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Rotter, bounder, cad, bounder, oik, punk, counter-jumper, nincompoop, lickspittle, twerp, milksop, whippersnapper, blighter, clot, charlie, 'erbert, ass or rapscallion?


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#1 dbf

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:45 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...onitor-25185725

_71467614_terry-thomas.jpg

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker used the word "rotter" to describe the thief who stole his mother's car. It's a rather old-fashioned insult, says Ben Milne.

 

Lineker may have been exercising restraint when he tweeted, but rotteris not an insult which is thrown with much energy these days. However, slang historian Tony Thorne is pleased at its return.

"Rotter is a beautiful word because - to me - it sums up a particular type of person who's a middle-aged untrustworthy cad. I think of the actor Terry-Thomas, someone with a pencil moustache and brilliantine hair who will pick your pocket while smiling."

Rotter comes from the same vintage as insults such as cadbounder, oik and counter-jumper. The shadow of the English public school - and the English class system - falls across many of these, although Lineker is unlikely to have been using rotter in this context.

Ian Brookes, consultant editor at Collins Language, says a bounder is defined as a person of lower class who is trying to present themselves as someone above their station. A cad, according to one definition, may have been an academy student, or townsman originally - Etonian slang for someone who doesn't quite cut it as a gentleman.

It's a British phenomenon - look across the Atlantic, and insults have tended generally to be sexual in origin. Punk for instance originally meant a male prostitute. But if you really want to hurt someone in Britain, you bring up their social status. Cad or bounder became more generalised terms of dislike but words such as oik and pleb remain social put-downs. The controversy over whether the word by Andrew Mitchell proves that it hasn't entirely lost its sting.

What other words could still make it back? Thorne has a little list: "I still call people nincompoops, mainly to amuse my kids - lickspittletwerpor milksop." He also suggests whippersnapperblighterclot(right) charlie'erbert(silly) ass and rapscallion.

And if all else fails, one can always revert to the Shakespearean insult: - take this one, from Prince Hal in Henry IV Part 1: "This leathern jerkin, crystal-button, not-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish pouch". It gets the point across, but if you're thinking of using it on Twitter, bear in mind that it only leaves you with 21 characters.

 


Edited by dbf, 02 December 2013 - 04:46 PM.

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#2 TTH

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:48 PM

As half a Southerner, I am fond of 'blackguard.'


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#3 Tom Canning

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:54 PM

Diane

 

        Terry Thomas played the cad for many years - successfully - Michael Caine also tried to be similar in his "Dirty Rotten Scoundrel " movie - and  equally successful - and still breaks me up...

 

Cheers


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#4 SDP

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:10 PM

I say, old boy, that is awfully awfully interesting.....eh wot?

PS: 'old girl' does not sound correct in this context....hence the use of the male gender!

Edited by SDP, 02 December 2013 - 05:13 PM.

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#5 Mike L

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:15 PM

Di, I had to read this thread - I thought it was addressed to me.


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#6 dbf

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:49 PM

As half a Southerner, I am fond of 'blackguard.'

I'm fond of blether, a word I learned from my grandfather.

 

 

 

Diane

 

        Terry Thomas played the cad for many years - successfully - Michael Caine also tried to be similar in his "Dirty Rotten Scoundrel " movie - and  equally successful - and still breaks me up...

 

Cheers

TT played the cad so well.

 

 

 

I say, old boy, that is awfully awfully interesting.....eh wot?

PS: 'old girl' does not sound correct in this context....hence the use of the male gender!

Old girl/gal applies. :)

 

 

 

Di, I had to read this thread - I thought it was addressed to me.

:lol:


Edited by dbf, 05 July 2014 - 11:19 AM.

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#7 Za Rodinu

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 07:44 AM

That most interesting list is missing the ethnic descriptives, of which I have the honour of offering the following:

 

Jonathan Clark: This gentleman is no gentleman. He's a sea-going thief who makes his living stealing seals from the Russians. He neither bathes, shaves, nor knows the feel of good clean linen. When the moon is bright, he stays out all night and howls like a dog, then curls up and sleeps on the floor till midday. That right, Portugee?

