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How rude on the scale from 1 to 10 does it sound to say "You hound me when I'm at work and on my way back" to a close friend if I want to let them know I'm busy to reply to them right now? Is "to hound" in general a neutral slang term or is it more positive/negative one and what are its additional subtle meanings?

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    It sounds angry rather than rude, as though you are accusing them of annoying you on purpose. Commented May 31, 2022 at 12:05

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To hound someone is not slang. It's a figurative expression. It means to pursue or harass someone, like how a hound (a hunting dog) pursues its prey during a hunt.

It's not rude as such, not like a swear word, but it doesn't have a positive meaning. Hounding someone is generally a bad thing to do. It's probably not something you should accuse a friend of doing, especially if you want to remain friends with them.

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It depends on who the person is, and what you say they are doing. To be hounded is a bad thing, ranging from a slight nuisance to serious persistent harassment or even stalking. A friend might forgive you for accusing them of slightly bothering you, others might not. A 'number from 1 to 10' cannot be provided.

Another persistent animal which has become a verb is the badger. If you badger someone you continually pester them in some way.

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