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Meaning of Idiom 'X-rated'

X-rated means sexually explicit, pornographic, indecent, vulgar, obscene, etc. 1


X-rated (or x rated), in the past, specifically referred to film ratings and was used for motion pictures which were not to be viewed by children under the age of 17. It is still used to refer colloquially to pornography films, but it is now used generally to refer to anything unsuitable for children but in an informal and often humorous way.


"Did you hear the toast Kevin gave at Bob's wedding? It was completely X-rated!"

"I make good money off my books," said the author, "but they're too x-rated for my children to read."

"This is a very conservative client," said Mr. Warner, "so no x-rated jokes during lunch!"


Used since the 1970's.

1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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