Questions tagged [minced-oaths]

Questions about softened euphemisms or misspellings of potentially offensive words and phrases, like using “gosh darn” for “God damn”.

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Is there a word for when something rhymes with a profanity [duplicate]

I am specifically thinking of the Grand Tour episode entitled "A massive hunt". Is there a word that describes this wordplay? It is not a double-entendre, nor is it a homophone.
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is that a curse word?

I'm French so there are a few words and expressions that I know, but I don't know whether they count as curse words or whether I can say them without giving offence. Like fricking, for example in He ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Origin of the exclamation "Jeannie (Genie?) Martins"

My mother often uses the term "Jeannie Martins!" (or perhaps Genie Martins, I've never seen it written, though this seems less likely) as a general exclamation. Jeannie Martins, it's cold outside! ...
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Is "muck" used as a minced version of "f———" in Australian English?

While "muck" deals with the taboo of filth, while "fuck" deals with the taboo of sex, the two verbs can be used similarly in some circumstances in Australian English. For example "muck up", "muck ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Removing offensiveness from swear word [closed]

Is there a consensus in terms of the ranking of offensiveness given by the word "damn" and its derivatives? Damn Darn Dang Ding (as in ding-busted) I assume that the less a word sounds like the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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When did Lancastrians stop saying *by gum*?

I distinctly remember from my youth in the 1950s, the folk of Manchester and surrounds who came on holiday to Norfolk, and their expressions of bye jove and by gum - polite forms of by God. But in ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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Polite swearing words? [closed]

I hate to swear, i.e to say "fuck you" or whatsoever of those words. However sometimes I get angry and I wish there are words that could be a polite replacement for those swearing. I wish there's a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Formal word for 'emit anal air'?

Is there a formal single word for 'emit anal air'? I've heard 'eructate' being used, but this means air from the mouth only; not from the other end.
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8 votes
2 answers
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Are there religious swear words in English the way there are in French-speaking Québec (like “Câlisse!”)?

Are there in English any cases of using religious words for swear words, most likely in predominantly Christian regions? I ask because in the Canadian province of Québec, which is primarily ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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Where does the word “*ag” come from?

Once upon a time in America, particularly during the 1970s, if you asked an American whether they ‘fancied a shag’, they might well have thought of this: And therefore declined the offer for fear of ...
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1 answer
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Oh my God, Oh my Lord, Oh my Gosh

What are the differences between them? Is there a cultural and/or social interference? Do young people say "Oh my Gosh" more than others?
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1 answer
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Oh fudge knuckle!

What does this expression mean? I heard it in a video where the person said something like This sounds right, but in fact, son of a gun, or as my younger son would say, fudge knuckle, it goes ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Modern-day equivalent of "dog my cats"

As you know, somewhere in The adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim expresses his certainty that he's noticed that a noise came from the garden of Miss Watson by saying (my emphasis) "Say, who is you?...
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7 votes
1 answer
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I have questions coming out the yin-yang about yin-yang phrases!

Yin Yang is the Chinese philosophy of Light and Shadow, often signifying the need for balance or that everything exists in balance. But the (reasonably enjoyable to use) phrase Up the Ying Yang ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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Meaning of “bejesus” in the idiomatic expression “… the bejesus out of …”

According to multiple online dictionaries, bejesus is a quite common mild expletive used to express surprise and/or dismay and is derived from by Jesus. But what does it mean? The phrase “you scared ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What does the expression "for crying out loud" mean? [closed]

What does the expression "for crying out loud" mean and where does it come from?
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-1 votes
3 answers
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How does 'don't give a toss' differ from 'don't give a damn'?

I was told it is very unusual to say 'I don't give a toss'. If so, why is that?
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7 votes
2 answers
88k views

Cleaner alternative for "sucks". [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Formal alternative for “suck” Since the word "sucks" does not have an origin that would make it a good word to use in many contexts, I want to know whether there ...
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A more acceptable word to replace the word "rectum"?

I wrote in a short paragraph describing how a cartoon character, after being eaten up by a shark, swam through the shark's internal body and fled from its rectum. It was meant to be a cartoon/game-...
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25 votes
5 answers
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Is "what on earth" still commonly used in real life? Is there any alternative that is not cursing or obscene?

I'm a non-native speaker. When I was at school, we were taught that "on earth" is used for emphasis in questions such as: What on earth are you talking about? However, from my experience (English ...
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14 votes
3 answers
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What is the origin of 'Gosh'?

