Discussion in 'English Only' started by Johnny519, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Johnny519 Senior Member

    Some native speakers have ever told me that they would use the word "Booty" to their kids, meaning butt. I'm not quite sure if it's a very imformal word. And it should be used among the family member or familiar people? I want to know what circumstances we could use booty. Thanks
  2. Florentia52

    Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    English - United States
    "Booty" in AE slang is often used to refer to women's genitalia. I wouldn't recommend ever using it around children.
  3. Johnny519 Senior Member

    Really? Many a American told me that they would use the neutral word " Butt", some others would pick " tushy"/"tushie". And a lot of them really chose the word" booty. I looked it up on merriam-webster.com, it did offer an entry with the explanation of buttocks(slang).

    Please see the link below

    Are you saying that booty is kind of vulgar and should not be used when talking to kids?
  4. jcardha Member

    English (Australia)
    "Booty" isn't a vulgar word but it IS used to refer to the buttocks as a sexual body part. I would never use "booty" to refer to a child's buttocks (it would be very strange and even invasive) unless I'm familiar with the person I'm talking to and they clearly know that I'm making a joke. But it's possible that a parent uses the word "booty" to their child without sexual connotation. Ultimately, it depends on parenting style and the context of the situation. :)
  5. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    I think "booty" is fine in context, and you can use it with children too. They hear it on TV and the media anyway.

    It's not taboo, and "booty" has found it's way into the main stream.

    You might not to want to use it in the board room, unless you want to say: XXX is going to kick YYY's booty.

    That could be said in the board room.
  6. Johnny519 Senior Member

    OK, anyway, it seems that butt and buttom are much safer when talking about the fleshy part of body people sit on. It's kind of hard for the non-native spearkers to use the slang words in the right context.
  7. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    My sister absolutely uses "booty" with her children, which range from 6-10.

    Every heard "bootylicious"? I don't think "booty" is somehow out of bounds.

    If you want to be more "PC", "behind" can be used, but I still fail to see anything wrong with "booty".
  8. jcardha Member

    English (Australia)
    If your sister is comfortable with using "booty" with her children, I think that's completely safe and acceptable. Personally, however, I would stay on the safe side in regards to using words that may be taken in offence, especially when directed towards children, as other parents may not be as lenient as your sister.

    Considering the etymology of "bootylicious" that's rooted in sexual lyrics, I believe it's understandable why some people find it questionable.

    Hence, why I think "booty" is not a vulgar word, but still one that needs to be used carefully.
  9. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    Would you refer to your own butt as a booty, jcardha?

    If not, how would you refer to it, in Australian English. Pray tell.
  10. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    If your sister jumped over a cliff, ... I'm sure there are many people who use "fuck" with their children, too.
    "Booty" does have humorously adult overtones and certainly "bootylicious" does. It's not about a beef rump roast.
  11. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    When I hear booty, it always has at least a slightly sexual overtone - not vulgar, exactly, but not innocent either. I think it's much more common to use it in a slightly sexual way than in the matter-of-fact way that Perpend's sister uses it. I've never heard anybody use it in reference to her children, and I'd be quite surprised if I did. Butt is much safer, and bottom or behind are even better.
  12. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    A "booty call" is when you telephone someone for the purpose of having sex with him/her. The expression "shake your booty," asking a person to wiggle his or (more often) her bottom, also suggests sex. The word definitely has those connotations to me. I agree with JustKate's last sentence. It's good advice to follow. I would not use it with my family, except perhaps privately with my wife.
  13. Johnny519 Senior Member

    I've got a derivative question here.
    Should I use butt in the plural form if we don't precisely indicate the left butt or right butt? Because it's short for buttocks.
    For example, he has really big butts
  14. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    No, butt refers to the entire buttocks area. Each person has only one butt (or behind or bottom - or booty, for that matter). :)
  15. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    If you'd like a British English perspective, Johnny, I wouldn't recommend you use booty at all in the UK, as we don't use it.*

    (*Unless you're aged about 15 and imagine you live in a black ghetto in downtown Los Angeles, as some British teenagers do, for reasons unknown:rolleyes:)
  16. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I honestly don't think it's used much by adults in the U.S. either, except perhaps as a joke.
  17. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    ... or unless we're using it in the sense that the word has had for the last 700 years or so. As Long John Silver might have said (with no intention of dropping his trousers):
    "Ha-har, Jim lad, come and take a good look at my booty!"

