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Los Pollos Hermanos
04-18-2016, 03:33 AM
Pretty please does this term exist in the US, or is it just one of the UK's plethora of insults?

Location: Near Los Angeles.

Situation: A very busy (divorced, so lives on his own*) detective manages to squeeze in a grocery-buying trip to Walmart. He's been advised by his doctor to improve his diet and, based on the doctor's own waistline, considers this advice somewhat hypocritical.

* I don't like stereotypes, so the other three members of his team are happily married!
Saying that, they're all partial to a Bavarian crème doughnut or two. ;)

If "salad dodger" is yet to cross The Pond, what would be a suitable equivalent insult that isn't too offensive on the grand scheme of things?

Cheers in anticipation,

LPH.

davidjgalloway
04-18-2016, 04:36 AM
Never heard that in the US, so I had to look it up! I thought it would mean someone who sticks to red meat or something, not someone who's overweight. So let me get this straight, you want an unoffensive label for an overweight person that works in the country which seems to be locked in a perpetual obesity epidemic? Good luck....

I really don't think there is one that is not considered at least mildly offensive. Fat shaming has, despite the increasing national wasitline, become a media sport and it seems everyone is on a very heightened sensitivity regarding a person's appearance.

Also, frankly, given the fast food salads that US chains put out, which can have calorie counts greater than the greasy burgers they also sell, "salad dodger" seems much too inaccurate to mean what it does. Only if you leave off the dressing!

Men aren't really called "plus size." You could say he's "not camera ready," but that could refer to host of things besides (but could include) weight. Since you've got the Hollywood aura there in LA, you could say that he's "not a leading man" because gentlemen of size usually are restricted to character roles. If you wanted to invent your own, perhaps something like, "a gentleman of the rotund persuasion," but that is a little silly. "Big guy" can refer to someone who's also tall and broad, but is often used endearingly of those who are above average height, but also are carrying a few extra pounds. (Actually, that last phrase is probably the least offensive thing I can think of, but not to the person's face--that's just what you can say about someone you're describing, and it can be said without malice.) "Shops at Big and Tall?"

Who's calling him this, and in what context? Is it member of his team? Or someone who knows him less well? All these will affect the choice of insult, and how it is perceived by your MC.

I don't see an easy answer, but clearly I'm struggling. Hope someone else has some suggestions that work.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-18-2016, 04:55 AM
Many thanks for the reply. In the UK a salad dodger is a slang term you'd use for someone rather on the tubby side, the implication being that they don't eat so-called healthy foods like salad on a regular basis. I'd say it's relatively mild on the insult scale. Not sure if it's from a particular region of the UK, or is a more generalised term.

I'm not actually into the whole criticising someone for their weight and/or fat shaming thing, so this sort of thing doesn't sit well with me. Saying that, I'm writing about a serial killer and I still feel guilty for running over a badger two years ago!

It's just a passing thought Mr Detective has after he reads the back of a packet of hotdogs and then puts them down.

I suppose I'm asking for a polite-ish way of how Mr Detective could think his doctor is a bit of a Bat Fastard, so yeah... a bit tricky - haha! If necessary I'm prepared to be more insulting.

You good American folk are much too polite... ;)

davidjgalloway
04-18-2016, 05:05 AM
"He's no Weight Watchers spokesman?"

Lauram6123
04-18-2016, 05:13 AM
Well, I guessed what salad dodger meant and it's hilarious. I can see why you'd be desperate to use it. But it does sound distinctly British to my American ears. (I think it's the dodger part.) I tend to think of a light insult about a man's weight could be something like...

Never late for dinner (never misses a meal)
doughboy
full-figured

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-18-2016, 05:27 AM
I've also got detectives on this side of The Pond (my bad guy likes to travel), so I'm sure I can drop in a salad dodger somewhere.

My current version uses "lard ass" - a group of us watched Porky's when we were about 15 and used that term about each other to each other's faces for weeks. We though it was the funniest thing ever!

