How to Curse Like a Parent

I come from a long line of cursers. In fact, my family’s coat of arms is an open mouth spewing obscenities. We swear and we like it. We swear we like it.

There are few things in life more satisfying than a long, luxuriating f-bomb. Or a short, sassy sh*t. If that guy from Inside the Actor’s Studio asked me, I’d say my personal favorite begins with “mother” and ends with “ucker.” It is part stress reliever, part selfish act and full-on man moment.

As a kid, I remember my grandmother getting frustrated and barking, “Shi-ugar!” when something went wrong. She wasn’t fooling anyone.

And my dad can curse with the best of them, which I suppose are sailors, as the saying goes. He never sat down and taught me the art of the curse but I only had to open my ears and listen. There were blasphemies and simple swears; there were drawn-out creative curses with compounding words, prepositional phrases and rarely used adjectives. The man should be a charter member of the Cursing Hall of Fame. He has his mind in the gutter and the gutter in his mind.

Like a friggin’ antique, this is what was passed down to me. Add to this the fact that I have worked in newsrooms for the past 20 years and you see what I’m up against. Newsrooms may be one of the last bastions of swearing in a professional arena. It is certainly frowned upon but when the sh*t is hitting the fan as the news is about to begin, the curse words flow like a river of filth.

But once my children were born I knew something had to change. I needed a censor. Or a bleep button. It has taken me several years but I’ve conditioned myself to plug my pottymouth when the swear words are about to cascade. And I’ve found these substitutes to be helpful in limiting my curses.

“F*ck” = “Phooey”. It’s not nearly as enjoyable. And it doesn’t do anything to relieve the tension. But I no longer get those looks from my wife that say, “Why did I marry this imbecile?” Some prefer “fudge” or “fudgsicle.” To me, those words are like eating frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. They are simply too tempting for my taste. I’d wind up saying the real thing. Another option is “Fahrfegnugen,” if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

“Mother*ucker” = “Mother may I!” Again, not nearly as much fun and it completely lacks the explosiveness of a good, old-fashioned MF. But it won’t get you in trouble at the in-laws.

“Son of a b*tch” = “Son of a biscuit.” The kids love this one. They know it doesn’t make any sense but it makes them laugh every time.

“Sh*t” = “Sugar, sugar shacks, shucks, shoot, shark attack.” These are simple, G-rated fun for the whole family!

“Jesus” — “Cheesus!”

“Jesus Christ” = “Cheesus Price!” I wonder if this is anyone’s actual name?

“GD” (I don’t even have the courage to write this word out) = “Gosh darnit!”, or when you’re really mad, “Gosh darnit to heck!” Hey, why tempt the Creator?

There are other options if these fail to float your boat. Sometimes I like to scream out the first letter of the swear word. But you get some funny looks from anyone within earshot if you shout out “F!” or “MF-er!” I have found that “F me!” takes the edge off when I do something particularly stupid.

There was a time a year or so ago when our then-2-year-old walked around our house repeating “GD” at the top of his lungs. My wife was not pleased. That was my personal intervention moment. And from then on, like Bill Cosby, I work clean.


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About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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  1. My wife has a much dirtier mouth than I do, but of course, the one time I say, “Oh, sh*t!” when I drop something, our almost-two-year-old says, “Oh it!” We’re in big trouble.

    • Happiest Daddy says:

      Ha! That sounds about right! But you can still blame it on your wife, right?

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