you feel more comfortable using, but as you can see it doesn't help to try and mandate what others should or should not use, from either end.

-and funnily enough “end” in that context is a good joke on where the word originally comes from:
“Arse” coming from a very old meaning for the tail end of the digestive tract.
That's right, it's not in fact slang at all, but a proper word, quite a bit older than something like the word “wiki”.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
legueu at 10:44AM, April 6, 2009
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Why are those words swear anyway?

In Quebec it's mainly religious words even though the religion had been thrown to garbage.

In France it's sexual words even though it's merely impossible to offend French people speaking about sex.

Also people in jobs who do not require much education (happened often in army and warehouse) tend to use swear to punctuate the sentences. I don't know how it is in the rest of the world.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM
Mr Lostman at 10:50PM, April 8, 2009
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ozoneocean
Mr Lostman
Apparently the rest of the English speaking world consists of primarily the UK and Australia, but mostly UK.

Either way, just say them out loud. Which one carries more energy and meaning when spoken? “Arse” is like speaking with a lisp or something.
…if you want to use wiki-anything as a source lol!
Wiki stuff is good for getting a general, beginners idea about things, but it's generally about 65% reliable. -_-

I go by actual dictionaries and experience from reading actual literature from the 19thC. ;)

———
As to the “energy” etc, that depends on what word you're more used to hearing in the correct contexts. Neither words has ANY intrinsic “energy” or force what so ever, it's simply your own expectation and imagination that supplies it. Basically, in terms of use, it's whatever you feel more comfortable using, but as you can see it doesn't help to try and mandate what others should or should not use, from either end.

-and funnily enough “end” in that context is a good joke on where the word originally comes from:
“Arse” coming from a very old meaning for the tail end of the digestive tract.
That's right, it's not in fact slang at all, but a proper word, quite a bit older than something like the word “wiki”.

I find it ironic you get on about my source, but provide none of your own. Also, this is the 21st Century. If that's where/when you got your ideas, something needs to be updated.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
ozoneocean at 4:52AM, April 9, 2009
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Excuse me? 0_o

Why do I need to state sources? This isn't arcane stuff you know, it's pretty obvious and easily found… Ok, you can look up the Oxford English Dictionary yourself if you like, that's a nice general source and the finniest resource for then English language that there is.

I can't be held responsible for people's further education, I'm sorry. If your experience of the world and culture is limited to your own local environs and recent popculture, there's nothing I can do.
It's beyond me :(
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
bravo1102 at 6:01AM, April 9, 2009
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Okay here it is:

Ass comes from a Horse's ass or stubburn as an ass (donkey). Over time as Ozone said they dropped the reference to the bottom of the horse and ass became any bottom. That's the change in usage from American 18th to 20th century sources. I haven't seen the pun on arse, it was the donkey or a horse's or other animal's bottom being referred to going back to the 18th century. A human's bottom being an ass in US English is recent. 1920's?

Just like “fuck” is a recent addition to the American lexicon.

As for “shite” when the Sharpe series was first shown it was assumed an American audience would not understand that it was “shit” That's from some liner notes on on the US DVDs. Just like Americans had no idea what “shag” meant until Austin Powers. It simply wasn't in American English usage. I asked around and got blank stares and this was from American historians of Napoleonic period.

COnversely for TV they cut the “merde” in the movie Waterloo. (the reply of the commander of Napoleon's Guard when asked to surrender)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
ozoneocean at 6:33AM, April 9, 2009
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That's not correct Bravo…
An “Ass” is donkey. It's an ancient name for that creature.
The word “arse” has an entirely different origin, has nothing to do with asses (donkeys), and only means “bottom”. The conversion where it happened ranged from polite substitution to humorous pun. Look through Dickens, and the writings of many famous 19th century people to see them using it in this way. It's a very old and simple joke- punning with “ass” and “Arse” and other similar sounding words is an ancient tradition.
That you would be unware or ignorant of this really astonishes me.

I'm surprised I'd have to go into that with you of ALL people. -_-
————

It's pronounced “ahh-ss”, not “are-ss”. One of the explanations with the American conversion is simply the move to simplify spelling. This is possible, but since the sound of the word has altered so much, and spelling of a rude term isn't as important as how you say it, I think it's unlikely.
More likley it was simply a 19thC bowdlerisation.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
legueu at 12:22PM, April 9, 2009
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From The Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus - American Edition 1996, we can learn that: ass in the meaning of buttocks or anus come from the Brit. Arse. Look at the page 78.

Ass for donkey is unrelated and come from Old English assa throught Old Celtic from the Latin Asinus (donkey). Still page 78
———–
Like in asinus asinum fricat (the donkey rubbing the donkey) lol

So yes Ozone Ocean is correct.

—————-
Unrelated but funny

From the Dictionnaire de l’Académie française, huitième édition (1932-1935) we can learn that:

The 9th century old french word ars (burn), like used by Rosarius and Rutebeuf, from the verb ardoir (to burn) from the latin word ardere (to burn), became for veterinarian the part where the horse get hemorroids. ahah

It is the same origin than the word english-french word arson(same meaning in both languages).
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:34PM

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