Well, we all know the UNacceptable swears–you know, the ones you don’t want your kids to hear and blurt out in a crowded room. Somehow the little buggers pick them up anyway and will say them often as they do with any new word, much to our chagrin. A friend of mine once told me that when she was about two years old her parents had had workmen take down a tree in their back yard. As the tree was fairly near her bedroom, she evidently heard quite a bit of swear words that day.
When her mother came to get her up from her afternoon nap, she heard her little girl saying “BOOL-sheet, BOOL-sheet, BOOL-sheet!”
I have gathered some acceptable swears over the years that I’ve harvested so as not to drop an F-bomb in front of my four year old granddaughter, Ava. I know that they don’t have the punch of the good old Anglo-Saxon dirty words, but hopefully they may keep you from planting REAL swear word into impressionable ears. My favorites are:
- Ah, nuts!
- Oh, bugger (just don’t say this in England)!
- Oh, paint me purple!
- Buttons and fish!
Now about some acceptable insults? I found some good ones from Captain Archibald Haddock, a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He is Tintin’s best friend, a seafaring Merchant Marine Captain. Some of his finer and less offensive insults are these:
- Sea gerkin
- Pickled herring
- Miserable molecule of mildew
Some of my own favorite insults are:
- Troglodyte (I’m with Captain Haddock on that one!)
But here is my current favorite: “Festering boil on the buttocks of Satan!” Now, that’s an insult, and it didn’t even have one Angle Saxon syllable in it!
I’ll admit it’s work to find suitable substitutes for bad language, but it’s worth it. Not only does it keep you out of the potty-mouth club, but it shows a level of wit and intelligence you don’t find in mere crass swears and insults.
Plus, a nice side benefit to NOT using common scatological swears and insults is that you have that “neener-neener-neener–I didn’t really swear!” feeling afterward. Clean and witty–how great is THAT?