What is the least vulgar but still natural (not overly formal) of these: Bum, bottom, backside, behind, rear end...

As she walked past him, he stared at her _________.

  • This is a highly subjective question hence my addition of the "colloquial" tag. The degree of vulgarity is specific to each persons ethics. A native of England might use bum, someone from Seattle in the USA might use backside. And even the vulgar forms might seem acceptable to some people. I was raised to never swear, so A$$ is considered vulgar, as is the formal "buttocks". Nov 12 '20 at 20:29
  • @GWarner Buttocks is considered vulgar? That's crazy. It's the proper anatomical / medical term.
    – TypeIA
    Nov 12 '20 at 23:05
  • @TypeIA I know. I said vulgarity can be subjective. As a child I learned to not contradict grandparents skewed ethics and decorum. Nov 13 '20 at 16:36

"Bum" A little bit naughty. Naughty enough to make five-year-olds giggle with the rudeness.

"bottom" Fairly standard. Common, but not vulgar.

"backside"/"behind"/"rear end" are all euphemisms. All equally polite.

The last three are the least vulgar, but none are rude enough to cause offence.

  • Could she not have said "boil on their bum" or "boil on their behind" (and still preserve the alliteration) "Bum" is perhaps slightly naughty, but no more.
    – James K
    Nov 12 '20 at 22:43

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