Let’s get one thing straight before we start. I don’t hold with swearing. It is the last resort of the illiterate. If people haven’t got anything better to use their tongues for than making foul words with, then they ruddy well ought to keep their traps shut.
Having said that though, even the most civilised, intelligent, refined and fluent person might be excused for letting slip a small cuss word if, for instance, they were to drop a heavy weight on their toe, bang their head on a low beam, or discover that the ruddy Tories had been elected to office once again.
The question is, where do you draw the line? I certainly wouldn’t want to be coming out with blue language like that snoopy the dog and all the rest of those those ruddy gangster wrappers out of peanuts (featuring good ol’ Charlie Brown.) Even Charlie Brown is a sort of swearword for drugs these days. It makes you embarrassed to buy a comic book for the kiddies. As far as I’m concerned, what they do to their mothers in the privacy of their own homes is their own business, but pinching their best jewellery and waving it about whilst boasting about it is a bit beyond the pale in my book.
Any road. Ruddy is a nice harmless sort of swearword that means red. “Look at his ruddy face” you might see when observing a little kiddy that has been out in the sun too long.
Then again, if the little kiddy had been out in the snow too long instead, you might say.. “Look at his ruddy face, it’s gone all blue.” In that case, ruddy doesn’t mean “red” anymore. It just serves as a good way of emphasising the need to look. It turns “look at his face” into “LOOK AT HIS FACE!!!” without you having to shout (unless you want to add even more emphasis.)
Nora is a woman’s name. It’s short for Noreen. So ruddy “Ruddy Nora” would basically mean “Red Noreen.” I had a friend called Noreen, but she wasn’t red by any sense of the word. She used to stay indoors if it was sunny because she said that bright light made her eyes go funny. She also refused to countenance left wing politics because she had read an article in the “Daily Mail” and was frightened of being raped by Communist marauders if Labour got in.
“Ruddy Nora” is another swearword that emphasises stuff, by invoking the image of a scary woman covered in blood, like out of them horror films. You can use ideas like that to frighten children into doing what they are told. “You’re not going to leave all them sprouts on your plate are you?” gets a lot more emphasis when it becomes “Ruddy Nora! You’re not going to leave all those sprouts on your plate are you?” Kiddies are always more likely to eat sprouts when there’s an implied threat of a scary woman covered in blood coming into the room to make sure that they do it.
Other situations where “Ruddy Nora” might come in handy…
(i) In the crown court: “Ruddy Nora! Five years is a bit harsh isn’t it m’lud?”
(ii) At the swimming pool: “Ruddy Nora! I bet you don’t get many of those to the pound!”
(iii) In the bedroom: “Ruddy Nora! That didn’t take very long, did it!