What's Your Favorite Curse Word?

by Nana Malone

For those of you who have ever wiled away a Saturday afternoon with James Lipton and our friends at the Actor’s Studio, you recognize the question. Of the questionnaire that Lipton uses, it is my favorite, only slightly beating out, “What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?”

Biden does it. The Wall Street elite at Goldman Sachs do it in emails, even my own mother did it last week when she thought no one was listening. (Much to my husband’s delight, I must say) Therefore, I must confess, I curse like a sailor or a trucker on meth as one friend told me. There’s just something so freeing about letting out one of those tiny four letter words. And admittedly sometimes, only a curse will do. Apparently, there was a study done in England, leave it to the Brits, that showed cursing can help ease pain. If I wasn’t firmly ensconced on the curse-like-a-sailor bandwagon, I would have hitched my ride up once I heard that. The odd thing is I never swore before I got to university. I blame my best friend from college. A tiny little thing, but boy was she inventive.

Like most adults, I know when not to drop an “F” bomb. Like, in front of my mother in law, or in front of the baby. I imagine it would not be a good thing if little Siaki’s first word was of the four letter variety. But as a writer, I struggle between how much and how often to sprinkle. Do I risk turning off readers who think cursing is vulgar or that women should be more lady-like? BTW, for those readers, I tried lady-like once at my mother's request...it didn't take. Or do I risk my characters not sounding authentic. I choose the former. I curse, it’s part of my voice. I suppose I can’t worry about what readers will think.

Watching The Actor’s Studio, there have been some inventive favorite curse words, but my favorite remains S. Epatha Merkerson from Law and Order. After all, she went so far as to spell her favorite curse word so there would be no confusion: M-U-T-H-A F-U-C-K-A. Now, that's a curse I can get behind.

So, what’s your favorite curse word?


Images courtesy of Google Images.

Comments

  1. Nana - great post! I don't really curse that much - but I do have some favourites and they tend to be in Italian because those were the words I heard growing up. My Nonna who was under 5 feet tall would probably put your college friend to shame with her cursing. She was really good! I learned the phrases and words from her. My favourites are - va fan culo (go fuck yourself) and stucazzo (cocksucker) they sound so much more lyrical and fun in Italian. ;D

    Cheers!
    jojo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sweet! Thanks Joanna. Now I can curse in Italian without the baby reporting me to daddy! Yay :) I must find was to work those into everyday conversation. Mine remains Fuck and pretty much every variation of it. It's just so versatile!

    Nana

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, other than the usual FUCK shouted in a loud voice, I like, "weasel piss." I have no idea where it came from but it pops out of my mouth, and the mouth of some of my characters now and then.

    Carlene Rae Dater
    EPIC finalist in three categories, author of 10 published books.

    ReplyDelete
  4. HAHAHAHAHA! Weasel Piss? That's a new one. I must try it out.

    Nana

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm not much of a curser, but it sure feels good to curse, especially when some yahoo cuts me off in traffic. If I'm alone I let out a stream of F's, and it is so freeing.

    Being of Italian heritage myself, I know a few Italian cursewords. I'll use the F word to my husband if I want to make a point, but I don't use it in public. I'll say friggin' instead. One of my favorites is "I don't give a flying fig."

    My werewolf hunting heroine in my paranormal (hopefully will sign a contract soon) uses the F word once in the book and says friggin a couple of times. My werewolf hero uses the F word. I have them use the word when it suits the action. I don't believe in using curse words gratuitously.

    Good post.

    Carolyn/Cara Marsi

    ReplyDelete
  6. I also had a cursing college friend. She took swearing to an art form. One of my favorite phrases ever to exit her mouth was, "Son of a one-legged, cross-eyed, syphilitic whore!"

    Okay, so that's more than one word, but it's definitely on my favorite curses list. I also say "bloody hell" a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh my goodness, Nana! I LOOOOVVVVEEEEDDDDD this post. Yes! Finally! I've always struggled with how much/when/who am I going to turn off if I use curse words while writing. But the plain truth of it is, people curse! More so often than not. And if you want your characters to sound true, you HAVE to use it. Great post! My favorite is SHIT! Usually repeatedly, several times in a row, and at the drop of a hat! I also tend like the word ASS, even with my kids. As in, "My hand and you're ass are gonna connect in about five seconds!" I thank my mother-in-law for that one! AJ

    ReplyDelete
  8. Carolyn,

    I too am an excellent curser in the car. Though with baby in the car seat, I restrain myself with "Frack" Borrowed from Battlestar Galactica.

    Friggin has also become a new oft-used one with the little one around.

