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In Stressful Times, Use Your Words

Expressing emotions is healthy but in some social settings, obscene language is inappropriate. Now, with many people staying home due to the coronavirus, there is bound to be times of contention, frustration, shock, and anger that may call for a change in language. (Yes, even when yelling at the computer when it doesn’t work)

We can point out the 2017 report from Cambridge here that research from the Netherlands, UK, USA and Hong Kong concluded “People who use profanity are less likely to be associated with lying and deception” BUT when you are sharing a space, compromise, respect, and understanding are very important!

There are thousands of minced oaths, what linguists call “gee,” “gosh,” golly,” “gosh darn it,” and “gee willikers” which avoid taking the Lord’s name in vain. Mince, as in to “mince one’s words” is to restrain oneself and use polite language, so to “mince” an oath is to change it to an inoffensive euphemism.

I tend to think it’s cheating to curse in another language, especially Spanish but I do use the Yiddish “Oy vey!” Other useful Yiddish phrases in the time of COVID-19 is the phrase “Vey is mir!” an expression of angst, similar to “Woe is me!” Like “Oy vey!” but a lot worse. There is also “Oy-yoy-yoy!” which is a lamentation or other expression of grief and sorrow, such as at the news of someone’s passing. Another Yiddish word is Bupkes, meaning absolutely nothing. A Schlump is a pathetic human being.

Some other creative insults perhaps for people not following the new coronavirus rules are numbskull, cretin, neophyte, and curmudgeon. You could use some Australian slang and tell people to bugger off or get stuffed (get lost).

Celebrity/Movie/Pop Culture Related Cursing:

Sylvester the cat: Sufferin’ succotash!
Yosemite Sam: What in tarnation is going on?
Crocodile Hunter: Crikey!
“Doc” Brown from Back to the Future: Great Scott!
Marty McFly from Back to the Future: Heavy.
Charlie Brown: Good Grief!
Spongebob: Tartar sauce! (mad) Barnacles! (sad/upset)
Mushu from Mulan (animated): Dishonor on you, Dishonor on your cow!
Woody from Toy Story: “The word I’m searching for I can’t say, because there’s preschool toys present.”
Pinky and the Brain: Narf!
Sherrif of Nottingham from Robin Hood (animated): Criminitly!

And for getting people to be quiet there is nothing quite like Captian Amelia from Treasure Planet “With the greatest possible respect, zip your howling screamer.” And also, “Let me make this as… monosyllabic as possible.” followed by Mr. Arrow’s line, “A ludicrous parcel of driveling galoots.”

My children often use the term “salty” officially, being salty is when you are upset over something little.

‘Have Kittens’ is a phrase similar to ‘have a cow’ meaning to lose one’s composure or become agitated or angry. Variations include get kittens, have a kitten, and pass kittens. A cat fit is a “burst of joy or (more often) anger.

Nonsense Related Exclamations
Shut the front door!
Holy cow!
Banana shenanigans!
Poo! Phooey!
Cheese and rice!
Barbara Streisand!
Jiminy Crickets!
Son of a gun!
Oh my gosh!
Caesar’s ghost!
Merlin’s beard!
Son of a biscuit!
Shitake mushrooms!
Oh Dear!
Geez Louise!
Piffle (sad)
Asinine (mad)
Tosh (rubbish)
Monkey business
Banana shenanigans! (yes again)
Frack! Along with my least favorite because it was said ALL the time in my family “frick”

My Grandparents said:
For Pete’s sake!
Oh my goodness!
God bless America!
That is a bunch of baloney.

And don’t forget: fiddle-faddle, fiddlesticks, hogwash, hokeypokey, hokum, hoodoo, hooey, and horsefeathers!