Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Flippin' heck!

I have kind of a dirty mouth. I really enjoy swearing, and usually am not particularly apologetic about it. But I do work with kids, and sometimes it occurs to me that maybe I should cool it just a little with the pirate language.

Part of the problem is that I don't have enough good, clean exclamatory words at my disposal. Like, if I want to say that something is awesome, or that something sucks, those are pretty much the only two words I use to express those feelings without resorting to profanity. There are other modes of expression out there, though, and I have occasionally tried to employ them.

For instance, here are some vocabulary-building avenues I have explored.

1. Britishisms

Positive exclamations:
"Simply ripping!"
"Spiffy!"
"Boffing!"
"Blimey!" (can also be used as negative)

Negative exclamations:
"Bugger!"
"Bloody hell!"
"Bollocks!"

I quite enjoy the Britishisms, but there is no getting around the fact that as an American, using them makes me sound like a complete tosser.

2. Old Ladyisms

Neutral exclamations:
"My stars!"
"Heavens!"
"Goodness gracious!"

Negative exclamations:
"Whoopsie daisy!"
"Oh dear!"

I do use some of these sometimes--"My stars" is kind of a favorite, being also a Southernism--but I'm just not quite old enough yet to use these with credibility.

3. Mormonisms

Negative exclamations:
"Ding-dang it!"
"Crud!" (variant: "Scrud!")
"Fishsticks!"
"For Pete's sake!"
"Flippin' heck!"
"Oh fetch!"

Aren't these awesome?! There are a ton more, but having not been raised Mormon I can only remember these few. Maybe there are also positive Mormon exclamations, but I don't know those. At any rate, I deeply respect the way that Mormons realized that swearing is wrong and then built up a lengthy, expressive vocabulary of their very own swears. It warms the heart.

Still, I'm not Mormon, and I feel like stealing their very awesome swears could be seen as making fun of them, even though I regard their swear language with great admiration.

So I'm back where I started. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

10 comments:

brie said...

I like to borrow a lot from Liz Lemon, so I have incorporated "blurg" into my repertoire. Also, "aw, nuts" is a good one. And "beans" as in "cool beans" or "aw, beans!" Finally, "shizz" because it's so urban.

librarianista said...

Nice suggestions, brie! I do love a good Liz Lemon swear. Also, "nuts" and "beans" reminded me of "Good gravy," which I heard once on America's Next Top Model and like to pull out on occasion. You can't go wrong with blaspheming food.

Jennie said...

Whatever happened to "Dag nabbit!" Last time I heard that, was on "Green Acres"!

In Danish, people say "lort i lagkage". Literally, "shit in layer cake". So, how about "doodie cake"?

librarianista said...

I LOVE "shit in layer cake." Great imagery.

Librarian Girl said...

I just started to comment but the comment got so long that I feel I need to take this and post on my own about it.

thelass said...

I also work with kids and it sometimes scares me how easily I can turn off the swearing for work, then turn it right back on again as soon as I'm in the car heading home. Makes me feel a bit schizo...in a good way. I think.

Elizabeth said...

I said "Sweet baby Jesus" at work today. I don't think it went over so well, but it just popped out and perfectly expressed how I was feeling.

LJ said...

I was going to work on learning conversational Italian (in fact, the other night I was watching Liz Lemon AND practicing Italian on Mango), but I think I'll take the Soggy Librarian Word Enrichment Course instead. Oh, and the secret "word verification" to make it so I can post this comment is "pootrifi." Boffing!

arajane said...

My favorite old standby is "rats!" I also tend to say "holy moly" or "holy cow" to express amazement, and sometimes even go so far as "holy guacamole". I thought maybe these were kind of cool, but looking at them now I realize they are very grandma-ish. Hmm, I'm feeling cold, now where's my sweater?

brie said...

I thought of another one : CRUMBS. It works in a number of situations and will most likely charm those around you.

I love "lort i lagkage"! My mom is Danish and she probably said that a ton when I was little, but I never understood it.