The Power Of Swearing

ChasFink

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Actually in the states "fanny" means something else, but it's still popular with some folks.
 

Peripart

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Actually in the states "fanny" means something else, but it's still popular with some folks.

So does 'bum'.

Yes, and what used to be called (and still is, I guess, though I can't think when I last heard it) a bum bag in the UK is, I believe, referred to as a fanny pack in the US.

Get that wrong and much hilarity could ensue.
 

GNC

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Actually, the C word seems to mean different things too - in the US it's an insult to describe a woman you don't like, in the UK it's an insult to describe a man you don't like. In general.
 

Yithian

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The F-Word was what threw me--it wasn't what I expected-- and the K-word I had to look up. (Do you know them both?)

As I said on the Good Posting Practices Thread, all these euphemisms are stupid--just make it clear that you are quoting and not 'using' the bad word.

Words are spoken sounds; they cannot injure you and their power to upset is entirely based on context.

Imagine a machine were combining syllables at random to create sounds, and by chance it created a racial slur that matched the listener's ethnicity.

Would any listener be upset?
 

Swifty

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:cat:There's also cooch, cooze, fud, poontang, quim, and vag.:cat:
(I'm still within the guidelines, yes?)


:chimp:He was an expert at gorilla warfare.:chimp:
"Fud" is slang for food for food in North Norfolk.
 

ChasFink

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And in the US, the equivalent of "bum" is "buns" - although that's a bit old fashioned and, I think, a little less rude. If I heard "bum bag" I'd think of that bundle at the end of a stick that cartoon hobos carry. Or maybe a very obscure reference to a scrotum.
 

Mythopoeika

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"Fud" is slang for food for food in North Norfolk.
'Fud' in other use is Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. A marketing tactic employed by IBM back in the day.
 

Peripart

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The F-Word was what threw me--it wasn't what I expected-- and the K-word I had to look up. (Do you know them both?)

What were you expecting? Is something going over my head here?

I expected 'Fuck', but all the most recent references are to 'faggot'--a word that I haven't heard used in many years.

That's bizarre! Who says "faggot" nowadays*? As for the "K" word (and indeed the "Y" word you mentioned earlier) - if I had to guess, without the aid of Google, I'd suppose they referred to "Kike" and "Yid". Mind you, I'm more confident about the "Y", and only guessed the "K" because it appeared in the same sentence.


*Thinking about it, I was listening to my Brothers in Arms CD in the car today, and of course, that word does crop up in "Money for Nothing". Interesting that it doesn't usually get bleeped out on radio, but the "nigger" in Oliver's Army pretty much always does. both might be considered offensive, of course, but also, I believe that both are artistically justified in the context of their respective songs.
 

David Plankton

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That's bizarre! Who says "faggot" nowadays*?

You can still buy Brain's Faggots but the drop down menu when you search suggests 'fagots'. I thought they might have been pressured into changing the name but it's just the search engine trying to be as inoffensive as it can.
 

Swifty

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'Fud' in other use is Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. A marketing tactic employed by IBM back in the day.
I wonder if there was any significance in Elmer Fudd's second name being Fudd? ..
 

Mythopoeika

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I wonder if there was any significance in Elmer Fudd's second name being Fudd? ..
Fudd = thud? Because he was so clumsy?
 

Bad Bungle

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'Tis the season for cussing and a memory of my Mother's friend from Church, whose grandmother was raised in Transylvania ('the Old Country'). Now part of Romania, it bordered the Balkans under Ottoman control for 400 years and her oath of choice was kruzitürken !
Modern translation is 'Gosh darn it' but she meant the non PC literal Crucify the Turks !
 

ramonmercado

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'Tis the season for cussing and a memory of my Mother's friend from Church, whose grandmother was raised in Transylvania ('the Old Country'). Now part of Romania, it bordered the Balkans under Ottoman control for 400 years and her oath of choice was kruzitürken !
Modern translation is 'Gosh darn it' but she meant the non PC literal Crucify the Turks !

In Ireland there are similar old curses about bathing in Sassenach (English) blood.

