Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alternative Cuss Words and Clean Get-Aways

We all have them - tamer than the originals, ease-silly recognised substitutes that roll off the tongue.  Expletives to pull out in mixed company... and by that I mean anyone other than a spouse or best friend (who is obligated to love you regardless of major character flaws).  This includes - but is not limited to - parents, grandparents, maiden aunts, the church women's group, your pastor, doctor, pharmacist, sweet little old lady at the children's library and random passers-by.  Oh, and your children - especially your children!  In other words, anyone you want to think you are a better person than you really are.

Over the years I've winnowed my personal, knee-jerk store to three favorites:  Sugar! - I just cut my finger and it really hurts... SUGARFISH! - I just sliced my finger open and think I might need stitches... and CRUDBUCKETS!!! - MY FINGER IS LAYING ON THE CUTTING BOARD WITH THE JULLIENNED CARROTS!  

(Note: For mild frustration, such as forgetting to add the fabric softener or dropping a dirty spatula on the floor, a simple, muttered Beans and Ground Beef! still suffices.)

These words and phrases fall from my lips as easily as gutter talk from a gang boss, yet I could broadcast them over the P.A. at a funeral luncheon and not offend a single grieving widow.  But it seems some people have stopped caring who overhears them using profanity, as if good manners are as outmoded as 8-track casset tapes.  I may be old-fashioned, but I am all for effecting postitive social change, and so... tired of having to cover little ears every time we walked down the street, I actually began to coach my Critters on how to come up with socially acceptable epithets.... 


Unallowable as either cliche or sound alikes:




Holy Shoot!

Son of a Beech Tree! 

and the ever-forbidden trinity...



Geez-um Crow!


Other criteria to consider:

Is it easy to remember?

Does it satisfy that explosive urge?

Do others recognise that you have just sworn?

I impress upon them the need to be original too.  Anyone can (and too many do) spew curses like sewage from a Shanghi factory.  It takes creativity to convey the same meaning with personal flair.  The intellegent mind sets it's standard higher.  This goes for insults as well.  No mundane name-calling here...

Common                                                                                 Advanced

That's stupid!                               I'd consider that moronic if I had
                                                    higher expectations for you...

I hate you!                                    I detest the need to breathe the
                                                             same air as you...

You're such a jerk!                       Your actions reveal a crass nature 
                                                  equivalent to that of a cockroach!

Back off, Loser!                          Cease and desist, you malodorous
                                                 swine!  You are unworthy of even
                                                           my condescension...
                                            (courtesy of Head of the class, my erudite Firstborn)

Despite the fact that using elevated language may earn you some undesireable labels, it unavoidably garners grudging respect from those less quick-witted, and challenges backsliding brainiacs to up their game.  Not only that - while everyone's trying to figure out what you mean, you can make a clean get-away!

Though they are already pretty considerate of others, the hope is that eventually -as they mature, of course -my Critters will rise above the need to insult one another.  Until such time arises, I feel it my duty to equip them with superior language skills, thus creating a ripple effect...

... and thereby bettering the world at large.

Disclaimer:  If, in case of a dire emergency - such as backing into your husband's truck or sucking his favorite tie up with the vaccum cleaner -  "ordinary" cuss words are inadvertantly  reverted to within earshot of offspring, a ten minute lecture on the virtue of not cultivating habits that are hard to break is prerequisite.


  1. Nuts is a good one at our house. Along with Shnike! But, I think that's from a movie. We also have a few foreign words but those are not so innocent anymore thanks to Google...

    1. My grandmother had a few German phrases that, once we were old enough to translate, made us see her in a whole new light! And after a couple of the Critter's were in "The Music Man" this summer, we've been hearing "shipoopie" around our house....

  2. Lol! This is awesome! Must save this for future use. :)