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Is "BLOODY" a Curse Word?

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Aug 16 in Education ✍ by Virginia (4,092 points)

It seems that in the United Kingdom, Samuel Smith Brewery has banned cursing at ALL of its more than 200 establishments. So habitués are now receiving all kinds of reprimands, plus there is the problem of determining which words are actually curses and which merely colorful.

So I thought maybe we could help 'em out right here on SOLVED, being as how "solved" is even in our name and all...SOLVING is what we DO...so, what do you say, is BLOODY a bloody curse word, or it is simply colorful???? (This is important.)

:D  :P  :woot:  :angel:

3 Answers

TheOtherTink Aug 16

There were old English swear phrases that referred to the Crucifixion, e.g., "by God's blood", "by God's wounds" and "by God's hooks". These were abbreviated to "zblood". "zounds" and "gadzooks". These are all obsolete, except the first one, which has survived as "bloody", so yes, it is a goddam swear word, and I'm surprised at you, Virginia, for using such language:O :angel: :) :D

(Snuffle)  :blush:  :blush:  :blush:  :angel:

BTW, Virginia, it seems that "woundy", in much the same sense as "bloody", was in use at one time.

Here is an old catch about the bells at Oxford, often attributed to Henry Purcell.

"Hark the bonny Christ Church bells,
One two three four five six they sound
So woundy great so wondrous sweet
and they troll so merrily merrily"


Such a very nice devotional ditty, O'Tink! Singers pronounced it 'wow-ndy,' however - wonder if they were able to check that against an original pronunciation...

Yes, I noticed that, and I have always heard it pronounced "woon-dy" before, but I couldn't find a version that did so on YouTube except a silly robotic one.

Ah, we may never know...however I am very appreciative of your fine research, O'Tink; I had read 'zounds' and gadzooks in the older literature since childhood and never realized...it's potential cursing!

Here is an old reference that says 'woundy' is indeed pronounced as in the clip, but makes the interesting observation that the noun 'wound' used to be pronounced like 'hound'.  That makes sense, because 'zounds' is pronounced that way.

https://books.google.com/books?id=8y4MqSjjH30C&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=woundy+pronunciation&source=bl&ots=ceS_8njQBK&sig=CHUd5xPHvJSQJco90HZTUh3__Lo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiCxozt2-PVAhWB7IMKHX6LA88Q6AEIPzAF#v=onepage&q=woundy%20pronunciation&f=false

Hmmm...interesting link, referring back to 1897...and yes, I do recall hearing the pronunciation of 'zounds'... with our modern pronunciation the tighter 'oo' now used for that Red Badge of Courage...

Marianne Aug 16

Quite a while ago, regarding "bloody" (I was learning English in the UK), they told me that it was still considered to be a curse, although I heard it very often at all the levels - lol.

For translations from other languages, "sanglant", "blutig", "sanguinoso", etc. (referring to battles, for instance), they recommended to use rather "cruel", "blood-spilling", etc. But opinions were controversed.

Oops - corrected.





Virginia Marianne Aug 16

Thank you for this wisdom and the sage research, Marianne! I just KNOW Samuel Smith Brewery will appreciate it...

Marianne Marianne Aug 17

You're very welcome, Virginia!

:):angel::D


Rooster Aug 16

Seems like it but I never thought of it as such compared to some that I've heard here.

. Bloody moron, bloody hell. Of the four in this list, "bloody" is by far the British swear word I hear most among Americans. Its main purpose, of course, is to intensify a noun - usually one with negative connotations (though one can declare something to be "bloody brilliant").

4 British Swear Words That Are Slowly Creeping Into The American ...

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Virginia Rooster Aug 16

Thank you for this wisdom and the sage research, Rooster! I just KNOW Samuel Smith Brewery will appreciate it...

Marianne Rooster Aug 17

Wait a minute, Rooster, is "NOW" also a swear word?

Oh, do you refer to the "Nazi Organisation of Women"? (I just consulted the Urban Dictionary - lol!

That was indeed new to me ...

:O:angel::D

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