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 Better Word for Scumbag?

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Brenda Hill
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PostSubject: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 9:59 am

In my new wip, an older woman refers to someone as a scumbag. Can anyone think of a better, more modern term I could use?

Thanks!
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:02 am

maggot

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Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ęShelagh Watkins 2017


Last edited by Shelagh on Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:11 am; edited 2 times in total
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E. Don Harpe
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E. Don Harpe

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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:04 am

Many of the younger people today use the word "dick" when they want to call someone something nasty, but they may not be using it in exactly the same connotation that you're looking for. You're wanting to call someone a bad name, and I think the way they use "dick" is just when someone is being contrary or negative about something. Whew!

However, if she is an older woman, perhaps the word she would use actually would be scumbag. Me. I still call people a dirty sonofabitch if I really want to insult them. There was a time when that was pretty bad.
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Brenda Hill
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:09 am

I hadn't even thought of a bug or worm analogy. Good idea.

Dirty sob was a terrible thing to call someone, Don. I'm just not so sure it's bad enough now. Doesn't say much for our society, does it?
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:11 am

dirtbag:

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I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ęShelagh Watkins 2017
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Brenda Hill
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:21 am

Dirtbag is ok, Shelagh, but I like maggot better. I'm still looking for something an older woman would call someone who's the lowest in morals, ethics, everything. Scumbag, dirtbag, dirty sob, are all good, but none of them have just the right connotation I'm looking for. Don't even know what it is, but it's one of those things that I'll know when I see it.

I don't want to use certain words, because this woman does not have a filthy mouth, but still I want to convey her disgust of this man.
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E. Don Harpe
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E. Don Harpe

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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:29 am

Marlene stared Harry directly in the eyes, "You know, Harry, when I was a kid I was deathly afraid of horses. They were great big, ugly as hell, smelled so bad I couldn't stand to be anywhere near one. I thought they were the vilest creatures that God put on his planet. I didn't think they had any redeeming factors, and as far as I was concerned, if every horse in the world were sent to burn in Hell tomorrow, I'd be happy."

She smiled.

"You Harry," she said in her sweetest voice, "are a goddamned horse."

__________________________________________

Marlene just gave Harry a cussing. Not a cursing, an old fashioned, down to earth, cussing. She just called him the worst thing she could think of, and that, after all, is the entire point of cussing.


Last edited by E. Don Harpe on Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:29 am

Brenda,
An old bag.
An old hag.
If you want to insult, then an old sow.

An old bitch or witch...
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Jenny
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:33 am

Not one word, but how about dregs of society?
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Brenda Hill
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:35 am

All good ideas, and I love your example, Don.

I'll try each one and see how it sounds.
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thehairymob
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:41 am

Dickhead, wanker, prick, or so my son just told me is what the youth of today are using. It doesn't seem like anything different from what I used when I was young.
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E. Don Harpe
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E. Don Harpe

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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:41 am

When my daughter was four years old, she once got very, very upset with my dad, who she called Pappy.

She stood in the middle of the living room with flames shooting out of her eyes, and stomped her foot on the floor twice. She stared Pappy directly in the eyes and called him the very worst name she could think of.

"Pappy," she said, anger oozing in every syllable. "Pappy, you're just... you're a goddamned horse."

Pappy had been cussed, and he knew it. He stared back at her, stood up and stormed out the door into the back yard, where he spent the next ten minutes leaning against a tree and laughing until tears rolled down his cheeks.

They had a bond, Pappy and this precious little girl, that not many ever have, and even fewer understand. He loved her with every ounce of himself, and she felt exactly the same way. The trouble was that they were very much alike, and sometimes now, though he's been gone for over thirty years, I still a flash of him in her eyes from time to time.
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Brenda Hill
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:49 am

Hmmm. Old hag, bag. Dickhead. Dickhead seems to fit. Thanks, Billy!

Loved your story, Don. No wonder you sold so many copies of your Rinky Dink book. Very Happy
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thehairymob
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 10:51 am

I passed along the thanks to my son. Very Happy
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 1:05 pm

scrote Joseph Wambaugh's contribution



Dirtbag was popular on TV for awhile
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 1:23 pm

I don't know how it would fit into a book, but I always loved Maude's comment to Walter: "I have five fingers, here, Walter, and one of them is for you."

Ann
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 2:42 pm

Dear Brenda,
Slime-ball ----works for me. Slimy. I have always been a little slimy my own self. Oozing goo makes a good impression on the ladies. hahahah

Love
Betty
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 2:48 pm

Dear Brenda,
David and I have listed all the the above. It is my personal opinion that if you have your character tell the person that they are "nothing" it would be as mean as it can get. Have them spit it out in a calm and steely eyed way. Powerful.

Love,
Betty
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Don Stephens
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 5:31 pm

Brenda,

Depends on how "Blue" you want to get. After ten years in the military I've got some that would make a grown man cry.

Don
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 7:41 pm

Brenda I checked with my grandmother (she's 87) and she - who rarely swears except that she has recently developed a relationship with the f-word - says that she would call him an asshole. I was gobsmacked, but I think now I am over it. Shocked
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RunsWithScissors
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySat Mar 28, 2009 7:55 pm

I've heard quite a few people refer to a jerk as an asshat. Sometimes I take the sting off of a word by trying to make it sound a bit funnier (creep turns into creepazoid).

One of the funniest things my sister said that wasn't even a mean thing to say, but she meant it in a mean fashion was: "Why don't you go take a nap!" Ha! Someone had pulled out in front of her in traffic. She was angry about it and all of us in the car thought for sure swear words would be forthcoming. It sitll makes me laugh.
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Brenda Hill
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySun Mar 29, 2009 8:02 am

More great ideas. Thanks, everyone.

"After ten years in the military I've got some that would make a grown man cry."

I bet you do, Don!

No wonder 'dirtbag' sounded familiar, Lin.

Your sentences are good, Ann, and original, but I need just the one word. My character isn't saying it to this person; she's referring to him. Otherwise it would work. Same with yours, Betty.

I would've loved to have seen the expression on your face, Pam. Bet that was worth a photo! Guess that proves that just because there's snow on the roof doesn't mean there isn't fire in the furnace.


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Helen Wisocki
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySun Mar 29, 2009 1:15 pm

Just a few more to ponder: deviant, pervert, degenerate
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySun Mar 29, 2009 2:44 pm

This might be a bit too British:

pond life.

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madhatter
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PostSubject: Re: Better Word for Scumbag?   Better Word for Scumbag? EmptySun Mar 29, 2009 2:57 pm

Lowlife slime? Trailer Trash? Low rent?
Miserable excuse for a human?

Or, my favorite...heifer.
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