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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.
I thought that swear words were called square words and that they looked like a square when you wrote them down.
My mother used to believe that the word "shit" was a minor curse on the level of "damn it", and therefore thought it wouldn't do much harm to say it around the kids. She's in her forties, and she only found out the truth recently!
I thought that English was the only language that had swear words!
I thought there were some swear words so bad if you said them you would go to jail!
I use to think that flipping people off meant "hi".
when I was very little, I used to believe "bum" was a bad word. This was because my grandmother was from england. since they say "bum" and not "butt". I figured bum was equvilant to ass
When I started middle school, I heard these guys calling each other "bastards." I thought they were saying "pastors." I wondered why calling someone a "pastor" would be a bad thing.
When I was about seven, my cousins and I believed it was okay to say curse words as long as you apologized to God directly afterwards. We would tentatively whisper, "Dammit!" and then look up at the sky and shout, "SORRY, GOD!!!!"
I thought assassin was a bad word for some reason (maybe because it has ass in it?)
When I was little, I believed that French had no cursewords because it was a "noble and sweet" language, like my teacher used to describe it!
I used to think when I was about 3 or 4 that whenever someone said a swear word, God would zap that person with a lightning bolt that came out of his finger. The more often a person swore, the greater the voltage of the lightning bolt.
When I was little, I went to Ukrainian dance camp, and my mom and I heard this man swearing. He said "Bullshit." I asked my mom what it meant, and she said she didn't know, it must have been something in Ukrainian. So the next day I went around asking all the grownups who spoke Ukrainian what "Bullshit," meant. Mom had some explaining to do.
When I was about 6, my 13 yo cousin told me told me that sh!t meant bird, so I said do my mom, hey look at that cute little sh!t! Needless to say, my cousin was grounded.
I thought it was against the law to swear. I only knew it was bad, and imagined it to be as bad as stealing, murder ect.
I thought "devil" was a swear for a long time. I also thought that if you swore, worms would grow in your mouth(something my mom said). So that certainly stopped me from swearing! I believed this until I was 9.
I was so paranoid as a kid when it came to swearing. I truely and actually believed that the phrase "shut up", even in a joking manner, was considered cussing.
Whenever I got mad on the playground, I would always yell "BE QUIET!!!" instead of shut up. Needless to say, that didn't really work. ^-^
But nevertheless, it wasn't until the fifth grade until I started saying "shut up".
Iím Spanish speaker and I was until I was 35 y/o. When I was kid my parents never explained to me the meaning of some bad words but they told me they were bad words and as I heard them all the time with out understanding what they were talking about, I thought anything that I couldnít understand was bad, at the same time the Beatles song became so popular on the radio and I was convinced that people liked to sing bad word songs.
My parents designated the words "hockey puck"as their swear word for idiot, jerk (insert truly bad word here). I grew up believing that hockey puck was a bad word not to be used in polite company.