I Swear!

No but really…

I do swear.

A lot.

I swear like a sailor that just saw a huge monster wave with a sea dragon riding on it coming over the horizon to capsize his boat.

I swear like I don’t know any words longer than four letters.

I swear like it was on my cereal boxes when I was a kid.

I recently had a friend ask if I wanted to attend a local MOPs meeting (mothers of preschoolers) and the one reason that kept me from attending was the simple fact that I know I would offend people with my language.  I can just picture it now:

“So, are you nervous about birth?”

“Yes! I’m so d— nervous I might s— right here and now.”

“Oh…”

Guess who’s kids don’t get invited to play dates?

Anyway, I know it’s not a good quality and I’ve wanted to change it for some time.

I suppose as you approach parenthood you want to get all your ducks in a row; you want to make sure you’re the best example you can be.

So you clean every inch of your house and you start bathing more frequently. You stop smoking and most of all…you stop swearing.

So, as I’ve tried to stop swearing, I’ve come up with several useful tactics that I thought I’d share.

What the "H" did I do with my hair in this picture

What the "H" did I do with my hair in this picture

1.) Replace your most favorite swears with the first letter of the swear.

High schoolers do this one all the time.  For some reason they think that if you say, “WTF” that their parents aren’t going to get what those three sweet letters imply.

Either way, I think it’s genius so I’ve started using this technique quite often especially on this blog.

Shoot! This picture turned sideways!

Shoot! This picture turned sideways!

2.) Replacement of your favorite swear with another similar but more discrete and acceptable word.

For example: many individuals use the word “Crap” to replace s— or “Gosh” for God.

I personally was scolded many a time for saying “butt load” which reminded my sweet mother of a really  full smelly diaper.  She insisted that I say “boat load” instead.  I then decided to replace every swear related to butts with the word “boat”.

“Stop being such a boathole.”

“Sit your boat down and shut up!”

My brother had my favorite replacement swear.  While working in Denver, Karl discovered that the kids were not allowed to use the “N” word.  So instead the kids would say “Ninja”.

It still makes me laugh to picture a dozen middle school boys greeting each other by saying, “What’s up my Ninja?!”

3.)The number system.

I was recently introduced to this method this weekend.

The same brother, Karl, having worked with youth his entire adult life, told me about the number swearing program.  You simply substitute a number, depending on the severity of the word or emotion, for the swear.

1 being not that bad and 5 being the worst swear you can think of at the moment.

Sometimes this will just sound like “Five!! Five! Five!”

Other times it will be more like, “Winston! Stop being a four-head!”

He informs me that it’s not an exact science.

Four! I just stepped in dog doodoo.

Four! I just stepped in dog doodoo.

4.) “Fill in the blank”.

This method allows the listener to fill in the blank with whatever word they would like.

“Why was he such a ‘fill in the blank’ to that poor girl?”

I can use my imagination to think of any word that is on my level.

“Blankiddy blank” I’ve also heard or “Bleep!”.

5.) Use your brain.

I would be remiss in not including this method…for my dad’s sake.

There is the option of not swearing at all but rather expressing your emotions through more accurate and descriptive words.

Instead of saying “D— Pissing H—!” when I discover the washer leaking all over the basement I could say something like, “Oh no! This can not be happening again.  How frustrating that I must now clean up all this water instead of watching Back To The Future III.”

Granted…that took like a half an hour to say…so…you be the judge.

I’d love to learn about your methods.

In other parts of my world: I’m out of prenatal vitamins and I’ve resorted to eating mostly sweets. Thus far I’ve had captain crunch, a bite of a cookie and a donut and I’m thinking about going getting out my caramel apple from this weekend…that has fruit in it so it’s not all bad.  Poor Clare.

“Is your sweet daughter so jittery from the drugs they gave you during birth?”

“Oh no…I’ve only eaten sugar for the last 2 weeks.

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13 responses

  1. Wow. I am so thrilled to read this. Mostly because I, too, have a horrible habit of using poor language (much to my mother’s dismay….) and I’ve been trying to be better so I don’t slip up in front of Sam. So far, so….well, good isn’t the word I’d use for it. I’m going to have to try some of this….

  2. I’ve only been to MOPs once, but I def. heard some swearing. if ever anyone had just cause to swear, it’s mothers of pre-schoolers. who else can say “sh–” because they actually interacting with it? hmmm? who else?!

    I laughed out loud about the boat thing.

    uncle todd has some awesome swear words that we love to use: chawmany-cromanitz!, which can be shortened to “CHAW!”. I use both depending on how much I need. also, “riboflavin!”. proof that you can learn swear word(replacements) from the back of your cereal box. enjoy.

  3. my favorite is the replacement, or inventing your own. I find also, honestly, that if you watch a lot of t.v./movies with language, you’ll tend to use it more. (some sort of audio echo?) So my family bought a censor box that reads the CC and bleeps the language. You have options with the settings, and it’s resulted in some hilarious family jokes (the word for ass is replaced with toe, so when we say ‘i stubbed my toe’ someone always asks ‘you’re real toe or your curse-free toe?’

    replacing is easiest for me, esp. training, Cuz i find my mouth starting a word and then i realize half way and correct it. e.g. i say ‘sugar’ and ‘fish’ and ‘dang’ and ‘good grief’ (Peanuts fan…)

    inventing your own words is good too, cuz your kids will want them too. Rats was one of ours and ‘riggin-sniggin-raggin-fraggin-draggin’ was my dad’s ‘oh i slammed my fingers in the car door’ favorite.

  4. Sooooooo funny. So I went to send the page to a friend who I know would appreciate this little essay and had to IGNORE a lot of words to get through spell check 🙂
    Very funny Val

  5. i am cracking up! by myself. kind of embarrassing.
    anyway, i think that boat is an appropriate filler. maybe you could use different sized boats for the severity of your frustration or anger. like “boat-hole” is good. but you may one day feel inclined to yell “holy yacht!” or just spout out “dinghy” if it’s not that big of a deal… you know…

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