Pissed off

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 25, 2005

In Reply to: Pissed off posted by Bruce Kahl on October 25, 2005

: : On a recent American sitcom I heard the phrase 'the audience are p*ssed'. I am aware that in US usage this means what those in the UK would describe as 'p*ssed off' and 'p*ssed' on its own means drunk. In the context either could have been intended. Is 'p*ssed' ever used in the US to mean drunk?

: : Am I also right in thinking that its use is more general than in the UK where it is considered crude and not for 'polite usage' (hence my reticence to spell the word out fully)?

: Pissed off, at least here in the NE part of the US of A, usually means to be aggravated or angry at something.

: It is not generally used to define a state of drunkeness.
: At least not in my neck of the woods.

In anything of as recent date as a television sitcom, "pissed," used as a verbal, means pissed off, angry, resentful. But before World War II "pissed" meant drunk, even in these here U.S. of A. (Bruce, of course, is a youngster.) It is only recently that one began to hear vulgarisms of this kind on TV, or even used in semi-polite society. We don't have drawing rooms in the U.S., but there are plenty of other rooms in which this expression and similar ones would stick out as a very low-brow colloquialism. I still resist using it in mixed company except with persons of long acquaintance. Or Websites where anything goes, especially if it is being studied. SS