Why I Don’t Swear

I have never been a swearer.

Sometimes I wonder why four letter words don’t roll of my tongue easily.

I’m one of those people who sounds sort of strange when I swear and on the rare occasion that I do?

I get an oh-my-God-the-world-is-falling look from my husband so I usually just avoid it all together.

So after much self-analysis and a visit from my mother, I finally discovered why I am a non-swearer…

As my three year-old flew past her during her most recent visit she cringed, “Parker!” in that he-did-something-wrong mom-tone.

I had my time out stance ready as I asked what he did this time and she said…

“He did a P-O-O-T-” and at that moment I got it. It was all coming together before she even added the “E-R.”

Growing up we were not allowed to swear (totally acceptable household rule in my book) but we were also not allowed to say a million other words. One I distinctly remember and feel like I must wash my hands for even typing?


This four letter word was just as bad as the other f word (see? I still can’t say it) so my mom gave us a friendly substitute.

We were to say “pooter.”

The most friendly word for a bodily function I have ever heard.

And this is how my non-swearing life began. I was brought up saying “pooter” and “gosh” and “shush up” (shut up=not permitted either) and calling for Lassie.

Actually I was calling for Tippy and then Scamper and then we weren’t allowed to get another dog because they always ran away.

But I might as well have been calling for Lassie… I’m sure Timmy couldn’t say fart either.

making faces

My child who is most likely to swear first… just a guess.

What kinds of things were you not allowed to say or do growing up that made you feel like you were the only one with that rule?




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  1. says

    Oh, sounds like my house growing up. We didn’t say fart, we said, “passed gas”, we also couldn’t say “crap” or “stupid” or “bored” (yes, that’s right, bored was a four-letter word at our house). All the regular four-letter words forbidden too, of course. I’m pretty sure my three-year-old is going to be the first one to swear here, at least on purpose. (She’ll also be the one to get multiple piercings and tattoos but that’s a whole other story.)
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  2. DADW4KIDS9t20 says

    I love this articles , brings back memories when I was a kid and my kids were younger. My 4-5 year old used pissed off. She had no Idea it was a bad word. Are reationj was like -what, then we had to refrain from laughing. We didnt get upset but explained to her it wasnt a nice word/phrased to say (she actually kind of used it correctly). She then started to do that break your heart sniffly cry. We had to say thats ok you didnt know that and its not that bad of a word , its just that we don’t use it in oure family. In all reality that is a word that many find acceptable, I sadly hear elementary tyeachers even say that aloud ( and worse). Obviously TV says it to along with the Va j j or medically corect name, and ofcourse penis , but now even calling people a “dick” on primetime non-cable. Shut the front door! I too do not use swear words. The funny thing is most people including people I know would swear I do, even though I never have. I don’t even use damn.
    My close ones will vouch , I never have. As a guy who was also viewd as a big jock ( really a means to help pay for college) , and I don’t really consider myself a prude, some probably would. I justy think swearing is uneccesary for me, and never have to refrain. My 78 year old mother always and swore-still does (sans the f word and the real vulgar slang of body parts). My dad not so much maybe dammit.
    But I really hate to inform you, (but want to make aware) just like my then 4 yr old daughter that– in our neck of the woods in a majorl arge midwest city that pooter is actually slang for a women’s vag area. Not used as much as it was in the 80’s or 90’s and not sure wear it’s origin came from. But now I must wash my keyboard for writing swear words. lol jk, no I ‘m not.

  3. says

    I think the fact that you don’t/can’t swear isn’t a bad thing at all! :) You won’t have to worry (much) about your kids picking up bad language (at least not at home!) and spouting it off in the middle of the grocery store or a family gathering :)

    We weren’t allowed to swear growing up either, and my parents rarely swore at all – they didn’t ever have alcohol in the house either… although my dad would have a beer with my grampa when we were over there some times. As we’ve gotten older though both my sister & I have picked up the habit – her more than I (seriously – the girl can swear like sailor – I CAN, but hardly ever do!) and even these days we’ll catch my parents (mostly my mom) dropping a few (my dad has probably never in his life dropped an F-bomb, but he’ll say “damn” on occasion, my mom isn’t as particular – lol) and they even *gasp* keep BEER and WINE in their house now!! oh, and Vodka.

    I actually had a conversation with my dad recently about people who say “oh fudge!” instead of the F-bomb… his direct quote was “either say it, or don’t. I prefer don’t. but it has the same intention, using a different word doesn’t make it any less what it’s meant to be.” sooo… yeah. guess I’ll stop saying “oh sugar!” then 😉

    Thankfully Hubs & I are both pretty good at keeping our bad language to a minimum – at least at home around Goose :) it only comes out very much if we’re really hyped up about something – so far though, the ONE time Goose swore (she said “shit”) it was after my sister said it, and instigated her… she didn’t even know what was going on and hasn’t repeated it though :)

    maybe at dinner Saturday Elena will have some wine and break out her potty mouth 😉 (I’ll be listening!)

