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In our house we used to have a medical dictionary called the Funk & Wagnell. If me or my brother had something wrong with us Mum or Dad would tell us to "look it up in the Funk & Wagnell" but of course to our ears we heard "look it up you f**ken wagnell". We always wondered what a wagnell was and why our parents were swearing at us.
When I was about six, I always head people talking about the "F word." Since I didn't know the word in question, I assumed that they meant "fart." Now my teacher was very strict, and you got in big trouble for saying it. One day I was sent home with a letter, and upon seeing the envelope attached to my shirt, she asked "what did you do?" My reply? "I said the F word." My mother turned white and started to panic..until she opened the note, that is.
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.
When my little brother was really little he already knew the expresion 'damn it', but he also knew he wasn't aloud to say it, only grownups could. The only time he ever said it was when something went wrong for our dad. Then my little brother would chant "Say damn it daddy! Say damn it daddy!"
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.
I know I am only one of many who, as a small child, thought that the worst thing anyone could possibly say was "shut up." When I worked briefly with 4- and 5-year-old kids in 1979, I was amazed to find that there were still kids who thought the same thing!
My father used to curse, 'Damnation!' from time to time. I always thought he was angry at the country-- 'Damn Nation!'
I used to believe that sticking up your middle finger meant 'I hate you', something we weren't ever allowed to say in our house. So when I was feeling naughty, I would stick my middle finger up at dilapidated old houses from the backseat of the car as we drove by (and then feel horribly guilty).
Until the 12th grade, I used to think "fuck" was the ugliest word in the English language.
Then in English class, someone said "fuck". The teacher said "I heard the f-word". People said "what do you mean by f-word". And I said "the ugliest word in the English language".
And the teacher said "actually, it's NOT". I was surprised and asked what it was. She said "I'm not gonna say it, I'm not gonna define it, I'm just gonna spell it:
I had never heard it before. But you bet that when I got home, the first thing I did was look it up in the dictionary.
English was our second language, BTW.
When I was roughly four I used to hear swear words and repeat them. In order to stop me embarrassing her in public places my mother told me the word 'bungalow' was a swear word. I believed this until I was eleven and got very confused when people talked about one-storey houses.
I used to think you had to get special permission from your parents to use curse words
Well it isn't really my belief but a couple of years ago me and my best friend were having a conversation, aware that my little sister was listening outside and would pick up anything we would say and apply it to her everyday language. My friend said the word 'f***' and from outside came a little gasp of disgust (hehe) and then i explained to my friend (loudly so my sister could hear that it was fine to say 'f***' because it was merely a ''naughtier'' term for sex.
Of course my sister isn't stupid (!) and she obviously knew that to tell someone to 'f*** off' was wrong. So a couple of days later my best friend and I were watching TV and down came my little sister who was going to go out with my mum. Now, my mum and my sister never get on when it comes to what type of shoes are appropriate to wear depending on where you're going and my little sister kept insisting she wanted to wear healed sandles.
My mum kept explaining to her until she eventually lost her temper with my sister and told her off.
My little sister looked over to me then back to mum and exclaimed 'well you can just sex off because i don't want to go out with you!'
I don't think i've ever laughed so hard in my life.
When i was about 7 i heard my older sister, Amy(12 at the time) accidently cut her toe on some glass, then mutter "bloody tourists". after asking her about it i learned from her that everything bad that happens is tourists faults (thanks Amy!). i soon was too saying "bloody tourists" whenever something bad happened. about a month after that my aunty and uncle came over from New Zealand to stay with us and my aunty jessie was setting the table when she accidently spilt gravy all over my food (i hate gravy). her face went deep red when i screamed at her and walked off to my room saying "bloody tourists".
i was on the school bus as a 3rd grader. a couple of 5th graders were giving each other the middle finger and i asked what it meant. Being 5th graders, they told me it meant "i love u". this caused complications with my dad....
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 was 9 years old and in a video store with my grandmother. A box for one of the Child's Play movies said something about Chuckie (the murderous doll) being "one mean S.O.B." I knew what S.O.B. stood for, but I asked my grandmother anyway to try to get her to say the word "bitch." She instead said it meant "son of a bad guy," so as not to use bad language in front of me, but for a while I thought my grandmother was an idiot.
One time we were in the library at school in 5th grade and we got a dictionary and were looking for the word 'penis'. We knew what it meant, but just because we were immature little 5th graders, you know. So anyway, the librarian comes over and says, "What are you guys looking up?" We all exchanged faces of horror and then all 5 of us said 5 different words starting with 'P' at the same time. The librarian looked at us and without a word, turned to the page with the definition of penis.
I used to think asphalt was a bad word
When I was in a scout group, one of the scout leaders said "shit" accidentally, and I asked her what she'd said, so she covered by saying she'd said "seventy-two". We were having fun with this and going around saying "Oh, seventy-two!" like it was a bad word.
My mum, for some reason, once asked me what my favourite swear word was - I told her "fuck" because "it doesn't mean anything".