So, in general, if I find a word, or group of words, that can convey the same message as something a little more crass, I’ll use it.
It usually works for me, it’s usually understandable, and it means I have these words, or this word, to fall back on to be a bit more diplomatic.
Or, you know, can say this in front of children and the elderly without the brain-pinching panic of No-Wait-I-Take-It-Back!
Lately I’ve found myself even thinking these words, but I’ve found that some don’t translate… quite the same way.
And sorry, but this explanation is going to require these word replacements as well as the replacement-ee’s.
The word that seems to be getting lost in the exchange is my usage of ‘Grumpy’
Usually I’m using this to tell people that yeah, in general, you seem a bit defensive, or sharp, or mean lately.
This does seem a bit juvenile, yes. It seems like the kind of thing that you would even ask a 5-year-old (or mockingly ask an adult) if they were being grumpy.
Perhaps even being a Grumpy Pants.
But add-ons to this have a variety of translations in my mind.
->”You’ve been a bit grumpy lately…”
“Go take a nap or something… relax.”
->”Stop being so grumpy.”
“You’re being mean. Stop it.”
->”You’re really grumpy lately.”
“You’re snapping at people like a wounded bear.”
->”Why are you so grumpy all the time?”
“Stop coming after anything I say like a wounded bear with a chainsaw and a misdirected grudge!!”
->”You’re being really, really Grumpy right now”
“You’re being a bitch. STOP IT.”
->”Someone’s grumpy then…”
“You are being so mean right now you’re making me angry, don’t bug me right now”
->”Well I guess we all know who’s the grumpy one right now…”
“You are being horrible, leave me alone so I can seethe, or I’ll bite you in the FACE! Like a SHARK!”
And usually it goes on from there, until it gets back into some swearing, varying in intensity while sounding vaguely the same, like:
“Well that was bitchy…”
“Why would you say that you horrible person! That was hurtful!”
“You’re being a bitch right now. A huge one.”
“I AM A WOUNDED BEAR WITH TWO CHAINSAWS AND A SHARK WHO WILL BITE YOUR HEAD OFF! Stop poking me with a stick dipped in acid and burning with the flames of your bad day/week.”
(a rough translation)
So yeah, grumpy sounds preschool, but it’s unusual enough in conversation that it usually makes people stop and reevaluate the conversation thus far, and sometimes other conversations they’d had that day.
It also results in come-backs like “What are you, a child?”, said with such scorn it could peel upholstery from furniture and varnish from wood.
Other such grumpy responses are also the norm, but, after that, reflection usually happens, and I find that people can’t NOT feel like maybe they should think things over after they spew their vitriol at someone who uses words like ‘Grumpy’.
So really, I think it works, even if people sometimes don’t understand that I’m not being childish OR patronizing when I say they’re being grumpy.