My Top 3: Fake Curse Words
Great googly moogly!
My Top 3 is a weekly post where I countdown three things I love in a random category. This week, we’re looking at my go to fake curse words.
I actually have zero issue with profanity. To me, words are just words and we use them to express ourselves. I strongly believe, however, that some words have more power than others. They have power to hurt and power to heal. They also have the power to express emotions more clearly.
This is where true profanity lies in book. Curse words are, as one person described them, words of power. They are for select moments when we need to express things a certain way.
There has been actual research into the science of profanity. MythBusters did a great episode demonstrating that actual curse words can help you tolerate pain longer. I also just read an article that shows swearing can make you happier if you do it for the right reasons [may be paywalled].
While I do drop an F-bomb from time to time, I like to save the power of such words for when I need it most. That is why I turn to my preferred fake profanities. They provide me most of the oomph, but with none of the side-eye from others. It also means when I drop a true F-bomb, I really mean it.
Before we get to the list, a quick digression. When I lived in Florida as a kid, I called it cussing. Then I moved to New York and, in about six months, started calling it cursing. As I got older, it moved to calling it swearing. Regional and generational linguistics are interesting.
Technically, scheisse is not a fake curse word. It’s German. However, I count it as a fake curse word because English is my native language. I like to say scheisse because it has all the power of a curse word, but seems more accepted as it’s not in a language commonly spoken in my area. That said, when you say it, most people know what you mean. It’s a one-to-one substitute.
I like a curse word that starts with a stop consonant. They’re great for when you forget something or stub your toe on the dining room table for the ninetieth time. Dagnabbit comes out hard. It starts with the prompt D and then digs into the G and throws in a double B and ends on a T. It’s staccato. Plus, dagnabbit has a long linguistic journey. It’s history creates an old timey feel which can be warranted in certain situations.
A fluffernutter is a sandwich made of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. It is best enjoyed when one is under the age of 15 and can stomach such sweetness. It is also an ideal fake curse word. The letters feel good to release in anger or in frustration. It has the oomph of a good mother-you-know-what with none of the crassness. Plus, when you need a short word, FLUFF! is the perfect substitute to use for an F-bomb in public spaces. Fluffernutter has the added benefit of bringing some whimsy to profanity. Sure, I may be upset when I use it, but you gotta smile at the fact that a sticky sandwich is a great way to express a bad situation.
Next week, I’m going to countdown my top three movies I will always rewatch.
This post is a part of the free preview. My Top 3 will go behind a paywall on September 1, 2022.