People Are Sharing The Words They Use Instead Of Swearing

Person screaming into a microphone
Unsplash | Jason Rosewell

Even if you're not a naturally potty-mouthed person, you probably experience situations frustrating enough to let loose a string of expletives.

But what do you do in a situation where it's inappropriate to swear? Sure, you could say 'fudge' or 'shoot', but those words aren't particularly satisfying. This r/AskReddit question has a wealth of alternative swear words that are almost as satisfying as the real thing.

"Mother trucker!"

An oil tanker truck
Unsplash | Antonino Visalli

Let's start off with something nice and basic, a simple sound-alike. You won't win any points for originality if you use this one, but it remains an excellent option for anyone who just needs to spit something out in a moment of anger.


Layer of shiitake mushrooms
Unsplash | Kier In Sight

Here's a fun swearing hack: you can use certain honest-to-goodness swear words — not sound-alikes — in polite company so long as the offensive syllable is part of a larger word. This is why you should introduce "shiitake" and "Shih Tzu" into your vocabulary at once.

"See you next Tuesday."

'Tuesday' sign
Unsplash | Pascal Bernardon

Do you ever want to use one of the dirtiest swear words to describe someone, but don't want to actually say it? No problem! Just say "see you next Tuesday!" or, alternatively, describe them as a real "see you next Tuesday." Most people will start to piece it together eventually.

"Oh, sugar honey iced tea!"

A glass of iced tea
Unsplash | Mae Mu

Along similar lines, we present for your consideration "sugar honey iced tea." On the surface, it sounds like you're simply referencing a particularly sweet glass of iced tea. But below the surface, you're actually cursing up a storm.


A fork on a surface
Unsplash | Matt Popovich

The Good Place popularized this one, but there's no way it wasn't already part of the common parlance beforehand. It's a much better word than 'fudge', really, because it sounds a lot more like the dirty word that's being substituted. It should be a part of everyone's repertoire.


A basket of kumquats
Unsplash | Elianna Friedman

This one almost feels like cheating, because 'kumquat' is such a weird, unappealing, vaguely dirty-sounding word in the first place. It's the kind of word that some people are probably just going to assume is an actual swear word, but you can rest easy knowing that you're simply referring to a small, citrusy tree fruit.

"What in the wide world of sports is going on?!"

Rugby player diving in for a try

When you're wondering what's transpired while you were away, there are a few colorful ways to ask the question. One colorful, but totally clean way is to reference the wide world of sports for no apparent reason.

"Bob Saget!"

Actor Bob Saget
Wikimedia Commons | Behind The Velvet Rope TV

If you're looking to get some of your aggression out while simultaneously paying tribute to the late, great Bob Saget, you could do a lot worse than simply yelling out his name. Seriously, try it out. It's a satisfying grouping of syllables to spit out.

"Got dandruff, some of it itches!"

Hand pouring shampoo into hand
Unsplash | Scandinavian Biolabs

This might be something you would legitimately exclaim if you were running low on Head & Shoulders. But more importantly, it's a perfect thing to say really quickly to see if anyone picks up on how dirty it sounds.


Angry-looking man holding his face
Unsplash | engin akyurt

Not only is this an objectively safe word to say when you're angry, it has the added benefit of making you seem like a villain whose evil plans have been foiled yet again by a bunch of meddling kids.

"Do you see what you get when you find a stranger in the Alps?!"

Big Lebowski car smashing gif
Giphy | The Good Films

If you've seen The Big Lebowski, you might remember the scene where John Goodman's character smashes up a car. Do you remember the NSFW thing he kept yelling? Well, in the clean version of the movie, this line is dubbed in.


Various bowls of custard
Unsplash | Dieny Portinanni

This little story is a cautionary tale for anyone who's trying to substitute an innocent word 1:1 for a swear word.

"When my son was little he started saying bastard so I kept saying custard. Until the day he complained that we were having bananas and bastard again."


"Dodge Ram it!"

A Dodge Ram in the snow
Unsplash | Rinke Dohmen

Whether you drive a pickup truck or not, this excellent epithet should be on anyone's list. It sounds just enough like the real thing that it'll probably make most people pause when they hear it for the first time.

"Slug in a ditch!"

A slug on the ground
Unsplash | Wolfgang Hasselmann

Where did this come from? Consensus seems to indicate that it came from the film The Hard Way. Regardless of its origins, it's a truly excellent way to express your desire to swear without slipping into full-blown PG-13 territory.


A stack of biscuits
Unsplash | Jodie Morgan

I know that this is a cute way to swear, but I'm not convinced that it'll ever be nearly as satisfying as just, y'know, actually swearing. At least you can give it some extra oomph with the "son of a biscuit!" variant.


A footprint in sand
Unsplash | Jeremy Bishop

The most basic form of alternative swear words comes in the form of sound-alikes: words that pretty much sound like the real thing, but are clean to say in polite company. If you find yourself in a situation where using the f-word is a no-no, just use this alternative f-word instead.

"[Caveman sounds]!"

Person screaming into a microphone
Unsplash | Jason Rosewell

"Not sure of an actual word, but my boyfriend and I have been trying to limit cursing since my toddler is becoming very verbal. He’s resorted to making very angry yelling caveman sounds when he wants to curse someone out rather than using the actual words."


"Safety hazard!"

An orange cone with a heart spray-painted on it
Unsplash | Tom Barrett

This was a spur-of-the-moment swear that came out of nowhere when one Redditor tripped and fell, but didn't want to swear in front of a toddler. "Now my sister sends me videos of my nephew saying it when things don't go his way," they wrote.


Statue of Neptune, god of the sea
Unsplash | K. Mitch Hodge

This suggestion might not sound like much at first, but hear me out: by tying it to Neptune, god of the sea, a whole host of other nautical almost-swears become available to you, including "barnacles" and "mother of pearl."

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