Roxxsmom
04-18-2016, 05:38 AM
Maybe the closest term we have here in the US to what you're talking about is "couch potato"? It implies the person in question doesn't get out and exercise much, though the term can be applied to inactive people who aren't fat too.

The most euphemistic term for fat is probably "heavy" here. Some of the terms that used to be meant to be kind of endearing or cute are offensive now (chubby, tubby, portly, plump etc). We mostly use them for fat pets these days.

Most of the humorous terms for overweight people in the US are much more abusive, like fatty or fatso, "fat chick," or insults that compare the overweight person's appearance to an animal or object that is large and rotund. Beached whale, blimp, heifer, pig, cow, sow etc. Women who are heavy probably face more abuse and discrimination overall than men do, but both genders get picked on. Even though fatness is really common in most parts of the US (even among kids, let alone among middle-aged people), there's a great deal of shame and disgust associated with it.

America's fat phobia and hang ups about food have been going on for a long time. When I was a teen, guys had "no fat chicks" bumper stickers on their cars, and some would pretend to puke when fat women walked past. I was thin back then, but my then boyfriend would always tsk disapprovingly if I wanted ice cream or dessert (though he'd also tease me if I left food on my dinner plate in a restaurant or didn't eat those last couple bites of burger that were all bun).

Siri Kirpal
04-18-2016, 05:50 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Heavy or stout would be the most polite terms. Followed probably by chubby and plump. You could also refer to him as Santa Claus sized.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

akiwiguy
04-18-2016, 06:05 AM
Seemed to him the doctor was rather "big-boned" himself?

jclarkdawe
04-18-2016, 06:59 AM
Let's back up here a bit. A police officer is subject to meeting certain standards. Here's one table showing the minimum and maximum weight for police officers. Police departments can wander away from this chart a bit.



HEIGHT AND WEIGHT STANDARDS



HEIGHT
MINIMUMWEIGHT
MAXIMUMWEIGHT


ALLOWABLE MINIMUM RECOMMENDED MINIMUM

5'7" 5'8"
5'9"
5'10"
5'11"
6'0"
6'1"
6'2"
6'3"
6'4"
6'5"

140 LBS. 140 LBS.
145 LBS.
150 LBS.
155 LBS.
160 LBS.
165 LBS.
170 LBS.
175 LBS.
180 LBS.
185 LBS.

180 LBS. 180 LBS.
185 LBS.
190 LBS.
195 LBS.
205 LBS.
210 LBS.
220 LBS.
225 LBS.
230 LBS.
235 LBS.




He'd be required to have an annual physical and PT test. If he is over the weight limit, he receives a "fat man letter." Depending on the department, he has a certain time to get his weight back down to the limit.

If you're near the limit, and everybody knows who is near the limit, it really depends upon how well liked he is. I know one guy on a fire department who received donuts and other pastries every time he showed for work. But your detective isn't going to insult the doctor's weight. A few profanities, but he doesn't care about the doctor. His problem is his supervisor has the fat man letter and he's got to get his weight down. Any weight short of a fat man letter, and the detective doesn't care.

Most people in this situation are so focused on the weight line that they probably won't notice the doctor. The whole idea is to beat the number by one or two pounds. Some people do this for years.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Siri Kirpal
04-18-2016, 07:16 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

That reminds me. Police cars are typically regular Fords or similar that have a lot of added gear. That added gear makes getting into and out of the car harder for taller or rounder cops.

If your guy is near the limit, he'll probably be silently cursing the car or its gear. Maybe he'll silently curse his last doughnut. But he'll have difficulty getting in and out fast enough to be an effective cop.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

snafu1056
04-18-2016, 02:39 PM
Are these fellow police officers hurling the insults? If so, I think "fat f--k" is as inoffensive as they'd be capable of being (self-censored for sensitive readers)

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-18-2016, 03:17 PM
Cheers for all the goodies. The detective in question is around 50, quite slim, but one of those "fat on the inside" types. He lives on coffee and junk food. This is just his thoughts as he wanders around Walmart on a day off catching up with mundane domestic duties and constantly thinking about the case that's keeping them all Very Busy.