The term Saxon as distinct from Sassenach was even used in some songs which feature War of Independence eg The Boys Of Barr Na Sráide:

And when the hills were bleeding and the rifles were aflame
To the rebel homes of Kerry the Saxon strangers came
But the men who dared the Auxies and fought the Black-and-Tan
Were the Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren


http://www.countysongs.ie/song/boys-of-barr-na-sraide
 

Lord Lucan

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That's bizarre! Who says "faggot" nowadays*? As for the "K" word (and indeed the "Y" word you mentioned earlier) - if I had to guess, without the aid of Google, I'd suppose they referred to "Kike" and "Yid". Mind you, I'm more confident about the "Y", and only guessed the "K" because it appeared in the same sentence.


*Thinking about it, I was listening to my Brothers in Arms CD in the car today, and of course, that word does crop up in "Money for Nothing". Interesting that it doesn't usually get bleeped out on radio, but the "nigger" in Oliver's Army pretty much always does. both might be considered offensive, of course, but also, I believe that both are artistically justified in the context of their respective songs.


Oddly enough, here in Australia it seems to be reversed. I can't recall the last time on radio when I heard ''Money for Nothing'' with the word ''faggot'' included yet ''Oliver's Army'' always has the word ''Nigger'' included. Go figure.
I have the complete collection of the ''Two Fat Ladies'' on dvd and numerous times they mention faggots, however they are referring to their correct meanings.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's a report on research that's clearly on-topic for this thread ...
Pain Experiment Shows There Really Is Something Soothing About Saying The 'f' Word

Swearing is good for you. Well, kind of. A growing body of research suggests that, under the right circumstances, simply saying taboo words out loud seems to make people feel less pain – but not just any swear words will suffice, new findings reveal.

Exactly how and why the act of swearing manages to make things seem less painful remains largely hypothetical, and it's worth noting that much of the hypothesising to date in this area has been led by a single researcher, British psychologist Richard Stephens from Keele University.

Nonetheless, what Stephens has uncovered is certainly very interesting. A little over a decade ago, he and his team found that if people immersed their hand in ice water, the simple act of swearing during the experiment enabled participants to perceive decreased pain and tolerate increased pain.

Related follow-ups found that the benefits of this pain-lessening (hypoalgesic) effect brought about by swearing are constrained by how often you swear ordinarily, with frequent swearers receiving a lesser increase in pain tolerance than those who don't tend to swear as much.

The hypoalgesic phenomenon seems to transcend language barriers, and appears to be related to other oddities that alter people's perception and abilities; swearing seems to make people stronger too, and taboo gestures, in place of verbal swearing, can also have a positive effect when people are in pain. ...

FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/saying...hings-seem-to-hurt-less-pain-experiment-shows
 

Spookdaddy

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This is great. Having lived with a Spaniard for three years, I can attest to the potential for cultural confusion in such matters:

 

Ringo

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I love a bit of swearing. Boll*cks is without doubt the most used swear word in my vocabulary along with the Swedish version of Damn.

My Dad has a wonderful way of saying A*sehole. He usually mumbles but his enunciation of the word is impeccible. Every time he drives he meets multilpe a*seholes and never fails to point them out. It sounds lovely.

Since I emigrated, I have had to learn all the local swear words. Most are actually socially acceptable. The equivalents of "Damn, Shit, Hell, Fu*k, Piss off" etc can be littered into a conversation with close work colleagues and friends. The F word has a great equivalent which covers fu*king, sodding and frigging and is OK to say if you just mean it as an exclaimation but there is a different word to describe the sexual act which is very ugly and is only used in a sexual context.

But I've found that for true drop-your-shopping-bags shock value, the Swedish cersion of the C word is so potent when used publicly that whole train carriages full of people will gasp and turn to look.

Ricky Gervais has made the word more acceptable amongst friends but it still has a certain...edge.
 

bugmum

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My grandfather used to drop 'bloody' into every sentence, the grumpy old git. Possibly as a result of this, my mother was quite prim and proper - although that could just have been that her dad didn't approve of women swearing! She trained as a primary school teacher later in life, and once had a child complain to her that somebody else had called them "a wanker"; Mum had no idea what this meant but automatically told the miscreant off for using bad language, and then asked my dad what it meant later that evening. Apparently he fell about laughing and said that he wished she'd asked him that question in front of her own father. I know I was horrified the first time she described something to me as being "shit" - it was on the phone, and I retorted with "Mother!" as you do.

