By Any Other Name


Cussing, cursing or swear words, by any other name is a subjective expression that changes over time and culture.

Some of us might even remember the days when saying the words, ‘swell’ or ‘darn’ or ‘drat’ was considered swearing. Long gone are those days and in with the new.

In fact, while some words and expressions might be uncomfortable, most of what we hear daily has nothing to do with swearing or cursing whatsoever.  Today and for a long time, most people do not invoke the wrath of God to another person or object in a fit of anger as in the past.  Most people are not thinking of a curse on someone when spitting out wild adjectives on a situation.

Once even, I remember the suggestion to a teenager who was known for her lively mouth.  She was asked to yell out ‘sugar’ whenever in a wrathful fit, substituting a so called worse word.

Come on, now.  Can you see a carpenter smashing his finger with a powerful blow of a hammer and yelling out, “ah sugar!”?  Moreover, isn’t the intent what really dictates whether or not a word is really a swear word? And if the intent is the same, does it really matter what word one utilizes?

I maintain that by any other name, a swear word is a swear word.  It is based on intent.  In fact, I’d state that the word, any word doesn’t even really have to be said, as long as it is thought, even silently to oneself. The intent remains the same.

In the end, more or less, a real curse or an oath for swearing probably is not what you are saying:  however, it is nothing more than a worthless adjective by any other name.


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