I've recently come across this term, 罗嗦, and have not been able to determine it's exact meaning or connotation.
nciku translates it as:
1. verbose; wordy; long-winded; prolix
2. troublesome; overlaborate
This term seems like it could have both positive or negative overtones, but I have other friends who insist that it's use is always negative. I picture someone who may be quite social, and continues to elaborate on a subject even after the topic is mostly dead- like beating a dead horse? Regardless, this has proven to be a complex and heavily-loaded term with various meanings and I would love some input. Thanks!
.Here's my understanding and I certainly defer to the popup professors for additional explanation. 啰嗦 means long winded or wordy, usually in a negatitve or annoying fashion. E.g. 这个人说话太啰嗦。or 你别啰嗦！both express annoyance with the speakers inability to get to the point. There is another word that from my understanding is not used in a complaining manner which is 贫 as in 贫嘴 like 这个人真贫。which is for someone that is very talkative. I've seen it used like this, 这个人真贫，跟谁都有话可说。 And on the complimentary end there is 口才 which means eloquence, 这个人很有口才 which is complimentary for sure. Not sure if that helps and if I'm off, someone please correct me.
That's how I've heard it used too: Long-windedness, with negative overtones.
eg. 你少罗嗦 "Don't talk so much"
Exactly like what drummerboy and murrayjames said, 啰嗦 is definitely negative. If you say someone is 太啰嗦, you are saying he/she is talking too much and mostly nonsense. It's slightly rude, but not too bad. 贫 is somewhat between 啰嗦 and 有口才. It's a dialect in the north, and not necessarily negative. 有口才 is definitely complimentary as drummberboy said.
Great! Thanks so much for clearing that up, and for the additional 生词!
Is there a difference between 罗嗦 and 唠叨？
Technically no big difference. 啰嗦 is more like talking nonsense. 唠叨 is usually from people who concern about you, especially parents.
maybe luosuo is more heavier than laodao