Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Not in front of the children

I have never had an issue with swear words and have always explained to my children that some people can be offended by certain (swear) words, so don't use them outside the home unless you want the possibility of people judging you harshly. Obviously I say it in Kidsspeak. To me, unless swear words are aimed at me aggressively, they are just harmless sounds. Actually, I lie a bit, I do sometimes use them for impact to stress a point of passion.

Last Friday night, my whole family wandered into the off-licence after a street walk so that Andy Chap could buy himself a bottle of posh cider. Recently he's become a bit of an alcohol snob. While in the shop, a couple of women entered that were clearly on their way to some drunken fun. They asked the lad behind the counter that was surrounded by 'no ID no sale signs' (that I had been staring at because I felt I should ask him for some ID - he looked twelve like all the policemen) for a particular type of beer. He pointed to a shelf and they grabbed some. The server then informed the women that there were refrigerated ones and asked if they would prefer them to which one of the women, very aware of my children replied,
"Oh yes, that would be the canine reproductive organs."

Forgive me if this a commonly used phrase in these circumstances. I have certainly never heard of it before and found it very funny and laughed appreciatively.

As we left the off-licence, my daughter asked what canine reproductive organs were. I said within earshot of the women, it means, 'the dog's boll*cks'.


  1. Love it!

    I have exactly the same policy as you - Fred knows not to swear outside of home (except at your home!! I tell him to swear a lot there). I like swearing - it makes me feel better - gets things out my system - just words that help - so I can't have one rule for me and one rule for them. However, Fred has recently taken to swearing a lot at home in a very adult way - which does sound a bit shocking even to my bawdy self!! At his very churchy school, the teachers call swear words "a swear" - what??? Are they trying to make them sound nicer??? So all the kids call them "a swear" which is just wrong English! Of course, this includes "Oh my god". F*ck's sake xxx

  2. That's a bit prim isn't it Claire using asterix' in a post on swearing?

    I love swearing, Mrs me isn't as much of a fan, we both do it, she uses it to express anger/hard emotions usually, I use it to express everything, and as punctuation. At work it's worse still as the full joy of those robust proper Anglo-Saxon swear words come into their own, you can convert a noun into a verb an adjective or anything in English, which I love. Our kids use profanity to varying degrees, whilst knowing mum's not a particular fan. I'm not keen on small kids swearing, it just doesn't sound particularly nice, although that video of the little kid trying to say something else but it ends up as "fuck" is a gem (I'll try and find a link). sorry...

    I only ever said it in front of my mum once, it wasn't cricket, she got extraordinarily angry, so I didn't do it again. The irony is, after she had her stroke and was on some fairly unpleasant hardcore hypnotic drugs, she swore like a good 'un on occasion, so much so it used to upset my brother a bit (he's a bit more prudish than me, poor old fella). Quite a few of the lovely old ladies in her residential home had had "foul gob" conversions done by medication/strokes/boredom/jigsaw puzzle fatigue, It was quite surreal and sadly funny sometimes, like a home for aging sweet old tourettes sufferers, One old lady used to routinely shout "where's my fucken biscut?" at you as you walked through the door on your way in, I made the mistake of engaging with her about her biscuit a couple of times, more swearing ensued, I should have found her a biscuit I suppose.

  3. Typejunky, I used the asterisk in case there's some swearing block thing on this blog or sets off sex spam or something! It did feel very wrong!!! That's hilarious the residential home - like a Catherine Tate sketch! Now, the not liking little kids swearing - yes it sounds awful - but you can't have it all ways! If they hear you swear, they're going to swear too at some point! My 3-year old still hasn't sworn which amazes me but I am pleased. My son said "fuggin hewll" repeatedly when he was 2 to express annoyance!

  4. Posh cider? Which one? Did you know you can't get pear cider over here and everyone keeps going on how yummy it is.

    Your children are gorgeous.

    I love posts like this

  5. I just love it, explaining to your kids what someone's euphemistic swearing means. That just takes the mating biscuit :)

  6. A new years resolution this year is to learn more bird songs via the web....but kept reading about a strange bird called a blue t*t
    (Finally found a magic site with proper tits at

  7. my favourite bird is a chuff, or perhaps a shag...

  8. incidentally here's that video, a small child trying to say frog, infantile, but hilarious. I apologise in advance.


  9. For those who cannot write swear words all I can say is :póg mo thóin agus téigh transa ort féin am sure you will be able to get a transalation via Google !

    Swearing lets off steam & can help to reduce stress.

  10. First and foremost - I appreciate the ***s otherwise it opens me up to SPAM.

    When I was a teacher, I had a little switch in my brain that prevented swear words slipping out. It was impressive. there has been no evidence of thsi type of control to be found elsewhere in me.

    Claire - I once shared the story of Mrs Braithwait and your son's swearing to a gathering and there was a silence of disapproval. I am surprised how much disapproval swearing can cause. Does the disapproval come from deep in people's psyches? It's not overly rational. There's much worse a person could do. like write someone off because they swear? You taught me to swear properly - do you remember. you told me (when I was about 8) that saying, 'I like your bloody new dress' enthusiastically was not the right use of swearing. Thank you - another lesson that toned down my freakdom.

    Nick - our mum disapproved and our dad swore. His death bed swearing was spectacular.

    I suspect it's an indication of my dad's parental dominance that we all swear.

    Swearing can be a skilled craft and it's all in the delivery.

    I am not really responding to your comment. I realise I just had more to say about swearing.

    Swearing as punctuation is drunken sentence structure for me.
    'Not liking little kids swearing' seems an anomally. I think if it's an indication of an absence of parenting...it might be sad. In for a penny...Jed knows what he can get away with at six!!!

    FF - yes my sister likes posts like this too. You can get pear cider down the road. there - how helpful was that? I think they are pretty lovely.

    Heron -shocking. My swearing rant capabilities shine particularly well in stubbing extremities type accidents.

    off to look at youtube

    Codge - nicely delivered. Surprised Jonathan hasn't dashed in with a witty stroke.

    Sandra - there was a programme on R4 about birdsong today (car driving time). I am not at all auditory and I couldn't tell one from the other.

  11. Denizens of the UK have the best swears...
    I once read a Scottish woman's blog who used 'B---cking C-buckets' in a post and almost spit out what I was drinking.

    Like you say, not good to say things like that in front of kids though.

  12. Just need to point out it is incorrect to refer to Fermented Pear juice as Cider the correct term is Perry.
    Cider is fermented apple juice !

  13. Heron, from your first post, I get the first three words, a fairly marvellous band too.

  14. myself i am fond of a bit effin' and blindin. it really helps reduce the owld blood pressure i find. i try not to say it when it might give offence to others i.e. at work etc but i say it in my MIND and tho' it helps it's not quite as good.
    that's better.


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