Discussion: [VG, expr.] Euphemisms / les Euphémismes -- "Swearing politely" in English and French

Status
Not open for further replies.

Trina

Senior Member
Australia (English)
To express incredulity: Bull! (short for Bull Sh*t!)

Budgie Poop! = wherever and whenever sh*t is needed. (quite possibly good for the garden too!)
 
  • emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    In another thread, we discovered the phenomenon of so-called "minced oaths", where religious or blasphemous references are rendered innocuous by word-substitution etc. The phrase in question in that thread was:

    For crying out loud!, which is "minced" For Christ's sake!
     

    DeSica

    Senior Member
    Français Canada
    Pour ne pas indisposer grand-mère, le québécois a dans son arsenal de jurons toute la quincaillerie religieuse dans sa version édulcorée: câline, calvinâsse, batinsse, salament, tabarnouche, simonac, tabarslak, christobal, cibolak, hostin de beu, géribouère, cibole, mautadine, etc... La version crue choquerait bien des mémés j'en suis sûr, mais elles supporteraient un temps ces ersatzs, à condition de ne pas tous les proférer d'un même souffle!
     

    marianthelibrarian

    New Member
    English, USA
    What about "Oh fudge!" as a substitute for f**k?
    And I would add, that some adults in the US will find 'that sucks' to be offensive, especially teachers and the like.
     

    MeryllB

    Senior Member
    French -France
    En francais il y a aussi "ventre-saint-gris!", completement desuet mais qui a un certain panache. J'aime bien l'utiliser :)
     

    DeSica

    Senior Member
    Français Canada
    « Puisque vous y donnez, dans ces vices du temps,
    Morbleu! vous n'êtes pas pour être de mes gens. »

    Le Misanthrope, Molière
    Acte I, scène I
     

    DaiSmallcoal

    Senior Member
    English (UK) Wales U.K.
    Mëme notre chère Princesse Anne a sorti "Naff Off" - mais ça ne veut pas dire que ce soit "acceptable" .

    "Bloody " comme la plupart des mots -ça depend des circonstances. !
     

    princepessa

    New Member
    English, United States
    damn is offensive, just not as much so as other words. I wouldn't say it in front of parents, at work, etc. Darn is a good substitute.

    People still say gosh, including myself, but it sounds a little childish. It's just better than using the Lord's name in vain - though many people do that. Shucks goes in the same category, though it's a word I used more when I was younger.
     

    I Am Herenow

    Senior Member
    English
    OK, most of these phrases (the English ones) carry some connotations with them, so here goes:

    "Blast!" - very posh (stereotypical WW1 pilot/cavalry person ["Jolly good show, what?" etc.])

    "Aw, shucks!" - American I'd say, I also associate it with children

    "Good Heavens!"/"Good God!"/"Dear Lord!" - all also quite poncey (please note, however, that "Oh God" is fine)

    "Blooming" - I'd avoid; can get away with it for "Bloomin' 'eck!" (similarly, "Flippin' 'eck/'ell!") if you have a cockney accent; can be used, but, as I say, try not to. "Blooming marvellous/fantastic!" is another very posh, toffy* expression. Note, "flipping" more acceptable than "blooming" but still too soft, try to avoid and avoid saying "flip" on its own instead of f*** AT ALL COSTS, unless you're under 10.

    "Crikey!" - I wouldn't use, it carries two images for me: again, the stereotypical toff, but also associated with Australians. Of course, these are all stereotypes, but I'm just trying to get to the point.

    Substitutes for s***:

    "Sugar" - fine, go ahead

    "Shoot" - bit stranger, I'd use "sugar" instead, but can be used

    "Sheizer"/any others - I wouldn't

    *toffy as in "spoken by/associated with a toff", nothing to do with the sweet
     

    Paf le chien

    Senior Member
    France-French (Paris)
    « Puisque vous y donnez, dans ces vices du temps,
    Morbleu! vous n'êtes pas pour être de mes gens. »

    Le Misanthrope, Molière
    Acte I, scène I
    Morbleu = par la mort de Dieu

    et tous les équivalants où on évitait de parler directement de Dieu :

    Ventrebleu
    Parbleu

    Ou où on en parlait explicitement :

    Foutredieu (je ne ferais pas de dessin)

    Sinon, je vois aussi "diantre", "fichtre", "saperlipopette", ou encore des inventés tout à fait compréhensibles mais un peu plus « osés », bien que parfaitement supportables : vérole d'ours, sperme de Moine (en tous cas, ma grand mère se serait bien marrée :))
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    Blimey! (to express surprise? = mince alors!)
    I hear that a lot, is it 'polite' enough?
    I also hear 'crikey' a lot, though I've never been quite sure what it means :rolleyes: :eek: (a good opportunity to know exactly what it means :D )
    As for 'damn', I also wonder if it's on the safe side...

