Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

Confer amongst yourselves.

I'm not really here, but I'm poking my head in with a question, and I'd appreciate it if you people had a coherent explanation sorted out by the time I get back. Okay? Okay, good. Here goes:

The British have "bloody" as a swear-word, right? And the Australians, so far as I am aware, also have "bloody." But here the only people who have it are people who are consciously trying to sound British, or else people who have been exposed to such a large mass of British literature, TV, movies, etc., that they end up sounding slightly British even if they're not trying. Most Americans do not register it as rude at all, not even as something their grandparents would have found rude but they themselves are unfazed by. It's just...not here.

And when I was a young adolescent and my parents and I were sorting out which things were vulgarities and which things were blasphemies, my mother explained that it comes from reference to God's blood, the wounds of Christ on the cross (see also "Zounds!"), etc. So it's certainly not that such a reference would not have occurred to the English-speakers who came to settle North America.

So what happened to "bloody"? Where did it go? Did they horde it in little ice caves up in Canada, or did it just never get here? And if not, why not? We kept all sorts of other good Anglo-Saxon swears. Why not this one?
Tags: random questions
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  • Also, my lawn: please to be getting off it.

    1. Another brick in the road to official crankdom: I have written the newspaper to complain, and not even about their lack of copy editing. (Add to…

  • Grandma update

    My grandma has been readmitted to the hospital. She has an abscess where the appendix was. She also has pneumonia and a urinary tract infection. They…

  • You know how many.

    1. Gordon Korman has broken my heart: The Stars from Mars is merely children's hockey fiction, not children's hockey science fiction. I was so…