Gutted

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Meridon

Member
UK English
Another query re differences in expressions between BE and AE...

would Americans say 'I was gutted...' BE slang for I was devastated? If not, what would the AE equivalent be??

Thanking you in advance

Meridon
 
  • mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    No, we don't say 'gutted' except to refer to disemboweled fish and fire-ravaged buildings.

    Give us an example of a sitation that might 'gut' you and I'll try to match it.
     

    paul_vicmar

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Give us an example of a sitation that might 'gut' you and I'll try to match it.
    Example - The English were gutted after having lost the match to Croatia. What a dissapointment!
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    Let's see: crushed? Probably best just to say 'devastated'.

    (Most of the words I can think of carry a notion of 'surprise' which I'm not sure is in 'gutted': shocked, stunned, dazed, etc.)
     

    Meridon

    Member
    UK English
    ehehe.. Paul's example is a very good one mgarizona!

    Yes, here 'gutted' as slang would denote extreme disappointment ( not that I was gutted when England lost; it always ends in tears with England matches) or that you were devastated, shocked...definately more than disappointed. Metaphorically disembowelled - left with nothing.

    Perhaps 'crushed' would be the best in the context I wish to use.

    Do you really not have an AE slang word that would be equivalent?
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Crestfallen. Not the most common word, and perhaps a bit too high register for BE football fans, it corresponds reasonably well to gutted.

    U.S. AE speakers have no illusions about our soccer teams, and so are less likely to be despondent, discouraged, or disconsolate. Low expectations help avoid feelings that are dejected and disheartened.
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    Well I was living in Brussels in 1985 so the image of fans being 'crushed' after a soccer match does not ring figurative in my ears.

    Probably best to say 'devastated' after all.
     

    Suehil

    Medemod
    British English
    I think 'crestfallen' is far too mild. Though it may apply to football supporters, in the sentence "Paul was absolutely gutted when Lisa finished with him" it is difficult to imagine that anyone would say "Paul was crestfallen ..."
    My vote goes to 'devastated'
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I have never heard the term "gutted" mean "disappointed" in AE. Neither does the WRD provide that definition to "gut."

    Literally, "gutted" means "disemboweled." It is often used metaphorically to refer to destruction or removal of the internals of something other than a (formerly) living creature.

    Perhaps "crushed" would be appropriate in AE. It is a metaphorical reference as well - obviously.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    I tried googling "fans were *** at the loss" just to see what would appear for BE and AE.

    Here's a selection --


    It seems like eons ago that Arsenal fans were despondent at the loss of their legendary TH14 to Barcelona.

    many fans were once more upset at the loss of another classic attraction and again sought to change (too mild)

    Her fans were left stunned at the loss. On this, the two year anniversary of her death we take a look at teen grief

    Though many fans were dismayed at the loss of a crucial character, still others saw the turn of events as a repudiation of one of television's few realistic ...

    Though fans were forlorn at the loss of Peca, the thought of re-uniting Bure with his former Soviet linemate drove season-ticket sales

    Steve Irwins family, friends, colleagues and fans were understandably devastated at the sudden loss of a great Australian Hero

    attendance got better and better as IceCats fans, many who were still stinging at the loss of the IceCats they had cheered for ...

    Mean Judean fans were a bit despondent at the loss but shouted out "the championship is ours!" as Penticon walked back to the bench. ...

    Nothing as idiomatic as gutted shows up.


     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    I tried googling "fans were *** at the loss" just to see what would appear for BE and AE.

    Here's a selection --


    It seems like eons ago that Arsenal fans were despondent at the loss of their legendary TH14 to Barcelona.

    many fans were once more upset at the loss of another classic attraction and again sought to change (too mild)

    Her fans were left stunned at the loss. On this, the two year anniversary of her death we take a look at teen grief

    Though many fans were dismayed at the loss of a crucial character, still others saw the turn of events as a repudiation of one of television's few realistic ...

    Though fans were forlorn at the loss of Peca, the thought of re-uniting Bure with his former Soviet linemate drove season-ticket sales

    Steve Irwins family, friends, colleagues and fans were understandably devastated at the sudden loss of a great Australian Hero

    attendance got better and better as IceCats fans, many who were still stinging at the loss of the IceCats they had cheered for ...

    Mean Judean fans were a bit despondent at the loss but shouted out "the championship is ours!" as Penticon walked back to the bench. ...

