As non-native speaker, I unfortunately picked up the word "bullshit" as an incredibly versatile drop-in for many, less common, non-profanities. There are already multiple questions on this site asking for alternatives to "bullshit", however, I couldn't find a question asking about the specific meanings, for which I was looking for a replacements. This question is meant to be supplementary to other "How to replace the word bullshit" questions on this site that don't address those specific meanings of the word.

The problem I have is that whatever alternative I come up with, it either loses a bit of meaning in translation or sounds unnatural for the modern speaker. The biggest problem is that the synonyms I find are either other profanities or miss the correct tone, making the sentences feel sterile.

For the answer to be accepted, it has to provide a replacement word or phrase that is:

  1. not considered profanity
  2. sounds natural in casual speech (don't feel out of place in a comment on a website)
  3. preserves the tone of the statement (at least somewhat, perfect match probably doesn't exist)


Below are two definitions of the word "bullshit" I'm trying to replace:

bullshit - upsetting and unfair circumstances, especially concerning events involving chance; indicates, that speaker is angry, as in:

I lost the game due to some random bullshit, missing fifty-fifty chance six times in a row.

bullshit - blatant and ineffective lie, usually with malicious intent; indicates disrespect towards the bullshitter, as in:

The entire incident was caught on tape played in front of him, yet he still tried to bullshit his way out of the situation. Why would he even try to deceive a police officer, who are literally trained in bullshiting suspects?

What I tried

As per page rules:

I tried to search for synonyms on Merriam-Webster (no results) and Thesaurus.com (only acknowledges the definition "(vulgar) lies"). "Horseshit" yields no results.

As for considered synonyms:

  1. For the noun, I usually use nonsense as a drop-in replacement for "bullshit", however "nonsense" isn't necessarily unfair (although being affected by "nonsense" is usually upsetting). Misfortune or bad luck has the opposite problem, being literally unfair but too sterile.
  2. For the verb, the obvious synonym would be to lie/to deceive, however "bullshitting" is a specific type of deception. Hogwash or gibberish come close but I've never seen those words used as a verb. To make things up is the most literal replacement, but it lacks negative connotation.
  • 1
    I'm familiar with We're in the shit (we're in a bad situation), but I've never heard of bullshit being used like that. It's primarily an AmE usage anyway, but so far as I know bullshit always means "ineffective lie" or similar. Sep 21 at 12:30
  • 2
    This is a thoughtful and well composed question that adheres to site guidelines and does not deserve closure (one person thinks it does as a matter of opinion). Any discussion of synonyms, single words and offensive language (particularly) involves some opinion. The point is to express opinion on the basis of references, quotations and examples of usage, and this question is asking for answer or answers on the grounds of such respectful attention.
    – Anton
    Sep 21 at 12:45
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    I am voting to close as (1) a single word request requires a specific sentence. 2. The OP is unclear as to whether a verb or a noun is sought. 3. meanings of "bullshit" in the examples vary. 4. The question will generate guesses and opinions.
    – Greybeard
    Sep 21 at 13:32
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    In the example "I lost the game due to some random bullshit, missing fifty-fifty chance six times in a row" the profanity is an integral part of the meaning. If you were to use some flowery literary term or euphemism it would not convey the same sense of frustration (unless you hit something at the same time).
    – Stuart F
    Sep 21 at 15:10
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    @jsw29 obviously, I wasn't asking about a single word replacement, I was looking for a two separate answers, one for each meaning of the word. I assume this confusion comes from a single-word-request tag, so I removed it. I hope that is clear enough now. If you have any other suggestions on how I could make it clear that I expect 2 separate replacements, not a single word covering both meaning, then I would appreciate all assistance. Sep 21 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


Actually you have quite a choice of words. My top picks would be these and they and "bullshit" are all interchangeable (used in the place of another).




I have linked the words above for Wiktionary definitions and etymologies.

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