Sunday, April 03, 2011

A Cure for Cussing

About two years ago, I was driving on the highway with my then twelve-year-old brother Squirt. A large van driving on the fast lane on my left decided to suddenly swerve in front of me in order to take the exit off the highway. If I hadn’t paid attention to the idiotic driver, my brother and I probably would’ve been pummeled by the van. The only thing that went wrong was this: I reacted angrily and sharply spat, “F-word!” As soon as I said it, my brother and I went silent. It was the first time I ever cussed in front of him and I didn’t know what to do. “I’m sorry Squirt, I didn’t mean to say that in front of you,” I told him calmly as I scolded myself for setting a bad example, “I was just mad about that driver’s poor driving skills.” Without looking at me, Squirt quietly replied, “It’s okay. You just said ‘duck.’”

That was the day when I vowed to avoid cussing regardless of the situation. That was also the day when I learned that Squirt really could keep a secret.

Personally, I was never a big cusser. Fine, you go through phases in life (read: college and certain friends) when you’re surrounded by people with equally unsupervised mouths. Come to think of it, I really think what comes out of your mouth reflects whom you surround yourself with. For instance, a friend of mine has grown up in a cuss-friendly household; using antiquated Kuwaiti cusswords and phrases in her home – no matter how extreme – portrays love and affection. On the other hand, one of my relatives grew up in a home where he would get slapped around if he called his sibling an “idiot” (7mar/7mara). When I sit with my mother, aunts and cousins at my grandmother’s weekly evening get-togethers, I come home to my husband only to find myself speaking in that same, breezy and slightly sarcastic tone of voice as my aunts, something that amuses me more than it does my husband.

But back to cussing and me attempting to cut it out of my life for (almost) good. I thought to myself, “What other words can I use as an alternative to cuss words?” Soon, I found myself saying the following whenever I hit my little toe on the bottom edge of the sofa or coffee table or when someone cuts me off when I’m driving down the road:

- “Potatoes!”

- “Crapper in the wrapper!”

- “Poopy in the loopy!”

I know. I don’t want to bother even thinking about an explanation but I’ll tell you this: they make me smile whenever I say them so I guess that’s one good thing to know and have.

Do you have any made up, PG-13 cuss words?


Cat Stevens - But I Might Die Tonight

Cat Stevens - Where Do the Children Play

Cat Stevens - If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out

at 8:30 AM


  1. Anonymous Ecletic Kuwaiti posted at 11:27 AM  
    Interesting topic I am always taken back when someone cusses because cussing is strictly prohibited at home.

    Hahaha potatoes is funny.

    I use fudge sometimes and in extreme cases idiot covers how I feel.
  2. Blogger Erzulie posted at 12:50 PM  
    eclectic: i hate it when people cuss in a working environment. and i LOVE potatoes! who doesn't love them! i find "fudge" too close to the real deal... :I
  3. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 7:54 PM  
    looool funny
    they had an episode on the doctors where they said cussing every now and then relieves stress ;p
  4. Blogger Erzulie posted at 9:22 PM  
    anon: i just googled "cussing relieves stress." the results confirm what you said :P potatooooooes!

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