I remember saying, “O stink!” when I was traveling in a summer group for a fundy college. The faculty member traveling with us replied, “You don’t have swear about it!”
No, I didn’t say it during a concert.
I used to say “rats” all the time, too, until my IFB school made us all feel guilty for any kind of saying that expressed frustration. Cuz, you know, frustration means you’re not trusting God. I was in second grade at the time.
The idea of minced oaths always struck me as anal retentive. I was sitting at a faculty table one time and used the expression “as luck would have it.” Another faculty member attempted to lecture me on the use of luck in front of everyone. I cut her off by simply stating “I said luck because I meant luck.”
After I had left Maranatha, I came back and accidentally used the word “gee.” An administrator attempted to rebuke me because I used a bad word. As I left, I turned to him and said “I used ‘gee’ because I meant gee. Had I wanted to use the word ‘Jesus,’ I would have used the word Jesus. The same goes for heck, gosh, darn, and fudge. People in the real world don’t bat an eyelash. The only ones who get their panties in a wad are anal-retentive fundies like you, and that is the reason why you-all feel so intimidated and insecure.” The man literally went unhinged in the hallway as I simply walked away from him and out the door.
Though idk; the Bible says in so many words not to use “idle words” (“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”). They might have a point. I mean, what are idle words?
Oh, but for the TRULY serious fundy (read: “the one who God loves more”), made-up cuss words are not acceptable. Because those are just replacing real cuss words, which makes them just as evil as the real thing.
I remember getting this lecture in chapel at my fundy U (instead of, you know, teaching from the Bible) and trying not to laugh.
Watergate happened when I was in Bible college. (yeah, I’m that old) My best friend and I used the “expletive deleted” that occurred frequently in the published portions of the transcripts of the famous tapes. We’d say, “Expletive deleted! I left my Biblical Research assignment at home!” It’s a bit cumbersome when you really need a verbal pressure valve. I have recently found myself using “stink” but have no idea where I picked it up. I’m not around any fun dies ….fun dies… STINK! Why does my spell check insist on making me use incorrect plural spelling for fundy?! Arrgh! Change the Y to an i and add -es, but NO! It insists on fun dies! Wait. What in the blue blazes? Well, I’ll be jiggered! Fundy = fun dies. That’s really a thing of beauty, when you think about it. Can you spell ironic?
I have to admit, I’m kind of with the truly serious fundies on this one, at least in the sense that it always struck me as a little silly when people purposely replace a swear word with a more innocuous word because they don’t want to offend Jesus or whatever. It’s like they think they could slip one by him or something. It seems pretty condescending to act like Jesus wouldn’t know what you REALLY meant to say when you said, “Shoot!” after spilling your cup of coffee all over the stack of forms you were filling out. I mean, as a non-Christian I don’t really care one way or the other, but it just seems odd. It’s like the implication is that Jesus is a bit like a 5 year old when it comes to being able to sneak naughty words by him or something. That just goes for the people who try not to curse out of some kind of religious obligation though. I can understand the people who do it out of a desire to be tactful or because they find cursing insensitive, crude, and lacking in creativity.
“The same goes for heck, gosh, darn, and fudge. People in the real world don’t bat an eyelash.” Not quite true, but not because they find it sinful. People in the non-evangelical-subculture realworld find such faux swearwords a bit ridiculous.
I was around fundies who said ‘bah’ a lot. I now say it, not because I’m trying to avoid swearing, but just because it’s in my vocabulary now. They also called people a ‘joombie’ instead of a different offensive name.
I remember when traveling for a fundy college a pastor on the west coast getting on the subject on minced oaths in his Sunday morning sermon. He said, “When you say ‘We sure had a hectic time.’ You are really saying, ‘We sure had a hellish time.’”
Up here in New England, one of the standard cuss words is “frig” (“Frig this!” “Wicked friggin’ cold this mawnin!”) The parallel with another word is more than obvious, but I read somewhere that it actually originated in Maine among seamen — it’s a derivation of “frigate.”
My mother, who was from New York, used to express frustration by saying, “Oh, pish!” I’ve never heard that from anyone else.
As for the use of words and phrases such as “gee” and “gosh darn,” I read a sermon not long ago which opined that God has better things to do with His time than to worry about whether people use His name flippantly. Taking the Lord’s name in vain has nothing to do with cussing, unless it’s deliberately and maliciously used to curse another human being. It has a whole lot more to do with things like hypocrisy and how we live our lives in general.
