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Re: "it sucks"

Posted by Igor on May 19, 2000

In Reply to: Re: "It sucks" posted by ESC on May 19, 2000

: : The expression "it sucks" has a negative connotation, but my guess is that it is short for a
: : longer phrase. Any ideas?

: Well, Igor. It refers to oral copulation. So fill in the blanks regarding the longer phrase.

Well, ESC, thanks for the reply, but you make my very point: Oral copulation is generally not a bad thing. As for the phrase, "you suck", I can envision the pejorative sense, or suggestion. But, why would use of the phrase, otherwise, suggest something negative?

My thought was that it might be short for a phrase along the lines of, "It [something] is as bad as sucking a lemon." Yes, any use of the word "sucks" suggests something sexual (in general US usage, anyway), but I was thinking that the longer phrase, whatever it is/might have been, would indicate why "it sucks" is negative. Maybe an early bilge pump that had a defective seal "sucked air" so sailors would have to manually bail a boat that had taken on water. That job? It sucked!

In any event, this is the kind of parsing of meanings one faces when trying to explain US slang to people for whom English is a second language. (For that matter, why do the sexual phrases that end in "you" mean something negative? And, is there not a word that describes such phrases that seem to mean two different, contradictory things?")

I am new to this forum. Please excuse me if I have offended anyone with the subject matter of my questions. I have tried to ask them in a tasteful manner.

Thanks, Igor