Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How Do You Like Them Apples?

At a recent meeting of the creative minds at my church, I said the following phrase:

"Well, I don't want to look like a jackapple."

Some people laughed. Other people had puzzled looks. I had to explain that I don't like the "a" word, so I insert the word "apple" in it's place.

Then they all laughed. And tried to come up with as many "apple" words and phrases as they could. "I don't give a rat's apple." "I laughed my apple off.""That's badapple." And the like. There were a lot. I can't remember them all now. But we were rolling, it was so funny.

I've never been good at cussing. I never cussed growing up—a little bit in high school. Quite a bit at the end of college. But every time I said a curse word, my brain recoiled. I also sound a little silly cussing. I don't know why. I felt like I was a little kid trying to use "grown-up" words. Now I think cussing is silly. I mean, there are intelligent ways to use cussing; you can use it to amplify what you say. But most of the cussing I hear is people who use it instead of saying anything. Like they don't have enough words in their vocabulary to say what they want, so they fill their sentences with cuss words instead.

My problem now is that even my non-cussing cuss words sound terrible. My son has recently started saying "crap" and "crappy." My bad. He got them from me. I say "crap" all the time. (Which is different from, "I say crap all the time," which may be accurate.) It's not that bad of a word, but coming out of the mouth of a toddler? It's horrible. Reminds me of when I used to say, "Shut up!" à la Seinfeld. My best friend's toddler repeated it. It sounded awful. I was in the doghouse for a while.

My stepmom used to say "sugar" instead of the "s" word when I was growing up. I had a teacher who said "son of a biscuit eater." I know some people who say, "Oh, glory!" in the place of pretty much anything. And I have my "apple" words.

What's your preferred word to express the thoughts you'd probably prefer not to have?

Update: My son now refers to Frosted Mini Wheats as "bum cereal." My bad. Again. I really need to watch what I say around that kid.


  1. So I'm sitting on the couch, next to the lovely and gracious Mrs. Rachel, reading out loud and laughing about "I say crap all the time." That's funny stuff! Except, who is sitting at my feet and starts repeating what I just read? Crap! I mean...oops?

  2. Son of a Biscuit Eater represent!

  3. My husband has an ugly mid-90's Buick that we all give him a very hard time about. Especially my 15 year old son who is very image conscious. So lately we say Buick in place of bad words. "Son of a Buick" is my fave!

  4. Ok, mine's really lame and makes me sound like I'm 60 yrs old - not that there's anything wrong with that - but I say "Oh my WORD!" all the time. I also say crap and it's pretty much the only word my two year repeats IMMEDIATELY after I say it. How do they know?

  5. "Son of a Buick" is hilarious! And I don't know how they know, Catie, but I could talk in front of my son for ten minutes and all he'd remember are the words I DON'T want him to remember. Never fails.

  6. It's amazing how you hear words differently when you have children. We've been trying to keep even simple, derogatory words out of the house, words like "stupid" and "shut up". The boys do hear these words out and about but are generally careful not to repeat them at home. We don't really have a punishment for them using "bad words". What we've told them is this little story... Dad works at a place where there are a lot of mean and scary people (aka jail) and he has noticed that it's the people trying to sound important that use the "bad words". The really scary people, the ones with the most power and respect, don't need to use those words.
    So in essence, if you want to have respect and be important, you need to learn to use real words.


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