182 votes

Is there a non-vulgar version of "pulled it out of their ass"?

Pulled it out of thin air works well. It keeps the pulled which reminds people of the phrase you're avoiding, while out of thin air means from nothing. A (probably older) variation is plucked out of ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 21.7k
129 votes

What do you call a person who uses vulgar words too often?

Two excellent choices exist. The first can be used as either an adjective or noun, in slightly different forms: foulmouth, adj. and n. B. n. A foul-mouthed person. ["foulmouth, adj. and n.". ...
JEL's user avatar
  • 32.8k
89 votes
Accepted

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

One option for a word is whit1 : the smallest part or particle imaginable Don't care a whit2 is even an idiomatic phrase: didn't care at all. Sally thought Joe liked her, but he didn't care ...
Catija's user avatar
  • 3,547
89 votes
Accepted

Is it rude to refer to janitors as 'floor people'?

This may be subtle and comes down to inflection and intention. I suspect that your manager was not being rude but trying to refer succinctly to a particular trade. If you were talking about a ...
Ben Zotto's user avatar
  • 1,151
80 votes
Accepted

What do you call a person who uses vulgar words too often?

Two adjectives come to my mind for a person who uses excessive foul language: 1) crass having or showing no understanding of what is proper or acceptable; rude and insensitive (http://www.merriam-...
Mike Zavarello's user avatar
75 votes

What do you call a person who uses vulgar words too often?

An alternative to @JEL's answer is the noun potty-mouth Dictionary.com. The Dictionary of American Slang. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/potty-mouth (accessed: August 21, 2016) The corresponding ...
GoHokies's user avatar
  • 987
70 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

How about 'don't care a bit' it rhymes with your sh... word. Here's a link to 'not a bit'; 'I don't care a bit' is also idiomatic. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/not+one+bit
Jelila's user avatar
  • 5,631
65 votes

Is there a non-vulgar version of "pulled it out of their ass"?

For a usage that implies that something (an object or idea, etc.) appeared from nowhere, you could say, "He pulled it out of thin air." On the other hand, if what you want is a usage meaning that ...
Geoffrey's user avatar
  • 1,498
60 votes

In my native language, we have this obscene saying - don't take a dump in the barrel of honey

Don’t shit where you eat. Per the Wiktionary entry, (idiomatic, vulgar) One should not cause trouble in a place, group, or situation in which one regularly finds oneself. Usage notes: Often used as ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 4,705
57 votes
Accepted

Are there any words whose spelling was deliberately changed to make them non-offensive?

The seed of Guizotia abyssinica used to be known as niger seed. That combination of letters is pronounced differently from the much more common word with a similar spelling, and the difference ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 21.7k
55 votes

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

I think most (Chinese) viewers mainly took issue with how the phrase "died like a pig" was translated (as it was taken literally --> "像死猪一样"). While I agree that it is certainly unprofessional to use ...
user190840's user avatar
54 votes

What is a less controversial name for the clothing item known as a "wife-beater" in the United States?

I've always heard them referred to as tank tops, or tanks. Wife-beater may be regional slang; I never heard the term used while growing up in California.
Gnawme's user avatar
  • 40.9k
54 votes

Does English use the word ‘thou’ in any situations nowadays?

Thou/thee/thy/thine still exist in some dialects in British English. However, unless you are one of those who speak the dialect, it is not used in general spoken and written English. https://en....
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 42k
53 votes
Accepted

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

As a competitive swimmer from southern Ontario, Canada, in the 1970's and 1980's, and a master's runner and triathlete in the 1990's I'm quite familiar with the phrase 'die like a pig' though not with ...
Joe Murray's user avatar
49 votes

What is a less controversial name for the clothing item known as a "wife-beater" in the United States?

I've always referred (and heard and read others referring) to them as A-shirts (as opposed to T-shirts). They're sold as A-shirts, too.
Gordon's user avatar
  • 597
46 votes
Accepted

What is a less controversial name for the clothing item known as a "wife-beater" in the United States?