Portugee: He knows me pretty good.


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#8 TriciaF

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 04:31 PM

I had an Irish colleague who used the word "guerills" for badly behaved teenagers.

Comes from the word guerre for war, probably.


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#9 DPas

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 04:46 PM

I had an Irish colleague who used the word "guerills" for badly behaved teenagers.

Comes from the word guerre for war, probably.

 

Never heard that one - probably some derivation of the slang "Gurrier" which means the same as you describe. Primarily used in Dublin but not so much in the rest of the country.


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#10 Dave55

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 05:02 PM

Ian Brookes, consultant editor at Collins Language, says a bounder is defined as a person of lower class who is trying to present themselves as someone above their station.

 

In Texas that would be, "All hat and no cattle"    :)

 

http://en.wiktionary...t_and_no_cattle


Edited by Dave55, 03 December 2013 - 05:05 PM.

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#11 TriciaF

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 05:04 PM

DPas - maybe it was "Gurrier" - it was a long time ago! She was from Dublin.


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#12 SDP

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 07:26 PM

I had an Irish colleague who used the word "guerills" for badly behaved teenagers.
Comes from the word guerre for war, probably.


.....or could be 'girls' pronounced with a strong Irish accent?
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#13 Dave55

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 08:09 PM

Sorry for getting off topic but had to post this one from the funniest movie ever made

 


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#14 dbf

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 08:10 PM

I was once told this story by a member of the forum who has long since stopped logging in.

 

He, an Englishman, was in the same training squad as my father's mate Henry who from Dublin. Their Corporal Instructor, from Belfast, had at some point during training called one of them an eejit.

 

Later he asked Henry: What's an eejit?

To which Henry replied: Idiot.

 

Thinking his intelligence was being called into question he threw a punch and a small riot in the barrack room ensued, for which the whole squad was put on punishment by the Corporal.

It was only after this that he was told Henry's reply wasn't an insult but an answer to his question.

It didn't take his squad mates long to think of his nickname. :)


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#15 DPas

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 10:07 PM

I was once told this story by a member of the forum who has long since stopped logging in.

 

He, an Englishman, was in the same training squad as my father's mate Henry who from Dublin. Their Corporal Instructor, from Belfast, had at some point during training called one of them an eejit.

 

Later he asked Henry: What's an eejit?

To which Henry replied: Idiot.

 

Thinking his intelligence was being called into question he threw a punch and a small riot in the barrack room ensued, for which the whole squad was put on punishment by the Corporal.

It was only after this that he was told Henry's reply wasn't an insult but an answer to his question.

It didn't take his squad mates long to think of his nickname. :)

 

Great story Diane.


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#16 infoseeker

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:54 AM

My Grandad called my son a rapscallion once and he laughed for hours, he was about 4 at the time and found some words very amusing, for years every time someone said nincompoop he would laugh hysterically, he was eventually diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which explained much about his obsessions over words and phrases, of which there are many that still make him laugh.
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#17 infoseeker

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 02:09 AM

When I was little my Grandad used to take my brothers and I out for walks (best described as route marches) I always got back home tired and upset, after one particularly grueling walk my mum asked why I was so upset and I told her that grandad kept saying "keep up, tail end Charlie" and my bothers kept laughing. I'm not sure which upset me most.
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#18 Wills

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 06:23 AM

As we are on parental words of encouragement - or other; My mother, as often as not coming home from play in the fields or school looking like Ben Gunns tailor, my mother - auch ye wee scamp, black as the earl of he'els (hells) westket (waistcoat)! Requests to keep quiet - haud ye wheest ye wee bletheren skate! Educated in Edinburgh she could slip back to 'chookter' speak when back home even many years later.

Edited by Wills, 20 December 2013 - 06:51 AM.