    edit to Paul: quelle transmission de pensée! :D
    blimey and crikey are strictly BE. In fact so BE, North Americans use them to make fun of Brits or try to "sound British." (especially blimey)

    DP, you also said jeez, which is more like what you would hear in AE instead of blimey or crikey

    Other "mild" AE epithets
    jeez, cheeze, Jiminy Christmas (the last one a bit old fashioned) = Jesus Christ
    Criminy, Criminutly (a bit old, too) = Christ
    son of a gun, SOB = son of a bitch
    gosh, golly = God
    gosh darnit = goddammit

    and finally, bloody just describes something with blood on it (Look at his bloody shirt--he really cut himself). No impact on the AE ear, unless you hear a Brit say it.
     

    polaire

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Here are some comments in regard to American English usage:

    "Shucks" especially, "Aw, shucks" sounds corny and outdated. If someone said it in the urban Northeast it probably would be interpreted as a joke.

    "Oh, shoot" is acceptable.

    "Oh, sugar" sounds outdated and too euphemistic to me.

    "Gosh" is all right, although in certain circles it might sound excessively mild and old fashioned. I would say "God." That would offend some people, probably.

    "Good Heavens" is pretty neutral. I think "Good Lord" would be OK, although that's less neutral than "Good Heavens."

    "Darn" or "darned" is much safer than "damn" or "damned." "Well, I'll be darned."

    In big cities and in certain fora on the web, a lot of people curse fairly freely. But in conversation, some might use "fricking" or "frigging" (the first is more current I think) as a substitute for the "real" "f-word."

    I'm from a big city and not at all religious, so I may be more liberal in my use of language than some people.
     

    kiwi-di

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Substitute for s**t - sugarplum fairy !!!! :D (Probably only used today by those 65+) I've even heard, "sugarplum fairy, won't you dance with me?").

    Substitute for f**k - far out (often said faaar out) - this one is heard regularly in my workplace, including being used by moi-même :)
     

    broglet

    Senior Member
    English - England
    my yorkshire mother used to say 'dash' which i suspect is a sanitised form of damn - i have no idea whether anyone else ever said that, or if they still do - has anyone else heard it?
     

    worldwanderer

    Senior Member
    England and Romania
    I heard dash in Yorkshire. When I lived in Hull for a year my landlady used to say it when the drummer upstairs started practicing... Haven't heard it since I must say...

    BTW, have 'bummer' and 'bollocks' been added to the list yet?
    Bummer is very good and not offensive at all.. Bollocks.. well that depends on who you're talking to

    Bollocks! Could be used in various ways, for example:

    Oh Bollocks! the radiator's packed up again!

    Or... bollocks to that! I'm not waking up at 5 in the morning to water the plants....

    Or... he still hasn't arrived? Bummer! The concert should have started 5 minutes ago....
     

    Suehil

    Medemod
    British English
    Surprise: Wow! Good grief! You could knock me over with a feather!
    Expletive: Blow it! Dash! Darn! Merde! (because the English don't usually know what it means) and I could always say 'damn' to my grandmother (when I had one)
     

    polaire

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Substitute for s**t - sugarplum fairy !!!! :D (Probably only used today by those 65+) I've even heard, "sugarplum fairy, won't you dance with me?").

    Substitute for f**k - far out (often said faaar out) - this one is heard regularly in my workplace, including being used by moi-même :)
    In the United States, "far out" hasn't been used since the 70s and it really wasn't a substitute for the "f-word." It meant more "amazing!" "unbelievable!"
     

    musikat

    Member
    California, USA - Native "English" Speaker
    While there are many kiddie versions of swear words, there is pretty much a direct corellation for the core collection:

    hell = heck
    damn = dang, darn
    shit = shoot
    fuck(ing) = frick(ing) (or frick/frag)

    What's worth noting here is that the first three kiddie words are perfectly acceptable from almost anyone. "Ah, heck!" "Dang it!" "Well, shoot!" Even coming from a six or seven year old, none of these would raise an eyebrow among most adults anymore. They wouldn't even seem strange in a political speech or a minister's sermon, but would tend to give them an accessible, populist flavour. On the other hand, "frick" and its variants, as in "What a frickin' idiot!" or "I fraggin' hate school!", are a completely different situation. Perhaps this is because they tend to be used in more derisive and aggressive contexts. Whatever the reason, "frick" is on a completely different level, and will draw disapproving looks from adults when used by kids as old as their late teens.
     