  18. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    The same goes for the other word in the title: "butt", as the WR dictionary will confirm. However, BrE speakers up to a certain age - say as old as E or even as ancient as me - will understand both, I reckon.
  19. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    I think it's odd to begin with, that we think we can hide these words from our children, in general, when then can google it for themselves.

    Again, I've heard my sister, Gen-Y, say this in passing to her kids:
    "Get your booty over here right now."
    "Get your booty off of that couch, and do your homework."

    I just don't see the hang-up, neither on "butt" nor "booty".

    Now, in a teachable moment, you might want to say "this certain word "xxx" is better", but I think both "butt" and "booty" aren't offensive. Just go on youtube.

    EDIT: Just a post-script. If you don't know it, or use a certain word, your kids end up teaching the word to you. I've even heard the word "booty" on the Ellen Show, and she's pretty much a beacon of goodness.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  20. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    Booty comes from Ebonics originally and is usally used in a sexual connotation in American English. Using booty for a child's bottom in Standard American Englsh would be downright strange. The word is quite slangish to begin with anyway and is not fit for formal speech. If you were speaking Ebonics however, I think this would be perfectly fine, since, in Ebonics, the additional connotation of sexuality is only perceived based on context. And to clarify, this word is pronounced "boody".
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  21. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    Not anywhere that I've ever heard it, either in or out of what most people now call African American Vernacular English.
  22. jcardha Member

    English (Australia)
    I think you have a fair point. In fact, I wouldn't mind using "booty" much to my children, if I had any. However, I think the issue arises with the fact that it is not up to you to teach what the children of other parents should or should not say. Neither is it your right to enforce your views upon children, if they aren't your own. I think it's been clear that many native English speakers here find it slightly odd to use "booty" in certain contexts, so why not advise the OP to exercise caution with this word, especially as it is easy to cross the line when speaking a foreign language?
  23. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    I'm merely telling people my experience with the word "booty". I would use it as an equivalent to butt, due to my experience from my family (white), and from hearing it in the mainstream. I am not enforcing anything but am just trying to give the OP an overview of what is out there. Again, even Ellen uses the term on her show, which is pretty much a "family show", as we call it in the USA.

    Now, as a caveat, I do spend most of my time in Chicago, and maybe I'm just desensitized to finding "booty" somehow controversial. I just don't and can't. Just my opinion and experience, which I think is fair to write about.

    In 20 years from now, people won't care. It's a word that has worked it's way into the mainstream, and you can't reverse the flow of language.

    @tonyspeed/pob: I can definitely hear the "boody" sound sometimes, depending on where the speaker is from.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  24. Johnny519 Senior Member

    @tonyspeed/pob: I can definitely hear the "boody" sound sometimes, depending on where the speaker is from.[/QUOTE]

    Well, I think it's a natural thing to hear the sound "bü-dē" for booty in American English, just like 'wȯ-dər for water, 'ma-dər for matter. It's somewhere between t and d. Apparently it's not a SO strong T sound in British English, isn't it?
  25. jcardha Member

    English (Australia)
    And that may very well be true! In any case, it'll probably take some time for that language shift to occur. :)

    Speakers of Australian English often "soften" the "t" sound to a "d", so you'll definitely hear "boody" in Australia.
  26. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    In RP it's a clear "t" sound. In regional variants of BrE, it can be anything from a highly emphasised "t" through to something akin to the intervocal t/d tap that's common in AmE.


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