Thursday, 2 February 2012

Sticks and Stones

Hello and welcome to Amy who I hope doesn't mind being associated with this post about rude words but who I think won't mind because one of the blogs she follows is Steam Me Up Kid ...

'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.' Well mostly. Swear words offend a lot of people and I thought we'd take a closer look at some - a bit like building a spider from the ground up in order to move through Arachnophobia. Let's start with the word 'Fuck'.

Fuck: The way my teeth touch my lower lip for the beginning sound 'f'' is similar to biting my lip in frustration. Then I let go and open my mouth to let out the short vowel 'u' in the same way I might let out a scream. The final part of the word, the 'ck', is a sudden stop - like a slap or a door slamming. the word is monosyllabic. All this goes together to make 'Fuck', with it's definite beginning and end, effective to use in times of high emotion.

Bugger used to be a swear word. People would hardly bat an eyelid today if you said this word that actually means, well you know what it means. Bugger has two syllables and so takes longer to say than 'Fuck' and some of the wind is gone from your sails by the time you get to the 'er' which sort of trails off weakly. It doesn't have the whack that 'Fuck' has - although my mum (who didn't think about the meaning I'm sure) managed to put a fair bit of oomph into it when she was having trouble threading the needle on her sewing machine. 

If 'Fuck' just means 'to have sex', why is it such a naughty word? We can say the word 'Sex' without reservation - especially since everyone is so familiar with the word as a question that if we yelled it out in despair we're likely to hear someone yell back 'male!' or 'female!'. It seems harmless enough but there are a lot of bigger sub-headings hiding inside that teensy weensy little three letter word 'sex' and if people realized they might never utter it again.

The following song uses some (although I can't think of any others offhand) larger words hiding inside the little word 'Sex'.

'Hair' was a swinging 60's musical hit with sex, drugs and rock and roll playing a big part in the action on stage.
Here is a clip from the movie that, ten years later, followed the musical 'Hair' to popularity. The clip features one of the original songs from 'Hair' - 'Sodomy'...

Here are the lyrics to the song...

Father, why do these words sound so nasty?
Can be fun
Join the holy orgy
Kama Sutra

Not many words.
And without the music they seem a little lonely...

But if you didn't know what those things were they could be anything.
Cunnilingus just rolls off the tongue...and sounds like some sort of speech therapy.
Sodomy could be something you do with a shovel in the garden.
Masturbation is when you have too much wind in your sails.
Kama Sutra is when someone who knows they have Hep B shares a needle and gets Aids.
I had to look Pederasty up, I did, before that I thought it could be a foot shaped Swiss cake.

See how well these words fit into common conversation. Next time you and a friend are on a crowded bus or waiting in the foyer at intermission try including a couple of them in a sentence - aloud (so everyone can hear) and see how many people look horrified...

Betcha no one even notices, they don't sound rude and people will just think they didn't hear you right.

And next time you say 'Sex' think of all those bigger sub-headings hiding inside...packs a bigger punch than 'Fuck'!



  1. Hee hee hee, love love love this post but then I would wouldn't I? Especially the description for the word 'bugger'.

    I have to admit that 'bollocks' is a word I find gratifying to use and use it I do!


    Seriously woman, GET OUT OF MY HEAD!
    'Hair' along with 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and 'Godspell', is my all time favourite musical!!

    1. Lilly, we have to stop meeting like this.....
      'I met a boy called Frank Mills on September 12 right here.....'

  2. It is perfect that I am associated with this post. I am the biggest offender of the usage of the 'f' word. Raising four kids presents many opportunities daily for profane interjections. I have tried, really really tried to find a word to replace the F bomb. But, I cannot find anything that feels as good to say. My family is not happy about it- they look at me like little old ladies sucking on sour lemons, hanging their heads in shame. I'm fairly good at only using it in the house- which means it will probably end up in The Baby's vocabulary pretty soon.

    And, 'fully qualified Cunnilinguist'- hysterical!

  3. Nice to meet you Amy, don't worry about the baby, by the time it's old enough to know what it means it will have found something more shocking to say.

  4. Hey Julie - You've won another award. :) Stop by to pick it up, will you?

    1. OMG what will I wear? My best dress is still at the dry cleaners after the last award! Thanks Skwishee!

  5. "I had to look Pederasty up, I did, before that I thought it could be a foot shaped Swiss cake."...God, that is an AWESOME sentence. I will have to think that over for awhile, preferably out loud among elderly women at church this Sunday...


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