My favorite English curse word is s&#!

I believe I am a fairly articulate person.  I work with small children and also large children (college students) who use terrible vernacular.  I try to show them the error of their ways.  I rarely swear.  But someone brought it to my attention yesterday that I overuse the word s&#!.  I confess: I am quite fond of this word.

Sure, it’s not as colorful or diverse as the “F” word.  Still, I feel I am able to convey feelings of intense disdain quite effectively with s&#!.  I use it specifically to emphasize how much I don’t care about someone’s opinion or drama (i.e., I really don’t give a s&#! about her boy issues.).  I find that it rolls off my tongue more and more easily with practice.

My mother would be mortified at the extent of my usage.  I am 31 years old and I still make a conscious effort not to swear around her.  I slip up from time to time.  The other night, I was cooking while on the phone with her.  I spilled something on the counter and cried out, “Damn it!” followed by, “Sorry, Mom!” There was a stunned and confused silence on the other end of the line.  She tried to continue talking as if nothing happened.  But then I spilled something else.  “S$#!  Damn it…I mean, sorry!”  To this she responds with her typical sound of disapproval.  It’s kind of hard to relay in print.  Here, I’ll try.  It sounds like, Hummmmmm! starting out kind of low and quiet, then goes up at the end, very high-pitched and sharp.  There is definitely a specific tone involved.  But this time, she also followed it with a chuckle.

She is more forgiving now that I’m in my 30s.

When I was a kid, though, she yelled at me for saying “Oh my god!” or “God, Mom!”  She would sweep through the house like a force of nature, crying out, “What you mean, ‘god’?  Why you say ‘god’ me?!” while gesturing with her hands in exasperation.  So I switched to oh my gosh.  And she still didn’t like that, even though I would reiterate and emphasize gosssshhhh.  Made no difference to her.

To this day, I have no idea when or where she learned that English curse words were bad.  She is a devout Buddhist and tried to instill in me the precepts, including “right speech.”  I suppose that’s the root of it.

Lao curse words, on the other hand, are totally off limits to me.  I still put that restriction on myself, even now that Mom is more forgiving.  I can honestly say, right hand to Gosh, that I have never uttered a Lao curse word in my entire life.  The translations are very specific and descriptive of your mother or sister and the relations they have with various animals.  I don’t even want to give you an example for literary sake.  Just trust me – they are horrifying.

My aunt (on my father’s side), Pa Boun, swears like a sailor.  I don’t think she minds me sharing that; she probably thinks it’s hilarious.  She has road rage like you wouldn’t believe.  Someone cuts her off in traffic and she not only gives them the finger but also follows up with a litany of curses.  G-damn you, you muddaf$%! Where the hell you learn to drive? And so on and so on.

We all laugh.  I don’t know why it’s funny or why these words are still taboo to me.

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10 thoughts on “My favorite English curse word is s&#!”

  1. Your mom is a lovely lady for going through all she has.

    I have what would be called a pretty tough mouth. Fu.. with all it’s lovely variables has always been a favorite.

    Once a project mutt always a project mutt I tell my very sophisticated wife, but she ain’t buying it.

    1. Thanks. To me she seems to grow younger each year. I ask her what’s her secret and she just says “put lotion on every night.” If only that’s all it took.

      I am surrounded by military people here, including the significant other. I hear this terrible language all the time. It’s gotten less shocking but still hasn’t totally converted me. ha ha

  2. Cursing in front of my mom is definitely something that happens more than it should. But you’re right–there are better words we could use. Why would we, though, when s#** just conveys our frustration so much more clearly?

  3. Yeah, “poop” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? 🙂 My mom clucks her tongue and tsk’es us when we accidentally swear in front of her. After all these years, I’ve at least managed not to curse so much in front of her, just to avoid the sound of her disapproval!

    1. lol Great suggestions. Sometimes she gets offended even when I say “shoot”! It makes me wonder if she, in fact, understands what curse words even mean.

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