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  • Yes, it is a expletive in the UK, but one whose power has been completely dulled by time and overuse. It's not the sort of word you'd use when you're trying to impress but, for example, "you old bugger"[1] is generally seen as a term of affection.

    [1] Of course, taken literally that's an accusation of homosexuality. Whether or not that's offensive is up to the individual.

    • by pdcawley (485) on 2001.12.14 14:41 (#2334) Homepage Journal
      It's one of those words you have to be a little careful with. Some people get really offended by it.

      Then again, in some circles 'fuck off' can be literally translated as 'No, not really, what on earth made you think that?'

      An American friend of ours had my stepdaughter literally rolling on the floor laughing whilst he was learning how to swear in British English. He'd sort of got the hang of the phrase 'To not give a bugger' meaning 'To (not)? care less', but he didn't quite realise that 'To not give a little bugger' is just, well, silly.

      I have noticed that Brits seem to swear more than our colonial cousins though. But if there were a world cup for preeminence in everyday expletives it'd probably be awarded to Australia, unless Gnat can provide a fucking good case for giving it to New Zealand.