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That word doesn't mean what you think it means

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cwm:
That may be the OED's definition, but the problem comes when there are other dictionaries that take into account other uses of the word. Dictionary.com's first definition is as follows:

1.
Informal. a fellow or lad (used affectionately or abusively): a cute little bugger.

So while yes, it can mean something that can be offensive to some people, it is also used as a term of affection. Another definition later on in the same page has a similar meaning, as a term of affection.

I know several people from various English-speaking countries around the world, and without fail, every single one of them has understood that the term bugger has this definition, or as the meaning of a light annoyance, rather than the definition you're referencing.

RingTailedLemur:

--- Quote from: Shoo on May 16, 2013, 12:10:40 PM ---I have always thought that word was only a bad swear word in England.  Since I live in America, it's simply another colorful word to describe something (or someone).  Sometimes I say, "That little bugger!" when referring to my mischievous kitty.  IMO, there's nothing indecent or offensive about it.

--- End quote ---

Not really, it isn't seen as any worse than the other word beginning with "b" (the one I was very surprised to hear Miles O'Brien shout in Star Trek: DS9).  It's a swear word, but mild compared to the ones beginning with "f" and "s".

While it may have been used as a reference to a certain type of homosexual behaviour, it isn't used that way now.  Saying people don't know where the word comes from is an Interesting Assumption.

OP, if you don't like someone's word choice it is better to report it to a moderator rather than starting a thread telling people what you think they should or should not say in their posts.

Betelnut:
I'm from the U.S. and know both meanings.  Here, most people don't use it with the offensive meaning in mind.  YMMV

amylouky:
I think the verb and -y noun form of the word are seen as more offensive than just the word bugger as it's commonly used. Granted, I'm in the US but it's very commonly used as somewhat of a synonym for "rascal", "stinker", etc.

Raises an interesting etiquette question, though.. if a word is commonly and benignly used in one language/culture, but its meaning is different and offensive in another culture, is it rude to use that word in the presence of someone from the second culture, if used in the context of the first?

I'm thinking of a word that in the UK means a cigarette, but in the US means something quite different. I'd be offended to hear someone use the US meaning, but wouldn't think twice if I heard a UK person refer to a cigarette using it.

RingTailedLemur:

--- Quote from: amylouky on May 16, 2013, 12:50:05 PM ---
Raises an interesting etiquette question, though.. if a word is commonly and benignly used in one language/culture, but its meaning is different and offensive in another culture, is it rude to use that word in the presence of someone from the second culture, if used in the context of the first?



--- End quote ---

Good point.  I'm led to believe that "spastic" is not deemed offensive in the USA, but it certainly is in the UK.

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