Hey, this reminds me of that youtube video from a few years back with that Dean of Students (or whoever he was) from BJU. As I remember that one does get a little graphic, especially for a fundy, although the logic is very consistent to their way of thinking.
In a newspaper in TN one of the local columnists said that God’s name is not God. So, in his opinion, you could say that all you want as long you didn’t use a name of God. Ill-logic abounds from all sides of most issues.
I’m partial to using friggin’ or freakin’ myself. I’m also amused by ‘frack’ from the new Battlestar Galactica series. Not sure if it is spelled the same but it just amuses me that ‘fracking’ is a way to extract oil.
In college, we were banned from saying any type of minced oaths, even ‘crap’ and ‘sucks’. We made up our own ones like ‘buttmonkey’ though we only used it among students. sonofabaptist!
I didn’t grow up fundy but the church I grew up in had a lot of sanctimonious prigs like fundies. My parents were hypocritical in this area. They’d cuss with the real words, but we kids weren’t allowed to say the fake ones. Once I got my mouth washed out with soap for saying Golly. This was hypocrisy at it’s worst.
I try not to say that many supposed cuss words, but I will say them, all except the F word which I despise. Sometimes no other word will do but the real one!
That was my impression also (though useless conversation could certainly include gossip as Tiarali says). Therefore, when I drop something heavy on my foot and subsequently exclaim “oh shit!,” that wouldn’t be useless conversation because (1) it’s not a conversation and (2) swearing is scientifically proven to deaden the effect of pain.
“Puke!”is the one most often coming out of my mouth. Also, “Stinking!”
And those are not necessarily to replace other “bad” words – I didn’t grow up in a house where those words were used, so I have never used them (regularly – can’t honestly say absolutely never )
What about foreign cuss words? Does Bloody mean anything here in the states? No..But in the UK it’s considered cussing….So does God care about our country of origin as well as our intent when we (and I mean all you heathens) cuss?
While I was out of the classroom my fundie sub made one of my students write a paragraph on the evils of “cursing”. He had said “gee” and “darn”. I’m sure his non-fundie parents were thrilled. And I was embarrassed for us.
I find myself saying “son of a mother” and “for the love of Pete” most commonly.
Growing up, we weren’t allowed to use curse words, but gosh, golly, gee, crap, etc. were just fine. My parents were decidedly less Fundy than a lot of my friends’ parents, so I had to learn to curb my foul language at a fairly early age. Also, my family is German, so scheisser, scheiss, scheisster, & scheisskopf could be used when appropriate.
My spouse’s family was much more strict, using stink & poop when they mean…scheiss. They were also shocked to hear me use snot & crud. Seriously.
Currently, I tell my children to speak with integrity, or say what you mean. We don’t use our words as weapons to hurt others, but if you’re expressing frustration, use of an oath can be an appropriate choice. For me personally, son of a biscuit-eating bulldog is a great stress-reliever. I start out angry, but by the time I get to the end, I’m laughing & the tension is eased. But when I’ve been up for 18 hours & my toddler is tearing through the house and pulling things off shelves or pouring the contents of his sippy cup on the floor, a muttered “Dammit!” under the breath is a very appropriate expression of my feelings. Not only am I venting my frustration, I also get that giddy rush of doing something “bad” & getting away with it.
My cuss word of choice is “sugar” and if I’m really over the top frustrated “crap”. I guess there is just some fundy you can’t shed.
On a more serious note, I really don’t like cursing. I always told my boys they were intelligent enough to come up with something that really expressed what they were thinking and that cursing was just lazy and bad vocabulary. They are all men now and I’m sure they curse sometimes, but in front of me they use more creative language.
I spent one year at Baptist Bible College in Springfield and was in the drama class there. One of the plays we did was supposed to be in England, and all the actors were peppering their lines with “Bloody” this and “Bloody” that. After several weeks of this, one student pointed out that in some places the word bloody was considered a swear word. After that we only said it outside of class.
It all has to do with expectations: he overlooks cursing from construction workers or bad guys because that’s what one would expect, but he doesn’t expect his sweet, demure little wife to have a temper.
It is interesting to go to a church that is a lot less fundy than your previous one. In our current church we have a lady, who took a medical missions trip to Haiti. When she came back, she gave a report of her time down there and was very impressed with the way the Chrisitian prayed in Haiti. She said, “When they pray they really pray. They don’t just pray for the heck of it.” I believe at the other churches I have been in, that would have been the last time, they would have asked her to speak in church. Also, after a recent service, I had a fellow church member say to me, “That was a heck of a service!” and his dad used to pastor the church!
