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  1. Rumwriter

    Rumwriter Active Member

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    1950s insult

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Rumwriter, May 24, 2017.

    I've got a script set in the 50s. I, being born in the 80s, don't recall the 50s too terribly well. One of my characters had dual personalities, one of them constantly ridiculing the other. At first he was going to continually call him "a pussy," but then I decided this likely wasn't a term of the 50s. Or maybe it was, I'm not sure.

    Anyone know a similarly emasculating term? It needs to be concise and really hold a punch. "You spineless coward," doesn't really cut it. See what I'm going for?
     
  2. BogLady

    BogLady Active Member

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    Depending on if we are talking early 50s or later 50s, try:
    "You spineless prick" (anytime)
    " You F***** Commie" (the McCarthy era)
    "Your a F**** Gook" (Vietnam conflict era)
    You F***** Jerry" (WWII era)
     
  3. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Bucko was a minor insult used by Richie Cunningham. Happy Days took place in the 50s, but was written in the 70s, so I'm not sure how accurate it was.

    Calling someone icky, or a termite I've also heard in the context of The Honeymooners.

    Fred Mertz would occasionally call people "Dumb Doras."


    I would take a few hours watching I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners on Youtube. Both were about 50s New Yorkers, and were written in the 50s.
     
  4. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    • Milksop or Milquetoast: A weak, easily frightened or ineffectual person
    • Mollycoddle: An effeminate or ineffectual man or boy
    • Fussbudget: A nervous, fidgety person
     
  5. ajaye

    ajaye Senior Member

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    candy-ass
     
  6. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    "Pussy" was a very common term for a weak man in the 50's. "Fuck" or "Fucking" was not used so liberally as it is now, as it generally was a fighting word... you only used "Fuck you" toward another if you intended a fight, and it was not used much as a general epithet, except in the military, lower ranks, or working class (maybe not much there) and only among themselves. Never around women. Frankly I was ten @1958 before I ever even heard the word, and didn't know what it meant. We went hog-wild with it in the sixth grade, but that died off by high school.
     
  7. Rumwriter

    Rumwriter Active Member

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    Thanks—that's really helpful. I'm going to stick with "Pussy," then. I'm also somewhat willing to forego that accuracy of the speech of the day, in an effort to make it feel more powerful for a modern audience.
     

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