[Ads-l] rude: noisy? frolicksome?

Geoffrey Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Mon Sep 25 01:43:31 UTC 2017

After I spent a six-month period in Edinburgh in the mid-nineties I discovered that (at least) younger speakers used 'rude' to mean 'obscene', risque. As in a picture of a barenaked lady (as we said in Toronto gradeschools in the sixties) could be described as 'a bit rude'. This sense isn't in the OED either, and it certainly doesn't have that meaning on this side of the pond (in my experience).


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From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2017 6:22 PM
Subject: Re: rude: noisy? frolicksome?
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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU>
Subject:      Re: rude: noisy? frolicksome?

Wilson Gray wrote:
>> The senses of “rude” as applied to human behavior are, I think, all
> negative.
> Except in BE slang , of course, wherein, like “hard,” It’s a synonym of
> “bad.” “Rude”and “hard”In the sense of “bad” go so far back that I don’t
> know f’ sho’ where I first heard them. The time-frame is between 1945 and
> 1950, though.

What does it mean in the title of Desmond Dekker's "Rude Boy Train"? (I 
love the sound of his voice, but I very rarely understand what he's saying.)

Jim Parish

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

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