    broglet

    Senior Member
    English - England
    'Damn' is not good to use, its the kind of word you get detention for using in school, try 'dang' or 'darn' instead
    This highlights the fact that America seems to be far more sensitive about religious matters than Britain. In Britain a teacher putting a child in detention for using the f-word would be quite likely to say 'Damn! Putting you in detention means I have to stay behind too!' (But no British person would say 'dang' or 'darn' except when attempting an impersonation of Fred Flintstone)
     

    prot

    Member
    france/french
    How delightful!! a whole panel of the less offensive words in english! what about "poppycok" for"you're talking shit" or the irish "feck off" for the cheerful "f.ck off"? in french I say "nom d'une mouche" for "nom de dieu" or "étron" instead of the other excremential word...
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    How delightful!! a whole panel of the less offensive words in english! what about "poppycok" for"you're talking shit" or the irish "feck off" for the cheerful "f.ck off"? in french I say "nom d'une mouche" for "nom de dieu" or "étron" instead of the other excremential word...
    poppycock is quite cute--but about 100 years old! I don't think anyone still alive would say it without trying to make a joke about it.

    that's a pile of shit-->that's a bunch of baloney/hogwash/bunk

    These are AE terms--BE has others
     

    GEmatt

    Senior Member
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    I think these are also quite old-fashioned, but used to hear my parents say:

    Flipping Nora!
    (Oh my) giddy aunt!

    I'm not sure if these are very BE though.
     

    Tooronga

    Senior Member
    UK
    UK British English
    I did not realise that I used the expression "Gordon Bennett!" until my 2 year old started to use it too. These days you would really have to ask a 10 year old - and bear in mind - as must be obvious by now - you get very different answers from speakers of different varieties of English.
     

    dcgirl

    New Member
    U.S. English
    re: son of a bitch -> son of a gun

    Honestly, I've far more often heard -> son of a biscuit(-eater)
     

    JoeGui

    New Member
    English - Australian
    "Crud" still gets some usage as a shit/crap replacement. "Fudge" also seems to be going strong in lieu of "fuck", but almost always jokingly.
     

    Gargamelle

    Senior Member
    Two words that don't really substitute for anything but can be used as "soft" expletives are "Rats!" and "Phooey!" ...both of which sound a little vieilli, I suppose.

    I've met some very strict American Christians (on the internet) who said they were raised to avoid using even the substitute words "gosh," "darn," or "heck"...because, I suppose, the "bad" words were still intended or something like that.

    Here are some other substitutes:

    witch with a "B"=bitch
    fuck, fucking=eff, effing

    for "Christ" or "for Christ's sake!":
    for crying out loud!

    for "Jesus Christ":

    Jiminy Crickets!
    Jiminy Christmas!

    For "Jesus":
    Gee whiz!
    Geez!
    Jiminy!

    And to complete the random catalogue, a whole phrase of substitute curse words that I learned from a friend (or was it my mother?) when I was 10:

    "Cheese and crackers got all muddy, some of the bits got damaged."

    (Jesus Christ, God almighty, son of a bitch, God damn it)


    Gargamelle
     

    Chickpeas

    New Member
    English - UK
    If I'm not being rude, I would tend to go for "flippin heck!", which is my replacement for "fucking hell".

    If I do find myself saying "shit" in an inappropriate situation, I will usually extend it to "shit..ake mushrooms". I'm not suggesting that you do this yourself, however, as you will probably lose a lot of respect among your peers, as I have.:eek:
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    L'Embrouilleur

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Bonjour/soir, c'est ma première fois à poster dans ce forum.
    Je voudrais comprendre plus précisément la signification de "Punaise !" dans le contexte d'une interjection.
     

    pointvirgule

    Senior Member
    langue française
    Bienvenue au forum, L'Embrouilleur. :)

    Les punaises sont de charmants insectes suceurs de sang, qui vivent entre autres dans les lits (bedbugs). Il y a quelques interjections en français qui commencent par pu- : punaise, putain, purée, qui marquent le dépit ou la surprise et qui sont interchangeables.
     

    L'Embrouilleur

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Merci à tous !
    Si je comprends bien, punaise s'emploie en tant qu'interjection sans vulgarité en n'importe quelle compagnie pour exprimer la surprise ou le débit. Mais, également, la désapprobation ? La dérision ? Un élément du péjoratif vers son interlocuteur ?
     

    Gerard Samuel

    Senior Member
    American English
    I used to know an elderly woman in rural Tennessee who, when irritated, instead of saying shit, would say: ssssshoot a monkey!
     
    Last edited by a moderator:
    Status
    Not open for further replies.
    Next >
    Top