A colloquial exclamation against an out-of-place action

Discussion in 'English Only' started by tphuong122002, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. tphuong122002 Senior Member

    Vietnamese Vietnam
    Hi my friends,

    I am talking about one of our friends who often behaves oddly in certain settings either to attract attention to him or just because he wants to do so regardless of other’s convenience.

    For example, he tells a flat joke while attending a funeral; he spoils a birthday party by persistently ridiculing the host for nothing; he and his friends go to the hospital to visit a critical patient where he just chatters about his new smartphone, etc. In such situations, we are very annoyed and, as his friends, want to tell him to stop doing so because it is so out of place. What colloquial word should we exclaim?

    Thanks,

    Tphuong
     
  2. dadane Senior Member

    New Zealand
    English (London/Essex)
    The term that immediately comes to mind is 'attention-seeker'. He also seems to be a little 'self-obsessed'.
     
  3. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    You are being inappropriate.
    That's inappropriate.
     
  4. tphuong122002 Senior Member

    Vietnamese Vietnam
    Thanks, dadane and perpend, for your suggestions. But they sound a bit formal and descriptive. Any colloquial exclamation for this?
     
  5. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    What do you mean by "colloquial exclamation"? Are you looking for BrE or AE?
     
  6. dadane Senior Member

    New Zealand
    English (London/Essex)
    Really, this seems a tad mild in the circumstances.
    I don't really want to post what I actually would say, I have, however, provided hints.
     
  7. Dexta Senior Member

    English (British and Australian)
    If you want to sound American, then call him a total douche.

    If you want to sound British, then call him a right wanker.

    If you want to sound Australian then call him a dickhead.

    These are rude expressions that should NEVER be used with strangers or in polite company or ANY situation other than totally informal casual conversation between friends. "Stop being such a...' or 'You're being a ...' are often added in front the above expressions between friends to let them know in no uncertain terms that you are annoyed by their inappropriate behaviour and you want them to stop.
     
  8. tphuong122002 Senior Member

    Vietnamese Vietnam
    Thanks, dadane, for your quick response. I say "colloquial exclamation" to mean an informal word that you would exclaim to criticize him in such situations. I wish to find an American English word for this.
     
  9. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    Hi again thphoung, The query is too vague, in my opinion, and anyone can fire off expletives and/or derogatory words at anyone.

    This is just my opinion.
     
  10. dadane Senior Member

    New Zealand
    English (London/Essex)
    I can't think of a single word answer. There are plenty of terms available, but they are mostly just general insults.

    However, if you really want to get idiomatic:

    Looking at Dexta's suggestions, which are all things that would be said in such circumstances, I would not use 'wanker' myself, the meaning is too broad, it suggests that the person is doing it deliberately where in fact the person is doing out of pure ignorance. So to me, 'knob' is more appropriate because it suggests idiotic childish behaviour. This, however, only truly conveys this meaning if you happen to speak my dialect.

    I'm a bit stumped for a really cutting but more generally acceptable term.

    Cross-posted with perpend
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  11. Dexta Senior Member

    English (British and Australian)
    to me 'knob' is more appropriate because it suggests idiotic childish behaviour.

    Oh yes, good call, dadane. I agree. 'Knob' is on the money!
     
  12. tphuong122002 Senior Member

    Vietnamese Vietnam
    Thank you so much dadane, Dexta and perpend for your very helpful suggestions. I checked "knob" and found that it also means "penis" and therefore is a bit shocking (http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/knob ).

    My fri­end is other­wise a good guy and we just wish to use a mild and friendly word to tell him not to behave like that. Any other suggestions?

    I do thank and appreciate your help!

    Tphuong
     
  13. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    I guess you could use "jerk".

    "You are being a total jerk."
     
  14. tphuong122002 Senior Member

    Vietnamese Vietnam
    Thanks, perpend, "jerk" sound great! Can I shout "You jerk!" at him in such situations?
     
  15. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    Yes, in my opinion. It's a fairly "politically correct" way to tell someone they are being inappropriate.
     
  16. tphuong122002 Senior Member

    Vietnamese Vietnam
    Thank you perpend, I'll take "You jerk!". My last question: Is it safe to say so? I mean: Does it have any side-effects that may cause unintended misunderstanding or irritation?
     
  17. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    Among friends, in the context you describe, I think it's okay.

    I wouldn't say it to a stranger, unless the person was really, really rude.
     
  18. tphuong122002 Senior Member

    Vietnamese Vietnam
    Perfect! Thank you so much, perpend, for your great help!
    :thumbsup:
    Tphuong
     
  19. dadane Senior Member

    New Zealand
    English (London/Essex)
    Hmm ... Wouldn't the same logic preclude 'jerk'. Just curious.

    However, you are pretty unlikely to find a word of this nature which doesn't have a colourful underlying meaning, you are even more unlikely to find one which shares the same nuances in AE and BE.
     
  20. -mack-

    -mack- Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    American English
    In AmE, people my age (late teens/twenties) would probably say among friends (or even acquaintances), "You're being a tool," or, "You're being a douche/douchebag." Those were the first colloquial expressions that popped into my head. Douche(bag) is more inappropriate than tool, but tool is also a bit off-color as it is loosely a slang term for male genitalia (but much less mean than something like, "You're being a dick.")

    "You're being a jerk," is also fine, and, as others have said, probably safer. It just wasn't one of the first colloquial expressions I thought of.
     
  21. Parla Member Emeritus

    New York City
    English - US
    That works in AE, too, as does the similar "prick".
    But neither of those could be used where someone other than your circle of friends might be listening.
    An excellent suggestion is Perpend's "jerk", which can be used in public.
     
  22. Dexta Senior Member

    English (British and Australian)
    That works in AE, too

    Thanks Parla, I didn't realize that. I met a lovely person from Tampa once who had never heard the expression and thought it was hilarious. So I incorrectly assumed you guys didn't use it. :)
     

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