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Sense Vocabulary: "Bad Touch" Words

Good evening! Tonight we’ll look at our last three words related to the sense of touch. In our last post we talked about “neutral” touch, and today we’ll talk about “bad” touch, which are words that are generally used in a negative way.

What is this woman doing? If you don’t know, read on to find out!
(Image by Jonathan Pankau, used under a Creative Commons license)
Today’s words are generally used when talking about touching humans, not objects. The words are:

Slap, Punch, and Molest: “Neutral” Touching

Technically, a high five is a kind of slap, since you need to have an open hand to do it. I know a high five is usually “good” touching, but I had trouble finding a picture of someone slapping another person in the face. (Image by Ingorr, used under a Creative Commons license)

“Slap” is to use your open hand to hit a person. Many times this is used to describe a hit to the face:

“Mark often says offensive things to women, so women often slap his face.”

A synonym of slap in this case can often be “smack.” The main thing to remember is that with this action, your hand is open, not closed.

If you’re good at boxing, you can make a lot of money by using your fists to punch other people! (Image
“Punch” is another type of hitting (and that’s why it’s generally “bad” touching). It’s different from slapping because if you punch someone, you hit them with a closed hand. In fact, there’s a special name for a closed hand: a fist:

“The two drunk men at the bar used their fists to hit each other like boxers. They punched each other in the head and stomach until they got kicked out of the bar.”
Be very careful with this word! In Spanish, molestar means “bother” or “annoy” in English. But in English (especially American English), “molest” generally means to touch someone in a sexually inappropriate way! Unfortunately, it’s often used with children, but not always (and you can understand why I didn’t include a picture for this word!)

“The criminal was put in jail for abusing and molesting a child.”

So, that’s it for now. I hope you rarely have to use these words, but they’re still important to learn to increase your vocabulary. If you have any questions ideas, please feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

(Answer from Monday’s post: The problem is the word the. It’s not necessary before “Istanbul,” but it is necessary before “The United States.” Thanks for checking it out!)

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