    Nothing as idiomatic as gutted shows up.


    I think AE needs 'gutted', do any AE speakers agree? Perhaps you could suggest a word (for any context) in exchange?
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    In certain types of women's fiction, when the writer wants to raise the level of sexual tension while the male hero is being conquered, one example to describe this action might be:

    "...he felt decimated by the depth of his passion for this woman..."

    The use of the adjective participle in this way heightens the sexual attraction and angst felt between the characters.

    It wouldn't be unusual to see the word "gutted" used for this purpose then. While my example targets the up-side of the word, it could also be used if the hero was extremely hurt or felt emotionally destroyed, too.

    Just like those soccer fans felt at their failure to win.

    Decimated is used to convey the idea that it's more than being destroyed...it's almost a tragedy. In my mind, that's how I view gutted, too.

    AngelEyes
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Decimated is one of those words which puts the etymologically-minded into a state of despondency, in that it (literally) means reduced by one tenth.
    He felt reduced by one tenth by the depth of his passion for this woman. Hmmm.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Decimated is one of those words which puts the etymologically-minded into a state of despondency, in that it (literally) means reduced by one tenth.
    He felt reduced by one tenth by the depth of his passion for this woman. Hmmm.
    Yes, Ewie, I'm aware of that mathematical reference - actually it's really the acceptable use of the word, isn't it? (I'm the least mathematically-inclined member here, I'm sure.) :)

    But that doesn't stop the romantically-inclined from using another form of it to make a dramatic point in writing.

    While many would accept that he "gutted the fish," certain females would very easily accept the description that "...from the moment he laid eyes on her, he was gutted from his heart to his soul."

    Decimated can be used for dramatic flair to carry the meaning beyond just losing or being destroyed - whether in relationships or a game of sports.

    I'm not saying that every AE person would feel this way, but in my experience, it has validity.

    AngelEyes
     

    Suehil

    Medemod
    British English
    I'm afraid I'm with Ewie on this one. An army can be decimated, or a population, but a person being reduced by one tenth? For me that is more laughable than dramatic.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Laughing matter or not, I've seen it used. It's called "Poetic License", I guess.

    I also Googled it and found lots of references of the adjective participle form of this word: ...to feel decimated...

    And it has nothing to do with mathematical equations.

    Maybe it's more a colloquialism. And not too popular among the more intellectually inclined.

    AngelEyes
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Perhaps this is a difference in the meanings of the word "decimated" in BE and AE. While it does come from "reducing by 1/10th" or "exacting a 10 percent tax" it has a third meaning in Merriam-Webster (www.m-w.com):

    3 a: to reduce drastically especially in number <cholera decimated the population> b: to cause great destruction or harm to <firebombs decimated the city> <an industry decimated by recession>


    Although it's listed as 3b, I'd say that the most common use of it I've heard in AE is 3B.

    If "gutted" can have an alternate meaning in BE, I don't think it's unreasonable to allow "decimated" to have an alternate meaning in AE. This alternate meaning isn't even slang in AE.

    [edit]Searching on www.google.co.uk, I find many examples of "decimated" being used in this broader fashion. For example:

    http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Oilpoll.htm
    If its population was decimated, with over 90% losses, in an area, the remaining crabs should produce enough planktonic larvae for recovery in a couple of years or so.

    I wonder if this a difference of theory over practice when it comes to "decimated" meaning exactly 1/10th.
     

    Trinibeens

    Senior Member
    NYC
    U.S. English
    I think AE needs 'gutted', do any AE speakers agree? Perhaps you could suggest a word (for any context) in exchange?
    I do think 'gutted' would be an excellent addition to AE. :) It's so accurately descriptive of the feeling that accompanies loss. However I've now heard it so often on BBC America in reference to trivial matters, that I'm afraid it's already lost some of its desirability.

    As to suggesting a word in exchange, I cannot think of one. In my experience BE speakers use far more colloquialisms than AE speakers. I sometimes feel I need a BE slang dictionary just to get through a half-hour on BBC America!

    No offense meant ;)
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    No offense meant ;)
    No offence;) taken, Trini ~ in fact, I read it as a compliment:) and it's been good to learn that a word universally used in BE (or EE at least) is completely unused in the USA.

    I should have said when I first posted on 'decimated' that 99 times out of 100 the word is used in the sense of devastated in the UK too. (Just how often does one need to refer to something that has been reduced by one tenth?)
     
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