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#19 dbf

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 11:06 AM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...gazine-27999787



On the origins of "mullered"


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*In our previous piece on words for defeat, we wrote that the term originated from the word mull, meaning pulverise, and that its first sighting was in 1993.
 
Some readers have challenged this etymology. Cougie Donners from Edinburgh, Marc from London and Ian Haldane from Marlow all remember using the word in the 1970s. Bob Spree was using the word in the 1950s to refer to the Allied defeat of Germany in WW2. Robert Scott from London sources the word to a skilful hockey-player from his schooldays in the 1980s whose surname was Muller.
 
Harold King from Leigh-on-sea says that the word owes its definition to a machine of the same name which is used extensively in the print trade to compress print before binding. Two Seans - one from Bristol and the other from Leeds - both write that muller is an old English Romany word meaning "to kill", and the word mulla means corpse.

 

 

Defeat is a word sport fans are all too familiar with.

Previously in the Magazine slang lexicographer Jonathon Green listed 62 words for being beaten at sport. Readers responded with 48 more.

Gub, gubbed (verb), a gubbing (noun) - a heavy defeat, perhaps as heavy as the one Italy recently inflicted on England's footballers and Sri Lanka has inflicted on England's cricketers. Dave Bruce, Strathaven, South Lanarkshire

Battered - just like a piece of cod in the chippy. England might actually be better off skipping the game tonight and going to the chippy instead. Kevin Firth, Onchan, Isle of Man

Mollicate - a Glasgow word for a sound thrashing. As in "Thistle got well mollicated on Saturday." George Craig, Kent

Rolled over, turned over, duffed up. Ian, Northumberland

Humped - in Scotland we quite frequently use the word to describe a heavy defeat. English friends find this synonym strange and misplaced however it is not just my friends and family north of the border that use it, I've heard Scottish presenters such as Jim Delahunt use it on air too. Chris, Southampton (originally Glasgow)

Drub - our go-to word for a football thrashing. An official drub is being beaten by four or more goals, of course! Greg Tulloch, Hull, England

Greinglified - to be ground down, or rubbed in the dust. Could be of pseudo-German origin, as when Germany beat England a few years ago in the European cup. Eric Wright, Caldbeck, Cumbria

Spannered - the David Lloyd (Bumble) expression when England's bowlers were being hit all over Headingley by Sri Lanka recently. Duncan Lingard, Stamford, UK

Broomhandled - beaten so soundly at snooker that your opponent could have beaten you playing with a broom handle in lieu of a snooker cue. Kieran Platt, Kendal, Cumbria

Ganked - in online gaming. Anthony Perkins, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cuffed - for large-margin victories - and pipped for the narrowest of defeats. Tom Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland

KO'ed, stopped in first round. Chris, Cambridge UK

Marmalised - as said by Ken Dodd. David Gormley, London

Drilled - a word that my Sydney (where I'm originally from) mates and I use - but only for a heavy defeat. You would say that Spain "drilled" Australia 3-0 in the World Cup but you would NOT say that Holland "drilled" Australia 3-2. Robert Green, Skandal, Sweden

Trounced - they totally trounced the opposition. David Batt-Rawden, Abingdon, Oxon

Grannied - meant for when you're beaten without scoring (usually at pool) - but I think it suits the performance of the England team this World Cup. Ruth Henderson, Bingley

Pasted, rattled, easied. Andrea, Norfolk

Steamrollered - as in flattened - ie "steamrollered right over them". Deborah, Amersham

Pasted, pummelled and embarrassed - one that the modern sports' commentator increasingly uses, (but not necessarily literally). Col, Doncaster

Skelped, tanned and leathered - Scottish variants. Blair Eastwood, Peebles

Housed - a one-sided defeat. Example - "The Netherlands housed Spain". Mark Swift, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Mash/Mashed. Andy Steele, Esbjerg, Denmark

