four-letter word

four-letter word

four-letter word [fawr-let-er, fohr-] Word Origin noun

  1. any of a number of short words, usually of four letters, considered offensive or vulgar because of their reference to excrement or sex.
  2. any word, typically of four letters, that represents something forbidden, disliked, or regarded with extreme distaste: In the dieter’s vocabulary, “cake” is a four-letter word.

Origin of four-letter word First recorded in 1925–30 Related Words for four-letter words profanity, vulgarity, expletive, obscenity, curse, oath, swear, cuss, swearword British Dictionary definitions for four-letter words four-letter word noun

  1. any of several short English words referring to sex or excrement: often used as swearwords and regarded generally as offensive or obscene

four-letter words in Culture four-letter words

Obscene (see obscenity) or very vulgar words of four letters, such as piss. Most four-letter words refer to excretion or sex.

four-letter words

Euphemism for the most common verbal obscenities.

Idioms and Phrases with four-letter words four-letter word

Any of several short English words that are generally regarded as vulgar or obscene. For example, No four-letter words are permitted in this classroom. This expression is applied mostly to words describing excretory or sexual functions. [First half of 1900s]

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