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A Tapestry of Obscenities

By Mrs. Julien | Comment Diversions | December 8, 2012 | Comments ()


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When I was an ESL teacher, a young man who called himself "Dragon" (it actually worked) made a presentation to the class about cursing in English. To set himself up, he drew a chart on the board and carefully filled it in with obscenities. Well, he started to before I leapt up and made him erase everything. Given special dispensation to say the words instead, he went on to explain that swearing in English is largely divided between the religious, and bodily functions. I'd never thought of it that way, but it made sense.

Because there were one or two things Dragon wasn't even allowed to say, I supplemented his presentation with some explanations of my own, warning against the use of certain words while desperately trying not to use them. I delicately brought up the c-word (yes, we give it too much power, blah, blah, blah, I was in a CLASSROOM!) and told them that if they knew it, they mustn't use it. Behind me, a matter of fact voice said, "Oooh, cu*t." I instantly whirled around and whipped a marker at Dragon's head while he ducked and protested "It wasn't me! It was him!" pointing at the man next to him. Covering my embarrassment with, "Now you understand the effect it has on people!", I later had to confess the incident to my (female) boss. Her entire response was, "Good."

Pajiba has given me many things: Lars and the Real Girl, The Wire, something to fill my begreyed cubicle existence, html tag knowledge, this gig, improved grammar, and the following precious exclamation: JESUS SUFFERING FU*K! But I feel the need for something fresh and offensive. What do you enjoy saying in moments when the mot juste is profane? Do the international Pajibans have any delightful contributions to make?

Note: The Dowager Julien is clergy and has informed everyone in the family at least once that she doesn't mind swearing, but she draws the line at blasphemy. It's a shame really - Pater Julien had a particular gift for grinding out, "What the Christ?" in moments of frustration. The Dowager Julien herself enjoys a well-placed "shit!", and the only time I ever heard her say, "Fu*k!", I called all of my siblings immediately to share my joy.



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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • dsoup

    Fruit tacos - helps when I start saying an f word in front of the chillies.

    Holy monkey balls
    and
    sucky dog express different levels of happiness and despair.

  • jzhz

    Cuntface hamster.

  • karen

    Christ on a cracker
    Sweet succulent sexy Jesus
    Assmuncher
    Asshat
    Cocksucker
    Muther fucker (usually used with cocksucker)

    doooosh bag
    Scum sucking sewer rat's poor excuse for a festering menstrual pad

  • Maguita NYC

    "Scum sucking sewer rat's poor excuse for a festering menstrual pad".

    This is excellent!! I know someone this would fit to a tee. May I please borrow for 24 hours?

  • chanohack

    One of my brothers is pretty conservative, and I think he's hilarious when he substitutes "cuss" for whatever word he wants to say. What the cuss?!? CUSS!!! Mothercusser!

  • chanohack

    I used to live in Hawaii. In my experience, the only people there who say "mahalo" (thank you) are rich white people who relocate to Hawaii for retirement or people who work in Waikiki at touristy places, where it's probably required. My friends and I suspect that for the working class, "mahalo" is code for "fuck you," and we use it that way. "Nice haircut! It looks so much better." "Aw, mahalo."

  • ,

    Back in college I was playing pinball with a guy who tilted. (The machine, not him.) He shoved it one final time and shouted, "Street whore!"

  • PrincessPiglet

    years ago I used to use "Jiminy Cricket" a lot in place of Jesus Christ. I sat next to a fairly religious gal, and because I genuinely liked her, I was trying not to offend. Since it has the same initials, though, it still felt satisfying. I've got to come up with some good substitutes for fuck and shit and all the classics, because many of my friends have kids now, and I actually think I tend to swear MORE when kids are around. I've even sworn during my apology for a previous swear. It's comical.

  • KatSings

    One of my go-to's is "Sweet Mother of Pez-dispensing Christ." But I curse constantly. The very worst is when I hurt myself or I'm playing Skip-Bo. My husband is amused at all the varied and new ways of cursing I come up with while playing that damned card game. I am my father's daughter.

