"bold" in Hiberno-Irish -- was: Re: "Bold Language"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 15 03:25:31 UTC 2010

On Fri, May 14, 2010 at 9:35 PM, Robin Hamilton
<robin.hamilton2 at btinternet.com> wrote:
> Audacious, presumptuous, too forward

FWIW, in BE, _bold_ in the meaning, "Audacious, presumptuous, too
forward," is commonly used by both adults and adolescents to describe
the actions and attitudes of adolescents, since they no longer obey
the rules of childhood, but have yet to learn to conform to the rules
of adulthood. Adults describe _all_ adolescents this way. But, amomg
adolescents themselves, "bold" is the boy with the nerve to cop a feel
or the girl who dares to ask a boy to dance. A girl - even a
pre-schooler - or a woman who acts and/or dresses in such a way as to
get out her place or to emphasize her "female-ness," so to speak, is
called "fast" or "too fast for her age," if she's a small child.

"Fast" is very close in meaning to white "easy (lay)," except for the
fact that it can be applied to essentially-asexual female children who
realize that they are able to control boys and adults because they are
"just the potenest things."

Of course, this was the way it was 65+ years ago. There are, no doubt,
changes of which I have no knowledge since those days.
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list