  4. says

    Love it! Wish I had thought of Pooter before our family started Footchie. Unfortunately, this is one word that Itty Bit insists be stated at the top of his little lungs. In public. Often.

    Loving your post – I can totally relate!

      • One Bad Pixe says

        Footchie or the proper spelling of such is part of a spanish phrase Footchie Capesta meaning stinky fart. At least I can say I remembered something from first grade, right?

        My mom swore occasionally. Only when mad. Otherwise it was Bun-of-a sitch and a few others. Probably why I have come up with the oriental version of swearing on occasion. Yuck Foo! when it applies.

        Fifth grade is where it all went wrong for me. I can out swear a harbor full og sailors and a truckstop full of drivers when I get going full tilt. When that happens, not many choose to stick around.

  5. says

    I grew up listening to my parents and older siblings curse. As children we were NOT allowed to participate in the profanity and would be scolded if we tried any out.

    I waited patiently for that very special rite of passage, I was fifteen and I swore in front of my parents without being scolded.

    Sweet freedom!

    I was in my twenties before I dropped the f-bomb on Mom and Dad though… and I don’t mean ‘fart’.
    tulpen recently posted..Ridickulous NSFW

  6. Tina says

    Jessica, this post made me laugh, because I toatally related. When we were kids were not allowed to say “butt”, it started as “posterior”, then we were promoted to use of “behind/hiney”, then my mom cringed the day my dad gave us permission for “booty”. It never went past booty, even as a senior in high school

  7. says

    I grew up in a potty mouth household. It drives me batty when my mom will say “What a little f*cker” in reference to my son doing something bad.
    We don’t swear in our home but I swear on my blog from time to time. But def not on front of my son
    Kimberly recently posted..She Was Wrong

    • says

      Oh my gosh, yeah, I don’t think I could handle if my mom said that either. Actually if it was my mom I would probably faint!

  8. says

    My parents, on the other hand, were New York City bohemian artists, and yes there was a mighty bit of swearing going on in my house, but never in a mean way and we were absolutely NOT allowed to say “shut up” or call someone “stupid.”

    Although some of the swearing was done in Yiddish, so I had no idea these were “bad words.” I remember being mortified as a young teenager when I was chastised by a friend’s rather conservative mother for calling someone a “schmuck” — I just thought it was Yiddish for “jerk” had no idea that it literally meant “penis.”

    I started to curse in college and had me a fairly good truck-driver’s mouth for most of my adult life (and working in the film/TV business, you betcha!), but totally put the breaks on it when I had kids. So now when I’m with all adults I have to remind myself it’s OK to throw the f-bombs around, but since I am out of the habit, I find myself rarely using them.

    Also? “Pooter”– cutest word I ever heard for farting.
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  9. says

    this is hilarious because I grew up the SAME WAY.

    We had to say “toot” or “wiffer” instead of fart

    “Be quiet, please” instead of shut up.

    “buns” instead of “butt”

    it seemed that almost anything was bad. we couldn’t even say “dang” because it SOUNDED like damn.

    And now? I swear like it’s my job. I am not kidding. This childhood you and I shared had the COMPLETE opposite effect on me.

    And EVERY TIME I say shit in front of my mother? She says, “oh kate!” :)
    Katie recently posted..the family that yard works together…

    • says

      So funny! So my swearing theory does not apply to everyone I guess. Where were you when I was growing up? I always felt like I was the only one who couldn’t say all the “bad” words.

  10. says

    I like to swear but I use it sparingly. Has more effect that way :) But I never swear around my mom. Maybe my dad, occasionally, but never my mom. Just can’t do it.
    Jennie B recently posted..For Hire

  11. says

    Good for you, you are a better woman than me. Try as I might, every now and then, I just can’t find a suitable replacement for hell, shit, damn or worse. :/

    I’ve heard Lucas say “holy crap!”, which I am NOT proud of.
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  12. says

    We weren’t allowed to swear, say shut-up or the f word either! We said fluff for the f word, now we say toot. Fluff was such a weird word to use when my dad the 260lb football coach tooted. “Ewww, dad you fluffed. Ewww.”

    Didn’t really do it justice.
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    • says

      Fluff is as weird of a word as pooter. Do they realize they set us up for this when they made us say these strange words?

  13. says

    Fart. Puke. Crap. Shut up. Stupid. ALL SWEARS!