Thus we were not encouraged to swear. I once said "twat" in front of her whilst aged about 10, and she just fixed me with a look and suggested that I look that word up in the dictionary. I was quite embarrassed to discover its actual meaning. She was particularly against the use of "Jesus Christ!" as an oath - she didn't appreciate the blasphemy.

Whilst not being particularly potty-mouthed myself, I followed her into teaching for a while, and spent 7 years going "Poot!" or "Bother!" or "Poohsticks!" or - in really terrible situations - "Damn". However, when I quit that and went back to Uni to do my Masters, my language in public deteriorated horribly, although I kept to the less offensive ways in front of my own kids.

My daughter, at 14, does say to me, "Mother, what was that word? Does that mean I can use it?" in a joking fashion (her two older brothers drop the F-word casually all the time). I recently told her that swearing has a time and place, and that it is not always inappropriate if you consider the situation and the audience. She shrugged and said she wasn't bothered, but we'll see how long THAT lasts. A few stubbed toes, and she'll be making a sailor blush.

Finally, whilst sympathising with my cyber friends whose husbands/partners are being vile, my current favourite description is "knuckle-dragging cockwomble". I can't claim it as original - I stole it off another cyber friend - but it does seem to convey a whole raft of feelings one not-so-offensive phrase. (Somebody is going to come along now and tell me how offensive it actually is!)
 

poozler

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I recently told her that swearing has a time and place, and that it is not always inappropriate if you consider the situation and the audience.
Exactly! When my nephew was very young (perhaps 3), he would sit in is little car seat and listen to my sister swearing at all the drivers whose skills she deplored. Of course, when my mother the saint (his grandma) had the little guy in her own car, she was more decorous. My nephew was perhaps a bit confused when grandma didn't react to bad drivers in the same way that his own mother did. So he filled in the blanks for her. When a particularly bad driver cut off grandma, my nephew shouted "Fucking asshole!" When my mother reported this bad language to my sister, the latter took her little boy aside and explained that he was not to use those sorts of words in front of grandma because it would make her unhappy. He understood and because he loved his grandma he never used bad language in front of her after that.
 

escargot

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A longish post about our profane inner dialogues -

When I looked after elderly people there were always some who, in their dementia, would speak with really foul language and terminology that their distressed families would assure us they'd NEVER used before. Staff were used to this and didn't take it personally.

These patients couldn't have learned to swear spontaneously and certainly didn't hear it in their current environment. So why were they doing it?

Elderly people have had long and varied lives and have worked in all sorts of fields - factories, the Forces, sales, health, law, construction, catering, you name it - where people use whatever language is considered appropriate. They know all the words.

So I felt it was their inner dialogue being spoken instead of staying in their heads. Maybe they were expressing what we all think. Or perhaps they were letting us know how angry and frustrated they felt in their lack of mobility and independence.

Can't speak for anyone else but in my head there's a running commentary - what the FUCK'S he doing NOW, who's at the bloody door? what the FUCK is going on, oh just PISS off, for FUCK'S sake, what's this bollocks? etc. When I'm driving alone or cycling it might actually spill out of the gob.

As a child I as taught that God could hear my thoughts and would know if I swore. The 7 year-old Scargy used to worry about this until I realised it was rubbish made up to control me.

Yesterday I was listening to the brilliant R4 adaptation of John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey, where Rumpole's inner dialogue is revealed to humorous effect.

Something like (in court) ''M'Lord might have heard me make exactly that point three minutes ago, IF you'd been listening!' is what he didn't say. What he actually said was 'Many thanks for making that point, M'Lord!'

My point is that we learn these words and how and when to use them. They're in our heads whether we admit it or not. Most of the time we can choose to keep them there.
 
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Coypu

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Sweaty buttocks:omr:
 

bugmum

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Can't speak for anyone else but in my head there's a running commentary - what the FUCK'S he doing NOW, who's at the bloody door? what the FUCK is going on, oh just PISS off, for FUCK'S sake, what's this bollocks? etc. When I'm driving alone or cycling it might actually spill out of the gob.

And then there's that horrible moment when you wonder whether you actually vocalised it externally... :D
 

bugmum

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When my nephew was very young (perhaps 3), he would sit in is little car seat and listen to my sister swearing at all the drivers whose skills she deplored.

A friend of mine used to tell us that his brother's first words were "buddy ooman" after many car journeys with his father...
 
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