Sunday, July 14, 2013

The 700 Dirty Words


 

Most minced oaths became well-established in our culture through common usage - tarnation, dang, shoot, gee, egad, lands sake, jeepers creepers, jehosaphat, flipping heck, cripes, doggone.  But many others have been made up by entertainers purely for comic effect.

W.C. Fields earned countless laughs with his euphemistic expression "Godfrey Daniels," which was a more colorful variation of "Goddamn" than the standard "gosh darn."  Godfrey Daniels is a close cousin to Sam Hill, Jiminy Christmas and Judas Priest. 

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Fields alternated this expression with an occasional outcry of "Drat!"  The use of these euphemisms may have seemed wicked on the part of Fields, but adorable moptop Shirley Temple was no better with her frequent exclamations of "Oh, my goodness" and "Goodness gracious."

A Colonial era ghost played by Lou Costello in The Time of Their Lives (1946) used a number of quaint expressions, including "Odds-bodkins" and "zounds."

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Yosemite Sam could curse up a storm without using one real curse word.

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In Bonanza, Hoss Cartwright's swear of choice was "Dab" as in "Dab burn it," "Dab gum it" and "Dab blame it."

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Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange, opened up the idea of characters in a futuristic society using their own unique obscenities.  A favorite obscenity of Orange's protagonist, Alex, is yarbles, as in "Come and get one in the yarbles, if ya have yarbles, you eunuch jelly thou!"

In the 1978 Battlestar Galactica, the Cylon Lucifer (voiced by Jonathan Harris) often used the word "felgercarb" as a euphemism for "crap." 

Battlestar Galactica ("The Young Lords," 1978)

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The updated Battlestar Galactica made extensive use of the word "fracking."

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Farscape introduced a number of otherworldly swear words, the fan favorite being "frell."   Let's, however, check out two other of Farscape's dirty words.

Word: mivonks 
Farscape (“Back and Back and Back to the Future,” 1999)

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Word: dren
Farscape (“Lava's a Many Splendored Thing,” 2002)

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The makers of Red Dwarf included the space-age, all-purpose "smeg" to their series' vocabulary.

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Sitcoms of the 1970s got attention for naughty catchphrases like "Shazbot!" (Mork and Mindy) and "Kiss my grits!" (Alice).

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Prison life comes with plenty of salty language, but prison life had to be sanitized when it was depicted in the 1970s British sitcom Porridge.  Whenever the hardened convicts of Porridge became irritated by a fellow prisoner, they would tell them to "Naff off!"


It was clarified in A Christmas Story (1983) that little Ralphie's father was known throughout the Midwest for his ability to "weave a tapestry of profanity."  Most prominent among his profane words was "fratching."

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Moroney, a foul-mouth crime boss, weaves his own incomparable tapestry of profanity in Johnny Dangerously (1984).

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Fusking wangler sloblock?  That minced oath was provided by A Bit of Frye and Laurie (1990).

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Charlie Brown most often expressed distress with his patented "Good grief!"  But, when he was really upset, he issued a declaration that was not so much a word as an inarticulate wail.
 
 
Frankly, this best expresses how I feel when I am deeply frustrated.

"Smoo" is evidently an offensive word to dinosaurs. 


Jim Henson's Dinosaurs ("Baby Talk," 1992)

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Some interesting fake curse words came up in a Father Ted episode called "Old Grey Whistle Theft" (1996).

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Minced oaths pop up occasionally on Cartoon Network's Adventure Time.  From what I can tell from these clips, it may be necessary to wash out Lumpy Space Princess' bratty mouth with soap. 


Adventure Time (“Trouble in Lumpy Space,” 2010)

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Obscenities were substituted with dolphin noises in a SpongeBob SquarePants episode called "Sailor Mouth."

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Just because a man is a killer doesn't mean that he doesn't need to be sensitive about the words that come out of his mouth.  Right after shooting a man in the head, this assassin sees it as proper decorum to substitute the holy "Jesus Christ" with the silly sound-alike "cheese and rice." 

Frisky Dingo (The Opposition," 2007)

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People receive a great relief from swearing and, if you stop them from using certain swear words, they will only find others that they can use instead.  It hardly matters as the new ones are usually more funny than the old ones anyway.

That's it, I'm done with this topic. Fup off, you grassholes!


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