Creative Cussing

{Image: shit graffiti by jonny2love}

Swearing is semi-taboo in our house.

Sure, every now and again one slips (picture dropping a piece of firewood on your toe…!), but otherwise that sort of language is just not allowed.  And as I get older (and maybe working amongst potty-mouthed teens is adding to it) I’m finding that I’m becoming more offended by swearing.

The crass over-use of swear words (and yes I’m going to type them) where someone who offends you is “a fucking cunt”, when girls (who are friends?!) refer to one another as “bitch” or when someone who is mouthing off is told to “shut the fuck up”…  You see where I’m going with this?

Makes me wonder if our kids are being de-sensitized to such language by what they watch on television and movies, and/or the computer games they play?  Or do their parents speak like this at home?  I don’t remember being such a potty-mouth when I was a teenager…  And I would never. ever. have told an older person to “go fuck yourself”.  EVER.

So we’ve introduced a number of words and sayings in our house, that take the place of swear words.  Words that (we hope) don’t offend as much as proper cussing (I’ve included some history on the origins of our substituted swear words where possible).

  1. Son of a motherless goat – instead of SOB. (The insult son of a bitch is recorded as a direct phrase in 1707[1], and was abbreviated to SOB in 1918.)
  2. Poo or shite (the origin of the word shit is pretty interesting – believed to have been used in written works as early as the 14th century[2], a popular urban myth is that it came about from the acronym ‘Ship High In Transit’, which is apparently a load of poo[3])
  3. Ecelfeckan (our substitute for the f-word and a word borrowed from the name of a quiet little village in Scotland[4].  It was an episode of Jamie’s Something where he travels around in a blue combie and cooks.  Well, he was in Ecclefechan and after a Saturday evening wine or 3, it struck a funny bone.  My sincerest apologies to the people of Ecclefechan for the misuse of your town name.)

What are your thoughts on swear words?

Any creative cuss words that you’d like to share!

[1] Dictionary.com   [2] Snopes.com   [3] About.com Urban Legends   [4] Undiscovered Scotland

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2 Responses to Creative Cussing

  1. Jane May 18, 2012 at 8:27 AM #

    My Dad always used to say “fooey” or should that be “phooey” ?! Whatever, I did once hear him say “bugger” louder than under his breath. That was quite a shock! How times have changed. I did read somewhere that Amish children do not shout. Obviously because they have never been shouted at. But let’s face they are not out in the world with all those influences. Sorry I have got a bit lost here! I think I have got worse in my old age but now I have a grand daughter it will be back to fooey again!

    • Tasha Chawner May 18, 2012 at 9:22 AM #

      I didn’t know that about Amish children, Jane. Interesting…
      “Fooey” is definitely a harmless alternative! Much better than the way some parents speak in front of (and to) their children now.
      I know that I let slip with words un-becoming to a lady in front of the kids from time to time, but otherwise we keep it very tame. And as a result, my kids don’t use foul language in their everyday conversation, the way I hear some of them do.
      Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to start the next generation of non-swearers…?
      Tasha xo

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