Strange charmed life reaction

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Mon Apr 9 18:19:39 EDT 2001

Ven answered:

>Jacob wrote,
>  >   Both
>>  British B words (I hesitate to name them because of so many of you are in
>>  the UK), for example, are perfectly acceptable even in polite society here
>>  and occasion little or no comment.  I watched Notting Hill the other day and
>>  noticed that under British sensibility, the Hugh Grant character was really
>Whaddya mean both? We've got four that I can think of. They're all
>actually pretty much ok for polite society so long as its youngish in
>age or outlook ............................ The two you're probably missing
>are the aforementioned bugger, and bum -- here, childish or vulgar
>word for the buttocks. When I was a kid the US usage of bum
>made me think Americans were really rude.

Now I'm really confused!  I couldn't think of two British B words 
which were perfectly acceptable in the US to start off with, and now 
that Ven's pointed out the two missing ones, I don't even know what 
the two were, acceptable or otherwise.  Bloody obviously is one of 
them - but what's the second/fourth?

My sister-in-law, who's quite proper herself, told me that when her 
younger son was about 10 or 11, she used to pick him up from school 
(this is in Oxford).  He'd walk down to the bus stop roaring "Food! 
Drink!  Feck!"  (From "Father Ted", of course), and all these old 
dears would roar laughing, as everyone around loved it.

I'm sort of curious as to why you thought words which were acceptable 
in the US were so bad over here, Jacob.  Well, not "here" exactly, as 
in Ireland.  (As anyone who'd seen "The Commitments" would know!) 
Just this side of the Atlantic.


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