  • I lapse into cockney and roll off a 'fuck me up the arse' when provoked. This has proven to be quite funny for heterosexual me the few times that I've gotten angry while out with my gay friends at some of their favourite gay bars on a night out.

  • Morgan_LaFai

    I find myself using Holy Hand Grenade when I can't use holy shit or holy fuck. The advantage of this is that the holy comes first so I get a beat on what I am saying before anything offensive comes out and then I can switch it with hand Grenade.

    I am also quite fond of using gods plural in most god related swears or blessings, e.g. oh gods, thank you gods, gods damn it, etc. The advantage of this is that that I am not blaspheming any specific deity. Those of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim interpretation of god especially cannot get upset as they only have one god and I clearly can't be blaspheming him as I am referring to multiple gods. They might think me a pagan doomed to hell, but at least I am not a blasphemer.

  • Bistro

    One of my favorites is simply to quote the movie Cannibal: The Musical - "You son of a bitch, Humphrey."

  • McSwirlie

    calling people "handjobs" really works for me. I mean think about it what is more degrading to a grown man than a handjob?

  • Maguita NYC

    A floppy disk?

  • Christopher

    'Dratting Piss'. Just sounds right.

  • Bob Barker

    I like ass cakes and going to way out in bing bong Egypt.

  • b

    a friend of mine in college once christened me with 'dumbshit' and it has stuck.

    for whatever reason, when i stub my toe or accidentally nick myself with a knife or cause some other form of bodily harm, the first thing out of my mouth is 'oh goddamn mother fffffffffffffffft.' i'm not sure why i can't finish it out with 'fucker', because i've got no problem calling someone a motherfucker. but apparently accidental pain causes a lack of full cursing.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I'm pretty pedestrian when it comes to swearing, although I mostly do it in English nowadays. It's so much more satisfying to throw around one-syllable words when most swear words in your mother tongue have at least two syllables. "Bollocks" is fine, though. Also, I'm fond of "Sweet Zombie Jesus on a pogo stick".

  • VonnegutSlut

    I use "Christ on a biscuit!" quite a bit & I'm not even really sure where I got it.

    When I'm super-pissed, it turns into "Christ on a fucking, CUNTING biscuit!!!"

  • BobbFrapples

    It's silly, but "Peas and Rice!" has become my favorite. Not that I'm trying to clean up my language, but because I learned it from Hot Fuzz's outtakes.

  • BobbFrapples

    Oh, and "Asshat" still makes me giggle.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I thought asshat was brilliant the first time I heard it. Succinct and and evocative.

  • Bodhi

    Asshat is the best

  • Uriah_Creep

    Which is one reason why I love Lauren_Lauren's avatar.

  • Lauren_Lauren

    *finger guns*

  • Mrs. Julien

    It's not an every day thing, but once a year or so, I love referring to someone as a "stunned cu*t". Also, we refer to NJ Governor Chris Christie at all times as "That Fat Fu*k" despite the fact that we are both overweight. It just suits him.

  • Guest

    It's not an every

  • snap1066

    In these PC times, I find myself using "Shostakovich!" as my default cuss word.

  • Sunsneezer

    I like to mix english and Quebec blasphemy:
    Fucking câlisse! (say kah-liss - from chalice)
    Jesus tabernacle fucking Christ!

  • Adrienne Marie

    "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw" always works.

  • Also love "whatever the fuck ever" (from Training Day), though I've never been able to use it convincingly.

    Also, fucksnot, usually, "This little fucksnot."

  • "Shitzokov," "Quel de fuck," and "sweet, fancy Moses" are the three favorite curses I've learned from former roommates. I don't know where I got "fucktito" from, but it's become a favorite. I've also just embraced the use of "douchebag" in the last few years, and am a big fan of "asshat."

  • petitesuissesse

    I like "a-douch-a-de-baga" it's Italian for douchebag. Also, it's a lot of fun to say out loud.