Here's the relevant small section of the story:
(As you can see I've used salad dodger to show where it would fit - if he wasn't American!)

Mr Detective carefully read the nutritional information on a jar of Frankfurters, rolled his eyes and returned the processed sausages to a promotional stand. He scowled and recalled his doctor’s advice to lay off fatty foods in favour of a more balanced diet.

You want to try it yourself sometime, you goddamn salad dodger.

It wasn’t like he went out of his way to exist on a junk food diet but, after fifteen hour days at the station, the last thing he felt like doing was chopping vegetables and sautéing chicken. Today was his first day off in what felt like weeks and here he was, living life on the edge at the grocery store.

I hope that brings some clarification!

Interesting to know about the fat man letter. One of his team is quite partial to a bear claw or two and it's telling on his waistline. I'll incorporate that next time he's moaning that his wife sent him to work with a salad for lunch!

Cheers...

jclarkdawe
04-18-2016, 04:43 PM
Snafu1056 gave you the best answer. Cleanest version I can think of. If you want something a bit more extreme, I'd go with either "puta" or "cabron" or "f**king bobblehead." (This is all keeping your "goddamn.) Most cops in LA can swear well in Spanish. Mixing Spanish and English while swearing is not unusual there. Something like "f**king cabron" would not be unusual.

Cops don't waste their time with playground approved insults.

However, I still doubt the doctor would register on his conscious, unless he'd been in for something like chest pains. The cop has been hearing the fast food warning from his union, his bosses, maybe his family, the one or two cops in his division who eat healthy, so on and so forth. He's been hearing this probably for 20 some odd years. Probably went through the Academy before they warned the incoming cops.

Well known problem of cops and fast food. Well documented health issues. And even in LA and NYC, it's hard to find a health food restaurant open at 3 AM. However, one place you can get things like salads at three in the morning is Wal-Mart.

Jim Clark-Dawe

mrsmig
04-18-2016, 04:47 PM
A couple of things I noticed reading this:

Franks don't come in jars in the US - they're packaged in plastic sleeves (http://www.amazon.com/OSCAR-MAYER-FRANKS-CLASSIC-WEINERS/dp/B00BSYASRW/ref=sr_1_10_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1460983438&sr=8-10&keywords=hot+dogs), usually eight or ten to a package. In supermarkets they're located in refrigerated cases and display stands, usually among other processed meats like cold cuts, bacon, etc.

Even though they are, indeed, sausages, I don't know that your average American would think of them as "processed sausages." If you're looking for a synonym for "frankfurter," you could use "dog" or "hot dog" (a much more common term), or "wiener" or even "tube steak" (my husband's favorite term).

ETA: Turkey dogs (made with processed turkey rather than beef and/or pork) are common in the US, even in Wal-Mart, and are considered a low-fat alternative to a traditional dog, although both varieties are of concern to healthy eaters due to their sodium content.

Twick
04-18-2016, 05:45 PM
If it's proceeded by "goddamn," then you can get offensive. The main thing to hold you back is offending your readers who might take fat-shaming personally.

For some reason, "chubbo" strikes me as appropriate in the context.

BTW, I love the excerpt, but second the suggestion that over here, we don't get jars of hot dogs, we get plastic packs, and they're assumed to be processed. Except for the free-range wieners that roam the foothills of the Rockies, but they're hard to find in stores.

JimmyB27
04-18-2016, 07:12 PM
If "salad dodger" is yet to cross The Pond, what would be a suitable equivalent insult that isn't too offensive on the grand scheme of things?
I'm on your side of the pond, and I've never heard this phrase.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-18-2016, 07:41 PM
We can buy hot dog sausages in packets and jars over here but, due to their face meat composition, both are to be regarded with high suspicion - unless you've consumed a flagon of gin first! I shall change from jar to packet.

