Subtext can truly be key when you can't say what's actually beneath the surface. We all know when we say, "I'm fine," we don't actually mean it. So how can we convey that with the phrase, "f*ck off"?
We all want to say it sometimes. Just a big f*ck off to that person who's annoyed the living daylights out of you.
Though, it's not always appropriate. Maybe it's your boss or coworker, maybe it's at the family dinner table, or maybe it's your romantic partner even. Regardless, it's not always the best time to actually yell at someone.
So we wanted to know what are some of the ways we can get the message across without actually saying those two little words that can land us in heaps of trouble.
Reddit users gave us plenty of answers to pull from, with some truly epic mic drops.
Redditor RaiAkshay asked:
"How do you say f*ck off, without saying f*ck off ?"
Here's some amazing examples.
Email come backs.
"Respond to a long, critical email, 'Received, thank you.'"
"Any time you begin with, 'Per my previous email...'"
"Or in the case of a long critical text, 'Unsubscribe.'"
"'Noted with thanks.' My favourite response to war and peace."
"To: My Boss"
"CC: VP of Operations"
"Attachments: From: VP of Operations- No More Transfers Without My Personal Approval"
"Good Morning My Boss,"
"I denied associate John Doe's request for... whateverthef*ck transfer, due to the VP of Operations' e-mail explicitly forbidding such transactions without his personal approval. Please let me know if you'd like me to continue with the transaction anyways."
"I just don't reply. When asked about it later I tell them I read it. Which I did truthfully. I just don't answer. It makes them mad."
"I do this too. You wanna go on a power trip in a mail, with tons of people in CC? Go ahead, I won't even answer."
Ending the argument.
"'I'd agree, but then we'd both be wrong.'"
"A similar one I like is 'There's no arguing with stupid people... so I'm just going to agree with you.'"
"'I don't bother arguing with stupid people anymore. I just cut it short and say 'you're right.'"
"'But that's completely irrational!'"
"'Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how good you are, it will just take a shit on the board and strut about like it won anyway.'"
"This is so relevant right now."
"'I think we're done here.'"
"I knew my dentist hated me."
"Don't be silly. They hate everyone."
It's like a read receipt in real life.
"Reminds me of the Curb Your Enthusiasm scene where Larry David responds to the neighbor that tells him to never talk again to the kids at the lemonade stand. He responded with "Duly noted' and left with a big smile."
"Duly noted is a personal favorite and used on the regular. For whatever reason people seem unable to discern whether it's genuine or sarcastic when 'duly' is added to the front."
"Oh f*ck, do I need to stop saying this? I say this a lot especially over text."
"Yeah, but it definitely depends on who you are speaking to and context."
"These days I tend to go with 'okie dokie' or 'alrighty' when I'm responding in the affirmative. Nobody can misread those as being passive aggressive. My mother often responds to texts with 'k,' and I know she doesn't mean anything by it but it comes across as very abrupt and rude."
"Thanks for your input."
"Got to have finger guns when you say that, with sound effects and then give a thumbs up and a little wave, otherwise it's just not real enough."
"On a similar vein, starting a reply email with 'Thank you for your email.'"
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"Zero emotions shown."
"My old man once told me that people will always want something from you. If they can't get your love then they will go for your hate. Show them nothing. Give them nothing. Show zero emotions to them. It will drive people crazy and you will learn tolerance at the same time."
"This is what got me through having to deal with a few hostile coworkers in my time. Just let it flow right past you and stick to the practicalities. And laugh at their floundering rage later, when you're alone."
"This is key to shutting down d*ckhead customers. Source: was a barista for 5 yrs, waiter for 3."
"I will literally make that cappuccino 30 times before I let you see any sign that it's a problem. When getting under your skin is 70% of why they came to your store, it's withering."
"It's a way to prevent escalating a situation, but it's still not worth it. I worked in the hospitality industry (hotels) for several years. Being a doormat for entitled a**holes is half of the job, and the pay sucks. If you do your job well, you protect the business from negative publicity/reviews/attention at the expense of your self-respect."
