Rough: "bad and likely to cause problems''

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,


Does the adjective "rough" sound appropriate (natural) in my examples below meaning "bad (person) and likely to cause problems''?


a. Stop hanging out with Charles. He's rough. Sooner or later, he'll be in trouble with the police or something like that.
b. I don't want to date a rough girl. Are you sure she's not like this? I don't like rough people.


Thank you in advance!
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hullo X. Neither works for me. Rough tends to mean 'ugly' or 'low class' or even 'ugly and low class' for me, except when it means 'feeling ill, e.g. with a hangover'.

    My great-grandmother might have warned her children not to hang about with 'rough boys', though.
     

    tepatria

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hullo X. Neither works for me. Rough tends to mean 'ugly' or 'low class' or even 'ugly and low class' for me, except when it means 'feeling ill, e.g. with a hangover'.

    My great-grandmother might have warned her children not to hang about with 'rough boys', though.
    I do not associate rough with ugly or good looking. I have seen - usually in movies, but also in life - people that I would consider rough, but who were not bad looking. Some of the women I saw at a bikers rally were good looking, but their hair, dress and demeanor made them rough to me.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I think in (a) I'd say he's bad news.

    And in (b) ... hmm, I must admit I've absolutely no idea:eek:

    I do not associate rough with ugly or good looking. I have seen - usually in movies, but also in life - people that I would consider rough, but who were not bad looking. Some of the women I saw at a bikers rally were good looking, but their hair, dress and demeanor made them rough to me.
    :thumbsup: For me it kind of depends where the word is in an utterance, what it's doing, what it's attached to.
    If I heard I don't want to go out with a rough lass, I'd automatically think 'ugly'. (This may be an exclusively UK slang thing, by the way.)
    If I heard There are some rough kids hanging around outside, I'd automatically think 'low class, probably disreputable'. But, I wouldn't expect to hear that in BrE ~ it feels kind of antiquated to me:confused:
     
    Last edited:

    Obeorn

    Member
    American English
    I think we have a difference here between UK and American English. I would not think of "rough" relating to looks.
     
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