Y’all, I can’t even. The New York Times has printed the word … I can’t even say it. Rhymes with “pitmole.” The closest I can come to saying that word in print is “s—hole.”
Although asterisks are much prettier.
A prominent member of Congress recently used the phrase “doggy doo,” but I’m not sure that’s any better, really.
At this moment in our culture, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard every one of George Carlin’s seven dirty words uttered on TV. Seen most of them, too.
Last year there was a groundbreaking podcast called “S-town.”
A Netflix series called “The End of the F***king World.” A bestselling book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” Y’all, we are only one asterisk away from a complete breakdown of social mores.
The reality is that curse words change as cultures change. We are obviously growing less offended by the idea of various body parts and what can be done with them. Instead, today’s really bad words are those that denigrate people just because of who they are.
That’s a big move in the right direction. But, gosh darn it, I will miss some of the more creative ways people have gotten around cussing in public, whether to hide from God or from Facebook’s profanity filters.
Yeah, you think just because you spelled it with a dollar sign instead of an ‘S’ I can’t figure out what you just called me?
Dadburnit, dagnabbit, doggonit, dadgummit, dagblastit, consarnit and confound it! That made me as mad as h-e-double hockey sticks!
I’m ticked off.
Two of my personal favorites are “sheesh” and “geez.” I think they are supposed to be nicknames for the son of God.
Our cusswords used to be more godly: holy cow, holy smokes, holy mackerel, holy moly, holy guacamole.
We’ve turned a lot of people into curses: Great Caesar’s ghost! Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! Heavens to Betsy! For the love of Pete!
(Caesar we all know, Jehoshaphat was an ancient king in the Bible, Pete was probably St. Peter, and nobody’s really sure who Betsy was.)
Publishers have long wrestled with how to cuss in print, ever since the first comic strip character uttered the immortal words “#*&$!”
Comic book hero Luke Cage swore by saying “Sweet Christmas!” On “Full House,” they said “Oh my … lanta!” In the movie “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” the angry woodland creatures literally said “cuss cuss!”
On “Game of Thrones,” they say “graddakh.” In Klingon, they say “QI-yaH!”
Popeye just grumbled.
In “A Christmas Story,” our boy hero said “fudge.” In “Battlestar Galactica,” they frequently used the word “frack.”
Oh, the words we will say instead of dropping the actual F-bomb.
Freaking, frigging, flipping, effing.
I certainly hope I haven’t offended anyone by my use of these colorful euphemisms (that’s a real word, not a pretend curse word). But if you don’t like my language, well, you know what you can kiss.
Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.