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I need to explain the presence of "BITEME." mixed in with other short phases about food and the eating of it on printed wallpaper in a restaurant in a non-English speaking country.

It looks awfully similar to the exclamation "Bite me" which is discussed here "Bite me", What does it mean? and in ELU's Meaning and usage of "bite me" where the evolution of the term from some graphic vulgarities is described in some detail.

How best to explain this to a friend learning English? A misprint, or a misappropriation, or a clever prank that takes advantage of the fact that where I live it's really common for expensive signage to contain glaring English errors that nobody worries about and so there's an element of plausible deniability?

snapshot of some printed wallpaper seen in a restaurant containing "BITEME" along with other words related to food and the eating of it

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snapshot of some printed wallpaper seen in a restaurant containing "BITEME" along with other words related to food and the eating of it snapshot of some printed wallpaper seen in a restaurant containing "BITEME" along with other words related to food and the eating of it

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  • Does this answer your question? "Bite me", What does it mean? May 27, 2023 at 16:50
  • @FumbleFingers I have already linked to that question explicitly; no it doesn't. Here I have asked for any non-vulgar usage cases. That's not covered there. It's also a single six-letter word rather than two words, and rather than being spoken from one person to another, it's used in a montage of words relating to food and the eating thereof.
    – uhoh
    May 27, 2023 at 23:23

2 Answers 2

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"Bite me" is not particularly vulgar. It may be a minced oath, that is a euphemism, a way to avoid saying something vulgar. ELU notes that is a "super soft" way to express discontent. It is about as rude as "gosh".

But it also has a literal meaning. The wallpaper seems to be just a list of phrases about food, and when you eat food you bite it. So treat this as personification. The food is inviting you to bite and eat it.

You might note that there could be some word play, in that many of these phrases are sensual: Lick, taste, sweet or strong, smell, warm... but there is nothing here that would cause offence. All these could be sexual if applied to a person, but are normal words when applied to food.

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    when I think of sensuality and food I think Tampopo (oyster scene and egg scene but saving the shrimp scene for those who want to see the film)
    – uhoh
    May 27, 2023 at 7:21
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There's no other meaning of "bite me" that I'm aware of, other than the literal meaning.

In East Asia, it's quite common to find translations on clothing and packaging that could only be the result of unprofessional translators intentionally using foul language for a laugh. This looks like an example of that.

The literal meaning "bite me" fits the context of a restaurant, so the translator likely figured they could get away with it.

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