  • Cockknuckle or really just adding knuckle to any word. Fuckknuckle, cuntknuckle, the applications are pretty wide. Also if you believe someone is being cowardly, try pusscake

  • Kip Hackman

    I don't swear, but I need something to yell when frustrated so I tend to use the word Balls. What the balls, just "balls!" etc. Relieves my frustration and others find it humorous.

  • Bodhi

    Jesus Tapdancing Christ is my all time favorite "curse". I'm gong to have to modify my language pretty soon as my toddler is starting to repeat what I say. I'm gonna miss cursing

  • Mavler

    As a sailor sometimes I feel as though I swear for a living. It's mostly the usual suspects in varying combinations, much like the rest of this list. One that gets used a fair bit though is the response to someone who has made a glaring error: Unfuck yourself. As in "Hey, mouthbreather! Unfuck yourself immediately!" Brevity is key.

  • mona_sterling

    Thank you for choosing my single favorite phrase from "A Christmas Story", Mrs. J!
    Also, with children in the house, we really enjoy spitting out "Frosted FLAKES" in lieu of fuck. It's the eff sound.

  • Jezzer

    Can I just point out how surreal it is to be having a conversation about our favorite swears while seeing them edited into bland inoffensiveness in the article and mod posts? I hate to be That Guy, but the unfettered profanity is one of the things I miss from Ye Goode Olden Dayes.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I see it as an issue of choice. I could write them out in full, I choose not to. Other people can do whatever the fuck they want.

  • Uriah_Creep

    So, Mrs. J., last week you asked us for bangable dead celebrities, and this week you want us to swear up a storm? I may be in need of your fainting couch if you keep this up. (It has not escaped my notice that the bangable dead celebrities thread had the most comments of any post last week; I believe we are going to fucking hell.)

  • Mrs. Julien

    If I'm fu*king Cary Grant, I'm pretty sure it would be heaven.

  • foaly

    I normally fall back to the Dutch words for hare and leprechauns . If I use English it mostly is: Hell in hell, which somehow is easier with a 'g', hellinghell...

  • Sabrina

    Jesus H Macy!

  • Lauren_Lauren

    I've been employing "Shuntfucker". Shunt sounds "bad", and the visual it creates is super nasty.

  • ,

    Snazzlefriggit

  • ,

    Melonfarmer.*

    BTW, I highly approve of the return of the Weekend Comment Diversion.

    *--Thanks, "Repo Man."

  • fasha

    "What the frilly heck" rolls nicely off the tongue.

  • globetrotta

    Jesus(H) Christ on a Bicycle...I don't know why he's riding a bike. He just is.

  • PDamian

    In my Mexican-American family, it's usually "hijo de su chingada madre" (son of his fucked mother) or "hijo de su puta madre" (son of his whore mother). "Pinche pendejo baboso" (fuckin' idiot drooler) is also popular, with "baboso" (drooler) being my mother's favorite. And having spent some time in Venezuela in my youth, "coño" (fuck) and "coñazo" (a fucking wallop) are also useful in appropriate situations. In English, I get a lot of use out of the "ass" family: asshole, ass master, ass clown, ass monkey, ass jockey ...

  • linnyloo

    "Well, fuck me with a rusty spoon."

  • yocean

    No love for "Fuck me sideway with a chainsaw"?

  • linnyloo

    See, now, what I never got was -- why sideways? wouldn't it hurt pretty much the same either way?

  • Jezzer

    No, but there might be some lingering love for "fuck me gently with a chainsaw." :P

  • Mrs. Julien

    Captious

  • Jezzer

    Heathers quotes are Serious Business.

  • linnyloo

    Oh! Also -- I mixed up a question on the AP history exam, leading my family to develop and regularly use this as an exclamation -- "Those Anti-Federalist Bastards!"

  • Mrs. Julien

    I love exclaiming "those bastards" when told about relatively minor problems. People always laugh.

  • Salieri2

    While setting up an orchestra yesterday, someone referred to the "dastardly tympani." It was excellent.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Dastardly tympani is going to be the name of my autobiography!

