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

a ˌfour-letter ˈword

a short word that is considered rude or offensive, especially because it refers to sex or other functions of the body: Four-letter words used to be banned on radio and television.
See also: word
References in periodicals archive ?
Each breaks down to two 4-letter words and one 3-letter word.
The Appendix at the end of (17) shows all kinds of shifted plactic classes of 4-letter words.
Three entertaining, health-related lectures will be held in the Devens Club Room, including "Diet and Other 4-Letter Words," at 6 p.
Using the same 4 letters, spell two 4-letter words.
How many 3-letter and 4-letter words can you make using the letters in the word TEMPTATIONS?
One tantalizing possibility is that there may be a 6x6 square having a knight's tour that spells nine 4-letter words (rather than six 6-letter words).
These 4-letter words each use 2 of the 4 different functions:
If this is to happen, none of the proper subwords of its 4-letter words may appear in the lexicon.
10] (1,048,576) unique words and unique letters possible in a Decuple 4-Dekeract (a Dekeract with 4-letter words that are unique in each direction).
Perhaps to the 26 letters of the alphabet we could add another copy of the six vowels' to complete the 16 4-letter words required.
All eight 4-letter words are in the OED [WW, Feb 1983, p 26].
2 LIKE LETTERS IN EACH HALF 4-LETTER WORDS (1 pattern only) In a Kickshaws item called Double Double Trouble (ww2001141), 1 listed 4-letter words composed of 2 doubled letters.
Thus, in the case of 4-letter words, there are 22 shift patterns for a PrC of 1 (1.
Searching for pairs of 4-letter words with the same footprints, I found the following which do distinguish among wedges, verticals and angles.
3/4 4-letter words which exhibit 3 like vowels include: AAAB (an Egyptian, the son of Kherab-cad), FAAA (Tahiti), NAAA (Mozambique), TAAA (Morocco), WAAA (Egypt), ESEE (easy), SEEE (El Salvador), TEEE (Australia), IRII (Japan), DOOO (Ivory Coast), OOON (wnh), OORO (Somalia), UULU (Estonia), UURU (Solomon Is).