As far as i know this word appears many times in newspapers in magazine. So officially it couldn't be that offensive. But if I use this word describing an individual like

  1. I left my job because i had a lousy boss.
  2. Don't invite that lousy friend of yours to the party.
  3. She had cooked lousy food for dinner.

Do these sentence sound offensive ?

I've come across this word few times in movies where it's been used when the character is in a negative state of mind. So i am not conviced that it is not an offensive word despite it is not listed in leading dictionaries as offensive.

Is it okay to use this without taking the risk to offend someone ? Could you help ?

  • 1
    It might be offensive to your boss, friend or person who cooked dinner. On the other hand, if they agreed with you, it probably wouldn't be. It is a critical statement though, and most people can't take criticism. – user6951 Oct 26 '14 at 16:19

Lousy (whose forgotten meaning is lice-infested, louse->lice like mouse->mice) is very blunt criticism. It would be offensive wherever a bluntly critical opinion would offend.


The sentence itself using the word "lousy" isn't offensive. Obviously your opinion of the boss will offend the boss, or any good friend of the boss, if they hear it, but not because of your usage of the word "lousy". If you said "I left because my boss treated his staff unfairly, often made wrong decisions without ever admitting to it, and drove customers away", the boss would be offended as well. Tough. If he or she doesn't want to be offended by criticism, they need to become a better boss.

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