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 ?
Following another clash, the boss allegedly used a four-letter word in telling him to leave.
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?
London, Aug 3 (ANI): Legendary cricketer Shane Warne stunned TV bosses with the use of the four-letter word 'tw*t' during live commentary.
I am reminded of a little gift shop in New Hope, PA, that carried greeting cards with a four-letter word visible when closed and the same word as initial letters of a four-word message when opened.
Taste in humour varies: folk who'd tear paedophiles to pieces roar at vulgarity from gay so-called comedians and I have never understood the juvenile laughter an uncouth audience emits on hearing that hackneyed four-letter word.
A tribunal heard Alan Davis's boss used a four-letter word in telling him to leave Hockley-based machinery firm Rotagrip Ltd after the 67-year-old had a row with a supervisor.
Write a common four-letter word clockwise in the four white circles on the left to form two three-letter words across and two more down.
GORDON Ramsay could be forgiven a four-letter word yesterday when one of his restaurants lost its star in the new Michelin Guide.
The sguire gets into his stride Not a four-letter word within it The marmalised people can't hide.
Love is a four-letter word and some swear by it Make love not warmonger Love can move mountains but fill rivers Love is a drug and it's legal Love means less without money Love amounts to nothing in tennis Love is Notion, Emotion, Commotion, Devotion, Lonesome, Love is great, till the lights go out.
ROCK star Bono shocked a gray-haired crowd of 1,000 chief executive officers and other business leaders at the World Economic Forum by using a four-letter word.
Then Britney chose to bare a belly adorned with a four-letter word encrusted belt.