Pole-axed. Garry, Truro, Cornwall

Dusted - another one for getting wupped. Jim Tootle, Wigan, England

Butchered - an obvious one left out. Matthew Iley, Stockton-on-Tees

Kiboshed. Julie Akhurst, Stanbury, UK

Bundled out - a tennis term for being beaten. Martin Royce, Melbourne, Australia

Lambasted - always a favourite in my family for a good thrashing. Jeff, Exeter

Trash, pulverise. Nicholas Ostler, Bath, Somerset

Rinsed - From Jamaica, "to give someone a rinsing". Trev, Brauton, Devon

Rekt - is the most modern slang, used primarily in competitive e-sports. Any visit to the chatroom of a major tournament will confirm its prevalence. Barry Scott, Northampton UK

Towelled or towelled up - very common in Australia. Ray Farrell, Sydney

Rough up, shut down. Barry Negrin, New York, US

To fustigate is rather more widely known, even having featured in an episode of The Simpsons. Richard, Belfast

Beat hollow - an intensive form of "beat", implying an overwhelming advantage or achievement. K Watson, Stockport

 

 

 

*

http://www.bbc.co.uk...gazine-27978489

 

Mullered and 61 other words for beaten at sport

_75748963_fans.jpg

 

Defeat is a word sport fans are all too familiar with. Why are there so many different words for being beaten, asks slang lexicographer Jonathon Green.
 
Dictionary-making moves on and no-one's perfect, but it is interesting to see that defeat, the word at which we might first look, does not cover sport. Or not in the still unrevised entry as included in the late 19th Century Oxford English Dictionary.
 
Defeat, which stems from French defaire (literally "unmake") is recorded in 1435 meaning "ruin" or "destroy". Other senses are listed, including that of slicing up a dead animal, but no sign of sport, even if prize-fighting and horse-racing, not to mention cricket, football, walking and cycling were all, as it were, up and running. Did everything end in a draw? A dead-heat? Hardly. But where are the words?
 
We are better served by beat - "To strike (a man or beast) with blows of the hand or any weapon so as to give pain; to inflict blows on, to thrash; to punish by beating," as the OED defines it.
 
First recorded around 970, its roots are in Old English and it offers a satisfactorily echoic thumping sound. Five centuries on and the definition has developed: "To overcome, to conquer in battle, or... in any other contest... to show oneself superior to, to surpass, excel."
 
There are some pleasing synonyms - shend (to humiliate, put to shame by superiority and linked to the German schande, shame), overwin (the aggressive antithesis of the persuasive "win over"), scomfit (ie discomfit, which also meant defeat 200 years before it evolved into confuse or disconcert), cumber (to encumber, presumably with embarrassment) and fenk (from French vaincre, to conquer).
 
_75748962_jousting.jpg
Score draws were few and far between in medieval sport
 
 
There was also taken up for hawks, originally used of old horses which were slaughtered and their meat tossed to the hawks, latterly of those who failed to come up to scratch.
 
All gone now but no worries, we have plenty more. Sport lends itself to hyperbole, from the type of commentator who manages to turn "goal" into an extended polysyllable, to those who talk of the mother of all contests, the match of the century and of course label a championship played between teams mostly from a single country, "the World Series". Hype, lest we forget, is linked to slang's "hyper" - excitable, highly strung, over the top.
 
So if defeat is a little formal and beat too dispassionately factual, let's up the volume. Out by itself, and perhaps most extreme, is murder.

Edited by dbf, 05 July 2014 - 11:07 AM.

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#20 PsyWar.Org

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 11:19 AM

"As for the First Mirror, the Law; God knowing that Instinct, or as we term it, a natural Conscience, were compleat Digests of all that Man was to observe, he did make that Mirror very little, a Volume of only Two Pages; but that Mirror is of late so mullered about, by marginal Notes and Commentators, that the Mirror it self is almost over-spread by them: And it is very observable..."

 

"Essays upon several moral subjects" by Sir George Mackenzie, published 1713: http://books.google....llered"&f=false


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