Your Favorite Curse Word

When my son was 4, a small boy who’d been playing with him next door came to our house to let me know that my son had said the “F word.” I thanked him, closed the door, told my husband, and we laughed. When my son came home, I told him that it was just a word, but because it offended some people, he shouldn’t say it. (Just want to add that my husband and I don’t swear a lot, and I’m not sure if he heard it from us or someone else.)

At Inside the Actor’s Studio, host James Lipton asks each famous guest 10 questions. One of the questions is, “What’s your favorite curse word?” On the shows I’ve seen, the word mentioned most often is “fuck.” It’s mine, too, with the hard K sound at the end and the shortness that makes it earthy and maybe crude. But it has the same meaning as copulation, making love, having sex, getting laid, mating, banging, doing (I’ll “do” him), and screwing. If it’s not offensive when said as copulation or making love, it’s not offensive to me at all.

As a side note, in movies, Scottish actors pronounce it “fook,” which sounds cute to me. And Brits say “shag,” which makes me laugh.

A couple of my books have been dinged by a few reviewers for cursing. The first time was for my paranormal romance, DEAD PEOPLE, in which the hero is a former rock star. Swearing is in character for him – and even then, it’s on the tame side. On the other hand, my dragon-man in DRAGON BLUESΒ doesn’t curse. In my contemporary romances, any cursing is mild.

Does cursing in books bother you? And what’s your favorite curse word?

Here’s a 30-second clip with Daniel Radcliffe’s favorite curse word – and a little extra.

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24 Responses to Your Favorite Curse Word

  1. Willa says:

    I like the Irish form – they say feck! :mrgreen:

    I don’t mind swearing as long as it ‘fits’ with what is going on in a scene . .. someone is frustrated or feeling an extreme of emotion. I don’t like it when it it is slipped in every other word for the sake of it – then it seems lazy to me . .

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Willa, “feck” is another cute one. I agree that it needs to fit the scene and the character. I wouldn’t want to write or read a book with a character who swore with every other word. That seems lazy to me, too.

  2. Edie,

    I’ve discovered that I’ve started to swear a bit more as I get older. I never swore when I was young or around my children. So if I slip around them these days, we’ll they are likely to reprimand me.

    As for the F bomb, I don’t mind it or any swear word used if it fits the character and the scene. I have used it in some of my books. In some movies, however, the F word is used so often it loses its punch, and IMO becomes more demeaning to the act it represents.

    I guess I don’t really have a most used swear word unless it would be damn which is really pretty tame these days.

    Have a great week.
    Casey Clifford`s last blog was …Summer Meltdown

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Casey, the swear word I use most is probably “Oh shit.” It’s my automatic response when I knock into something, drop something, find out one of my animals puked (especially after I stepped in it), etc. All those fun things that happen way too often.

  3. Gee, Edie, I can’t say what my favorite curse word is because I never swear. ^_~

  4. Amy says:

    Hmm, well, I try not to swear. I used to and I don’t mind reading books with swear words in them as long as it fits the story/characters. I pretty much stopped swearing when I had kids. We have talked about swear words and why we should or shouldn’t say them. I guess I have always just thought swearing makes you look a little less classy. I really only use them when I am extremely mad. And when that happens? It is the f-word. Sometimes saying that is the only thing to make me feel better. I am more lenient on swear words now that the kids are getting older and to make a point. For example, to help my son’s confidence I tell him he is a “Badass Baseball Player.” Normally we don’t say “ass” in our house. So, I guess I am a strict mom!
    Amy`s last blog was …Review: LOVE, TECHNICALLY by Lynne Silver

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Amy, I love it that you tell your son he’s a “badass baseball player. “:) And I think in the word “fuck,” it’s the way that the “ck” sticks in the roof of your mouth that makes it satisfying as a curse word.

  5. Barbara Elness says:

    I don’t mind cursing, but to over use it gets a bit tiring to read. I really like it when an author has the characters use inventive curse words, you get the same result, but it’s a lot more fun to read. πŸ˜€

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Barbara, so true! I don’t like overuse in person or in books. And I’ve made up some words, too, with “holy.” In fact, I just thought of one to use in my current book. πŸ™‚

  6. Amy Atwell says:

    Edie, what a fun post–and I loved the Daniel Radcliffe video. I don’t have a favorite curse word — I tend to use them all as colorfully as I can when the situation warrants. That said, I also strive to develop a real vocabulary. My biggest complaint with people swearing is that *everything* seems to be Eff this and Eff that. English can be a beautiful language, so I try to remember that there are alternatives. But I’ve worked in theater scene shops and in stables and I’ve unpacked semi-tractor trailers with a primarily male crew in the middle of the night. Oh, yes, I’ve heard and contributed my share to swearing.
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Favorite Christmas Stories

  7. Have had the same thing happen…have had many people complain about the cursing in my YA. I’m like, “have you heard the way teens talk?!”
    I love to say “bastard” but my mom finds it so offensive. lol.

    • Edie Ramer says:

      No kidding, Lori! You want your books to be realistic and fit the characters. Sometimes the characters swear.

      Funny about “bastard!” I say that once in a while, too. Always with an exclamation point. 😈

  8. Edie, love your post! Too funny, and very timely. I was watching a TV show the other night, and a little guy was fighting with his brother. You hear the little boy shouting to his mother in the next room, “Mom, Jason used the ‘f’ word… but he REALLY said it!” I laughed and laughed.

    I don’t normally swear. I try not to get upset about things. As my husband says, “choose your battles wisely”. But when I do decide to march into battle, I bring out the big guns… for me, that’s the ‘f’ word. And yes, I really say it.

    ~ Kathleen (the Catholic girl, cringing at admitting on-line that she really swears from time to time)

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Kathy, I would laugh and laugh at that, too. And I’m going to guess that a lot of Catholic girls say “fuck.” Remember what I told my son: It’s just a word. You’re allowed to say it.

  9. Misty Evans says:

    I’m not big on swearing, but I don’t have too many hangups about it in fiction if it fits the story and characters. I feel the same way in real life. Cursing in our society is overused, much like sex, to show off and for the shock value. I really hate it when I’m in public and hear parents cursing at their kids or drunks going on and on at a ballgame (which I’m there to watch, not get drunk at) or other public outings where I can’t get away from them without giving up my seat. I mention that because it recently happened, and I was ready to go postal.

    Like with everything in life, there’s an appropriate time and situation for choice words, but in everyday conversations and vocabulary, I think people are lazy and use curse words because they have little imagination and think it makes them appear cool. I tell my teens when they cross the line with crude language to save it for when they’re with their friends. Yes, they’re just words, but words are tools and picking the right tool for the job or situation at hand is a wise skill.

  10. marilynbrant says:

    To me, if swearing fits the character’s personality in a book, I’m fine with it. What I dislike is when someone curses (or pointedly *doesn’t* curse) and it doesn’t ring true to me, given the nature of the character or the situation. In real life, I don’t swear that much — I usually have to be really mad, like when I have a major computer problem, LOL — so I don’t have a favorite curse word, but I’ve used almost all of them at one time or another ;). I’m not easily offended when others swear…

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Marilyn, I’ve been going through a major computer problem. Mine is at Office Max, waiting for extra ram because they don’t have any there. (I’m using my husband’s.) So I might have said one or two curse words lately. Or more. 😈

  11. I say bloody a lot. Probably too much. πŸ™‚
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …In Defense of the Queen Cover Reveal

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