I agree – as a matter of course I don’t curse. Using such language frequently lessens its impact, so I tend to save foul language for when I really mean it.
Once my sister, who was going through a rough time in her life, accidentally let the phrase “oh, shit” slip out in front of my Fundy mother. My mom’s response was classic, though. “Dear, don’t worry. Sometimes life is shit.”
Well, son of a biscuit eater. If I would have gotten off my blessed assurance yesterday and came over here, I would have gotten to see this friggin thing when it was posted, and might have been darn-well first. Shittola.
These days, if I want to cuss, I just freakin’ cuss, but dagnabbit before, you might as darn well know that I used my share of those stupid-as-hades psuedo-cuss words.
But, good night, what’s a fundy to flippin do when you want to foppin express yourself and you just can’t worth a Shih Tzu?
HAHAHAHAAHAHAAAAA LOL OHHHhh I think maybe your mom and my mom would have been good friends. LOL That is PRICELESS!!!
My mom used to say that when people spoke in tongues they were maybe cursing God in another language and some old missionary story about someone who spoke the language the tongue speakers were speaking in… don’t remember it now because speaking in tongues wasn’t really much of an issue when I was growing up… but accidentally cussing in another language is definately a new phobia I now have. Thanks, Mom of Pastor’s Wife.
The ways that language changes between cultures is also interesting.
Years ago, a missionary shared the following story with me. He was at a service in Australia, and his wife was sick. He simply told the congregation that his wife was “under the weather.” The congregation looked shocked, so he immediately retorted “but she’s perking up now.” At that point the pastor of the church (who had spent time in the US) got up and told the guy, “In Australia, ‘under the weather’ means that she is slobbering drunk, and ‘perking up’ means that she is throwing up.”
When my grandmother (Pentecostal pastor’s wife) was frustrated, she would roll her eyes toward heaven and exclaim, “merciful Father above..” The older I get, the more I find myself doing the exact same thing…
Everyone had different rules, but they acted like their rules were the only set, and expected you to know them without being told. My mom allowed “rats” and “shucks” but not “shoot”. My dad allowed all the above, but not “gee” “gosh” “golly” “heck” or “darn”. The christian school was a minefield, because each teacher seemed to have his or her own list of “dirty” words. And no one seemed to agree what made a word bad. Was it using it outside its intended context or literal meaning? Were certain words always bad, regardless of context? Were all euphemisms and minced oaths bad? Even the really obscure ones? If you don’t want me to use certain words, at least let me know how to avoid them. We don’t allow our kids to take the Lord’s name in vain (after all, it is a Commandment) and we don’t allow them to call each other “stupid” or its synonyms, but we don’t make a big deal about any other words, and they rarely swear.
I remember two stories from Australia. One was that a missionary from the states was in Australia and he’d had a great meal with his hosts. Afterward he said, “I’m stuffed!” and they laughed at him because to them stuffed meant pregnant.
In another story a woman from the states had gotten a hotel room and the bellboy asked if she wanted him to knock her up in the morning. Which meant to give her a wake up call or knock on the door to wake her up but of course to her that meant to get her pregnant. I think in either situation I’d be laughing my head off. I’d have to warn that bellboy not to say that to any woman from the states! LOL
I always have considered myself to have pretty tame language–I prefer creative use of non-obscene yet extremely descriptive words to the made-up sort of swearing–but even I was taken aback when, after letting out a relatively innocuous “oh my goodness” while helping watch a child, I was informed by his mother not to use that sort of language around her son.
I thought she misheard, so I quickly said, “oh, no, don’t worry, I only said ‘oh my goodness’.” She looked at me very seriously and said, “I know.”
I still never have quite understood why she considered that so horrendously offensive…
Now THAT’S the kind of “swearing” I like to do. It’s just so much more entertaining–and you don’t have to watch yourself lest an errant minced oath of ultimate evil slip out in the presence of the wrong person.
I’m still amused that we all think that copying Robert Newton’s characterization of Long John Silver – making it at least 3 indirections away from reality, counting Stevenson himself – makes us talk like pirates. Really? And I suppose we think pirates had parrots on their shoulders, too. Pretty funny.
Loving the Music Man reference. Don’t forget rebuttoning the knickerbockers…
A local youth drama company put the show on. They did great, but forgot the first rule of theater: when you bring the house down, WAIT until the audience stops applauding. The salesmen train “song” was so good that Harold Hill’s entrance was completely snowed by applause.
