#UKSlang: “Bloody hell!”

Before we begin this #UKSlang session, I’d like you to check out the above video.

It’s a TV commercial by Tourism Australia (Badan Pariwisata Australia), meant to attract international travellers to visit. Released in 2007, the commercial created a huge controversy.

The commercial shows a group of Australian preparing themselves to greet tourists. It ended with the slogan. This is where the controversy is!

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In this article, we will be discussing “Bloody hell” – its history, how it’s used, and the controversy!

“Bloody hell” is a curse word commonly used in United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries.

There are 2 ways to use it:

  1. As an exclamation (seruan).
    • Example:
      • Bloody Hell! Did you just posted a pic of me sleeping on Instagram?”
    • We use it like we use “Damn it!” in American slang.
  2. Another way is to include them in a sentence the way we use “Fuck” in American slang.
    • Example:
      • “Why the bloody hell didn’t you send the letters?”
    • “Bloody hell” is considered rude, but different country has different view on how rude it is.

In the UK, the media are not even allowed to print the words. It has to be censored into “b___y“. But in Australia, they are more relaxed about it. That’s why the words appeared in the TV commercial!

When it was first released in the UK, the Tourism Australia caused a stir and ended up being banned because of the words. For the British, the TV commercial was too rude, whilst Australians have no problem with it at all. It’s interesting how even for these English-speaking countries, cultural clash can still happen. Even the Australian Minister of Tourism Fran Bailey had to visit UK to lobby for the commercial to be shown.

But why does “bloody hell” considered rude? There different stories on its origin.

Many sources claim that it is rude because it is ‘blasphemous’ (menghina agama). Some say the words sounds violent because it reminds people of wars.

Others say the words were borrowed from German word “blode” which means “silly, stupid.”

Imagine how it was like when Ron Weasley said “bloody hell” many times in Harry Potter movies, which aimed for kids :D

Either way, “bloody hell” had become a curse word that feels distinctively British.

Here’s a funny video of all the “bloody hell” Ron Weasley said in Harry Potter movies:

“but, i don’t think ‘bloody hell’ is as rude as ‘fuck’, imo :/” – @purwamel

Yup! But apparently the British government thought it was too rude for a TV commercial.

“Is it same with another curse such as “shit” ?” – @ChristinaJeje

Yes. It is quite similar.

“huh? But once I watched Tp Ger on BB*, where one of the presenters said the words, uncensored.” – @afrizalfp

I think there might be a different regulation for commercials, print media, and movies/series.

“If it can make it into such movies (and maybe books, but I don’t quite remember), why so much fuss about it in commercials?” – @RAKemal

Hmmm… we’re not quite sure. Anyone knows why? Please leave a comment down below.

“That’s what I thought. Just that, I’m not sure. Either way, “bloody hell” sounds cooler than “fuck”, though not always.” – @afrizalfp

Image source: adweek.com

Compiled and written by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, January 18, 2015

Related post(s):

^MQ

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