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Crude language

Posted by Word Camel on March 05, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Not a nice expression posted by R. Berg on March 05, 2003

: : : I translate part of a movie (tomb raider) and I have to translate into Hebrew the expression "holy shit". that is why I want to understand the exact meaning of it and of course in the right context:
: : : It's when Lara gets a letter from her dead father and Bryce says: "Blimey" and Hillary says: "Holy shh..."

: : : To me it sounds like surprise, or amazement.
: : : Thank you

: : Yes, it is an expression of surprise and amazement. The news is shocking. But there is a comic element in my opinion. A person wouldn't say "Holy sh*t!" about something tragic. A similar expression would be "Wow!"

: "Blimey" is a very British expression of amazement. "Holy s***" is--I suspect but do not know--a very American expression of amazement. This may make a difference to your translation.

The British English equivalent of "holy shit" would probably be "bloody hell".

Choosing this particular expression of amazement in American English is probably meant to convey a certain coarseness or possibly street-wiseness in the the person speaking. This sort of street-wise banter has been considered increasingly more admirable since the 1950's because it gives the person speaking and air of authenticity. This is not necessarily a good thing in my opinion.

I have heard people of all classes in the UK swearing with gusto and panache. It's more wide spread than it is in the US - as I have discovered to my cost - but it is seldom crude and often used with an element of self mockery.