She might not have liked it because it SOUNDED like “God.” She might have disliked any extraneous words not matter how innocuous because she wanted to let her “yea be yea and her nay nay.” It’s possible too that she’d read Ps. 144:2 – “My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer” – in which God is called “my goodness.” Or it could be that she likes being “holier than thou” and takes pleasure in putting other people down in order to supposedly look super-spiritual herself.
I saw a documentary on the History Channel. It claimed it was the Puritians who created the concept of profanity, the idea that certain words were sinful. Of course most of these words were related to sex.
A phonic sound that might be a “swear” word in the English language might be an acceptable word in another.
With fundies Ethnic slurs were acceptable. I can remember a fundie evangelist dropping the n-bomb at my church.
I am for free speech, but Christians should be less obsessed with George Carlin’s “7 Words you Can’t Say on Television” and more concerned with the hateful speech that dehumanizes people like; heathen, fool, unsaved trash, liberal, catolick, holy rollers, queer, etc…
I used that quote at the last basketball game I was at. When the opposing team made a basket or a good play, I’d call out to no one in particular, “your mother was hamster!!!” As if that changed anything. Though they did end up losing…
The f-word makes me crazy because people use it all.the.time for no reason. I was working at a fast food restaurant and a guy there used it for just about every part of speech there was. I mean come on, really??
I do say freaking. And bloody stupid on occasion. I have used Ron Weasley’s bloody hell, but not seriously My brother uses Hades, and h-e-double-hocky-sticks.
I did say “darn it” one time when my football team missed a touchdown attempt, and my mom got on to me. Then again, she doesn’t like crap, or sucks, or butt, or…. And no more happiness!
Christian school faculty meetings often involved rooting out what the latest made up cuss words were for this reason. Then they were banned and we had to punish kids for using them. So they used new ones. Which were discussed at the next “what replacement words are they cussing with?” meeting and then banned.
It was endless. And stupid. Being the language police is beyond ridiculous.
I heard that expression (“Oh my goodness”) preached against at the Wilds camp one time, because goodness is a character trait of God and we are taking His character in vain when we say that.
Crazy the rules they can come up with.
HAHA about the german swear words!
My humanities professor used French swear words whenever the overhead projector turned off: which was about twice a class. Still have no idea what he was saying, but now whenever it turns off in my psych class I have to try really hard to not explode in laughter.
’75-76. And yes. Terrified. Still. She had a son there also when I was there. I didn’t really like him too much. Thought he was “all that”. Maybe he was. I didn’t think so though.
Just the other day I went to a play by the Lamb’s Players and the actors went out of character for an instant and had to hide their smiles and I thought of her. And of how much trouble they would have been in if SHE had been their director.
“you just can’t worth a Shih Tzu?”
I have GOT to use that some time! I have a Shih Tzu, I’ll use it next time he gets out of the yard or tips the trash can over….
At my FU there was this very prim and proper girl who used “holy shiboykins” (sp???) She said it quite often, until I asked her if she knew what the first part sounded like. She goes, “Holy shi— ” She never said it again.
When I arrived at my Fundy College back in the late 70′s, I noticed everyone said “stink”. I had never heard that before and I thought it sounded stupid. I never once used it, but it was funny to watch the freshman come in every year and begin to say that word. I still think it’s stupid.
We weren’t allowed to use any slang words, but my parents swore whenever they were angry (often). Any form of God or Jesus’ names earned soap in the mouth. We could say rats, oh my word, oh my land and stink.
Once my mom almost slapped me for saying my own name under my breath when I was frustrated with something I had just done. She said it sounded like “dammit”.
Now I laugh when my 6 yo daughter says, “What the heck?”, tells her brother to pick up his crap (legos) and when she told my husband to “shut the damn door” when he checked on her in the shower. lol (She learned THAT one from my FIL.)
Our former pastor’s son taught my son to say “bull shoot”. We put an end to that. Stupid Christian school kid.
The actual preaching on it always seemed hypocritical to me (at least when I heard it) because by the end of the sermon you realize that the preacher basically just spent the entire time swearing (by his definition) at the audience. But, for some reason, he was covered by some special dispensation (“It’s okay to say these words as long as you are preaching against them!”) Seems like there would be more important things for Christians to worry about…
This isn’t fundy-related as far as I know…but my late mom told me this anecdote once. She was a working-class Irish kid from Southie (South Boston), but she always had social and intellectual aspirations “beyond her station” as they used to say. When we moved from our urban Irish ghetto in Dorchester, Mass., to a suburban town some 20 miles away, my mom joined the League of Women Voters. The mostly well-heeled members would hold regular meetings in each others’ homes. At one meeting, another League member was venting about some impossible situation, which apparently exasperated her. “You’re darned if you do,” she said, “and you’re darned if you don’t.” My mom, brought up in a salty-tongued Irish-American family, thought this was hilarious. For years afterward, her idea of “too-preciously-proper-for-words” was “You’re darned if you do, and you’re darned if you don’t.” Of the woman in question, she liked to say, “Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.” Yep, that was my mom for ya.
