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When I was little my mom really cracked down on swearing. She was very religious and said that when you swear, you're saying a mean thing to god and it hurts his feelings. So if I slipped up and said a bad word because I was really upset, I'd go and apologize to God. I also thought that if I didn't, I'd have really bad luck afterwards and in general didn't understand how that whole relationship with God works. When bad things happened, I though God was upset with me personally!
At one point, I though that "sorry" was a swear word. Whenever I was told to say it, I'd spell it out instead (S-O-R-R-Y), because I thought it would reduce the effect
I used to think that beet was a bad word because it had 4 letters!
I used to believe b*tch was just a regular word for a female dog because a book about dogs was the first context I found it in.
I thought the f-word was fart.
I used to think that the b-word was butt
When I was a kid I heard my brother say the word "motherfucker" so I asked him what it meant. I think he was worried about teaching me swear words, so he told me that it's what you call your mother if you love her. At the time, our mother was in hospital having her appendix taken out and a couple of days later she came home. I was so psyched to see her and just yelled "motherfucker!!" Gave her one hell of a shock.
I thought that if I ever swore, even saying "hell" while reading out a joke, I would go to hell forever. I believed this until I was 10.
I used to think that b*tch was the worst cuss word in the world until the seasoned older sister of my best friend broadened our horizons over a picnic lunch.
I used to think that "Shut up" and "Stupid" were the only swear words in the world...
I was at the park and a kid was reading out the graffiti inside one of the towers. Someone had written "There's a toilet plunge up my a**" but he spelled it out so I assumed it was an abbreviation and a totally acceptable word for butt. I found out otherwise when I casually slipped it into a conversation with my mom. It was still a few years before I learned it was a word!
You know how on machines it sometimes says mfg after the brand name (for manufacturing) well for a long time I thought it was short for motherf*cking and wondered why they would put a swear word on the machine
When I was little, I used to watch "A Christmas Story" every holiday season with my parents. There's a scene in the movie where the main character gets punished for saying "Oh, fudge!" and so for years I thought "fudge" literally WAS the F-word. I remember telling one of my neighbors, "Isn't it weird how the worst cuss word in the world is a dessert?" I didn't understand the confused look he gave me until much later.
I used to think asphalt was a bad word
When I was in like 5th grade or something I watched the movie "Juno." There's that one part where she says "Mom! You's a dick!" I asked my mom, what that meant, and she said it meant "a mean person." For a while I thought all swear words were just meaningless insults that for some arbitrary reason were worse to say than something like "meanie."
I wound up thinking shoot was a bad word because it's what my parents said instead of sh*t when they were around us.
When I was little, I spent a brief period of time for reasons I don't remember under the impression that to "swear" meant to tell lies at school.
I thought that shark was a bad word since it almost rhymes with fart!
This is a long, involved case of misunderstanding.
When I was little, I had a lot of science toys. A lot. Little test tubes and experiments. My parents kept them in a big, round tin and put them up so I couldn't play with them without supervision, because there were glass parts. I know now that this was an old Coca Cola tin, but I didn't at the time. It had an old man on it.
I wondered if what was on the tin correlated with what was inside. I guess I assumed the man must have been a scientist. I tried to ask my father, who was in the next room watching hockey on TV.
I asked, "Daddy, who is this man on the tin?"
He didn't hear me, and proceeded to yell "Mother fucker!" at the TV.
The next day, when he picked me up from school, he asked if I wanted to go to the park. I said, "Maybe later. I want to go home and play with mother fucker."
I misheard kids talking about the "middle finger" and thought for a very long time that it was the "little finger" that was a rude gesture.