'Gosh' is a common substitute for the word 'God' in phrases such as 'Oh My Gosh' or 'By Gosh' or just 'Gosh'. Is this just a corruption of the word 'God' or does it have some other provenance? How ...
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7 votes
6 answers
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Better way to say "cover our a***s"

I'm looking for a couple of good coined phrases that I can use in front of business people, apologies if the one I had in mind offends anyone. I'd use "can sleep at night" but I want the phrase to ...
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8 votes
4 answers
32k views

Should I use "damn" or "darn"? [closed]

How unseemly these days is it to use the word damn in educated or elderly circles? I have heard that there is a modified and supposedly less intense darn. Should I be careful to avoid the former and ...
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6 votes
5 answers
838 views

Grammatical explanation of "what the blank"

In emphatic questions, it's common to see or hear an interjection such as the heck — or something more vulgar — between the interrogative and the verb. What was that? becomes What the heck was ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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What is the origin of "bite me"? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Meaning and usage of “bite me” Here’s the dilemma: What body part does the oft-used expression, “Bite me!” refer to? All the males (man on the street) I’ve ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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"My goodness!" Mine? Goodness?

Why do we say my goodness? It doesn't sound appropriate for the contexts in which it is used. Both the my and the goodness don’t seem to bear on a surprising or startling situation. When was it ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Where did the phrase "diddly-squat" come from?

It sounds like something Ned Flanders would say. I believe it just means "nothing at all". But what are the origins of the phrase? Is it common in the US as well as the UK?
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23 votes
7 answers
85k views

Non-offensive substitute for a swear word

What term describes a non-offensive substitute for a swear word? For example, Battlestar Galactica used frack instead of fuck. Another example is the use of snap instead of shit. I think I may have ...
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17 votes
3 answers
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Origin of "man!", "(oh) boy!", and "oh brother"

Where did these interjections: man! (oh) boy! oh brother come from, and why are they all male? If you don’t know their current meanings as interjections, it sounds very strange to say Man! when ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Should we avoid using words that have alternate offensive meaning [closed]

There are many English words that could be used to refer to something innocent that also has a common slang meaning, such as pussy, ass, bitch, etc. For convenience' sake, should we avoid using ...
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30 votes
6 answers
324k views

Meaning and usage of "bite me"

I often come across the phrase bite me in many TV shows. What does it mean and is there a specific context in which this phrase can be used?
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6 votes
2 answers
23k views

What is the meaning of the phrase "Land Sakes"?

In a children's story I was reading the other day, one of the characters said "Land Sakes" ...from the context of the story, it must be to indicate they are surprised? It was completely foreign ...
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3 votes
1 answer
269 views

Is “what in hejudas?” a common idiom or phrase?

I noticed the following phrase used in another question: Is this a common idiom? If so, what in hejudas inspired such a phrasing? Obviously, this is similar to the phrases “what in hell” or “what ...
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9 votes
4 answers
41k views

Where did the term "doggone it" come from?

Where did the term "doggone it" come from?
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5 votes
7 answers
16k views

What's the more appropriate substitution for "give a f**k/d**n/s**t"

I want a more appropriate phrase that has the same form ("give a **") and meaning as the offensive "give a f**k/d**n/s**t". Is there any?
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3 votes
3 answers
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In the movie "Meet the Fockers" does the word "Focker" really sound different?

In the movie "Meet the Fockers" does the word "Focker" sound really different from the four-letter word? I don't hear any difference. Do all the actors pronounce this word really differently from ...
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7 votes
2 answers
15k views

What does "to pick someone's cherry" mean?

Does it strictly refer to taking someone's virginity, or does it express sexual intercourse in general?
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6 votes
11 answers
23k views

Substitute for F*** in emphasizing disbelief, anger, etc

How do I replace F*** while expressing fully my disbelief, anger, etc? E.g., "I think Homer Simpson is incredibly sexy" My reply "Get out of here! That's f***ing ridiculous."
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6 votes
4 answers
4k views

How, or where, did "Ye God" become "egad"?

Looking up the etymology of 'egad' I saw that it is an archaic, euphemistic form of 'O God' or 'Ye God.' I assume this was a one off evolution, and the 'how' was some idiosyncratic shift in the ...
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7 votes
6 answers
27k views

Where does the phrase "holy crap on a cracker" come from?

Where does the phrase "holy crap on a cracker" come from?
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20 votes
5 answers
42k views

What is the origin of "holy smoke"?

What is the origin of holy smoke? To what is holy smoke referring?
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