in-jokey spats

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Senior Member
Dutch - Netherlands
Hi everyone,

I have to translate the following:

"The idea was that there would be a double layer of bitchiness –
that delivered by Sheridan’s script and that furnished by the in-jokey real-life spats between the performers."

It's a text written by the chief theatre critic of The Independent about a theatre piece of the English playwright Sheridan.

Are in-jokey spats rather rude insider jokes?

Thanks very much for your help.
  • Ceremoniar

    Senior Member
    American English
    They are indeed insider jokes--possibly rude, possibly not. The use of the word spats suggests that they are a bit argumentative.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Not necessarily rude, though I suppose that is suggested by "bitchiness".
    A spat is a short argumentative confrontation.
    In-jokey is about insider information, sure enough, but I would have thought an "in-jokey spat" in this context would be something fairly light-hearted that involved both real life and fictional character references. That doesn't fit with bitchiness ... unless it began light-hearted but then acquired bitchiness by becoming too close to real life.


    Senior Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Thank very much for your suggestions.

    The piece is a 'comedy of manners', in which some characters in order to get to their goal spread malicient rumours about other people, so the piece itself is about bitchyness too. Hence the double layer, and hence I think the maybe not so lighthearted spats.

    Do you agree?
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