Craiguardo (bidnez) wrote in linguaphiles,

question on a vulgarity, epithet of opprobium

What is one doing when they say, "You are an ***hole"?

A friend pointed out that it is synecdochal (i.e., pars pro toto: part for whole--no pun intended). But this seems incomplete. Is it an epithet of opprobium as above? Can we call this a dysphemistic constative utterance? That sounds geekily cool, but still seems to lack something. We know it's a profanity (I like 'execration' here), but what are we actually telling/bestowing upon the addressee?

Perhaps it is several things. Any thoughts, musings welcome.

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