Bold and cute

I understand both of these words when hearing them in conversation, but find myself consistently using them incorrectly here in Ireland. In America if someone is bold they are understood to be a fearless, brave person. In Ireland a bold person is someone who is misbehaving. If a child sasses his mother or takes away a sibling’s toy, the mum would scold the child by saying, “That’s very bold!” I overheard one of my colleagues talking on the phone to her boyfriend who is a Guard (policeman), and she asked if he had caught any boldies yet that day. (He had, by the way.)

The use of the word cute is confusing to me, as well. At times it is used in the familiar, “Oh, what a cute/adorable baby.” But, it can also mean that a child is quite precocious or mischievous.

Different cultures using words in completely different ways can make conversations a bit perilous at times. I have to be on my toes to make sure I don’t say something inadvertently offensive.

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