Language Notes: Bad Words, Their Replacements and a Fun, New One!


As you who read this blog know, we take a dim view of inappropriate language in these pages. Our policy has long been that we won’t use it, and that we’ll edit it out when those who interact with us use it… and we’ve stuck to that policy.

Needless to say, that policy requires of us that we define what we mean by “inappropriate language.” By that we mean: swear words — real swear words. Also: dirty words that have no need to be there, and that can be easily replaced by less offensive words that would require the writer to stretch his vocabulary a bit.

There are dirty words that can have relevance, that can be expressible. For example: in a scholarly exploration of the etymology of, say, the “F” word, or the “S” word. Nothing wrong with that. These words are used, and to pretend that they are not is to refuse to deal with reality. However, to say something is “f***ing awesome!” is… unnecessary, and adds distracting, and potentially jarring, sensationalism or shock where none is needed.

We discuss deep things in this blog, and there’s no need for distraction just because a writer has a limited vocabulary or imagination and can’t find some way to express himself short of using gutter language.

With that said, some things are beyond awesome to a point where there might be a need for a muscular modifier. A modifier for which the lazy all too often simply turn by default to the “F” word.

So, we have come up with replacement words, as well as having chosen to improve our vocabularies! Here are the words we won’t use, and some of the replacements for them that we’ve elected to use:

Inappropriate Word

Replacement(s)

F***ing Flargin’, freakin’, frickin’ Everyone knows what they replace, and since they aren’t actual words, we feel okay in using them. Also, if you use them, you notice that they’re devoid of sensationalism or shock value.
F*** (up) Muck, mess, bollux
The “S” word Crap, codswallop, nonsense, hogwash, hooey, nitwittery, halfwittery, jackasserry… many more to be found at the priceless powerthesaurus.org site. (Our feeling is that if you’re too lazy to find creative, replacement words for inappropriate language, then your thinking is probably lazy too. Brothawolf, are you reading this?)
A** Bottom, backside, hindquarters, nonetheless (in replacement of “butt” — Get it?), nevertheless (same as “nonetheless”), “back of the front side.”
Bulls*** See: The “S” word.

This last one — “Bulls***” — is the reason for this entire post. I think I may have found another replacement for it.

Quick direction shift: as you probably know, Adam Schiff is the chairman of the “Intelligence Committee” of the United States House of Representatives. Now, that is a designation — both for Schiff and the committee itself — that’s fraught with too many ironies to be enumerated here!

Anyway, Schiff has spent the entire Trump presidency — the time in which he’s risen to prominence — telling things to the media, and to the American people that have turned out to be, errmmm… not true.

The uncharitable have accused him of lying. I’m less charitable than the uncharitable about Schiff. He’s a corrupt, evil bastard. Anyway, someone here coined a new term that I’m tempted to use in place of “Bull***.” Here it is:

Bullschiff

I admit that I did an actual lol when I first read that one!

It’s worth reading the context in which I first encountered the coinage, because of the nonchalant use of the new non-word word. Here’s that context:

President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani predicted Friday that Democrat Party leaders may try to oust House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff from the committee over his plethora of lies and never-ending bullschiff.

“Democrats are getting nervous about Schiff. Might even remove him as Chairman,” he tweeted Friday afternoon, roughly 10 hours after The Washington Post ran a devastating “Four Pinocchios” fact-check on the Democrat lawmaker’s latest and most glaring lie.

There are, of course, other possibilities. How about: “You’re so full of schiff!” for: “You’re not telling the truth.” Or: “That’s a load of schiff.” to describe some codswallop or other. You might say something like: “That was a schiffy thing to do,” to criticize actions that you find less than decent. Then there might be: “The Democrat Party is just a schiffload of corruption.

Bottom Line: I’m mulling over the term: “bullschiff,” and might or might use it, and recommend it for use to my colleagues. It’s awfully close to the actual term, so that might deter me, but it’s so clever and so apt, that my reluctance might be overwhelmed.

We shall see.

— xPraetorius

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