Friday, March 13, 2009

expressions of delight and dismay

One guy who worked for me used to say "Oh fudge," when something went terribly, terribly wrong. And he wasn't a little delicate fellow, he was a big, strapping, but very polite gentleman. So one day I said, "Oscar, everyone knows fudge means fuck. Why not just say it?" And he never said fudge again. Nor, I hasten to add, did he take my suggestion. All I had done was to put a little bit of pleasurable relief out of his reach.

My mother's favorite expression was shucks. But because she had a slight Norwegian accent, it came out as chucks. As in "Oh, chucks."

My dad, a devotee of "shit, " put the hard Scandinavian pressure on consonants, so it was more like "ShiTTTTT-e."

For great joy and great pain, I'm pretty basic and explode with a fuck and a shit on a regular basis. Crap, as a fallback position, and pig-fucker if I want a laugh.

Why, with my love of language don't I scream "It was the best of times it was the worst of times!" when the hammer lands on my thumb? More comfort, surely, can be found in that line. Or "Here we are on a darkling plane!" when the dog makes ill use of my carpet. There are a million great quotes at our disposal. Car won't start? "Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!"

Instead, I resort to the F or the S or, to break out of these monosyllabic barriers, the CS word.

How fucking unimaginative is that?

44 comments:

  1. At least you don't go around saying "Oh, poop!" Maybe that's for parents of toddlers.
    I'd love to hear your mom's Sheesh... At least she embraced her new language. What I find interesting is when I hear Serbo-Croatian swear words, they sound so much more offensive (I think that's what I mean) than the English version of the same.

    You stupid? Don't go there since I don't know what that would say for the rest of us.

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  2. I'm sure, if given the opportunity to edit your outbursts, you'd be far more eloquent.

    Editing is a writer's best friend. Except when it's done by someone else. That's called an insult.

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  3. PS: My dad always thought his Swedish grandfather and father used to talk about the crops all the time. Then when he got older he realized that "wheat" means "shit" in Swedish.

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  4. Anyone with dogs knows the darkling plane

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  5. You saucy boy, I bite my thumb at you.

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  6. OK, I had this great Aunt Lena, who I called "Lenie". She used to smoke VIceroys and dipped snuff till her very last days. She played bridge and canasta with a group of delightful smoking ladies. The only swear word she used was s_ _ t. I can still hear her to this day. I'm afraid I inherited her fondness of that word. Lordy!

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  7. Talk about naive. I didn't realize that fudge is a sub for the f-word. See I can't even WRITE the f-word, let alone say it.

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  8. Oh chucks, Susan.

    Tash, I'd pay good money for a Serbo-Croation paragraph of angst. You Med-types are the poets of anger (and long winded).

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  9. Being of Norsk descent, I typically hold it in until I just go BERSERK! Otherwise, everything's a self-effacing joke-
    some have mistaken this for weakness, to the detriment of their
    bropluba.

    Munga tuk.

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  10. In public, particularly on tennis courts, I "indicate" swaring by using names of people, foodstuffs, e.g., Shit could become, Oh, Shostakovich or Scriabin. Fuck goes well with, O frappe. In a new environment, people often look at a 215lb hunk of super organic, pusling flesh and hear what spews forth and wonders????

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  11. I bloody love swearing! A lot of it goes on in the UK!

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  12. The other day I tried to edit myself for the good of my three year old. I slammed my finger in the kitchen drawer and said, "Oh, SHOOT!"

    My daughter said, "NO, Mommy. You're not supposed to say SHOOT. Shoot means a gun and guns are bad and hurt people. I think what you meant to say was 'oh shit!"

    Fine. I've taught non violence but failed miserably in the don't curse section of motherhood.

    Then again, I have a girlfriend who always says "gosh/golly fudgikins!" around her kids like some insane Smurf with anger management issues. I'll take fuck and shit anyday over that other weird stuff.

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  13. BTW, I'm laughing over your great quotes as curses idea. This could be an ongoing challenge...

    "A pox upon both your houses!"
    "Get thee to a nunnery!"
    "Regrets! Recriminations! Blood-stained pillowslips!"
    "STELLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!"

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  14. A Swede and a Norki on the same post. Wheat! Bandit, I should have known. Aren't we also responsible for amok?
    virg, I'll bet you have lots of Auntie Lenie stories.
    And Laurie, how precocious is that? Plus, I love your latest round of swear substitutes.

    Bath, got any good ones to share?

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  15. amok has something to do with slaves, and erasers maybe.

    wikipedia

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  16. Gonna delve deeper into Shakespeare. Those are goodies, Laurie.