  • Salieri2

    I have no idea how that errant Y got in there. Happens sometimes.

  • I'm sure I picked it up somewhere in the pop culture world, but lately I've liked using asshat, as both an expletive and a descriptor.

  • Guest

    The one that left me giggling with glee for hours on end when I first read it a couple of years ago:

    Douchenozzle's asshat.

    I mean, a masturbatory tool and a cleansing one in the same breath. How wonderful!

  • raeraefred

    i'm sure it's other places as well, but i've encountered asshat the most on supernatural.

  • I go for "gaping asshat" when I need a magnifier on that one. I might have gotten that from Pajiba -- someone, somewhere wrote it in reference to John Cusack.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    "Pussy hair and mayonnaise" yep it is kinda gross.

  • Salieri2

    ...kinda?

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Completely.

  • I like the classics: God damn son of a bitch! It's said almost like a single word and is quite cathartic. Also fun is "what in the ever-loving Fuck??" which makes no sense at all yet somehow works for me.

    My mother was fond of "Jesus H. Christ on a crutch!" and I always wondered what the H was for. Of course, she also said if you're going to curse someone, actually curse them, and her favorite was "Damn your eyes" usually said rather calmly, which was really scary.

  • Kala

    "Damn your eyes." Wow. See, that sounds like an actual, honest-to-God curse. If someone said that to me, I would feel haunted. Color me impressed.

  • ,

    Gene Wilder: Damn your eyes!

    Marty Feldman: Too late!

  • Jerce

    Over the years, this wonderful curse has evolved to "God damn your eyes blind!" It is shocking and hateful and I use it in traffic where no one can hear.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Probably the worst thing I can think of is something a friend of mine said, "Jesus H. Baby raping Christ". I don't generally use it...

  • Salieri2

    I remember reading somewhere--the O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin series, maybe?--that references to God's body parts were blasphemous, so I like to opt for the occasional "God's Teeth!" or "God's Ass!"

    But Archer's "oh what the shit?" is succinctly awesome, and I've been embracing "What the actual fuck?" wherever it seems I can get away with it.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    While watching my boyfriend playing angry birds Star Wars I told him to "f_ ck some sh!t up."

    My favs are "sh!t balls", thank you Archer, and "sons of bitches"... Just randomly.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Oh wait I have Archer to thank for "sh!t snacks". Not sure where "sh!t balls" came from...

  • Mrs. P

    My dear departed very Catholic mother in law would exclaim "Jesus Christ and all the saints and angels!" when she was at her limit.

  • bleujayone

    Here are a few of the more memorable ones;

    "Fuck me with a side of egg rolls!"

    "Fingering Touch Hole!" Not actually an obscenity, a touch hole is part of a cannon where the fuse goes. But it SOUNDS dirty.

    "Screaming Yellow Shitstorm!" Came from snack called Screaming Yellow Zonkers that gave someone a bad case of the runs. Now just used when someone is a toilet hog.

    "Numb as a Fart" I have no idea where that came from but its generally used to call someone stupid.

    "Flying Fucktard!"

    "More assholes than a 4-man douche canoe" Or just Douche Canoe for short.

    "Pale Bastard Amber!" It started out as a light gel color on set and evolved into an on-set "obscenity". God help us if someone named Amber were ever to be hired.

    "Eat a bag of shit! You suck!" Only to be used when delivered as Robert Wuhl did in "Good Morning Vietnam". Usually used at the end of an argument.

  • Ley

    SCREW YOU, JERK CAT! Son of a WHOOORE!

  • scone

    In polite company I'll say Fliff: oh fliff, fliff this, where's my fliffen' stapler? etc.

    "SHITTING DICK NIPPLES" is the preferred expletive when my ire is raised. It's never not approriate

  • BWeaves

    Gleet. It's a real word. It means the pus discharge from the vagina of a female dog with gonorrhea.

    Use it as you would shit.

    Get that gleet out of here.