    My mom – I am not making this up – still actually says “Ratfink!” when one would normally curse or say something of that ilk.

    So funny! I never thought about it much. I just feel like sometimes a curse word fits, other times it doesn’t.

    Came from TRDC…
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  14. says

    I grew up much the same way…but I rebelled against it and have an awful potty mouth now. Sometimes words like “fart” and “shut up” seem worse than the curse words I spout out now. I think it’s because those words weren’t allowed in my house either, and anytime I’d say them I’d get in trouble. It’s funny how you can get conditioned by the environment you grow up in.

    Great post! I’m visiting from TRDC!

  15. says

    This post made me laugh because in college we called my boyfriend’s brother Pooter. Like that was his actual nickname, since he was little. Even his parents called him that. There was a specific reason, and it had nothing to do with farts, but I can’t remember what it was.
    We weren’t really allowed to swear either, though I still ended up with a pretty decent potty mouth. I think it may have something to do with working with the general public everyday…
    Angie recently posted..The Weekly Wrap

  16. says

    You know: I almost didn’t comment because you already had 38 before me!! But this post just hit home with me.
    We also used “poot” instead of the 2nd worst F word. And I never heard the Worst F word til I was grown!
    We couldn’t say “you cheated” (instead: “you aren’t playing fair”), “stupid”, “idiot”, “shut-up”. And of course, damn and hell were completely out of the question.
    I agree with Kelley: my grandmother was once so upset, she either said damn or hell, and I really thought it was the end of the world….
    Oh, for some of these young folks today to be raised as we were! (My niece is in the military, and I hide her on FB because of her language. My mom is probably spinning in her grave!)

  17. says

    I never swear either! Like you it just sounds funny coming out of my mouth. I didn’t even experiment as a teen.

    Unlike you my mom swears like a trucker when she gets mad!

  18. says

    We weren’t allowed to swear either. We couldn’t even say “pee.” I always thought my parents were so un-cool for those rules… Until I had my kids. Now? No swearing in my house (in front of the kids anyway) and I’m not teaching them “pee” either.
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  19. says

    I am a swearer. A really bad one. It’s the method of my emphasis. Cussing was always allowed in my house. My parents have filthy mouths, BUT I was not allowed to say the words or discuss ANYTHING having to do with bodily functions. To this day, I have no means of referencing anything gastrointestinal.

  20. says

    I grew up in a no swearing family too. No “shut up”, no “Oh my gosh”, no “fart”, no “geez”. It was very g-rated in my house!

    Now, as a grown-up, I have to watch my mouth sometimes when I go visit my mom, because I have been known to say worse than “geez”. Please don’t tell her!
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  21. says

    We weren’t even allowed to use the word “dumb.” My husband, on the other hand could say whatever he wanted and still does. We’ve got a few months before we need to tame that potty mouth!

  22. Kelley says

    My life growing up sounds a lot like yours! My parents never swore. If they said hell or damn, I thought the world was ending.

    Thanks for linking up to my post & for playing!

  23. says

    We had to use the word Fluff for Fart because we weren’t allowed to use it. No swearing in our house growing up. My parent’s rarely swore and when they did it was tame.
    No saying OMG, and Bugger was a BAD BAD one!
    We couldn’t even say barf, we had to say upchuck!
    And no Shut up!
    I swear now but not in front of my daughter and not on my blog (except I think I’ve used the b-word)
    and I never EVER use the F word or serious swears in front of my parents, that would be cause for a spankin’
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    • Jessica says

      Fluff is hilarious, you just reminded me… a friend had to say \”blossom\” so weird!

  24. says

    No swearing here either. I actually hate swearing. So when my 2nd grader was in the shower the other night, and he said, “I’m a little p*ssed off right now”…I gasped and think I overreacted a bit…he heard it at school.
    Runnermom-jen recently posted..Last time

    • says

      Oh my gosh, isn’t that the worst? I guess we can only keep them from so much. My oldest came home from her first day of kindergarten and said “dammit” I never wanted to send her back.

  25. says

    It’s funny, right, how some are just “pictured” as a cuss-fest type person and others aren’t? You know me – trucker mouth. Not afraid to use it. But not in front of the kids, my mom was the same. Oh, we were allowed to swear, if it was in Finnish. So words like “pasca” (for sh!t) were ok. Only in Finn, though.

