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Author Topic: question on the use of the word Bugger  (Read 909 times)
Gerry Hunter
Gunner
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Canada Canada



« on: July 27, 2014, 03:24:53 am »

I know it's supposed origins as a derogatory term for somebody who engages in sodomy, what I want to know is whether it's enough of a 'bad' word that I couldn't get away with using it as a name for a superhero with bug related powers.

See I've this idea for some stories about a kid that finds out that he can take the form of any living thing he eats until his body breaks it down. He discovers it by trying to gross out a girl on the playground by eating a bug. He ends up teaming up with another kid who is a mad scientist type going by the name Kit. The first story would be called Precocious lil Bugger. With maybe another adventure or two with them, butt eventually there is a bad injury to Kit and he retires. But see Buggers power leads him to get some of Kits abilities. So the next named adventure is Bugger taking over Kits role as well as his own, he's trying to do the whole Kit and Kaboodle himself and that's the name for that one.

Then he ends up settling into the Kit role, and gets a major case against a villain who uses bombs named Kaboom. For Kit and Kaboom. which results result in defeat of an explodey variety.

The next story revolves around the failure and recovery, in Kits and Pieces. And how it causes an identity crisis but also leads to a assuming a new heroic identity with signs of a new ability while old ones seem to be fading.

But eventually the heroic character is given another chance to catch Kaboom. which results in a superhero situation where the character gets splintered into copies of thierself in a zoo where the copies absorb aspects of certain animals and become a group that call themselves the Menagerie.

So is Bugger a viable name, or is that offensive or in poor taste? For that matter are there any dangers with Kit applied to a person? I'm just wondering if some of the variable meanings from region to region could be a problem at some point.

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MarcusJuliusCroft
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 03:30:41 am »

Nah, I don't believe it is necessarily that much of a bad word, you can do that easily.  I am Australian and from what we have Bugger isn't that much of a bad word, we have a Mountain called Mount Buggery for instance.  SO I would say that you are ok from our perspective, it just depends on how people from your side of the woods thinks.  Here Bugger means what you said before, but it doesn't have that much of an impact as other certain words
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Argus Fairbrass
Rogue Ætherlord
*
England England


So English even the English don't get it!


« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 05:07:36 am »

Here in the UK we still use bugger in the same way we'd use damn or blast. It has other meanings of course, but in that particular context it's still considered a minor curse word far more acceptable than many others. Can't speak for other countries of course, it may be highly offensive in some. I know the Aussies sometimes use the term spunk or spunky in a rather different way than we do, then again unlike in Oz, the term root has no other connotations here.
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Michael Farley
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


mgfarley
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 09:59:05 am »

Many swear-words have all but lost their original meaning. For example I can't remember the last time I heard someone use the word 'bastard' to question somebody's parentage. Similarly many of the insults we use today were originally specific medical terms (eg idiot, cretin, moron, douche, imbecile) which have been all but forgotten.

I seem to remember the aliens (which were giant insects) in Ender's Game were called 'buggers'. Also in Avatar the Last Airbender, people with the ability to manipulate the four elements are called 'benders' (another old slang term for gay people in the UK). As there are precedents I think you'll be fine.

In my opinion, so long as you don't question the use of the word in your story I'm sure 90% of your readers won't even notice it and the other 10% will just shrug and carry on reading. On the other hand, if you use the name as an excuse for innuendo (eg other characters making homophobic jokes), the bubble will burst and people will stop taking the character seriously.

By the way, thanks for posting this topic. I love have a genuine reason to use obscene language without having to censor it (I remember at school, one of my class-mates did some coursework about the origins of offensive language, just so he could swear at our very strait-laced English teacher and not get into trouble).
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Rockula
Board Moderator
Rogue Ætherlord
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


Nothing beats a good hat.


« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 12:05:12 pm »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY5ZtbyrKfc
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Sorontar
Zeppelin Admiral
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Australia Australia


All ideas should have wings


WWW
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 12:35:29 pm »

This is a NZ ad used in Australia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBoUXV_dpAk
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 03:41:34 pm »

I would question the use of the word "bugger" in association with a story about small boys.  It may lead to a pixelated TV news appearance....

There are still those that find offense in the word and one should be wary of using it in any context. The ad mentioned above caused much offense and controversy.   

For some reason my parents found it more palatable  to explain the word to us with the alternative  definition of relations between humans and animals,  rather than 2 men....
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MarcusJuliusCroft
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 03:48:11 pm »

As long as you don't use it as a verb you will be fine, as a noun, it is reasonable with no real connotations, but as soon as you switch it to a verb, you are buggered, (See what I did there Wink Haha  Grin )
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 11:11:26 pm »

 There was the bugaloos back in the day.  The have been on repeat somewhere or another  for a few generations...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bugaloos



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Narsil
Immortal
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2014, 11:36:23 pm »


'Captain Bugger and the Adventure of the Secret Passage' .....  probably more one for specific niche audiences.
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