I noticed the pre-packed salads in Walmart during my roadtrips. If the Walmart was in a nicer area, the quality of the salads reflected this. I was more partial to Target's version and their huge punnets of strawberries that cost less than half of what you'd pay in the UK and were tastier.

I must also confess to a liking for Safeway's Bavarian crèmes - I'd sit in the car with a couple of those bad lads and a Starbucks chai latte and feel like a cop on a stake-out. ;)

This detective is quite a sweary fellow, btw. It's part of his character. The other three detectives are much less sweary, and my Bad Guy the least sweary of the lot.

I have discovered the term chubmeister and am quite enamoured with it. Opinions please?

EMaree
04-18-2016, 07:46 PM
Reporting in to say I know 'salad dodger', though it's been a long time since I've heard it used. I think it might be slightly out of fashion?

For an American version, honestly, I think the closest fit is 'skinnyfat' -- it's maybe a little Millennial for your main character, but if the police station has a lot of young men embroiled in 'bro' lifting culture, including but not limited to anyone juicing, he'll have heard it. Might even have been called it by some young lads eager to give him free advice on how to bulk up.

It's very popular among people who weight-lift as a slur against skinny people without any muscle, particularly skinny folks with shitty diets or sedentary skinny people.

It's an awful term, but hugely popular in online fitness communities, and it sounds innocuous enough that they can pretend it's harmless.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-18-2016, 07:48 PM
Not made up, despite its appearance in Urban Dictionary. I first heard the term on the BBC years ago when they did a What goes into cheap food? exposé.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Facemeat

MythMonger
04-18-2016, 08:25 PM
If you don't mind me asking, are you writing this for a UK audience or a US one?

Roxxsmom
04-18-2016, 11:13 PM
I have discovered the term chubmeister and am quite enamoured with it. Opinions please?

That's a bit more light hearted and affectionate, like what I might call my tubby cat. Back in the 80s and 90s, everything was "something meister," but I don't know if the term is as common now. It could be a personal quirk depending on the guy's personality.

Tub of lard is another term that refers to someone who is fat, along with pig (though to a cop, pig has a different connotation).

On a more serious note, facemeat is often called "organ meat," or "meat by-products" as well.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-19-2016, 02:08 AM
Hmmm... tub of lard. Quite like that one if I can't have salad dodger.

Tries it... Likes it... Settled! :)

The story isn't specifically aimed at a UK or US audience. Obviously I'll try to get it off the ground here, and see if anything happens elsewhere. It's written in fairly neutral English (although I use BrE spellings throughout). The US-based sections contain AmE terminology (e.g. parking lot instead of car park, guardrail instead of crash barrier, etc) in the narrative and I've spent YEARS mugging up on speech differences. Most of the fiction books I read are by American authors and 99% of the television shows I watch are American, so I spend a lot of time absorbing speech patterns and random little details. A good chunk of the story occurs in NW England, but I also needed somewhere a fair few thousand miles away with wiiiiiiiide open spaces, big cities, decent summer weather, big ravines and scary wildlife. The bulk of the US-based story occurs in Colorado, but there's also stuff going on around Lake Tahoe, New York and Los Angeles. I've visited them all in the name of research (apart from NYC, which was in my teens).

On here I write exactly like I'm talking to you all, so I wonder if some of you think my American characters speak like they're a deranged Englishwoman. ;)

King Neptune
04-19-2016, 03:45 AM
Hmmm... tub of lard. Quite like that one if I can't have salad dodger.

Tries it... Likes it... Settled! :)

Tub of lard is quite old, but the meaning is quite clear unlike a lot of cute ways of saying that someone is obese.


