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Because of some reasons, I feel that I've been set up by a colleague, so I told him that "You set me up" and he said that was vulgar. However, I looked it up from dictionary, its nature is only informal and isn't offensive. Was he overreacted or it's indeed a vulgar expression? One more thing, is there any expression which is tactful and can convey the same meaning? Thanks a lot for your help Emotion: smile and sorry for my English if it makes you hard to read.
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Hi,

I wouldn't call it vulgar. It may or may not be offensive or serious, depending on the context and on the results of the 'setting up'.

eg the result is that you go to jail.

eg the result is that you lose your job.

eg the result is that your colleagues give you a surprise birthday party when you thought it would be a business meeting.

eg the result is you are the victim of a friendly little joke of some kind.

So, in what way did he set you up?

Best wishes, Clive
Thanks, I think I got what you mean, "set somebody up" can be used to describe both good and bad things? He set me up because of his incompetence in his job.
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Hi,

I think I got what you mean, "set somebody up" can be used to describe both good and bad things?

Yes, but see my comments below.

He set me up because of his incompetence in his job.

If Tom sets Fred up, it means that he deliberately puts Fred in a false position of some kind.

eg Tom robs a bank. He deliberately leaves Fred's book, with Fred's fingerprints on it, in the bank. The police find the book and think that Fred robbed the bank. Tom set Fred up.

If Tom makes a lot of mistakes at work, that does not set up his colleague Fred.

But if Tom makes a lot of mistakes and then deliberately makes the boss think that Fred made the mistakes, you could say that Tom set up Fred.

Here's my advice. If you don't feel you have a good understanding of it, avoid saying this expression to someone.

Note also that there is no tactful way to tell someone that he is incompetent, because the word will definitely offend him.

Best wishes, Clive
I'll use it carefully in the futureEmotion: smile Thanks Clive!
Hi,

Let me add this comment about usage.

The expression 'You set me up' is something that people say quite a lot on TV or in the movies. However, I don't think I've ever heard someone in real life say this.

Best wishes, Clive
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oh.....so its part of movie.....thats it