At some point in time, you will meet someone who will become special. You’ll hold hands for the first time, and from that moment on, even if it’s seventy years later, you’ll hold hands with that person for the last time.
When I was a little kid, my vocabulary and speech patterns were littered with sayings I had picked up from cartoons and from the older people around me, and nearly everyone around was older because anyone younger couldn’t talk yet.
I remember the phrase, “God Doggit” and that was the first phrase that got me into any trouble. All the kids said, “God Doggit!” and one day, Janice Kelly, who was prim and proper, and thought that phrase was just too close to “God dammit!” decided to talk the other parents in the neighborhood into banning it. It was my first lesson in pointless and empty censorship, but as a kid, I got used to it.
Likewise, there were parents who didn’t think children ought to say, “Darn!” and some of us really did. We used phrases that sound odd now. To threaten someone, you would tell them you were going to get on them, “Like a duck on a June Bug” even though most of us had no idea what a June Bug was.
“What in tarnation?” was the great grandfather of “WTF?” We called other boys “yellow” if they didn’t accept a dare, and anyone who wouldn’t climb to the top of a tree or throw a rock at a wasp nest was “chicken”.
“I did it for a lark” meant you did something just for the fun of it. That was something our parents said often, but it was dying out.
“Groovy” was a word everyone used, and I still use it. I remember back in the early 70s when “ripped off” became popular. The police were “the pigs” to a lot of people, and I’m happy to see that one go, actually. Hearing someone say “You’re bringing me down” isn’t heard as often either.
But I remember when “Dadgumit” and “Dagnabit” ruled the world of slang. “Damn” and “Hell” were words we used in secret and not often.
There was a cartoon character named Snaglepuss who used to say, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” which was merely a play on the phrase, “Heavens to Betsy!” even though when we were kids we thought he was saying, “Heavens to murder Troy.” The story of the Trojan Horse was well known to us, and I posited the phrase to mean the Greek Gods were being called upon to murder the city of Troy. I went decades thinking Zeus had inspired Snaglepuss. You’ve likely never read that last sentence before, ever.
Yesterday, I dropped a bottle of hot sauce on the kitchen floor at work and it ricocheted and bounced like a frog on a hot skillet. I didn’t mean to say it, but the word Fu@k! came out and half the office heard it. That’s my go-to curse word apparently. I blame Janice Kelly for banning the phrase God Dogit.
What’s your go-to or favorite cuss word?
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit. Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.