English Vocabulary


Folks and to be a pain in the ass (US), arse (UK)

I find it strange that the word "Folks" is proposed to greet "Ladies and gentlemen" or to present your parents Maybe it's OK in Texas but I have never heard it in the UK or in Australia. Anyhow, I will not use this word.


As to the expression "to be a pain the ass (US), arse (UK) Bruno Delavigne uses in a letter to a shareholder, I couldn't believe the translation into French "être embêtant" C'est plutôt "mon cul", n'est-ce pas? If I were to use this expression in a business letter, my boss would fire me.


Best regards


Anke Varcin

8 comments

  • The "Oxford Advanced Learners Dictonary" explains "to be a pain in the ass" with: "a person or thing that is very annoying" (informal!).
    That seems to correspond very well with: être embêtant"


    Gwendo
  • I agree with Anke that it is not a sentence to write in a bussines letter, but Gwendo is right too, maybe its soft version "a pain in the neck" would suit all levels.
    For the translation we should decide if we want a word by word or a meaning one.
    Thinking about an annoying person in French I would say : c'est une peste, un embêtant.
    To lower the level we could say : c'est un type (truc) chiant, emmerdant.
    With friends I would use one of these in public I would probably choice : c'est une épine dans le pied


    Antonio
    CW
  • Hallo to you, Anke and Antonio,


    1) As a beginner with these Gymglish lessons I have many difficulties to write a little note, above all looking up two foreign languages at once and there is allways a lot of work to do, before I can write it down. Therefore my notes are as short as they are. I won't be unpolite.


    Because both of you seem very familiar with French too, I want to ask you, if there exists a French course like this one applying similiar methods of instruction, with which I could improve my French level.


    2) Concerning "Folks" in your article, Anke, I found in the above mentioned Oxford Dictionary:
    folks pl. (informal): a friendly way of adressing more than one person.
    folks pl (especially in North American English): The members of your family, especially your parents.


    Obviously the linguistic feeling of different people, folks or nations differs.


    CW Gwendo
  • Hi Gwendo,
    Unfortunately I can't help you. I don't know if there is a similar course to gg to learn French.


    Antonio
    CW
  • Hi Gwendo,
    It's me again. I do not know if that could help you. It seems less serious (formal) than gg but at least it is possible to learn, improve, some French : http://www.francaisfacile.com/


    Antonio
    cw
  • Thanks and have a nice day!
  • Hallo, I'm not interested in learning American English but prefer British English. So I don't like words like "Folks" or expressions like "pain in the ass". I will never use these expressions.


    Walter
  • From Walter Vorwerk:
    Hallo, I'm not interested in learning American English but prefer British English. So I don't like words like "Folks" or expressions like "pain in the ass". I will never use these expressions.


    Walter

     


    Hello Walter,


    I can assure you that the British say both 'folks' and 'pain in the arse'! They're both slang, but are certainly heard quite frequently in Britain!


    SW

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