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A linguistic question for our British contingent...


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In reading books with British characters, and songs and movies and such, I have come across the phrases "sod it","you poor old sod", and "this sodding(fill in the blank) and I am curious what it means exactly. From context, I get the impression that "sod it" means "forget it" or even "screw it" or "f--k it". Over here, "sod" is dirt with grass growing in it. What does it mean over there?

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The Collins Shorter English Dictionary sort of agrees with that:

 

Sod - a person considered to be obnoxious - a jocular word for a person - 'sod all' nothing at all - a strong exclamation of annoyance (shortened SODOMITE).

 

I think it's fair to say it's interchangeable with f*** in some contexts.

 

Geoff

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The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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I may be a mere colonial, but here in Oz most slang from the UK is still used. Sod off is a polite way to say F@#* off, and few users would be aware of any connection with sodomy.(I always assumed it came from cockney rhyming slang) Same with bugger off, it's acceptable to say it, but it depends HOW you say it. Someone can be referred to as an 'old bugger' without causing any insult, again it depends how you say it. Ditto calling someone a bastard.

I looked up the etymology of

'geezer' a while back, because Americans use it in a different way to the Poms...sorry...Brits. Americans mean someone old, and to the rest of us, a bloke is a geezer whether he's young or old. I found out that it has been in America almost from the beginning, and simply followed a different path than the same word in England, so both interpretations are valid.

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