In the U.K. and Ireland, a word that's among one of the most shocking and offensive to Americans. the so-called "c" word,  is used quite often as a run-of-the-mill insult or even an endearment. But now, One Direction's Niall Horanhas publicly apologized for using the word while referring to a group of fans.

The British paper The Daily Mail reports that, while arriving at the Dublin airport on Tuesday, Niall was caught on cellphone video calling out to the group of girls who were waiting for him, "Remember the last time I walked out here? You shower of c**ts."  The girls apparently weren't bothered by his remark, and continued chatting with the singer.  Even so, he later took to Twitter to apologize.

"Really sorry if I caused any offense," wrote Niall.  "It was just banter with fans who I think of more as mates, but I understand that it's not a word I should be using at all."

The fans who filmed Niall making the offending comment actually defended the singer, writing in the video description, "He's so nice, even though he called us a shower of c**ts but hey. It was banter."

Another commenter helpfully explained, "In Ireland, 'shower of c**ts,' is used [to mean] 'a group of annoying people' but in a joking way. You say it all the time; it really isn't offensive."