Discussion in 'English Only' started by Kelly B, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    Hello, friends,

    More fun from the French Forum.... "what is the difference between begrudgingly and grudgingly?"

    My first thought is that begrudgingly is directed at something or someone specific, while grudgingly is more generic. However, I'm not sufficiently certain to say so in public to a trusting and friendly francophone....

    Thoughts? Thanks!
  2. geve

    geve Senior Member

    France, Paris
    France, French
    Thanks Kelly B for this brand new thread !
    I'll spy on the English-only forum then... but please speak freely :D
  3. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    Interesting question. In my mind 'grudgingly' denotes reluctance and makes me think of teenagers getting out of bed, two-year-olds getting into bed, me turning down a glass of wine because I'm driving or my Grandad admitting he was wrong. I think there's a general recognition that the action in question is the right thing to do, which is why it's done, but there's zero enthusiasm.

    'Begrudgingly' on the other hand denotes resentment, since if you begrudge someone something, you don't really think they should have it: you're envious and truly think you deserve it yourself. 'Begrudgingly' is how I stomped off after losing a game of Monopoly with my brother as a child because 'big brothers get a second throw of the dice if they don't like the first'. It describes the manner in which I said 'You are the greatest, the most powerful person of all and I am you slave' when he had me in a headlock, etc., etc. Curiously, I think 'holding a grudge' is something you do 'begrudgingly' rather than 'grudgingly'.

    In the end, then, I think you're right that 'begrudgingly' is specific and directed, whereas 'grudgingly' is more general.
  4. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    I think they're synonymous, but "grudgingly" sounds better to me as an adverb: "I grudgingly paid the bill."
  5. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    I think Aupick has once again got this spot on the nose. If I may borrow river's sentence and then add one of my own for comparison:

    "I grudgingly paid the bill." I hate giving up my hard-earned money to MegaCorp Corp., but it is a necessity if I want electricity.

    "My ex begrudgingly pays child support every month." The divorce was so bitter and ugly that he only writes the check because it is mandated by the state for him do so. I always have to wear latex gloves when handling it, however. One never knows if there is poison in the inkwell. :D
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm lost in Aupick's explanation...... as usual:)

    It feels really boring and pedestrian to wonder why this distinction should be, but I betook myself to the OED for a bit of research.

    It isn't at all helpful on the main entries for grudgingly and begrudgingly, but on looking up grudge and begrudge, things started to become clearer.

    To murmur; to utter complaints murmuringly; to grumble, complain; to be discontented or dissatisfied.

    To grumble at, show dissatisfaction with; esp. to envy (one) the possession of; to give reluctantly, to be reluctant.

    Finally, a prowl around the meanings for be- (prefix) uncovered its use to intensify intransitive verbs and to make intransitive verbs transitive.

    How dreadfully dull.
    I think I'll pop up and read Aupick's explanation again.
  7. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    Far be it from me to begrudge anyone's begrudginglys, but begrudging is just too hard to say.
  8. geve

    geve Senior Member

    France, Paris
    France, French
    :) Thanks to all, this is much clearer now ! Especially with Aupick's real life examples and with panjandrum's erudite explanation... So what I understand is that :
    - 'begrudgingly' was specially invented for Aupick's brother ;)
    - and might be stronger than 'grudgingly' = expressing reluctancy more loudly, probably because there it's not something you do for your own good (as I understood from GenJen54 and Aupick's posts)

    Am I right ? Is it the way you use these words ?

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