My faux swearing hell

A plate of peas and rice.

Something has been troubling me of late. On several occasions, I’ve caught myself using some really lame phrases to express my exasperation at things Dylan and Xander have done. On the face of it, the fact that I’ve taught myself not to use foul language in front of them is a good thing, but the faux swearing I’ve come out with is fucking embarrassing.

The worst one is ‘flipping heck’. What an abysmal substitute that is. It removes the strange kick we get out of making people nearby tut disapprovingly and leaves one feeling a little empty inside. Similarly ‘blooming heck’, ‘sugar’ and ‘bother’ don’t sufficiently articulate the same level of frustration as the much-loved phrases they’re replacing. Swearing is something that should be done properly. Alas, I can’t at home.

You see, I have a hard-earned reputation to protect. Regular listeners to the Love All Dads Podcast will know that I love a good sweary rant. I believe that there’s something very big and clever about well-deployed expletives – as well as the odd needless one for shock laughs – but now I sound more like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons. One thing that I’m not is a prude, but I’m starting to sound like one.

I think it’s the prim and proper thought process behind faux swearing that I dislike most. A lot of it comes from people decades ago not wanting to blaspheme. ‘Cor blimey’ replaced ‘God blind me’ and ‘crikey’ started life as ‘Christ kill me’. It can’t be just me who thinks these so-called means of venting are just a bit shit. The logic is flawed. Surely if people were that worried about being given a thunderbolt for a slip of the tongue, they’d be fretting just as much about being punished for having the urge to say something a tad rude in the first place. It’s phony and, ultimately, a load of bollocks.

Of course, there have been some inventive alternatives to swearing and blasphemy – particularly in films shown on TV and flights. ‘Funking barstool’ is one, for example, and I have to admit that I’m quite fond of ‘peas and rice’ but, again, it’s just not quite the same.

I think the only thing I can do to redress the balance is to start swearing my head off between the hours of 9am and 5pm. I work at a quango which is basically at the bottom of a ladder that ultimately leads up to a cabinet minister. To my twisted mind, that makes it fairly similar to The Thick Of It, so I’m going to assume the role of Malcolm Tucker.

We don’t have anyone who fits his description at the moment, so I’d be providing a service and I’m sure I won’t get into any trouble. It’ll also mean that I can turn the air blue without risking getting a talking to next time I pick up Xander from pre school. Sounds like a plan.

Fuckity bye!


  1. Helen

    I can so agree with this! I find myself over-using ‘crikey’ and ‘shoot’ and it breaks me. ‘Fuck’ is one of the best swear words ever – I had a long debate with a friend once over it’s wonderful versatility, it covers pretty much every disaster – and I miss using it. I too over-compensate at work 🙂

  2. Merlinda (@pixiedusk)

    I don’t swear a lot but if I do I want it to be crisp and really really bad. I usually do this when I get hurt and I am clumsy so it helps on making the pain go away. But now when I get my knees hit the furniture I cant… I whisper … which doesn’t help with the pain. I hope I am making some sense =P #pocolo

  3. Verily Victoria Vocalises

    I am so with you on this!! Although I have used the f word a number of times in front of Grace (see I can’t even type it when she is sitting next to me). I shall never forget my Mum having a right go at me for using blimey when I was a kid because it meant God blind me!! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo

  4. Pingback: To eff is human - but swearing in front of kids won't do | Diary of the Dad

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