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Taboo Words ?

+3 votes
Jan 31 in Fun & Humor ☻ by Marianne (18,487 points)
Professor Einstein was fascinated by American slang.

He listened carefully three times to the story of the employer who told his secretary, "There are two words I must ask you never to use in my presence.

One of them is 'lousy,' the other is 'swell.'

"That's all right by me," said the secretary. "What are the two words?"

When he finally comprehended, the professor threw back his head and roared with laughter.



4 Answers

Rooster Jan 31
Marianne Rooster Feb 1

Lol, Rooster, I am laughing again.


TheOtherTink Feb 1

"Wait a minute," said the secretary. "Why wouldn't you want me to use a word that's swell?"  :wassat:

Lol, T(h)ink, the boss might not have reacted so WELL ...


Kninjanin Feb 1
Marianne Kninjanin Feb 1

Lol - good morning, Kninjanin.


Virginia Feb 3

Marianne, if I myself could remove one slang expression, I think it might be the use of "like"...I actually do it myself, but it sounds idiotic! :'(  :blink:  :D

Marianne Virginia Feb 4

Lol, Virginia, I am guessing that you are more LIKELY to skip the verb "to like" and prefer to say or write "to love" or use alternatives LIKE "to appreciate", "to favour", etc.

Or am I wrong? If following my "guts", I would translate "to like" with a rather superficial feeling ...


Virginia Virginia Feb 4

Ha ha, Marianne I found a BBC article, quoting the British actress Emma Thompson, who strongly objects to "like" in its slang usage! Here you go...

I myself cannot really "call the kettle black," as one of my hobbies when I was on larger Q/A sites was to learn text language from the younger folks! (ima gettin kinda good, 2!)

Marianne Virginia Feb 5

Lol, Virginia, now I see.

So, it is used as a "filler", or as a mark to signal a group. We did not hear so much of this use of "like" on our side, though "feeling like having a cup of tea", for instance, was often heard. But examples LIKE "that's, like, so unfair .." seems to be rare, at least on our side, but after all, we speak other languages. That reminds me of another word, "basically", which was very much used some time ago.

Here, the teens have their slang(s) too, but there is a still a significant influence from your side (in German and in French): 

But many of these terms are "classics" or "old" ones, sometimes with very slight changes.

Furthermore, there are many different local or regional expressions and words.

German examples:

French examples:

By the way, that reminds me of some popular comedians and/or sketch artists, known for their remarkable linguistic skills, for instance:

Virginia Virginia Feb 5

Marianne in skimming through these...I was delighted by the list from Quora of German slang... Du gehst mir tierisch auf den Keks = "You walk me animally on the cookie" (Really?? Got to love THAT one for letting someone know you are annoyed...)

And the one about the bear, that is quite doubt dating way back from the Middle Ages, when people kept dancing bears for entertainment? Da steppt der Bär || There dances the bear || It’ll be a great party.

And reading about Raymond Devos was fascinating; a humourist who is most respected for his command of the French language! 

Marianne Virginia Feb 6

Oh yes, Virginia, these expressions are a conglomeration of colourful absurdities - where's T(h)ink?

And "conglomeration", namely "jumble" and/or "hodgepodge" remind of another funny word,

the noun "Sammelsurium" (DE)

corresponding to the noun "fatras" (FR)

Raymond Devos' sketches were/are hilarious, filled with absurdities, and his word games a delight, playing, for instance with "le bout du bout", i.e. the end of the end (in this case of a piece of wood).

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