I don’t like to use bad words. I don’t like to hear other people’s bad words. I don’t mind them quite so much in the written word, however. I’ve recently come to appreciate the iconic word of choice used by writer and creator Vince Gilligan for his character Jessie Pinkman. The same word used constantly by Jessie was able to convey every emotion—celebration, frustration, domination to name a few. I have to admit that sometimes a bad word will slip out of my mouth, try as I may to control them.
This morning I was irritated and my mouth got away from my brain when a loose bathroom towel rack clanged to the floor and startled me. As I reacted verbally, I recalled the sage advice I got from my friend Carey in the 6th grade. “My big sister knows how to cuss without cussing,” she bragged. “If you don’t say the vowel, just the consonants… (look us us, listening in Language Arts class!)…it doesn’t really count as a bad word. Try it.” Our go-to word was the consonant blend “sht” which we practiced until we perfected it in every situation and is also the one that I said to the offending towel rack. My immediate thought was “that didn’t count as a bad word!” It’s nice having friends with older, wiser sisters.
Then I remembered my pal Jerry from high school. He was also a clean talker but realized there weren’t bad enough names for the people who were really annoying, mean, or just downright intolerable. So he decided to call them:
Thanks to the creativity of these two friends, I am usually able to vent while also making a funny in a situation that calls for wrath and/or anger. Here are a few other favorites of mine that have been said by or around me:
SHUT the FRONT door.
Oh my cow.
(That last one was used by my husband’s Grandmother to convey amazement. I’ve never heard anyone else use that one. Feel free).
And of course, Buddy the Elf: “Son of a Nutcracker!”
I also love the term of non-endearment coined by the gurus at www.rantsfrommommyland.com “Jackhole.” Very user friendly.
I don’t have visions of a curse-free world, but I have to say, when I went to a conference of ministry leaders recently, I did feel like my ears got a vacation from potty mouth strangers.
What words do you use or avoid? Tell me in the comments below!