"I think that's what a lot of people don't realize about customer service oriented positions: you may be wearing a white collar instead of a blue one, and believe you have a better job for it, but you will pay for it in self-worth over the long run. Unless you can make it to corporate, even the highest positions in the service industry are still subjected to dog sh*t behavior, and moving up is really about being subjected to that behavior less often."
"I was lucky enough to be well-educated (mostly at my parents' expense) and was able to switch industries, but that's not always the case. I would never go back, even knowing the 'tricks' of the trade and dealing with the different hassles of a desk job."
"he shouted, scorned and shamed,
Rebuked and ranted,
mocked and blamed.
He stormed with rage for half a day,
And when he stopped,
she told him:"
"Think I read it on here, but something like be the grey rock in a stream and let it all flow past you."
I'll call you.
"I had an old bar regular who was popular for negotiating complex legal agreements over a glass a beer. The absolute highlight of his unorthodox practice was when he was on the phone with someone while sipping on his 8th Miller of the day and said, 'No don't call me, I'll call you. That'll limit our communication, which is great because I hate speaking to you.'"
"I respect that man a lot."
"My grandfather always says, 'Don't call me, I'll call you.' or when we were kids, 'Go play out in the street, I'll call you in later.' He speaks with the driest tone of anyone I've ever met, not sure if he's kidding or just hates everyone."
"My grandpa use to tell me to 'go play on the freeway,' I always thought it was hilarious. I wish he was still around to say it to my kids."
"'Go and play with the buses' was my mum's line."
"You folks have/had some shitty parents ngl. Like who tells their kid to basically go kill themselves, pretty savage."
"Ikr, can't even imagine having parents with a sense of humour."
Shutting down the conversation.
"I'm a fan of saying 'Well, good luck with that then,' and walking away."
"I have a Welsh friend who's a teacher. If he has to deal with a difficult parent, he shuts the conversation down with a 'There We Are Then.'"
"It's like a subtler, more Welsh way of saying 'C U Next Tuesday.'"
"This makes me laugh because whenever my super passive-aggressive father says, 'There it is,' it means he doesn't agree but he doesn't want to say so."
"I've used 'I believe we've exhausted the possibilities of this conversation,' with a few parents over the years."
Teachers have their own version.
"As a middle school teacher I find a simple 'that's nice' does the trick. You really gotta nail the delivery otherwise it doesn't work. Also 'ain't that just the way' is a great alternative to 'who gives a f*ck.'"
"That reminds me of the late great Alex Trebek. When he would give the contestant interviews, he wasn't always engaged with whatever story they would share. Like maybe the person would share some story about their cat or their boring hobby, and he would smile and say, 'Good for you!'"
"I remember he had one absolute burn where he told a contestant 'no, because I'm not a loser,' or something like that (when they asked if he liked xyz too)."
"I remember this haha. The contestant had been a 'nerdcore' rap enthusiast and apparently the lyrics usually reflect geeky stuff and forever alone type sh*t, and I think after she added that last part it makes sense that he said that."
"The Soup used to have a recurring segment about Jeopardy contestants with their lame stories and how Trebek reacted to them called 'Cool Story, Jeopardy Contestant.'"
"I'll take that under advisement."
"I hate this response when I am trying to give genuine feedback to someone with whom I thought I had a good relationship. It makes me doubt the whole relationship, if they don't really want to hear what I have to say."
"Speaking of that word, I f*cking hate emails that say 'please advise,' but I have a hard time pin-pointing why. There's a guy at work that uses it like an email signature, every. single. f*cking. email. 'Want to get some pizza for lunch? Please advise.' 'Please go to hell! But yes, I'd like some pizza, sounds good. Thanks!'"
Business is business.
"'Thanks for that.'"
"It's also how I say it in meetings."
"If they're more important than me I say, 'Absolutely. Let's park that, I'll make a note and we can address that separately offline,' which is BusinessDouche for 'what you have said is supremely unimportant and I will ignore it.'"
"'BusinessDouche' is the perfect label for this kind of lingo. See also: 'boil the ocean; move the needle; put a pin in it.'"
Take notes people, because now you'll have some great come backs that wont get you in trouble.
But at the same time, remember when people use these on you. There might be some subtext you've been missing.
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