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.