I didn’t go to Fundy U but I did go to FU (local Greenvillians will know what that is.) Tony Campollo gave a sermon during chapel where he said (and I’m paraphrasing), “There are millions of starving people in the world, and most of you don’t give a shit about it. In fact, most of you are more upset that I just said the word ‘shit’ than are upset about those starving people.”
It made an impression on me. I’ve heard him use that line in other sermons, though, so it’s part of his stock repertoire.
My parents, both fundy most of their lives until just recently, say “What the Sam Hill?” Said real fast it doesn’t come out Hill. I had to ask them when they started swearing for them to tell me what they actually were saying at which point I said, “Why don’t you just say ‘Hell’?”
I was at the emergency room with my wife in Lubbock Tx. I had on my Manchester United jersey. The sweetest looking little lady said in the nicest English accent “thats my club I have been following them since I was a little girl in Manchester. I never could stand those f**k ing Manchester City c**ts.” My mom who had a Phd in history, and an masters in English always pointed out swear words where a puritan and victorian invention. At home I didnt have off limits words. out of respect I never take the Lords name in vain
My sports language is a lot stronger than “darn.” I think my first cursing lessons came in the form of shouting obscenities at Red Sox players and chanting “Boston sucks!” with the Bleacher Creatures at Yankee Stadium. I think that, as a New Yorker, swearing is part of my cultural heritage.
You should check out the Penn and Teller “Bullshit!” episode that deals with cursing. It’s on YouTube. In it, there is a woman who is a driving instructor who is on a mission to get rid of profanity. She has even taught her students to replace the bird with some weird hand signal! LOL! Stupid!
One of my college roommates was a genuine preacher’s daughter, and my mother was a kindergarten teacher. So right before we went back home, we practiced saying “SFDP” in lieu of saying “Shit Fuck Damn Piss.” (The P throws people off.)
Also, I grew up in a very Finnish community, so that’s how I get away with saying “shit” at work without anyone knowing.
When I saw the header for this, I thought of the list of curses from Farscape, (frell, dren, Hezmata, tralc) before remembering my misspent fundy youth. I kid you not, there was an issue with the phrase “Mother Fuddrucker’s!”
Kevin Roose (author of the Unlikely Disciple) said that while he was trying to blend in with the students at Liberty University, he read a book that recommended substituting swear words with words that glorified God. He baffled his new LU peers by saying things that “Mercy!” and “Glory Be!” instead of the sit-com versions of swear words that everyone else used.
Having absolutely no vocabulary and misspronunciating words is classic fundy. Some years ago a PCC graduate was attending our church and preached a whole sermon about “prejudisms” otherwise known as prejudices. A week later another PCC grad did a whole sermon on “laminating” intending to preach on lamenting over our sinfulness.
Moral of the story: Be sure you are properly laminating your predjudisms.
Or at least pronounce it correctly.
You’re so right! Why do they do that, to torture me? The pastor of the church we left last September made up lots of words. One was “deservant.” He’d say, “We’re not deservant of heaven, we’re deservant of hell.” ‘The proper word there is deserving.
The worst earsore I think is when they say Hagg-eee- eye for Haggai. There is no e in Haggai, it’s supposed to be pronounced Hag-eye but every fundy preacher and those reading the Bible portions at the front ALWAYS pronounced it Hagg-eee-eye and it just made me cringe. Especially when they continued to mispronounce it all the way through the sermon! Talk about wanting to cuss I sure did!
I watched every season of Farscape on Netflicks in just a few short weeks. I seriously started saying stuff like “frelling dren” when I’d usually use some other colorful metaphor. I still say what the frell sometimes. Great show.
I think I saw that one! Didn’t she use both hands to make a “turkey”? Instead of flipping the bird, she went more literal…and stupid. For one thing, to do it she had to take her hands off the wheel…great driving instructor! Plus, the hand gesture just looked ridiculous.
I used to yell, “Curses and bad words!” often in college. I got some odd looks, but I thought it was entertaining.
My brother-in-law (who later attended the same college) said that he was in a class where the teacher was telling them words they couldn’t say and said, “We don’t say T-U-R-D or C-A-R-P”. Good thing they could still use crap.