    This? “there may be swearing over there, cover your eyes Mom”

    Cracked me up! Royally!
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  26. says

    Hahahaha – this is so funny! We weren’t allowed to say “fart” either. And my parents tried to use the word “gas” but they claim that we were getting it confused with gasoline for the car so they changed it to “air”. yeah – you heard that right “air”. hahahah. My husband still makes super fun of me all the time. My mom still can’t say “poop” or “pee” (she used “mess” and “wet” still makes me chuckle to think I actually used those words) and when she comes to help take care of our kids, she always uses “our family words” for all those things, and my husband gets the biggest kick out it!!!! I can now say poop and pee and fart – but wonder what I will allow my kids to say. hahaha I don’t swear either, and have a hard time saying “crap” and things like that even. I usually say “oh stink” and the reason is exactly the same as yours. hahaha – so funny to think about now. And yes, my husband always makes fun of me!!!!!
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    • says

      I’m so glad there is someone else out there like me! Must be the name. I don’t say any of those words either and my husband is always making fun of me. Just think, some day our kids may be blogging and making fun of us and our non-potty mouths too.

  27. says

    I am a big cusser. I don’t know why. My parents did, but not that much. I mean I REALLY can let them fly. All day, all night. It’s bad. But for some reason, my kids know better than to do it. Lucky I guess.

    • Teresa says

      Same here. My parents never swore though. I wasn’t allowed to say “shut up”. I guess I’m a rebel now, but my kids know better :)
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  28. says

    “fluff” was the acceptable substitute in our house also. There was no cursing at all in my home growing up….especially anything “God” or “JC”. That would be worse than the well timed F bomb. And I didn’t really swear when I was young either. I considered myself much to intelligent for that. Then I started work in a male prison…..yep, that “dumbed” me down pretty quick from my arrogant self. LOL Now, I can curse better than a sailor — if I choose. Not really a great talent (unless I am back in the country with all my Irish/Scottish relatives, in which case, the more curse words you can string together in an amusing manner: you get a prize. Usually a Guiness.)
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  29. says

    This is too funny! I try not to swear in front of my son but there are times when a “damnit” slips out every now and then. Thankfully we live in a country where no one will understand if he swears in English, I just have to worry when he begins swearing in French and I won’t have a clue what he is saying!
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  30. says

    That’s hilarious. We also had a lot of language restrictions, but I think they may have pushed me in the other direction from you. (Sorry Mom!) The one that I remember the most is “pee.” I used to really embarrass my mom by saying “I have to pee” when I was a kid. When I realized it embarrassed her, I just did it more. :)
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  31. says

    We were not allowed to say G-D (as in “oh my g-d”) or sucks (as in “that sucks”). It went without saying that more serious cuss words were out of the picture. I can remember my mom swearing two times in my whole life.

    Alas, I didn’t keep up the non-swearing habit, although I am working on it in general and never swear in front of my kids :(
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  32. says

    My mom is astounded that I permit my kids to say, “fart” and also “pee”.
    I remember the day in high school she relented and let us say the word, “butt”. My brother and I said it every other word until she revoked the privilege.
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  33. says

    We never swore in our house, growing up. I don’t remember if we had substitute words though. Even now, all grown up, I don’t swear in front of my parents, and I actually do have a bit of a potty mouth. Which I’m trying to control, as soon, the little one will be able to say what I say!

    For some reason, I can’t break myself to swear on my blog. The worse things I wrote were sh*t and d*mn.

    And you totally look like someone who can’t say the F word. Both F words. Heh.
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  34. says

    LOL! My good friend back in middle school wasn’t allowed to say “fart” either. They called it “fluff”. I always cracked up when they said that.

    I specifically remember being scolded by my dad when I was in 8th or 9th grade for saying “pissed off.” he said young ladies aren’t supposed to talk like that. Whatever. I take after my mom and she’s a swearer.
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  35. says

    Oh my goodness…My mother had a list. An actual list posted on the refridgerator and we weren’t allowed to say anything that even replaced a dirty word. Let’s take the worst one…the F word (not fart, the really bad one :). If she caught one of us replacing “What the F***!” with “What the freak!” or “What the funk!” she’d say “That’s going on the list!” And we were no longer allowed to use the words freak or funk.

    She always said that curse words were for people who weren’t intelligent enough to come up with something else to say. Funny that my dad is the biggest swearer I’ve ever met…shocking that they’re not together anymore.

    Anyway, this did not really disuade me from cursing. Actually I developed a pretty bad potty mouth in college…but once kids came a long, I dropped it very easily and I rarely say anything but the occasional “damn it” when I’m at my wit’s end.

    And, totally can’t use swear words in my blog because I know my mom’s reading :)
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  36. says

    I love it. I have to admit…I can’t imagine you swearing, either. I have a massive potty mouth, especially after some wine. I think it’s because I have to watch it so much at work, that it all just comes flowing out when I’m at home after the kids go to bed. 😉
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