Wash My Mouth Out With Soap

Jane Fonda dropped the C-bomb on the Today Show Thursday, and people are freaking OUT.

People, it’s a WORD. Albeit, by societal standards, a pretty bad one, but just the same … a WORD.

As a lover of words, the notion that ANY word could be bad, strikes me as fundamentally wrong. A word, bad? Really? Who says? When you boil it down, what are words really? Sounds. When you think about it that way, doesn’t it all seems rather … absurd?

Right about now you’re thinking I must be a big fat filthy toilet mouth, but if you’ve read the archives at all, you know I’m not much of a swearer. (This will actually be an F-bomb first in this blog.) Because I embrace the English lexicon does not mean I choose to use every word in it. (I don’t find much occasion to use lachrymose or sabulous either…)

I do admit however, sometimes a good FUCK just feels good …

Ba da bump.

Bear with me – here comes the complete and total hypocracy.


Bad Word: Butt
Good Words: Tush, Tushy

Bad Word: Fart
Good Word: Toot

Bad Word: Hate
Good Words: Don’t like

Bad Words: Shut up
Good Words: Be quiet

Word only to be said when praying or making a reference: God
All other times, substitute with: Gosh, Goodness

So, you see my dilemma. I’m philosophically at odds.

It’s ingrained. In me. In everyone. In every culture. Certain words are always going to have a (sometimes illogical) stigma attached. I don’t know how many times as a kid I had my mouth washed out with soap — LAVA, even! — for sassing. The consequences of uttering an actual swear word were … *shiver* too frightening to imagine.

From the New York Times
(I’m off on a tangent, but this is a really interesting article):
“Researchers have also examined how words attain the status of forbidden speech and how the evolution of coarse language affects the smoother sheets of civil discourse stacked above it. They have found that what counts as taboo language in a given culture is often a mirror into that culture’s fears and fixations.”

(Hmmm … Keeping this in mind, as I think about it, most of our culture’s “bad” words relate to sex or bodily functions. Discuss.)

I don’t much care if other people swear. (It’s only annoying when it’s every other word — comparable to the irritation I feel when someone says “like” or “ah” or “you know” every other sentence.) But like most parents, I don’t want my child around it. Let alone repeating it. (There’s that damn hypocracy again …)

Like the time about seven months ago MP, standing with an impish smile in the middle of Grammy’s kitchen … let it fly.

“Fuck. Fuck, Fuck, Fuck.”

The sucking sound as all air left the room was deafening. I was horrified. (Turns out she heard it at preschool … honestly!)

Hypocrite, I know. I know!

It’s a conundrum.


Filed under Piece of S*%#

9 responses to “Wash My Mouth Out With Soap

  1. mssinglemama

    Damn…you’re an amazing writer. Seriously. What an amazing post.

    I have cleand up my potty mouth since having my little guy. But I still let it fly more often than I’d like. But, what the fuck? I’m only human.

    And yes – a good fuck is fucking fantastic. Woo Hoo! It’s our right to say fuck and to enjoy fucks. I could go on and on…fun!

  2. mommypie

    Fuck yeah! I’m just happy that SOMEONE comments once in awhile! (And thanks for the super sweet compliment 🙂 )

  3. That was a truly funny post! My best friends mother (who was more of a mom to me than my own) used to say those are just ‘generic’ curse words, I don’t want to hear those either.” I laugh at that now because, Bless her heart, I love her to death. But after her husband left her for his mistress….she became the wild women we adore! She’s now remarried, but has plenty of her own generic curse words, as well as real ones.

    My Doodlebug loves to repeat “oh shit” at all the approiate times, like in the grocery store….

  4. mommypie

    Doesn’t it always happen in public?? And, it’s so wrong, but when you hear a tiny kid swear, don’t you just want to bust out laughing? The couple times it’s happened with MP, it’s been a struggle to keep a straight (and appropriately stern) face …

  5. Lani

    Okay ladies! I have the worst mouth my tongue should be black from the filth. That said, I agree with you MP, its just a word. Not a nice word, yet still a word. However, it is a word that if someone called me that to my face, litereally, I would lay you out!

    I play soccer and one of my friends likes to use that word against other players and then wonders why they are so nasty to her on the field. I wonder?

    When my kids were little they didn’t swear in public. I was fortunate enough to be the only one in the audience for those special moments. I usually could hold the appropriately stern face except when it was a perfect immiation of ME!

  6. I have 3 boys and they are older, 12 to 21, so fart is now extremely acceptable, even encouraged. Imagine a 12 year old boy saying “who tooted?”

    I loved it when the “S” word was “shut up.”
    What about the overworked verb “sucks”? I just cringe when I hear kids use that term in front of me. I never let my kids say “that sucks” because I told them it means “sucks dick”, just like my mom stopped me from saying “jerk off” (this was a familiar phrase when I was growing up) because she quite bluntly explained what jerking off is.

    And finally “freakin or frickin” is still a no no because everyone’s mind just goes to fuckin anyway.

    By the time they come back from the first semester at college, it’s game over.

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