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I am confused, is "bless your heart", an insult or not?

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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 08:11 AM
Original message
I am confused, is "bless your heart", an insult or not?
:shrug:
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's one of those.
"You gave away tainted food to the poor"? "Bless your heart".
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. I think some people think you can say anything you want if it is followed by that phrase.
"Oh, that Dubya is such a dimwit... Bless his heart."

"You are such a social clod... Bless your heart."

"That child weighs as much as a Subaru... Bless her heart."

It is a kind of "Southern thing", but I hear it used here in the Midwest too. It is a kind of blanket disclaimer that implies no malice to otherwise pretty mean spirited statements. It is along the same lines of "God love her" or "But he means well."



Laura
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Agree. I once heard somebody say it means, "You stupid idiot." nt
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I've hear that it's the southern way of saying...
"Screw you."
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lizziegrace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
5. Not necessarily negative
You'll also hear someone say "Oh, bless your heart" if you've just related bad news or illness. So it can also be a version of "you poor thing, I'm so sorry."
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. yes i have seen it used like that, and as an insult. hence my confusion
:hi:
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
53. A colleague uses the phrase in this context, often.
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
6. I think of it as more patronizing than insulting
and that's how I use it.
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Starbucks Anarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Oh, bless your heart.
:P
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. Thanks, sweetie.
(looks at SA with loving eyes, unaware of the condescension blazing in his). :hi:
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
8. Not always.
It depends on the context.

I'm a southerner and have used it as a snark and I have used it to show concern. It just depends on what is being discussed and with whom.

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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
33. You, snarky? Say it isn't so!
:hi:

:7
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Well bless your heart, of course it isn't so.
:blush:

























:rofl:



:hug: :loveya:
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. *snicker* she said "Bless your heart!" hehehehe
:hug: :loveya:
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #35
49. LOL bless your heart, you are so easily entertained.
:loveya: :hi:

:hug:
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deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
10. I don't you can pin one specific meaning to it.
There are times when I've been really sick, and I'm sneezing and dribbling all over the place, and someone looks at me all sympathetic and says "Awww, bless your heart." Other times, I think, it can be really patronizing.
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Guava Jelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
11. I think it depends on the inflection of the voice and the situation
that it was used in.
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bertha katzenengel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
12. It's "oh, no, poor thing" most of the time in our house. As in
when I had strep, that's what Kathy said. It's an expression of sympathy.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
13. I've never thought of it that way
My great aunt used it, and she was the sweetest person in the universe.
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stuntcat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. yah, it depends who's saying it
and how they say it.

My Grandma and her sisters said it all the time and they totally meant it the sweetest way! So that's how I've always thought of it, but I can see how it could mean a lot of different things.
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-29-07 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
55. My step-father uses it
and he's a sweetie too!
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Z_I_Peevey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
15. I use 'bless your heart' directly to someone only
when going for the oh-you-poor-dear sort of thing.

"Bless her heart" or "bless his heart," after an insult or uncomfortable truth about someone not present, is used only to communicate that, while I think the person in question is indeed ugly, or stupid, or craven, or whatever, I still believe him or her to be human and worthy of understanding.

So there.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
16. I'm insulted by the question
Edited on Fri Apr-27-07 09:51 AM by NoMoreMyths
No, I'm insulted by the choices you give in the question.

Wait, I'm insulted by the lack of more choices you don't give in the question.

Who gives you the right to limit my choice to door 1 or door 2? You're the one who arbitrarily asked the question. You set the parameters to a free, open, and democratic debate. How dare you. That is lewd, lascivious, and outrageous.

:silly:
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liberalpress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
50. Bless your heart
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leftyladyfrommo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
18. Personally, I think it should be banned. Along with ho, bitch and
the "n" word.

It is very condescending.
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LaraMN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
19. Anything can be an insult
if it's expressed with a significant amount of sarcasm.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #19
40. Oh, that's brilliant.
You are so smart.
:eyes:




:P
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cwydro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
20. I guess you haven't got around to the Friday questions
Edited on Fri Apr-27-07 09:55 AM by cwydro
due to lack of sleep. Bless your heart. }(
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. actually yesterday night i got to sleep because i went out wiht my brother for a drink
he was sad :(
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cwydro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. He's lucky to have a sister
who is there for him.

(Glad you got some sleep.)
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
23. Yes.
It took me a while to catch on to this. In the South, people say "bless his heart" the way New Yorkers would say "he's an idiot." e.g.: "Bless her heart, she bought a sheep thinking it was a poodle!"
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Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
24. My grandmother says it to me all the time.
I think it depends upon the context. :)
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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
25. Usually.
Not always.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
26. Not at all, but it can be said with sarcasm to make it so.
It's a term of compassion, like "you poor dear" or "you have my sympathies," or a term meant to prove lack of malice, like "with all due respect." However, as with any of those terms it can be used sarcastically to mean the opposite of what it says, like "my heart bleeds for you."

