Random Cussing Post*

Yesterday I had an entertaining reminder of the fun of cuss words. Curse words, though maybe originally marked by some slight against or contempt for the holy or sacred, have a larger definition in my world. Because when you get right down to it, the meaning of any word, or the power of any word, is inherently linked to the feeling behind it. You can make just about any word profane depending on how you say it. So says I. Thus I present a small list of non-cuss words that are, in fact, cuss words:
  • Poof! - This word set me down the path yesterday... it was little Sophie's own 3-year-old version of a cuss word. Anger & frustration brought it out of her. I don't know how V. kept a straight face when she said it (accompanied by a hand motion).
  • Balls. - It passes muster just enough for regular use without being considered particularly vulgar by rational people.
  • Tofu - Say it with the same feeling and emotion of a well placed "buuullllll-shit.
  • Horse Feathers - It ranks right up there with "poppycock." I can't figure it out, but I enjoy it. It must be acceptable as well, I heard Dan Rather use it in an interview....
There are many others. In fact, I invite you to leave some of your favorites in the comments section. I'd also like to give a shout-out the words that add extra zing to old curse words or phrases. I'm thinking of KFR's excellent use of the word "unmitigated" to spice up ever popular "horse shit." KFR: "That, my friend, is unmitigated horse shit."

* Interesting. Immediately after I wrote the title to this blog post I had a vision in my head of a post stuck in the ground of some deserted old-west town. On this post remained the carved remnants of cuss words past. Wee children of middle class families on vacation now point and ask, "Mommy, what's a 'hooplehead'?", while their mothers try to cover their eyes and shoo them away.


Rachel said...

You're crazy! I love the end of this post. Both you and KFR are bringing the funny on today. :) I'm a fairly simple person. But I am reduced to five year style cuss words when I visit my mom. Lame-o's, for example, instead of what I actually want to call them.

another kind of nerd said...

See! Further proof that it is all intent! My mom used to literally say, "Bad Words!," when we were little instead of societal cuss words. Same same, in my book.

kungfuramone said...

I've lately become a fan of profanity rather than obscenity. As a Catholic, Rachel, you should start using "by the blood of Christ!" and so on. Me, I stick to "Odin's Beard!" or "By the flaming moons of Hades!"

Dolce Vita said...

What is a "hooplehead" anyway?

One of my favorites comes from the Lord of the Flies (something I know you also appreciate):"sucks to your ass-mar." When I encountered this phrase in high school, my friends and I applied it liberally, as in "sucks to your [fill in any appropriate word]." This is a completely under-used construct.

another kind of nerd said...

V. - I totally agree with the "sucks to your ______" construct. Very entertaining.

Cabiria said...

Excellent! I also enjoy the classic "Jesus Christ on a cross!" And while it's not exactly a curse word, my pal Saru's latest favorite word is constantly cracking me up: robust. Academic-esque word, now utilized by her in every other sentence, as in: "I don't even have robust access to the library here!"

Matto said...

One of my all time favorites, though not really a cuss word but a comeback, is "Oh yeah....well I'm rubber you're glue, bounces off me sticks to you." The problem with the phrase is that it is too complex. I could never rattle if off quickly, I had to think about it first and by that time recess was probably over.

Rachel said...

KFR - good suggestion. Although, I'm leaning more towards "Chocolate Jesus!" Have you seen the news on the chocolate Jesus in new York? Some artist made a Jesus corpus out of chocolate - anatomically correct too - and tried to display it during Holy Week. Needless to say, there were protests, and the hotel that originally agreed to show it backed out. So now, chocolate Jesus - or sweet Jesus, as it is also called - is looking for a new home.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm a little late but I like to use the word "fiddles" or "fart" instead of "f**k". You can only yell it out by itself. It might sound weird if you said "What the fart is going on here?!"

another kind of nerd said...

I think I like the idea of a well placed, "What the fiddles is going on here?!!!"

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