four-letter word


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four-letter word

1. One of a handful of words with four letters that are considered profanity. Jimmy was suspended from school after the teacher heard him shout a number of four-letter words at his classmates. The move received its rating solely due to its high amount of four-letter words.
2. By extension, a word that has a positive or neutral connotation but that is treated as if it were highly negative. Such words do not have to literally contain four letters. Young people today seem to think "school" is a four-letter word. All they want to do is sit around and play video games all day. To most voters, "taxes" is a four-letter word.
See also: word

four-letter word

Any of several short English words that are generally regarded as vulgar or obscene. For example, No four-letter words are permitted in this classroom. This expression is applied mostly to words describing excretory or sexual functions. [First half of 1900s]
See also: word
References in periodicals archive ?
He stunned his fellow commentator David Lloyd when he used the four-letter word in the Sky commentary box at the Edgbaston Ashes Test, reports the Daily Star.
He said he tipped the parts onto the floor and after an argument with the woman his boss walked in and following another clash, a four-letter word was allegedly used in telling him to leave.
Following another clash, the boss allegedly used a four-letter word in telling him to leave.
A listener complained after hearing a four-letter word at 3.
Casting Design For Structural Components, Part II-- Time-Saving Analysis for High-Cycle Fatigue," Michael Gwyn, The Advanced Technology Institute; and "C-A-S-T is Not a Four-Letter Word," Joseph Santner, AFS.
The watchdog also upheld a complaint against Ant and Dec's Saturday morning ITV show CD:UK for a live show in December last year in which ex-Guns n' Roses guitarist Slash used a four-letter word and made sexual references which were audible to viewers.
In the last days of the New York Herald Tribune , art director Peter Palazzo talked editors into moving from Bodoni Bold, the ever present newspaper headline face, to Caslon by lettering a four-letter word in both.
Thought to have been borrowed from a Monty Python sketch in a meat shop, which four-letter word was coined in 1993 for unwanted bulk e-mails?
According to the Advertising Standards Agency, a member of the public found the title - which is an acronym of a four-letter word often used by Liam - offensive.
For every instance of a four-letter word, deed or body part in a major film, studios would have to pay a flat $1,000 fee.
It's a shame he passed on the four-letter word for female genitalia that everyone outside the Republican party finds unspeakably obscene: the B-word.
But she was stunned to find a four-letter word repeated in the book several times.
I can recall Liverpool's Alexei Sayle using a certain four-letter word on his BBC2 sketch show about a decade ago - it was the first time I'd heard it on TV (even after 9pm) and now you hear it all the time (well, after 9pm).
It's a lot easier (for politicians) to focus on a four-letter word and a woman's breast (than on more significant issues),'' Seymour said about the Congressional action while discussing Loh.
I AM appalled at the article (September 20) about the church art which truly is blasphemy - an insult to any person who believes in God to abuse His name with a vile four-letter word.