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  17. LA, fuck & shit: so close & yet so far, brother & sister, so wunderful & so smelly.

    Maybe we should just have one catch all word - fucit.

    KB, your postings & commentators have come so far since you 1st started blogging.

    It's early.

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  18. "Sit in a more seeming position, Audrey."

    - Shakespeare

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  19. I can curse in multiple languages, none of it rolls off the tongue like Hungarian does.

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  20. Come one one of you brilliant Eastern Euros. Give us string.

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  21. I know I'm going to seem like a spleeny, beef-witted wagtail, but there's something called "The Shakespeare Insult Kit" and it can be found here:

    http://www.pangloss.com/seidel/shake_rule.html

    Now I'm going to have homemade macaroni & cheese, read John Cheever and nap (simultaneously).

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  22. The chief engineer at Margarita Mix used to say "fancy fudge."

    My mom spells out her curse words---even when a brick on her toe. Such a puritan my mother,the antithesis of my father. I don't remember her ever noticing what he said, just volume level (overmodulated!! Oh fancy fudge).

    wv: stolivich

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  23. -K-, I may be a venomed, fen-sucked clot-pole, but I'm officially your fan.

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  24. so I guess K's handmaidens slip the mac in between his snoring lips, that artless, hasty witted, horn beast.

    I was just working on a piece about Cheever, off and on, on and off, for the past two days.

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  25. Golly, my v word is fuckwit.

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  26. Is not, is not, is NOT! Oh, I'm mad with jealousy! My V word is bulierl! This is what I get.

    My daily pissed off word is fuckwit, but do I get it for word verification? No. Well, I've had it. This is the end. You can all just go bulierl yourselves.

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  27. In the right situations, I don't just drop the F-bomb, I carpet bomb with them. There's just something so cathartic and satisfying about the word. In fact, my all-time favorite rude T-shirt [which I saw in New Orleans and didn't buy] is wonderfully, minimally eloquent: "Fuck you, you fuckin' fuck."

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  28. Oh K, your link is just spectacular. (You tottering rump-fed pignut.)

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  29. Oh Terry, you made me spill my coffee. (I want that t-shirt too, but I'd only wear it around the house.)

    My WV is karinfl. Now I'm scared.

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  30. Okay, PJ.

    This morning my WV is "piblers." I feel better. It's not as dramatic as fuckwit (or fuckwad, which I adore), but I can use it all day for group insults if things don't get any worse.

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  31. Hey! New WV: you are all on my alist.

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  32. My WV is slysimp. Isn't that one of Shakespeare's insults?

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  33. Why swear when you can call someone a saucy needle-bite nuthook?

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  34. I do my swearing in private, but for the general population I'll be slinging Will, although, it has occured to me that calling someone crepuscular would do just as well.

    vw: atedicre

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  35. Compared with you all my Aunt Lenie was a prude! I've laughed till I cried again. Thanks guys. KB, thanks for taking requests. You never disappoint.
    V

    PS I'm still laughing over the "carpet bomb" remark!

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  36. Laurie, I think "slysimp" is a backassward compliment.

    deviumm.

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  37. I used to be able to swear in a multitude of languages. What else does one have to do in high school or college when bored and one does not smoke and drinks only at parties?

    Anyway...

    Farking Jesuits is one I use when around children.

    Up Swarovsky's Creek (or crick as my grandaddy used to say) is another carefully placed wording. He also used to say JeeezuzHKeeerist or What the Sam Hill?

    My favorite of late is asshat...you can say it and really not get in trouble---but it does conjure up the old story of the old man covering a woman's privates after an accident ripped her clothing off and a drunk guy comes up and asks how the guy (attached to the hat) got stuck in her hoo-hah.

    But when I don't care whom is around to hear my words of profanity often:
    G-ddamnF*ckingSonofaB!tchOnAG-ddamnF*ckingLifeRaft is one that rolls quite well off my tongue.

    Yes, I went to a private (non-denominational) girls school near Altadena...witholding the name to preserve their good name!

    Then of course, there is the old story---little kid is being taught not to use babytalk, to use grown up words. Long story short, the kid answers "Winnie the Shit" when asked about his favorite book.

    and with that, I bid good night!

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  38. Just had to come back and see what my gore-bellied folly-fallen hedge-pies have been up to...

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  39. You go Trish. (Never heard that derivation of the children's classic.)

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  40. Might I add that such disgraceful musings are the product of a pribbling, plume-plucked puttock.

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