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re-open fisticuffs AE / BE ?  
von wonderworld (UN), Last modified: 2014-07-13, 15:37  like dislike  Spam?  
As I gave the final vote I'd also be interested in natives' and equivalents' comments as to the validity of the initial entry.
See also #762336 and

Many thanks for your comments.
von geo255 (US), 2014-07-13, 16:26  like dislike  Spam?  
In the U.S. no one would say "fisticuffs" instead of "fist fight".  The Online Entymological Dictionary says 'fisticuffs' originated around 1600.  To a modern American English speaker 'fisticuffs' sounds both outdated and rather literary (perhaps for being outdated).

I do not know what our British anglophones think of this term, but I would not be surprised if they had the same opinion as we do on this side of the pond.
What a strange bias against literary usage - why put a premium on triteness and run-of-the-mill lingo?  #762470
von Proteus-, 2014-07-13, 17:23  like dislike  Spam?  193.83.0....
von wonderworld (UN), Last modified: 2014-07-13, 18:15  like dislike  Spam?  
Many thanks, geo. Then a "dated in AE" tag is indeed appropriate. See also the previous forum post for BE usage.
von timfefe (AU/AT), 2014-07-13, 18:28  like dislike  Spam?  
4; geo25: on the other side of the much bigger pond, i.e. in Oz, it's also fist fight.
Proteus  #762478
von geo255 (US), Last modified: 2014-07-13, 18:34  like dislike  Spam?  
I'm afraid that triteness is largely in the eye/ear/mouth of the beholder/hearer/speaker.  I mean by this that, if I asked you for objective evidence as to the superiority of 'fisticuffs' over 'fist fight', what could you possibly say?  The fact that 'fisticuffs' is an older, perhaps much older, expression than 'fist fight' is IMHO neither here nor there.  

I teach music literature courses.  These are based on "classical" music works and I prefer classical music to  popular music.  It moves me more.  Does this make classical music better than popular music?  Well, for me it does, but I ought not extend this judgment to others.  The music that best fulfills the reason you listen to music is the music that is the best for you.  I don't think you can produce a more universal criterion for best/greatest, etc. than this.

I would argue that the same thing applies to language.  The vocabulary/syntax/literary form(s) that best satisfy the reason you use language is the best linguistic entity for you.  What might be profound for you could be trite for someone else whose linguistic sensitivity and goals are different from yours.

I believe that the ongoing creation and application of language parallels that of the arts.
Keine Beiträge von Briten?  #762488
von rabend (DE/FR), 2014-07-13, 19:06  like dislike  Spam?  
von ddr (AT), 2014-07-13, 19:24  like dislike  Spam?  
Wir haben ja nicht so viele, leider. Wart halt noch ein bisserl.
I have no problem with fisticuffs (as a word).  #762495
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2014-07-13, 20:04  like dislike  Spam?  
It's probably on the change and may be considered old-fashioned by some, and it is probably used humorously more often than not these days.
I have no idea how it should be tagged to succinctly get across the difference.
18:34 - so triteness is subjective, but In the U.S. no one would say "fisticuffs" instead of "fist fight" is thoroughly objective?  #762515
von Proteus-, 2014-07-14, 01:20  like dislike  Spam?  193.83.0....
What a fascinating grasp of general usage you have in a country of 318 million people - and across all registers at that.

Registerwise, the pair fisticuffs > Handgreiflichkeiten is plain wrong. fisticuffs

Es artete in Handgreiflichkeiten aus > they came to blows / there was a brawl
von Iriemon (UN), Last modified: 2014-07-14, 10:59  like dislike  Spam?  
4; Proteus - if the register is wrong, what would you say in German then, given the example sentences found in Collins and some of the newspaper sources?
von Iriemon (UN), 2014-07-14, 20:54  like dislike  Spam?  
fisticuffs > Faustschläge; Handgreiflichkeiten umfassen auch Abwatschen, Reißen an Kleidern und Gliedmaßen, Ziehen an Ohren und Haaren usw. usf.  #762682
von Proteus-, 2014-07-15, 12:40  like dislike  Spam?  194.96.46....
von Iriemon (UN), Last modified: 2014-07-15, 17:20  like dislike  Spam?  
so eng würde ich heutzutage fisticuffs nicht definieren
They had argued often, sometimes violently, the fisticuffs invariably followed by a sensational bout of lovemaking.
Clive Barker SACRAMENT (2001) - Quelle Collins

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