    You're full of gleet.

    Wanna get a gleet burger?

  • VonnegutSlut

    As in, HOW IN THE GLEET DID THE GLEETING DOG GET GONORRHEA?!??!!!

  • Maguita NYC

    Repeated unprotected casual gleeting?

  • Yocean

    Oh yeah, also, in private quite moments I like to exclaim " what in the Christ-less fuck? " in response to smorgasboard of stupidity that is humanity.

  • Feralhousecat

    Oh, for fuck's sake.

  • TheOtherGreg

    A few coworkers and I have a code - "Gosh, that's disappointing', is how we say Fuck in front of students, managers, and other equally delicate groups. It may seem weak, but including the phrase in an email to several managers, and BCCing someone who's aware of what it means, is extremely satisfying.

  • I tend to just let loose with a stream of expletives like "Jesus Fucking Christ" or "Goddamn this fucking shit," but I am currently awaiting the perfect moment to use "Fuckity bye!" on someone.

  • Angela

    I've recently been going with "Jesus H. Fuck!!" since watching Ted.

  • mswas

    Though I've never used it, I totally love Claire from (Diana Gabaldon's novel) Outlander who swears with "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!".

    As a true Jersey girl, my preferred is "Fuckin' A!" although I've been known to yell "Shiiiiiit!" particularly when capsizing in a canoe on the Delaware.

  • googergieger

    Before Aqua Teen was shite, I got "eight bitches in a bitch boat" out of it.

    I.E. "Drunker than eight bitches in a bitch boat". "Angrier than eight bitches in a bitch boat". Really anything works.

    I also get good use out of the tards. Asstard. Gaytard. Drunktard. Fat-tard. Douchetard. Etc.

    Also I often wish "super aids" onto people/video games/sport teams and/or refs. Though that is just to be prompted to do one of my more, "in poor taste" jokes.

    I'd say on average, I say fuck or something involving the word, a good fifty or so times a day. Cursing is one of my favorite things to do, really. Lovely words.

  • Ben arthur

    I've always wanted to say "I don't give two double shits about (something)" a saying I believe I made up one day. It's a lot of fun to say, but I never have found a very good moment to grumble it. Someday....

  • A. Smith

    It's funny I came here, I was watching Matrix Reloaded and someone typed down what the Merovingian said roughly "Nom de dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperie de connard d'enculé de ta mère" or "Name of god damn fucking shit fucking asshole of motherfucker" I never knew French could be so dirty.

  • cicatricella

    personally, I would translate that more as "Name of god of whore of whorehouse of sluttery of fuckwit of buggery of your mother", but that's just me.

  • pnb3

    I think this might be Australian, but ankle is always good. An ankle is 3 feet lower than a C you next tuesday.

  • Milly

    My favourite phrase at the current time revolves around the compound of arsecunt.

    It can become arsecunts, arsecunting fucking bollocksy gobshite, Jesus H Tapdancing arsecunting Christ and so forth.

    I like the beat of the words and the way it feels when I say it.

  • Milly

    Oh, and as for a phrase that has been in use since I first learned to talk:

    fecking eejit.

  • Natallica

    I'm argentinian, and mothers play a huge role in cursing words here much like, I guess, in most part of the western world. So, talking about c*nt, we don't curse refering to the c*nt itself, but we say (and it's a personal favorite): "andate a la concha de tu madre", which means "go to your mother's c*nt"

  • Maguita NYC

    We're all Mothafuckahs at the end.

    This thread is too delicious. I find myself sounding out loud the new curses dear Int'l Pajibans are sharing. Can NOT wait to try it out tomorrow on my unsuspecting colleagues!

  • Natallica

    Well, if you need some spanish phonetic lessons, just tell me

  • Miss Kate

    The old ladies in my family (we're Catholic), would always exclaim "Mother of God"! Or "Jesus, Mary and Joseph"! That way they could pretend they were actually praying as opposed to swearing. My current fav is "Jesus Christ on toast!" It usually gets a giggle.

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