bloody vs sodding

Discuss word origins and meanings.

bloody vs sodding

Post by aka_darrell » Thu May 04, 2006 11:06 pm

Which is worse, to be a bloody idiot or a sodding idiot?

Which is more/less acceptable in speech? Writing?

Which is more commonplace?
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bloody vs sodding

Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu May 04, 2006 11:36 pm

I'll jump right in there as the token idiot and say that, while it is worse to be a bloody idiot, it has a better ring to it, don't you thnk?
Commonplacency-wise, the number of idiot butchers balances that of idiot lawn-installers.
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bloody vs sodding

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri May 05, 2006 6:52 am

Jo, I’ve never heard of SODDING, so from my perspective, at least, it is the less common. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Slang SODDING is a British expression and BLOODY is mainly British and Australian. My guess is that BLOODY might be the more acceptable, since SOD derives from ‘sodomy,’ but not being familiar with the term SOD, I feel I’m not qualified to say.

SODDING (1ate 19th century and still in use) British; adjective and adverb, used as a derogatory intensifier; from the present participle of the verb SOD, as used in imprecations.

SOD verb (late 19th century; 1930s and still in use): literally to sodomize; and in figurative use synonymous with ‘to hell with’ and as an alternative to ‘damn’ and ‘fuck’ in various expressions [e.g. sod (it)!, sod off!]

BLOODY (1676) Now mainly British and Australian; adjective and adverb, a general negative; known as ‘the great Australian adjective.’ See bloody.
<1954 “Cuts his own hair now, you see. Too SODDING mean to pay our his one-and-six, that is what it is. My God.”—‘Lucky Jim’ by Kingsley Amis>

<1963 “I’ve been in your SODDING country.”—‘The Dinkumization & Depommification of an Artful English Immigrant’ by Bernard Hesling>

<1980 “I’ll remember that SODDING day until the day I die.”—Dirk Bogarde>

<2004 “‘Nobody’s bothered about your SODDING fishcakes. Ask something proper, you halfwit. [[Steve Delaney, creator of Count Arthur Strong, interviews his alter ego]]’”—‘The Guardian Unlimited,’ 11 August>
(Cassell's Dictionary of Slang,Oxford Dictionary of Slang, Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang, A Dictionary of Slang by Partridge>
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Post by Bobinwales » Fri May 05, 2006 9:39 am

Sodding used to be quite a common expression (pun intended), but it is somewhat rarer today. Sod it! is still in everyday usage however, and I admit that it is one of my own expressions.

In order of their stupidity, I would call someone, “A blithering idiot”, “A bloody idiot” or a “F@!#ing idiot”

Around this little part of south Wales we also used to get “Cowing idiot”, but thankfully it has almost entirely died out as it used to grate appallingly in my ears.
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bloody vs sodding

Post by tony h » Fri May 05, 2006 3:20 pm

Not quite sure why but I think I would use bloody idiot when describing a person after an idiotic action whereas I would use sodding idiot if it was the nature of the person that made them an idiot.

For example an excellent footballer missing an easy goal would be a bloody idiot, but someone who believes a politician is a sodding idiot.

Again, I stress, not sure why.
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri May 05, 2006 4:35 pm

In researching the above I stumbled upon SOD’S LAW, which is closely related to Murphy’s Law – if anything can go wrong it will, etc. (also see Ask the Wordwizard). Some sources say they are actually synonyms, others say they are close with a fine distinction between the two, and others claim SOD’S LAW is just a corollary of MURPHY’S LAW:

Brewer’s Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable

SOD’S LAW: Essentially the same as Murphy’s Law but dating later, from the 1970s. ‘SOD’ here is simply a name for an awkward or frustrating situation that provokes one to think or say ‘Sod it!’ Some linguistic legalists discern a fine distinction between the two laws. If a piece of bread lands buttered side down when dropped, they say, that is Sod’s law. Murphy’s law, on the other hand, dictates that as a piece of bread can land this way, sooner or later it will. Viewed thus, Sod’s law can be seen as a corollary of Murphy’s law.
<1999 “SOD’S LAW is quite specific on the issue. If there is some crisis in 2015, one [aircraft] carrier will be undergoing major refit and the other will be unavailable due to some unplanned eventuality.”—‘The Times’ (Letter to the Editor, 1 December)>
_________________________________
<1970 “SOD’S LAW . . . is the force in nature which causes it to rain mostly at weekends, which makes you get flu when you are on holiday, and which makes the phone ring just as you've got into the bath.”—‘New Statesman,’ 9 October, page 460/1>

<1978 “The great unshakable list of interdisciplinary laws—SOD’S LAW, Newton's Fourth Law of Motion, the Inverse Midas Touch and their kin.”—‘The New Scientist,’ 7 September, page 744/1>

<1980 “Even if you're using a masking frame this can easily over~balance. According to SOD’S LAW, that's going to happen when you're halfway through exposing a sheet of 20 × 16in colour paper costing the best part of £1•30.”—‘SLR Camera,’ July, page 56/2>

<1994 “It is also known as SOD’S LAW: what can go wrong will go wrong.”— ‘Journal of Peace Research,’ Vol. 31, No. 2. May, page 137>

<2001 “His supervisor asked if the experiment was the final one needed to complete the sequence, and when this was confirmed, described its as ‘SOD’S LAW.’”—‘Social Studies of Science,’ Vol. 31, No.1, page 97>

<2002 ‘In defense of James Stirling's History Faculty Building in Cambridge (1968), Banham evokes “SOD’S LAW . . . which predicts the probability of mechanical disaster by the following formula: If anything can happen it will” rather than design inadequacy.’—‘The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians,’ Vol. 61, No. 3, September, page 415>

