The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


March 26, 2013

Curses to those who rely on old, tired expletives

ENID, Okla. — Earlier this week, a colleague came out of a meeting and walked to the office water cooler to fill his cup.

At some point in the process, the vessel slipped from his fingers and fell to the floor, splashing water everywhere.

He started to spit out a word or words that can not be printed in a family newspaper without using a whole lot of *&$#@! in place of the actual verbiage.

Instead, he caught himself and simply muttered, almost to himself, “bad words, bad words, bad words.”

He showed remarkable self-restraint, which is more than can be said for many of us.

For some, cursing is as natural as breathing. Their speech is peppered with words and phrases you wouldn’t say in the presence of your mother.

These people seem to be prevalent in many of today’s popular films.

I think the writers of some of these films should have a dollar of their pay deducted for every epithet they include in the script. If that were the case, some would end up owing the studios money.

For other folks, obscenities spring forth in moments of extreme stress or discomfort, like dropping a cup full of water, bumping your head on something, stubbing your toe or having your high fade turn into a banana slice that winds up in the water hazard.

Letting fly with a string of expletives can get you in hot water, even if your mom’s not within earshot.

A Pennsylvania man recently was having an argument with his mom in the parking lot of a church where an Easter egg hunt was being held.

At one point Jeff Frey began cursing at his mother, which upset another man, Guy John Murphy II, who hit Frey in the face with an unopened can of Mountain Dew and punched out some of his teeth.

Murphy was arrested, while Frey’s mother said her son “had gotten what he deserved.”

A man on the island nation of Bermuda recently learned the folly of mixing alcohol with painkillers he was prescribed after tooth surgery.

The man became unruly and police were summoned, at which time he cursed at them, twice.

He was given a choice of a $500 fine or 30 days in jail.

A South Carolina man called a sheriff’s dispatcher and cursed while asking for deputies to come to his home.

When deputies arrived and asked the man what the problem was, he asked one of them to “lick this off my hand.”

When the deputy stepped back, the man wiped ketchup on his uniform. The man was arrested.

There are plenty of ways to express oneself, of course, but often there is something cathartic about spouting a bit of salty language.

There are G-rated substitutes, of course, like heck, shucks, gosh and golly.

But there are some more antiquated words and phrases that get the point across without resorting to the same old tired expletives.

Some date from Shakespeare’s time, like “zounds,” a shortening of the words God’s wounds, and “Gadzooks,” short for “God’s hooks,” or the nails that held Christ to the cross.

Others evoke food, like fudge, which substitutes for, well, you know, and sugar, which replaces a word for something much more vulgar.

Some other cultures have colorful and expressive ways to lay a little verbal smackdown on someone.

In China, there is a curse that says “May you come to the attention of the authorities.”

There is an Arab curse that says “May wild asses defile the grave of your grandmother!”

Then there’s a Yiddish curse, “May you be like a lamp — hang by day, burn by night and be snuffed out by morning.”

The old, familiar, curse words have become tiresome and annoying.

For those who think it is somehow cool or macho to curse loudly and often in public, don’t.

It just makes painfully obvious to all within earshot the glaring gaps in your vocabulary.

Try something more colorful, like consarn, dadgummit, land sakes, oh poo, or, my personal favorite, thunderation, which would be appropriate the next time the Oklahoma City Thunder commit a turnover in a crucial late-game situation.

The next time you just have to express your frustration and displeasure, keep it clean, but make it clever, something like “May your son’s hair grow only on his legs and not on his head.”

Hey, wait a minute, that’s not funny.

Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at

Text Only
  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patsy Sorrels.tiff The key to God’s storehouse is in the giving

    Point being, there are a lot of hungry people out there who need to be fed the Bread of Life, and He needs to be served with a smile and a discerning heart.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • David Christy col. use clip.jpg Water, water everywhere?

    As Americans, we have taken water for granted far, far too long. We assume it will always be there, when we turn on the tap.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff’s office, emergency management get new home

    The sheriff’s office and emergency management office will move in October or November to the former Grady Robbins Army Reserve Center on Oxford. The building has been unused since 2011 when the Armed Forces Reserve Center opened at Vance Air Force Base.

    July 18, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Airline passengers should not be casualties of war

    Nowhere in the flight attendants’ patter did the word “missile” appear, and the chance their gleaming Boeing 777 would be brutally slapped from the sky likely never even appeared even as a niggling doubt lurking in the darkest corners of the passengers’ minds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lady Liberty_MD.jpg Statue of Liberty replica should be repaired, returned

    Maybe we could learn a little from past history. Most know the original national monument was given by the people of France in recognition to a friendship that bloomed during the American Revolution.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steps can be taken to prevent West Nile Virus

    Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, dizziness and muscle weakness, although in rare cases it can cause severe neurologic disease such as meningitis, paralysis or encephalitis. Some cases can be fatal.

    July 16, 2014

  • Will Rogers web.jpg Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-17-2014

    I get what the wheat farmers are sore at Hoover about. He wouldn’t let them hold up the people for bread during the war. Their excuse is that everybody else held us up, so why pick on them.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads