Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dear General Cuss-ter...

Dear Bitter Amanda,

I'm looking for some new curse words. Calling someone an a$&hole just doesn't do it for me any more and I don't like using the misogynistic words (you know the ones I mean). Do you have any recommendations?

@$*^#€ you,
Potty Mouth

Dear General Cuss-ter,
Real confession: I opened your email and glanced over it before reading. I saw the phrase "asshole just doesn't do it for me" and thought, "THIS IS NOT THE KIND OF ADVICE I GIVE." 

I'm really happy you want to talk about swearing. 

I'm all for learning new things, so props to you for expanding your horizons. This is about creativity. There's a relatively small pool of words to work from, if you think about it. 
There are several things I've found quite useful. First off is the compound word swearing. Combine words, even words that aren't cursing, to come up with quirky and new ways to express your feelings. The other day a friend called someone a "dick sneeze." I wouldn't have considered it, but when he said it, it gave us a pretty solid impression of the person in question. You can take a curse word you'd normally use, then tack on a body part, bodily function, natural disaster--really the possibilities are limitless. For more delicate surroundings, you can also consider combining one of those with an animal. I'd probably be insulted if someone called me a dragon fart or giraffe testicle--you know what I'm saying?
Watch sports with someone who is REALLY INTO SPORTS. Wait for an official to pass judgment on a play or someone on the opposing team to step out of line--you'll hear some shiny new combinations. 
You can also broaden your scope and learn a new language! My summer campers know how to swear in at least 5 languages by the end of the first couple days of camp. "What the fuck" is a little more satisfying in Finnish, for example. It's also easier to get away with muttering these under your breath at work. (See also: Joss Whedon's Firefly) You can also look to other cultures. This one guy I knew in Ireland practically turned cursing into a sport. When he got going...it was a thing of beauty, in a way. 
And finally, if you're looking for something slightly more creative and sort of off the beaten trail, look to the masters! Guys like Shakespeare figured out a million ways to insult people without coming right out and calling them a fuck face. It's a little wordier, so there isn't the instant satisfaction that comes from dropping the word asshole, but it's an option. 
Was this helpful? 
Solitarily yours,
Bitter Amanda

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