Mar 18, 2011

Dirty word substitutes

Gotcha.  That was just a very obvious bit of bait to get you to click here from other sites.  Thanks for being so impulsive.  No really, I appreciate every click I get.  I hate stooping to these tactics, but I'm taking the weekend off.  I promise not to use these dirty low down tricks often but I can still keep my hand in. And speaking of low-down dirty tricks, here we go.
I hate to admit it, but to tell you the truth, I am capable of cussing like a sailor.  I am half way proud of it.  When my kids are grown I might some day be all the way proud of it, but I doubt it.  This practice appalled my mother, when it didn't impress her.  She found it appalling when it was turned against her but heartening if used in her defense.  (Insert obligatory "just like a woman" joke here).  She tried to tell me it sounded "low-class and undignified".  I was unconcerned with this viewpoint for many, many years.  I wouldn't say it is a talent, exactly, but I will say it is an art.  It is also a great stress reliever, given the right surroundings.  (Those "surroundings" would be isolation. )

This capability of mine made me proud when I was younger.  It was a good way to hold my own, I thought.  (What did I know, I was 12, then 18, then....)    It made people laugh a lot, and it made me sound pretty formidable.  I later met and married a man who, in comparison to me, was a real champ when it came to cussing.  This caused much consternation during our early days.  He would start cussing and I would start crying.  It was exhausting.  Finally he explained to me that I should not take it personally, because it was not directed at me specifically.  It was more a way of blowing off steam that worked for him.  It ran in his (very nice, not low class at all, very dignified,) family.  He has an uncle that is a virtual champion of cussing.  Legend runs that he can literally turn the air blue.  Sweetest man you would ever want to meet, also.  But when he gets mad, let me tell you, people pay attention!  While I never witnessed air truly turning blue, he is a sight to behold in this mode and not ever forgotten by anyone within hearing distance.  After it was explained to me that cussing could be a way to relieve stress, I started using this method myself and found it to be a most excellent way of blowing off steam, provided no one else could hear me. 

I once scared a poor innocent woman half to death in a bathroom stall at a truck stop, and still feel terrible about it to this day.  I wasn't talking to her at all but it was after the invention of cell phones and I was having a bad day and a bad relationship, exactly one of which I could do something about, if you know what I mean, and I had reached the point marked "THAT is IT!"., accompanied by the jabbing of the finger into the air .  My stall neighbor didn't figure out that I was talking on a cell phone, I guess.  At any rate she seemed afraid to come out of her stall.  Apologies to anyone this may resonate with.  Sorry you had to hear that, stranger, but it was justified and so completely worth it. When I'm done I really get there in a hurry, it's just how I roll.  I can't seem to change.

After I had children and the guilt came.  Admittedly, it didn't come until the first time my small child said the f word, but it came, and when it came it arrived with a vengeance that I couldn't escape.  So I had to both limit my cussing (hard) and come up with alternative words (not hard at all). 

Here are a few words I have heard used in place of cussing, but do not find any satisfaction in saying them:

Fudge - this is a poor substitute for the F word, not satisfying at all to say, probably because it lacks that K sound at the end that you can put extra force behind.

Ding Dang It -  Forget about this one, it will just make you sound like an idiot and will not make you feel any better, just more idiot-like, which is probably not your goal.  It lacks bite and is also hard to say with any force behind it.

Daaaaaaam - this is not exactly a substitution, more of an alternate way of saying it.  For some reason this word does not seem bad or shocking if you draw it out and say it with a slightly southern accent.  I rate it pretty high on the lame substitute scale.  Which I just made up.  Do not bother me with details.

What the..... - not exactly a cuss word, more of an implication of one that will never come.  It's weak and will make you seem so too.  It's best used by 10 year olds who want to give the impression of cussing without technically saying the actual word.  Leave it to the small fry.

THIS, on the other hand, is a list of substitutions that are not only not bad words, but waaaay more satisfying to say.  Use these words and people will think you entertaining at best and addle brained at worse.  Not low class or undignified at all.  Use with liberally and with abandon, guilt free anywhere.

Instead of the hard to resist Bull Sh*t, try:

Balderdash(!)  It's flashy, dignified and just down right fun to say. It's definition is
      1.senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense.
      2. Obsolete . a muddled mixture of liquors. 
It is received much more warmly than the other word, and means exactly the same thing.

Poppycock(!) This is both fun and satisfying to say for obvious reasons.  It's definition is
      1.  Senseless talk; nonsense.
You will feel yourself skating along the very edge of undignified, but you will skate on by on the whimsical nature of this alternate alternative for the dreaded bull you-know-what.  Unless you say this word in front of little children, and then you better hope to heaven they remember the whole thing and not just the last part.  Parents will not thank you.  But they might laugh a little.

Piffle (vaguely makes me think of piss)  It's definition is
      1.  Foolish or futile talk or ideas; nonsense.

All of these have the added sting of dismissal, I highly recommend them.  I know these all start with P, which is just a coincidence, I think. 

There is one word that is not bad at all, but I think it is the best cuss word ever just on the strength of the satisfaction you feel when you say it. This magic word is
 Go ahead, say it out loud.  Say it in a mean voice.  Shout it out.  Say it slow, with a growly voice.  Use it as an adjective or an adverb, it works every way and doesn't lose any of it's punch.  ( What are those FAXING kids DOING down there? It's 2 am and I am FAXED out.  If I have to tell them one more FAXING time to go to sleep I'm going to FAX them like they've never been FAXED before!!)

Satisfying, no? 

I have used it for years and never had anybody think I was anything but crazy, and even those people were not offended.  It's my crown jewel secret weapon of bad words that are not bad words at all, and I am giving you the gift of using it too.

Feel free to use these words for your daily frustration and save the really bad ones for situations that warrant using the big guns.  They have certainly helped me, but I am nothing if not a work in progress, as are we all.

Happy verbal defense!


  1. The title totally got me! Damn, wait... I mean DARN it ;)

  2. It was blatant. I'm getting lazy. Blogging take s more time than I thought. I checked yours out and liked it enough to subscribe. Please to meetcha! :)

  3. Mine has always been, Sugar! Sweet Sugar at that!


These are my thoughts, which sometimes drive me crazy and sometimes keep me sane, but are always entertaining. I call this Lace Your Days With Hope because I can't find enough hope to make an entire quilt out of. Stay tuned, and add your own!