What's the meaning of "BS'ing"?

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macek34

Member
French
Hi,

I've just read a document written in american english. One sentence of this document uses the expression "sitting around BS'ing with your friends". I searched the Internet and several dictionaries in order to find the meaning of "BS'ing", but I could'nt find anything.
Can someone please help me?

Thanks a lot,

Macek34
 
  • LouisaB

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Hi, macek,

    I'm not an AE speaker, so my answer may be unreliable, but I'll chuck it in anyway, as it may be a while before time zones gives us the natives.

    In BE 'BS' stands for :warn: 'bullshit' (which came to us from AE and means 'nonsense'). Used as a verb, it's often used to describe people who are lying. However, in the kind of friendly, non-judgemental context you've given, it can simply refer to what old fashioned people would describe as 'yarning' or 'telling tall tales'. Amongst younger people, it just means 'meaningless conversation that passes the time', eg chatting about nothing in particular, swapping anecdotes etc. The AE expression 'shooting the sh*t' seems to mean much the same thing.

    I hope that works in your context. However, let's hope a native can come along and confirm it - or tell me gravely that I am speaking BS...

    Louisa
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    BS

    Yes, but cursing is part of any language, and here we consider it a topic that is open for discussion. We cannot just pretend these words don't exist, they are part of English.
    True, that happens, I guess, in each language. Even linguists deal with such words, although, their real linguistic value is rather low.


    Tom
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Revised Moderator note: The purpose of this thread is to help a non-native English speaker to correctly understand a text in which a vulgar word appears.

    Please do not pursue the relative merits of vulgar words, cursing, swearing, et cetera within this thread.

    A quick search of the Cultural Forums yields many existing threads on the subject. Here are a few of them:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=232973
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=131788
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=229610
     

    Hockey13

    Senior Member
    AmEnglish/German
    It's the curse word bull and then (bull poop) (I do not cuse)

    so it's bull poop, the curse wrod for poop. Why would you want to know that? Cursing an very vulgar and I don't like it

    Alevia
    Cursing is a part of English whether you like it or not. Nobody I've met outside of the church-goingest church-goers would ever utter the phrase "bull poop." The "nicest" way to say this is "BS" which can be a noun or verb and the letters are pronounced...BeeEss. Incidentally, I also once heard someone dare use BS with its equivalent in the phonetic alphabet (Bravo Sierra). That person did not live that down for a very long time.

    I don't think the descriptions thus far have been quite on the money. Sitting around and bullshitting with one's friends essentially means to while away the time being unproductive. It is usually used by someone who is critical of a person sitting around and bullshitting with his friends. You could be chatting, you could be playing video games, you could be literally just sitting around, etc.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I don't think the descriptions thus far have been quite on the money. Sitting around and bullshitting with one's friends essentially means to while away the time being unproductive. It is usually used by someone who is critical of a person sitting around and bullshitting with his friends. You could be chatting, you could be playing video games, you could be literally just sitting around, etc.
    I agree with this. I don't think it has to do with "telling tall tales."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I agree with this. I don't think it has to do with "telling tall tales."
    I'm sure that's right in this context - sitting around bullshitting with your friends sounds like a natural social activity, though I would have expected it to involve conversation rather than playing video games or just sitting.

    But it would be unfortunate to leave the impression that bullshitting does not ever have the sense of telling tall tales. You're bullshitting me, for example, is a common expression meaning something like I think you are deliberately lying to me either with exaggerated stories or manipulatively.
     

    Hockey13

    Senior Member
    AmEnglish/German
    I'm sure that's right in this context - sitting around bullshitting with your friends sounds like a natural social activity, though I would have expected it to involve conversation rather than playing video games or just sitting.

    But it would be unfortunate to leave the impression that bullshitting does not ever have the sense of telling tall tales. You're bullshitting me, for example, is a common expression meaning something like I think you are deliberately lying to me either with exaggerated stories or manipulatively.
    Another great phrase that means pretty much the same thing is "shootin' the shit." This is not as common, but I use it from time to time.

    You're quite correct about the second part, but as always it all depends on context.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Of course. I was agreeing with Hockey about the one particular context. Thanks for clarifying things!
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I'm sure that's right in this context - sitting around bullshitting with your friends sounds like a natural social activity, though I would have expected it to involve conversation rather than playing video games or just sitting.

    But it would be unfortunate to leave the impression that bullshitting does not ever have the sense of telling tall tales. You're bullshitting me, for example, is a common expression meaning something like I think you are deliberately lying to me either with exaggerated stories or manipulatively.
    Ah, the problems of "bad words". :)

    BSing, in my opinion, is just idle chatting.

    But BSing SOMEONE is something else. This is about deliberately misleading someone.

    Two difference meanings for one verb that may not officially exist. ;)

    Gaer
     

    LouisaB

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    The AE expression 'shooting the sh*t' seems to mean much the same thing.

    I hope that works in your context. However, let's hope a native can come along and confirm it - or tell me gravely that I am speaking BS...

    Louisa
    Another great phrase that means pretty much the same thing is "shootin' the shit." This is not as common, but I use it from time to time..
    Thanks for confirming it, Hockey!:)

    Louisa
     
    Ok, I agree with you on this HOckey, in this context, bullshitting is basically shooting the shit or, as old-timers might say: "Shooting the breeze", which must be the idiom that gave rise to the more vulgar version.

    But as opposed to shooting the breeze, bullshitting does suggest some sort of "goofing-off" or talking about things that are either comical, untrue, rumored to be, or bragging of some sort... as opposed to expounding on the theory of relativity or the like...

    But your point is well-taken in this context, it is not just telling of tall tales.

    Cursing is a part of English whether you like it or not. Nobody I've met outside of the church-goingest church-goers would ever utter the phrase "bull poop." The "nicest" way to say this is "BS" which can be a noun or verb and the letters are pronounced...BeeEss. Incidentally, I also once heard someone dare use BS with its equivalent in the phonetic alphabet (Bravo Sierra). That person did not live that down for a very long time.

    I don't think the descriptions thus far have been quite on the money. Sitting around and bullshitting with one's friends essentially means to while away the time being unproductive. It is usually used by someone who is critical of a person sitting around and bullshitting with his friends. You could be chatting, you could be playing video games, you could be literally just sitting around, etc.
     
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