    Nana

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, isn't that the struggle for a writer - to have the character curse or not. I love how Laura Caldwell handles it in her Izzy McNeil series - the character is trying to substitute some other word for a curse word. Of course, that never satisfies so she curses anyway. That technique softens the whole idea of cursing, I think. Great post! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  10. OMG Meg! I HAVE to use this one! Somewhere, somehow, sometime in todays dealings, I will use this phrase. It's just too awesome for words.

    Ah yes, I have a fondness for bloody hell from my time living in London. The Brits do come up with some inventive curses as well.

    Nana

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hiya AJ,

    I'm glad you liked it :) I've been plowing my way through the BDB series of JR Ward's and I love how she lets the curses fly with abandon. these are guy's guys, so of course they would curse. But I write lighter funnier stuff. How to handle how to handle? Because if I let fly as often as I do in real life...Holy Smokes. Several of my readers would give me the same tsk tsk look hubby does.

    Nana

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks Kathy, glad you enjoyed :)
    And thanks for the recommendation. I'll maybe grab a kindle version of one of her books and see how she handles it.

    Nana

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post! I don't know if I have a favorite curse word... but if I had to choose one, it would be the one that starts with F. It's the most effective. I don't cuss much (I've little kids around most of the day) and I use it sparingly so if I do, people know I mean business.

    The one I use most often, however, is "fruck" and if the occasions calls for it, "fricken fracken fruck."

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hiya Lynn,

    I like the variation. Frickin Fracken Fruck is excellent. Just flows off the tongue :)

    Nana

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great post, Nana!

    I love the word "Fuck" used in both contexts, when you're really, really mad or your hubby whispers it in your ear when he's in a particularly naughty mood.

    The one I overuse though is Jackass, especially when I drive. Everyone's a jackass then, and it kinda makes me giggle.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nana, you didn't tell us your favorite curses. I thought I would learn a lot from this post.LOL. My heroes have cursed in Russian, French, Spanish and Greek according to their nationalities or origin.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ha, Nana! What a fun post. I never used to be a big curser...until my ex. OMG, he used to curse all the time, and I picked up the habit. I make not to curse in front of my daughter though (well, most of the time).

    Here's my strange curse, for about six months or more: Fuck a duck. This is what I'm saying these days. I don't know why!

    Joanna, thanks for the Italian cursing lesson! LOL. Now I can use those!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I try not to curse in public. But in private to myself, I'm awful. I love the word in Italian, my grandfather use to say it and think we didn't know it what he said.
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Haha, what a fab post, Nana! It's impossible to really restrain yourself, I fear. I always let slip in front of my baby niece, and I know she's picking them up and taking them home. Oooops.

    "Fuck" remains a favorite, but I find myself combining it in various ways. "Shitfucker" is one that my heroine, Naomi, has adopted in her life -- and I wrote it so much that I started using it myself!

    To date, my absolute favorite curses come from the third Blade movie -- or as, we like to call it at Casa Karina, the most expensive iPod commercial ever made. In it, a sexily gorgeous, roughed up Ryan Reynolds is doing his best to rile up Parker Posey's amazingly catty vampire, and uses the phrases "horse-humping bitch" and (please excuse my potty mouth) "cock-juggling thunder-cunt". Oh, my!

    I have a potty mouth, myself -- I grew up in a military family, and am surrounding with brothers on both sides. I have to rein myself in all the time! Despite all the inventive invectives out there, I like a good, old-fashioned f-bomb.

    As the lovely, terribly Irish MacManus brothers say in Boondock Saints: "Well, that certainly illustrates the diversity of the word!"

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, dear. I'm way in the minority. I guess my favorite cuss word is rats. I know, I know, hardly worth it, right? If you knew how much I hate, hate, hate rats, it would seem more powerful. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Nana. You potty mouthed author!

    I don't curse a lot, but fuck a duck comes out way more than it should. O_o

    ReplyDelete
  22. I used to cuss like a sailor. Or worse, like a restaurant short-order cook. And I know that's bad, cause I grew up in restaurants. Anyway, I worried about cussing when my son was a baby too, so I tried to be careful and we blew through that phase beautifully.

    My bad habits reasserted themselves though, and somewhere around middle school, my son started defiantly imitating me. I couldn't scold him for cussing if I was cussing too. Thus came the birth of The Cussing Jar, which gets a dollar when anyone cusses. Then the money goes to church or a charity. I like "frack" as my substitute cuss word of choice, as it clearly labels me for the geek I am.

    But I have to admit that my all-time favorite cussing phrase was learned at my own mother's knees. Whenever dear mommy was cross, she would loudly declare, "Balls on ice!" She had a gift for powerful visual imagery.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you but hope you are a real person and not a spammer. :)

Popular Posts