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How to Swear Without Swearing

Thorn Wilde

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Attention! This post does contain some actual swearing. Posted this to Tumblr earlier, where it was well-received. Thought I'd share with the community as well.

 

There are a lot of comparatively mild curse words that we just accept as being family friendly without much thought as to where they come from. Some are just milder versions of a word we consider unacceptable, such as saying 'crap' instead of 'shit' or 'darn' instead of 'damn'. Others have so completely lost their original meanings that no one even considers them anymore. Here are some fairly common British ones, with pop-culture examples for your enjoyment:

 

 

tosser

n. One who masturbates; same as wanker.

'Who's Harry Potter?' 'Oh, no one. Bit of a tosser, really.'

—Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (seen by millions of children)

 

 

bugger, sod

v. To sodomise someone

n. One who sodomises

'Bludgers. Nasty little buggers.'

—Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Again, seen by millions of children)

'Sod this, you stay here if you want. On your own.'

—Sherlock, S02E03: The Reichenbach Fall (prime time TV)

 

 

berk

n. Short for ‘Berkley Hunt’ or ‘Berkshire Hunt’, which is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘cunt’.

'Then what the hell did you tackle me for, you berk?'

—Rupert Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

 

 

And there are so many more. Like, how many people who use the word 'douchebag' actually think about what that originally entailed?

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Living in NA I don't think these would be very useful for me .___.

 

well unless i dress up as harry potter on halloween

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Living in NA I don't think these would be very useful for me .___.

 

well unless i dress up as harry potter on halloween

 

Oh, I don't use any of these words much... Maybe sod and tosser, occasionally. I'm more likely to use their heavy-weight counterparts. :P

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In the ‘70s, I can remember a Top 40 AM radio station censoring Paul Simon’s Kodachrome. They overlaid the word ‘Zap’ prominently over his singing the word ‘crap.’ These days, crap passes the US TV censors for Primetime along with graphic violence. But the right wing has blocked nudity on US broadcast TV as being unsuitable for impressionable children. All of their viewers are naked under their clothes, but many don’t use even mild profanity and few deal with graphic violence on a daily basis. Those who seek to protect us from ourselves have very strange priorities.  ;–)

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5 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

In the ‘70s, I can remember a Top 40 AM radio station censoring Paul Simon’s Kodachrome. They overlaid the word ‘Zap’ prominently over his singing the word ‘crap.’ These days, crap passes the US TV censors for Primetime along with graphic violence. But the right wing has blocked nudity on US broadcast TV as being unsuitable for impressionable children. All of their viewers are naked under their clothes, but many don’t use even mild profanity and few deal with graphic violence on a daily basis. Those who seek to protect us from ourselves have very strange priorities.  ;–)

It's interesting how these things change... Over here in Norway, swearing is rarely if ever censored on TV. Songs are never censored on the radio, no matter what time of day it is. 

 

Many years ago now, I played the computer game The Sims 2. There's a thing they do for the sims games, where they get real artists to record their songs in 'Simlish', the pretend language that the sims speak. Lily Allen recorded her song Smile in Simlish. Now, the original English version of this song had the line 'you were fucking the girl next door' in it. This line was censored in the radio version. But in a forum I encountered a person who was asking how she could remove this song from her game. Even though the song was in Simlish, which is literally gibberish, the fact that the original had the word fuck in it was too much for this poor soul to handle. To this day, I am flabbergasted by this...

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