B is for Bold
This is one of those words that make me think that whatever language it is I speak, it’s certainly not the English the rest of the world uses.
In Ireland, bold is naughty, bad, deserving of punishment. If a child is naughty, we say “stop being bold!” and to be called bold when you’re a bit of a spanko, well it’s just spine-tinglingly delicious, especially when it's followed up with something along the lines of "I'm gonna smack your bum so hard you won't sit for a week". Spanking is a word we don’t use much either. Some do but mostly it’s smack. I could almost do an Irish spanking dictionary. And at times, I have to be really careful not to use these words in my writing, or everyone would be sitting at their kindle, eyes crossed eyebrows raised and a totally puzzled look on their face wondering why someone should be punished for being brave, or imaginative or all of the other good things that bold generally means.
I think it’s fair to say that all of my heroines to date are bold, both in the Irish sense of the word and the general sense of the world. They’re all brave, feisty and independent. Unfortunately, sometimes that will make them do their own thing, deal with things in their own way, or be bold. But in many ways, I’m all for that.
Ange, from Exile to Unity is bold in the Irish sense of the word here, in that her language and her resentfulness are somewhat extreme:
“Who elected you head?” Ange rounded on Jim as soon as the visitors were out of earshot. “You know I’m not willing to be your sub anywhere but the bedroom.”
Jim gave her a sheepish look. “Sorry, love. It just seemed like the right thing to say at the time.”
“Fuck you,” Ange muttered under her breath.
But she was also bold as in brave many times too, never more so than by taking the court-case for unfair dismissal. That cost her everything, her job, her dignity and damn near her marriage.
Here is what dictionary.com defines bold as: generally not punishable offenses!
adjective, bold·er, bold·est.
not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring: a bold hero.
not hesitating to break the rules of propriety; forward; impudent: He apologized for being so bold as to speak to the emperor.
necessitating courage and daring; challenging: a bold adventure.
beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative: Einstein was a bold mathematician. a difficult problem needing a bold answer.
striking or conspicuous to the eye; flashy; showy: a bold pattern.
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Many thanks to Celeste Jones and Spanking Romance Reviews for hosting this challenge.
I love the differences between English, Irish, American, Canadian. It broadens all out horizons trying to figure it out.ReplyDelete
It's amazing the differences in word usages among the different English speaking countries. To me as an American, boldness would be something to encourage. I would want my child to be bold and to not shrink from adversity--which is what boldness means to me.ReplyDelete
Isn't it just amazing. Bold does mean all those things to me too, in context. But chances are if you said your child was being bold, straight away I would think naughty.Delete
I think it's so cool to learn what words mean in different parts of the world:) I also like your idea of the Irish spanking dictionary:) BTW: LOVE "Exile to Unity":)ReplyDelete
Thank you Rhonda. I love the way language is a constantly evolving thing and with the internet, the world has become a much smaller place, so we get to see how others use it much more than in the past.Delete
And thanks, again. I'm delighted you're enjoying it.
This difference in meaning goes for different regions of the U.S. as well. For instance, before I started reading spanking stories, I had never heard the word strapping in the spanking sense. Strapping = big in the sense of 'He's a strapping young man", i.e. large or tall. What the general spanking world calls strapping was to me, and most of the southern states, a whipping, usually pronounced whuppin'. Strapping still sounds weird to me, and I have to think twice about it.ReplyDelete
LOL Ruth, first thing that came into my head about strapping was a great big strong lad too, until I discovered the SF world!Delete
It's the bold and feisty women I like so much in real life as well as in your books Tara! It easy to top a meek and demure little woman, but a bold woman. Well it is a challenge I can tell you :-). So nice to hear the different meaning of the word, I am going to use it in season and out of season!ReplyDelete
I would imagine there is way more satisfaction in bringing a fighter down, Han. It's the same if you horse ride. Much more satisfaction in taming a spirited animal :DDelete
I'll look out for your use of it. out of season and if I catch it, you can be sure it will raise a smile.
Nice new spin on Bold and I love that type of woman in a book. I guess because it fits me too.ReplyDelete
LOL, me too Kathy. But without the bold, where would the satisfaction be in learning to be good!Delete
As someone who was born in London, moved to the Home Counties at the age of nine and then Lancashire to University (where I met my Lancastrian wife), there are many words and phrases that mean different things.ReplyDelete
Up north - Breakfast, dinner then tea
Down south - Breakfast, lunch then dinner.
So my wife saying we have "pizza for dinner" meant completely different to what I thought it meant. Then there's "striking" ... not hitting, but bursting into tears.
And so on.
But I also had Cockney Rhyming Slang, which crept into my vocabulary ... "Have a butchers" (have a butchers hook ... look) was alien to her. Among others.
English: divided by a common language!
You're living up norf? then I guess you're pretty familiar with a lot of the words I use because a lot of the Irish settled up north, and a lot of the lingo traveled over there. Equally, a lot of my friends here are English, and from up north, (there seems to be a lot of reverse migration nowadays)Delete
Cockney rhyming slang is so cool. I love it. I spent a quite few years in London, but I think I only met about a handful of true "Londoners"
An Irish spanking dictionary! What a fantastic idea :DReplyDelete
Lol, nooooo! I'm bad enough as it is!Delete
I have a friend who was quite shy who tattooed the word bold three times in succession around her upper arm. Maybe she'd get spanked in Ireland!ReplyDelete
LOL, dunno if she would or not, it has become very unfashionable here. But I hope it made her bolder :DDelete
I'm late getting around tonight. Great post, and interesting discussion.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Stevie. I'm late doing the replies too :DDelete
intriguing that they didn't take the time to mention any of the definitions as non-standard for American English- dictionary.com is where I often find that I tend to use a spelling that's more commonly British English, like amongst. I l love the snippet here from "Exile to Unity" that you use to make your point.ReplyDelete
Thanks Joelle. This usage seems to be almost uniquely Irish, so wouldn't make it into a UK dictionary. I don't know what the roots of it are. Bold and naughty have different gaelic words, so that's not the issue.Delete
I think I would understand what you meant by bold if it was in context. I love that different words have different meanings for you, it makes it all the more interesting!ReplyDelete
Thanks Casey. I'll have to slot it in somewhere. But what's the betting it would be recommended that it be edited out. Maybe I would get away with it in dialogue.Delete