The story isn't specifically aimed at a UK or US audience. Obviously I'll try to get it off the ground here, and see if anything happens elsewhere. It's written in fairly neutral English (although I use BrE spellings throughout). The US-based sections contain AmE terminology (e.g. parking lot instead of car park, guardrail instead of crash barrier, etc) in the narrative and I've spent YEARS mugging up on speech differences. Most of the fiction books I read are by American authors and 99% of the television shows I watch are American, so I spend a lot of time absorbing speech patterns and random little details. A good chunk of the story occurs in NW England, but I also needed somewhere a fair few thousand miles away with wiiiiiiiide open spaces, big cities, decent summer weather, big ravines and scary wildlife. The bulk of the US-based story occurs in Colorado, but there's also stuff going on around Lake Tahoe, New York and Los Angeles. I've visited them all in the name of research (apart from NYC, which was in my teens).

The speech differences within the U.S. are quite large in some cases. The continuing erosion from TV has diminished the differences, but some Southern accents and word choices are almost impenetrable for people from other regions. There are different sets of vowels used in different regions, as is true of Britain.


On here I write exactly like I'm talking to you all, so I wonder if some of you think my American characters speak like they're a deranged Englishwoman. ;)

Oh no, one would think that you are an ordinary American of some education. ;)

jclarkdawe
04-19-2016, 05:06 AM
I'm sorry, Los Pollos Hermanos, but I'm not buying your character.

He's 50, he's been to the doctor. He's heard the health stuff before. Why is he upset about this doctor? It just doesn't seem likely.

I'd strongly suggest a department wide requirement that everybody attend a health seminar, wasting three or four hours, because the Chief of the department was concerned of too many retired police officers dying from coronary disease. That would piss your detective off enough to make a comment to himself. The presenter of why cops need to eat better can be your f**king tub of lard.

Second is hot dogs. If this guy doesn't really care much about his health and food, most of his food purchasers at Wal-Mart would be frozen and other prepared foods. Depending upon where he works in LA, there are hot dog stands. And he could not only get a hot dog, but a corn dog, a chili dog, or a chili cheese dog and a bunch of other dogs, include that dreaded "veggie" dog. Here's a guide to LA hot dog places -- http://la.eater.com/maps/best-hot-dogs-los-angeles-restaurants-map-guide

Depending upon the division he works in, he's going to have a choice of places to go to eat lunch, as he doesn't sound like a brown bagger. There's no sense in buying hot dogs at Wal-Mart. It's something he'd eat while at work. And he knows hot dogs are unhealthy, unless he's eligible for a Darwin award for stupidity.

Have him looking at the nutrition label on a frozen dinner.

Jim

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-19-2016, 06:26 AM
The short section in question is purely to set the scene before he starts pondering various aspects of the case, has a revelation of sorts and decides to go into work in the afternoon, even though it's the first day off he's had in a while.

He's not upset, he's marginally grumpy and is actually grumpy to varying degrees much of the time. He's also quite partial to fast food, hence him checking the label on the off-chance it may be reasonably healthy. He's based at the Northeast Division on San Fernando Road (I actually went in one Sunday afternoon to clarify a few things when I was reccie-ing the area; they were very helpful) and lives a few more miles further out of town.

I merely asked for a US equivalent of salad dodger; his health behind the scenes isn't really mentioned as it's not relevant to the storyline.

MythMonger
04-19-2016, 04:45 PM
Second is hot dogs. If this guy doesn't really care much about his health and food, most of his food purchasers at Wal-Mart would be frozen and other prepared foods. Depending upon where he works in LA, there are hot dog stands. And he could not only get a hot dog, but a corn dog, a chili dog, or a chili cheese dog and a bunch of other dogs, include that dreaded "veggie" dog. Here's a guide to LA hot dog places -- http://la.eater.com/maps/best-hot-dogs-los-angeles-restaurants-map-guide

Depending upon the division he works in, he's going to have a choice of places to go to eat lunch, as he doesn't sound like a brown bagger. There's no sense in buying hot dogs at Wal-Mart. It's something he'd eat while at work. And he knows hot dogs are unhealthy, unless he's eligible for a Darwin award for stupidity.