The shirt in the OP is not the best example of what people, at least originally, meant by "wifebeater". Instead, "wifebeater" meant a finely ribbed, thin fabric, white, A-shirt, sold in multipacks ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 10.6k
46 votes

"Pregnant" as a taboo word

I would guess that the word "pregnant" focuses on the state of the woman's body whereas a euphemism focuses (or at least pretends to focus) on the anticipation of a child. Referencing a bodily state ...
BobtheMagicMoose's user avatar
46 votes

Was the word that is now considered a slur against Japanese people ever considered simply a standard, neutral demonym?

Jap (as a derogatory term for Japanese): The term Jap was a neutral demonym in the late 19th century but it got pejorated during the WWII. In America, the term Jap came into wide use in 1860 to refer ...
Decapitated Soul's user avatar
45 votes
Accepted

What is an informal term for a person who can't do anything right?

"All thumbs", according to Wiktionary "clumsy, awkward, not dextrous." "Klutz", according to Wiktionary "a clumsy or stupid person."
Al Maki's user avatar
  • 2,275
42 votes

Alternative terms to "Blacklist" and "Whitelist"

I'm almost a decade late to the party, but I tend to use different terms depending on the context. When appropriate, I use: Exclude List Allow List In other contexts, I use: Block List Allow List ...
End Anti-Semitic Hate's user avatar
42 votes

Non-vulgar alternative to “Don't care a ____”

A traditional expression for this is don't give/care a fig. Cambridge Dictionaries says it's old-fashioned, but I think the meaning should still be clear in context even for folks who haven't heard it....
1006a's user avatar
  • 22.8k
41 votes
Accepted

What is a less offensive term for "Christian mythology" that still implies it's non-empirical?

“Faith-based beliefs/belief systems” is used and contrasted with “science/evidence-based beliefs/belief systems” in the linked ‘Science 2.0’ article: Belief systems are the stories we tell ...
Papa Poule's user avatar
  • 9,697
39 votes

Is there a non-vulgar version of "pulled it out of their ass"?

"Pulled it out of their hat" - English usage, common. Says exactly the same thing but less offensively. Tone of speech does that for you - the more dripping with sarcasm and disbelief, the better. Add ...
user276543's user avatar
38 votes

Origin of the phrase "crazy as a coon"—is it racist?

'Coon' similes in mid-nineteenth-century U.S. English Raccoons are notoriously clever and dexterous animals that many farmers view (or once viewed) as varmints. In the nineteenth century, a number of ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
35 votes
Accepted

Adjective for 'shite'

The adjective form of shite is shite: That was a shite film. I feel shite about it. Mondays are always a bit shite.
Jon Purdy's user avatar
  • 32.4k
35 votes

Is "went out like stink, died like a pig" just an unfortunate choice of words?

Neither 'like stink' nor 'die like a pig' are necessarily insulting in use with reference to persons, although dying like a pig is clearly something to be avoided. The first, 'like stink', is a ...
JEL's user avatar
  • 32.8k
34 votes

Are there any words whose spelling was deliberately changed to make them non-offensive?

Did you know that the original name for Pac-Man was Puck-Man? You'd think it was because he looks like a hockey puck but it actually comes from the Japanese phrase 'Paku-Paku,' which means to flap ...
xDaizu's user avatar
  • 664
34 votes

Is there a non-vulgar version of "pulled it out of their ass"?

If you really want to sound professional without anyone knowing that you made everything up you can say: The data comes from applying the Stetson-Harrison method From the entry on Urban Dictionary: ...
pipe's user avatar
  • 509
33 votes
Accepted

Is there any curse/ swear equivalent for this Persian curse? " May your head be covered by soil!"

The simple, all-purpose imprecation in U.S. English is "Drop dead!"—which is, of course, the usual stage before the soil-on-head stage. Christine Ammer, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
33 votes

Is there any curse/ swear equivalent for this Persian curse? " May your head be covered by soil!"

Although I am not aware of an exact English equivalent of the Persian curse, "To rot in hell" is a pejorative and used to aggressively retort to infuriating situations. Usage: What? You ...
BiscuitBoy's user avatar
  • 13.5k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible