Posted by Lotg on October 23, 2004
In Reply to: Throw the rascals out! posted by Bob on October 22, 2004
: : : : This is an old US phrase that often reemerges around election time. It is based on the strategy that whoever has been in power has been corrupted, and we should just throw them out and put in a new lot. Not a bad idea, generally!
: : : I've heard "vote the bum(s) out".
: : "Rascal" isn't much of an insult these days. I think that's a pretty old expression, from a time when being called a "rascal" must've been pretty bad.
: Right. It's late 19th C., early 20th.
I'm not so sure about it not being much of an insult. Although, in the case of 'rascal' it does sound almost endearing now.
But profanities are now uttered by many as just a normal part of daily conversation. Such that they no longer have the impact they might once have had. So we've almost reached a point where it's sometimes difficult to think of words strong enough and foul enough to describe things we find utterly reprehensible, distasteful or hateful.
I actually find that sometimes when trying to describe something that requires my utter disdain, that it can be more effective to employ 'old fashioned, hardly used nowadays' type words, particularly when dealing with teenagers. I find they're so blown away by words to which they're unaccustomed, that I can get more of a response or reaction out of them by using these 'old words', than if I use the current so-called profanities.