There's also a new use for the phrase, I've noticed. It's used frequently by northern types to mock southerners who would use the phrase, to imply a detachment from reality or a redneck-ness.

Assume it's a show of compassion unless you have some reason to believe the speaker is being sarcastic. Most southerners use it sincerely, though if they feel a person is condescending or oblivious, it may be an insult.

Northerners, I have no idea how they use it. I'm still trying to figure out "Forget about it." :shrug:
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #26
42. Good explanation. I grew up using it as an expression of compassion.
I've heard it used perjoratively/sarcastically on rare occasion, but for the most part, it's a positive phrase.
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wildhorses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
27. no...never---
unless it it is said with obvious sarcasm to someone who doesn't need sympathy...

NEVER, it is a term of comfort and endearment

very very tradtional expression that has been taken out of context and blown WAY out of proportion

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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
28. You would know if you live in Texas :)
A local ad for HMS runs all the time in the Dallas Metroplex. He uses the bless your heart all the time in different ads, one of my favorite ad series of all time...Greatness....(good company to)

HMS Commercial : Bless your heart
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYDUieYQFdY

HMS Commercial : PEACE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD9HhE0k8Ww&mode=related...

HMS Commercial : Yankee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRC8m5NH6Gw&mode=related...



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nini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
29. No.. it means you have a kind soul
at least that's how I interpret it.


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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
30. If you can't tell, it probably is.
I mean, it can be pretty condescending. In my experience, it's usually meant approvingly or pityingly.

Context is all.
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BluePatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
31. Usually a backhanded compliment sort of thing
...dripping with sugar, venom, and a mild Southern twang...

*shrug*

Actually it depends on the context. I normally hear it used as per below.

"Jane broke her leg." "Oh! Bless her heart!" = "Oh! Poor thing!"

Check this out:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bless+yo...

1: phrase used by Southern women to excuse themselves for speaking ill of someone else.

2: an expression of sympathy or pity.

3: a polite way to respond to an ignoramus, particularly male, who showers upon you flattering but unwanted compliments.

1: "She's as ugly as a mud-fence, bless her heart."

2: "Well, bless your heart, that must have been terrible!"

3: drunk fella: "I think you're beautiful! Even if you were ugly, I'd STILL think you were beautiful!"

recipient: "...bless your heart."

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ghostsofgiants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
32. Depends on the context and how much you hate Christians.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
36. yes, it's totally an insult
bless your heart :P
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #36
43. bless yours too!
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Hey!
I didn't get a little tongue-sticky smiley!
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. aww did i upset you?
:P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P
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liontamer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
37. depends on context
bless your heart :P
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. look who showed up!
bless yours too! :P
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Sequoia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
38. No, but "Bless your pea-pickin' heart" might be.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
39. My mother said it all the time, kind of a congratulatory thing
Good grades? Well, bless your heart!

My mother used this phrase a lot, and would never have insulted anyone. So, not an insult.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
45. You don't know? Why, bless your heart! n/t
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
47. First, let's understand its proper pronunciation
Edited on Fri Apr-27-07 02:13 PM by Oeditpus Rex
When spoken by a true Suthuhner, the word is hoart said with a rather soft, rolling 'o,' not as apparent as in "court" or "short," but not unlike as in "tourist;" and, depending on the depth of the Suthuhnness, sounding almost bi-syllabic.

Now, then (to employ another Suthuhn colloquialism) again, when spoken by a true Suthuhner, the term is used to convey sympathy or empathy, as in "That's so sad." Its use by such skilled phrase-turners as Molly Ivins, however, when speaking of George W. Bush et al has given it at least the appearance of veiled snark. The sentiment is quite the same, but the twinkle in Ms. Ivins' literary eye revealed an apparently underlying sense of "The poor li'l ol' thang cain't hep it; he just warn't born raht."

When used with modifiers for "heart" such as "li'l" or, particularly, "li'l ol'," some of the term's faithfulness may be lost; e.g. Bless his li'l ol' heart can mean "He needs to get over it."

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GalleryGod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
48. Better to stay confused.
:rofl: :popcorn: :rofl:
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SPKrazy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
51. It Depends on the use and the intent
it is an insult if it is used like "bless her heart, she couldn't find her way out of a paper bag"

it is a blessing or nice thing to say when used: "oh, well bless your heart that was so nice of you to do that"

context

intonation

all are part of the deal

sarcasm vs. sincere.

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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-27-07 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
52. It is and it isn't! In the south, If I were to say bless your heart to you, then
I feel sorry for you or feel for what you are dealing with. But if were to see someone with a really bad hairdo or a really strange outfit, I would say bless his heart. Like he doesn't know better. Do ya get me?
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-28-07 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #52
54. i get you!
:hi:
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