Wow, sometimes I make mistakes that make my face burn when I realize what exactly I have done. This last one I made last Friday, and several friends had witnessed it.

Dear guys, I apologies for my ignorance in using the word "obnoxious" even in that context!

I might have managed to partially explain the use of it for imagining the most negative thing one can gossip about (a game prompt). But only now, when I found the time to research how I could possibly had misunderstood the word for so long, have I discovered, that not only that this word has no playful appeal of any kind, but it almost never means anything close to the meaning I put in it: daringly overcritical or arrogantly discerning. I completely missed the elements of meaning like disgusting, loathsome, nasty, foul, or repulsive!

The only thing that relieves my pain now is that the only person with whom I used this word before and only jokefully has already forgiven me, laughingly.

Alright, here what I have found in four languages in question:

  1. In English, Cambridge dictionary gave me a hint of what might have gone wrong: they define it as very unpleasant or rude but with synonyms like cheeky and sassy.
  2. My mistake likely did not originate in my German as an error of similar root of as the same language family confusion: only in one place in Leo dictionary someone mentioned having attitude as one of the meanings of obnoxious. On Linguee I also found unverschämt - brazen, outrageous - used in translation examples, despite the main meaning widerlich.
  3. First translation into Russian though, is оскорбительный - which is more like offensive or insulting, and is not about causing intense disgust, but about accusing others. The next meanings offered are противный or несносный (insufferable, contrary) - witch are often used in a playful, almost flirty manner.
  4. In Ukrainian it is  неприємний - a pretty neutral word, can be translated back as disagreeable.

By the way, making these searches, I leaned how obnoxiously rude Russians are in general, and how there is no place for obnoxiousness in Ukrainian girls' upbringing :) [It is a sarcastic smile].

Speaking of Ukraine, today I was double-humbled by my idiotic mistakes.

PS: I am not alone in using "obnoxious" this way! These Canadian guys I like to listen, Aba and Preach, used it here in a similar way, describing the attitude of a BBS HardTalk interviewer with the awesome Trevor Noah (Preach said it at minute 14:58, the video should start there):


Lena Nechet, artist - Fine art, media productions, language.
San Diego, California , USA, 323-686-1771

I accept payment via PayPal and Zelle under my business email

Ask: Send me a quick question from your default email app with this page info.