Have him looking at the nutrition label on a frozen dinner.

Jim

Frozen dinners are good, but I don't see the problem with buying hot dogs at the grocery store.

First, they're a lot cheaper than the hot dog stands. I don't know about LA, but if I pick up hot dogs here in NC they're going to run in the area of $2-$3 apiece, whereas a pack of hot dogs cost a fraction of that. If the character is low on money, I'd think he'd consider this.

There's also the cliche of the lonely bachelor warming up his hot dog dinner by holding one under the hot water and eating over the kitchen sink. Yum! :)

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-23-2016, 02:35 PM
I also discovered we sell tinned (canned) hotdogs over here. They're rather cheap, so I don't think they'll be finding their way into my basket/trolley (cart) any time soon.

The idea of someone warming them up under the hot tap is quite amusing - stored for future reference.

I had a delicious posh hotdog in Southport a few months ago - cost about a fiver (~$7.50) but was huge, loaded with delicious toppings and washed down with a large gin and herbal tonic. That set me up for the rest of the day!

As for the American salad dodger, I went with 'tub of lard' in the end. We do say that over here, but you good American folk need to introduce salad dodger to your nation...

King Neptune
04-23-2016, 07:18 PM
As for the American salad dodger, I went with 'tub of lard' in the end. We do say that over here, but you good American folk need to introduce salad dodger to your nation...

Yes, ma'am, we will start using the term "salad dodger".

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-23-2016, 07:44 PM
We're quite happy to accept something in return. You know, to maintain diplomatic relations... ;)

(but you can keep Piers Morgan)

King Neptune
04-23-2016, 09:09 PM
We're quite happy to accept something in return. You know, to maintain diplomatic relations... ;)

(but you can keep Piers Morgan)

What is a Piers Morgan? Do you mean Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan? I don't know that we have one.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-23-2016, 09:16 PM
Yeah, that. It's yours.

We insist.

Please don't tell me you've already sent him back!

(He buggered off to work in the US a while ago - if he's come back to Blighty he seems to be keeping his head down).

King Neptune
04-23-2016, 10:21 PM
Yeah, that. It's yours.

We insist.

Please don't tell me you've already sent him back!

(He buggered off to work in the US a while ago - if he's come back to Blighty he seems to be keeping his head down).

I have no idea where he might be. I never heard of him until today. Maybe he went to Elba.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-23-2016, 10:38 PM
My friend's daughter is hobnobbing with Obama today (she lives in Watford). She asked for a selfie, but "the prez" (her name for him, not mine) apparently said "I don't do selfies". Haha!

King Neptune
04-23-2016, 11:37 PM
My friend's daughter is hobnobbing with Obama today (she lives in Watford). She asked for a selfie, but "the prez" (her name for him, not mine) apparently said "I don't do selfies". Haha!

We'll be getting rid of him soon, but sooner would be better,. A time machine would be convenient.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-23-2016, 11:47 PM
David Cameron (our lovely Prime Minister) was there too, so she was cracking the pork jokes!
(You may need to google this. Be warned - it's a bit dodgy).

King Neptune
04-24-2016, 02:50 AM
Neither of them is all that porcine. Is she a cannibal?

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-24-2016, 02:03 PM
I reckon he's going to open a pub called The Pig's Head when he retires from politics. ;)

King Neptune
04-24-2016, 06:50 PM
I reckon he's going to open a pub called The Pig's Head when he retires from politics. ;)

With Cameron's likeness on th pig's face?

mirandashell
04-24-2016, 07:19 PM
More likely George Osbourne's. Considering what happened to it......

King Neptune
04-25-2016, 12:03 AM
https://www.google.com/search?q=George+Osborne&biw=1240&bih=740&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj0r7mHiKjMAhUGMj4KHUMUAm0QiR4ImwE

Excellent reasons why I hate being photographed.