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I'm writing a speech for school and a few times want to use the phrase, "piece of sh*t". Since it is for school I'd like to try a cleaner version of this just to be safe, but I still need something with a punch. I'm using that phrase for the harsher effect it gives and something like "piece of crap" just isn't doing it for me.

Any alternatives out there?

EDIT: some context. I'm discussing having negative thoughts about yourself confirmed by someone in amongst countless compliments. So if you're thinking to yourself "I'm a piece of sh*t", and one person says to you "you're a piece of sh*t", it sticks out in your mind no matter how many other positive things people say about you.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Drew, GoldenGremlin, Phil Sweet, Nathaniel, NVZ Aug 8 '16 at 14:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Context.......? – WS2 Aug 7 '16 at 7:45
  • @WS2 edited for context. – Sam Aug 7 '16 at 7:49
  • @Sam, are you trying to humble but not humiliate? – alwayslearning Aug 7 '16 at 8:37
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    i'd go for 'turd' – JonMark Perry Aug 7 '16 at 9:17
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OK, let's start with a dictionary definition of piece of sh*t (from dictionary.com).

noun phrase

Something or someone inferior or worthless : a film he didn't want to make, and was a piece of sh*t

That brings us to worthless.

From dictionary.com:

worthless
adjective 1. without worth; of no use, importance, or value; good-for-nothing: a worthless person; a worthless contract.

Perhaps that's as clean as you can get about it, without losing the meaning.

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I will do it in a single word. You want to say that you're a turd:

  1. a lump of dung; piece of excrement
  2. an unpleasant or contemptible person or thing

Usage: This word was formerly considered to be taboo, and it was labelled as such in older editions of Collins English Dictionary. However, it has now become acceptable in speech, although some older or more conservative people may object to its use.


Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition


It falls somewhere between the two in my opinion. Concentrating the concept into a single very deliberate word makes it more insulting than the crap version, but if we ignore the fact that shit has grown rather trite since the south park episode It Its the Fan I think it's weaker still.

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If you need something that sounds offensive but isn't, I like "a waste of skin" or "human armpit".

If it can be offensive so long as the individual words are still PG13, I go with "goat-fondler", "walking smegma", "skid-mark", or even "America's oldest living miscarriage".

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