<2006 “. . . as wars go, this one's as modern as they come: great sanitation, tasty home-cooked meals, and relatively speaking safe as houses. What's not to like? Compare 103 deaths in Iraq with the 100% death toll in, say, the Charge of the Light Brigade, . . . . But does Blair get a word of gratitude, for making this one of the most civilised conflicts in history? SOD’S LAW , isn't it? The safer the war, the louder the customer complaints.”— ‘The Guardian,’ 4 March, page 35>
Ken G – May 5, 2006
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bloody vs sodding

Post by Phil White » Fri May 05, 2006 10:08 pm

For what it's worth, Michael Swan in his 1980 "Practical English Usage" rated "sod" as a stronger taboo word than "bloody". "Sodding" was certainly alive and kicking when I left the UK some 25 years ago, but it was always rarer than "bloody". I would guess that the ubiquity of "bloody" in UK speech still means that "sodding" is the stronger of the two.
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bloody vs sodding

Post by haro » Fri May 05, 2006 11:36 pm

Ken, as a physicist you may remember the levitation device consisting of a buttered slice of bread strapped on the back of a cat, buttered side up, of course. The experiment is started by dropping the cat-cum-bread apparatus. Since the cat will always land on its feet but Sod's Law demands that the bread hits the floor buttered side down, the combination of both will hover at a height where the two forces are in an oscillating equilibrium. If need be, the levitation height can be adjusted by laying a very expensive ancient oriental carpet on the floor, which enhances the tendency of the bread to drop buttered side down.
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bloody vs sodding

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat May 06, 2006 12:20 am

I beg to quibble, Hans Joerg. I believe the arrangement you have described will result not in levitation, but in rotation, with the buttered face of the bread just skimming the surface of the rug as it goes round. While this does mean that the expensive rug will be ruined, at least it paves the way for the construction of a perpetual-motion machine; in fact, if copper windings are mounted on an armature, with the cat being placed inside the assembly (and not forgetting to strap the buttered bread on the cat's back), and the animal is dropped between two sets of permanent magnets, the installation as a whole will be able to produce a net surplus of electrical energy that should last until all the butter has been absorbed into the carpet fibres.

With the ever-shortening cycle of research, development and production that characterises today's technology marketplace, the day is not far off that such an auxiliary power source will be within the financial reach of every home in the land. When we take into consideration the strides that have almost been made in cold fusion and fiscal policy, such remarkable innovations mean that the United States can look forward to being fully energy-independent as early as the year 2747.
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bloody vs sodding

Post by gdwdwrkr » Sat May 06, 2006 1:54 am

Hope you use PETA bread.
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bloody vs sodding

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat May 06, 2006 3:26 am

Gentleman. Gentleman. But, of course, according to quantum mechanics, I would have to say that you are both right. Consider for a moment the feline with the buttered slice of bread strapped to its back to be a Schrödinger’s cat. And consider that the cat-bread combination is dropped in a closed room containing a radioactive source and a Geiger counter that detects the presence of radioactive particles. The apparatus in the room is so arranged that the detector is switched on for just long enough so that there is a fifty-fifty chance that one of the atoms in the radioactive material will decay and that the detector will record a particle. If the detector records such a particle, the cat lands on its feet, and if not the bread hits the floor buttered side down. We have no way of knowing the outcome of this experiment until someone opens the door and looks inside the room. According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics (send a private Wordwizard message to Spiritus if you require further explanation of this interpretation), the two possibilities produce a superposition of two equiprobable states – one obeying Sod’s law and the other the cat-on-feet outcome – which collapse into one state or the other only at the instant that the door is opened and the observation is made. Until we look inside, there is a radioactive sample that has both decayed and not decayed and a Schrödinger’s cat that has both landed on its feet and not landed on its feet, or, if you will, a piece of bread that has landed buttered side down and not buttered side down. Both the levitation outcome and rotation outcome are well-documented and so it is a simple matter to consider those as our two Schrödinger outcomes and so until the door is opened both are correct and, even after the door is opened, repeated experimentation will show that both have an equal probability of happening – so you are both right! And, incidentally, using equally persuasive quantum-mechanical arguments it may be easily shown that perpetual motion is also a distinct possibility!

Q.E.D.

Warning: It is not recommended that you try this experiment at home.
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Post by kagriffy » Sat May 06, 2006 2:28 pm

Gee, Ken, I wish I had read your warning earlier, but it's too late. I now have a butter-stained carpet and a VERY upset cat! lol
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bloody vs sodding

Post by haro » Sat May 06, 2006 5:07 pm

Gentlemen, I knew I was triggering some highly scientific debate. The perpetuum mobile approach mentioned by Erik was discussed on various Internet forums too, with undetermined outcome. I can't remember having seen Erik's copper coil version elsewhere, though. Too bad he mentioned it on this public forum, otherwise, maybe, he could have applied for a patent, at least in the USA. The USPTO guys don't know much about quantum mechanics anyway.

Oh, and somehow I also knew Ken would bring up Schrödinger's cat. Offer an apple to a physicist and guess who will pop up in his mind. Same with frog's legs.

Ken, despite your warning, what radioactive source do you suggest that allows me to keep my neighbor's noisy tomcat in that locked room until spring is over?
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bloody vs sodding

Post by Lyrical » Sat May 06, 2006 5:53 pm

I do know that when I was in England in '94, I was 14 and using 'bloody this and bloody that' every other sentence. That is, until someone told me that it was at least in England of an intensity of curse akin to the "f" word! I zipped my lips after that.
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Post by aka_darrell » Sat May 06, 2006 5:54 pm

Back on 05 May BobinWales and Tony h provided the sort of thing I was curious aobut. (I had read sodding in an online newspaper column and got curious.) Thanks.
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