[DWJ] Re: Curses

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Oct 4 18:42:24 EDT 2005

>On Tue, 4 Oct 2005 HSchinske at aol.com wrote:
>> Uh -- how were they changed? I remember them all being things like "blue" and
>> "purple" (which I thought was quite clumsy and didn't like a bit). Was that
>> in the US or the British version? I *thought* I had read both!
>> Helen Schinske
>Yup, that's the British version.  The American edition, or, at least the
>one where you can "Search Inside the Book" on Amazon, replaces the color
>terms with things like "slimeballing," "degutted," "eyeballs-in-salsa,"
>"puke-crusted," "brains-in-gravy," "disemboweled," "zombie-burger,"
>"slimy-puke," "oozing," "slimy stomach-maggot," "curried-tonsil, "stomach
>jicing," "pineapple puking," just to quote from the first few pages on
>Amazon on which curses appear.
>I LOVE the Amazon search inside the book feature :).
>                                                ---Kyra

It's slightly sad that the original joke is lost thereby.  Does America not
have the phrase "using colourful language" as a euphemism for swearing?

The examples you quote seem to me mostly too carefully worked out and
varied to be realistic as a parallel to the mindless use of swearwords
whose meaning is entirely irrelevant to what is being said, which is what
the swearing of gangs of children generally is -- they don't mean that
someone was born out of wedlock when they call him a bastard, or know what
fornication is, or whatever, they just use the word because it's "rude",
uncomprehending; if they were told that "purple" was rude they'd use it
just as readily.

I can see that some editor had fun inventing these interesting oaths, but I
don't think they fit the bill particularly well.

On an earlier post: I worry about Lobo's "fragging bastiches", mentioned by
Kale, because fragging somebody is one of those fatally hostile things to
do in Real Life (OMT).  OTOH, I'm quite fond of "fardels" as an oath, even
if it probably does have some sort of relation to fascist as a word/idea.
Bundles of sticks and all that.

My sainted Ma used to swear "by G and J and B and K", which sounds
wonderfully hostile if said with enough venom, and when I finally asked her
what it meant she explained that it was "By God and Jesus and Bakunin and

For relief of tension rather than expletive, in the car I occasionally
start a mild-toned remark about another driver who's just carved me and
then can't get between two parked cars (for example) with "You blind,
blithering, bird-brained bloody silly jumped-up never-come-down gnat-witted
size twelve ego in a size four soul product of the union between a goat
with the staggers and an imbecile hamster, who did you bribe to take the
test for you?  I could take a centurion tank through that gap..." and go on
from there.  I find inventing in this way calms the temper wonderfully.
It's better done with the windows wound up, though.  :-)


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