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When I was really little, I would remark on how fat people were because I didn't realize it was rude. My mother explained it to me, but rather than understanding, I figured that "fat" was a swear word. The next time someone overweight walked by, I declared, "Mommy, that lady is NOT THIN!"

She also told me I could never say the word "ain't" so I assumed it was a swear. I was very distressed, because I was afraid this meant I wasn't allowed to sing "The Old Gray Mare" anymore.

Kate
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I used to believe that if you said a swear word, God would send a bolt of thunder and strike you dead right where you stood. One day when I was feeling quite reckless and perhaps stupid, I stood in the middle of my bedroom and said the "F" word out loud. And, lo and behold, I'm still here.

Cat
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I told my younger sister that "flipping heck" was a swear word. She believed me and never said it again.

Ruth
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A while ago I was out with some friends and I met some of their other friends who I didn't know. We were about 15. My friend said something about her being from Germany, and one of these guys I didn't know said he could swear in German. She said 'Go on then' and he said something I didn't understand. My friend who spoke German then laughed uncontrollably for a while and then managed to tell us he'd said something along the lines of "You beer bottle!".

Kajjie
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in grade school, i used to believe that test tube was a naughty word and was embarassed to say it.

miss sara
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I never heard the word 'crap' until I was 18, when a group of workmates were discussing a boozy night out.

They roared with laughter as one of them described crawling drunkenly under some bushes for what I heard as a 'crab'.

Why, I wondered, would he go in the bushes for a crab, and why would one be there, and how would he know anyway, and what use was a crab to a drunk?

Puzzled me for a very long time, that one.

Carla Randle
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when i was 6 or 7 i had it thinking that the big "F" word was 'fatso'.

gaby r
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My mom said that everytime that I said a bad word,
my mouth will dirty up and onions will grow in it, and the only way to stop it was to wash my mouth out with soap. I believed that for 3 months.

gums
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when I was little, I asked my mom what the f-word was. After pushing her for a while, she told me but I though she said "folk". Having read a lot of Amelia Bedelia books... I said... so if you say folk with the s it's not a bad word but without one it was.

Anon
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I remember when I was very young, there was a television show on a saturday night. It was sort of a variety thing, and one segment of the show was called "gotcha!" it played pranks on celebrities like a candid-camera thing.

There was one celebrity who cursed alot and because this was prime time television they would put a "bleep" over the top of the word. I noticed that this was a regular thing and wondered what the "bleeps" where for.

I also noticed that when the crew would jump out near the end of the prank the amound of "bleeps" would rise. It suddenly dawned on me! The bleeps sounded exactly the same as a hospital heart monitors.

And thats why the amount of bleeps when up when the crew jumped out becuase they made him jump and his heart rate rised! stupid...

Turkey
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I always thought "vulnerable," was a bad word because it started with "vul" as in "vulgar," so whenever someone said vulnerable I thought they were using a vulgar word~

don'tsayitit'sbad!
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In my fifth grade class years ago, someone said the word "boner" rather quietly. I asked "What's a boner?" but was quickly shushed by my classmates who said it was a bad word. I logically figured out it had something to do with a bone, like the typical white kind with rounded ends that's in your arm. It took me a long time to realize that there was nothing "naughty" about a skeleton!

H-Bomb
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i used to believe dumb was a bad word cuz on that show called wimzy's house she got busted for saying dumb ..

WIMZYS HOUSE IS A DUMB SHOW!!!!! DONT WATCH IT
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I grew up in an extremely conservative Catholic family and when I was around five or so my older sister's boyfriend came over. I can't remember exactly why, but I got very angry at him and screamed "YOU STUPID DEMOCRAT!" I thought it was a bad name you called someone.

Anon
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when I was a kid most of the men adult around the house used to say this F*** you for nothing so one time my mom was teaching me how to sing Happy Birthday song and I thought I heard her singing Happy Birthday F*** you and I started to sing Happy Birthday F*** you over and over again since then they never mention that bad words inside the house anymore.

JM
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I use to think that the phrase "holy shitakie mushrooms" was actually "holy shit, talking mushrooms!"

The latter one still makes more sense.

Glowworm
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When I was preschool age, I somehow convinced myself that "hospital" was a bad word - maybe because of the sick people in it, or because my dad worked in one and I didn't get to see him much. When my teacher asked me what I'd received for Christmas I burst into tears because I thought she'd yell at me for telling her I'd gotten a hospital playset.

Elizabeth
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One day whilst coming from a day Johannesburg, we were stuck in a big traffic-jam so in rage my dad shouted “For f*** sake!” and from then on I would say “F*** Sake!” If I couldn’t do something. As much as this was amusing to my parents my Grandmother was coming the next week so they had to try convince me that my dad had actually said ‘Milk Shake’.

Tuvaks Girl
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I used to believe the word fudge was the f-word. I couldn't understand why there were all those Beverly Cleary children's books with the word "fudge" in them! I thought that was terrible!

anon
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When I was 7 i was in the car with my dad, mum, nan and grandad. I turned to my grandad and said "grandad, are you a bastard?"
(I'd overheard some teenage lads yelling at some old guy calling him a bastard earlier that day so I'd become increasingly curious as the day progressed)
you should have seen his face! haha
childhood naivety is so funny lol
my parents still tease me about it to this day

Anon
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