How would my muttered "mrfl, mrfl, mrfl" count?
I would call that a broad-spectrum euphemism.
Euphemisms are sometimes useful and sometimes fun. We had a lovely party once where we were trying to talk about The Wire without getting the 5-year-old in trouble at kindergarten that week, and we were using color words for "colorful" language: those of us who had seen The Wire were explaining a scene where the cops only said "fuchsia" and "mauve-and-fuchsia" while investigating a murder scene. It was perfect: the people who already knew those words had no trouble decoding, and the little dude did not go to school sounding like Bunk Moreland.
I like those.
My all-purpose, non-euphemistic, G-rated one is from A.A. Milne: "Bother!"
That's my favorite too.
The best fake swear I have ever heard is "horsefeathers." It rocks my universe.
I LOVE 'flax waffle'. Although I'd be more likely to employ it more like 'chicken dishes'. Oh, flax waffles!
I remember "gods in pink feathers!" from lilairen
. I don't recall where she got it from, but I think it was rooted in a theological debate in a fictional culture.
Gods-be-feathered is from the Chanur books. I don't recall any mention of the colours, perhaps Darkhawk added that herself.
"Chicken dishes" made me think of something that doesn't count as a fake swear, as it has actual swearing in it, but is fun to say anyway: "fishy bitches." Which was the term used in a recent Podcastle ep ("The Mermaids' Tea Pary") for describing the eponymous, and not very nice, mermaids.
And it's just fun to say.
I do like "flax waffle," too. Especially since it seems perfectly suited for "Look, I'm sorry if I was kind of a flax waffle about this;" it seems to imply good intentions but less-than-solid results.
Of my own fake swears, "Ye gods and little fishes" (or "fishies") is one I enjoy using. Or "for the love of little green apples." No, I have no idea what the apples have to do with anything.
Oh, and "son of a hairless kumquat." Got that one from some high-school friends.
I like "Drat!" because it's not obviously euphemistic.
I say "Goodness Gravy," "Jiminy Cricket!" and "You're such a food eater." I don't know if those qualify. Montreal gets very pleased with "Goodness Gravy."
Lately, due to having seen the commercial for "My Baby Can Read" too frequently, I have also been saying "Oh no said Scwooge, oh no kind spiwit," whenever anything slightly-bad-but-not-too-bad comes up.
Oh, and I also say "Holy Moly Macaroni Grill."
No, I don't know. I am a woman of many ridiculous sayings.
I wish my brain had grabbed 'stone of a peach' from a Patricia Briggs book. Euphemism, but a satisfying one-- all hissy and spitty and potentially cathartic.
Cheeses crusty, got all musty, got damp on the stone of a peach. Which proper emphasis of course.
I assimilated that one.
That pretty well describes the last couple of days at work for me--Chicken dishes! What a grind! My co-worker's been out half Friday and yesterday, and all of today, so I had it all to do myself. He's not beeing a flax waffle, though--his mother's in the hospital.
Well, I'm glad he's not being a flax waffle, at least.
I did myself decide a while back that custard was like dullard, an Elizabethan rudery - "oh, you insufferable custard!" - and now I'm wondering why so many of mine and yours and the above are food-related?
(Also, I have googled, and am wroth: "In Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire" produces twice as many hits as the actual quotation, which is of course "In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire".)
I am sorry to have helped along the path to making you wroth. We have Hartford here in the US, and I believe that's what Audrey Hepburn sang, although as always I could be wrong.
"monkey!" became a catch-all word a few years back. It was a stand in for anything I didn't want to say real loud at work (like when I dropped a 25# bag of carrots on my toe) and also our code for cigarette, for reasons that are lost to the mists.
Monkey! isn't fake swearing though, it's a euphemism. For fake swearing I've mostly got "for the love of [Pete, little green apples, monkeys]"
Ah. For us the monkeys are the non-canine mammals running about the house. It only gets sweary when the dog is looking sternly at us.
I have often said that People What Are Mean To Me can go do something impolite to themselves. But I like "go way back and sit down" better.
I am fond of "fuck-knuckles" as a real swear, typically when I have accidentally injured myself, so around the kids I change it to "duck-knuckles". This always makes them look at me with the o_O face. (I know it's a substitution swear, but gosh is it fun to say on its own, too.)
Edited at 2010-03-25 12:22 am (UTC)
It is a substitution swear, yes, but you have to go into it knowing that's what you're going to do. Otherwise you get halfway through and it's too late. And it does definitely sound fun on its own, and frankly I think that the original is whimsical enough to start out with that nobody will think duck knuckles makes less sense.
Hahahaha! I love those fake swears. :) And I bought my mom lovely copies of the Betsy-Tacy books, because she always says, "Heavens to Betsy!" and I never knew where on earth she got that expression until I saw those books in a catalog. ^_^
Mine is "For the love of corn!"
I mean, one of ten thousand and two. That's my most common one.
I like corn. But "for the like of corn!" is not so good.
The fake swears
were one of my favorite features of The Middleman
. Mutual of Omaha! Flowers for Algernon! Great Barrier Reef!
Those are some potent fake swears, I will say.
I couldn't use "Mutual of Omaha" myself, because I grew up mostly in Omaha, so it would be like saying, "Prominent local business!"
Actually, "Prominent local business!" does sound a bit annoyed.
This reminds me that my cousin's other cousin's husband (a close relative, I assure you) is an architect, and they use the names of their current projects as fake swears in the office. "Oh, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church!" they will say, or, "Spring Lake Park office complex!"
I misread FAR too much of this entry being entirely puzzled about what the hell a fake sweater was. I will read this entry again using the right word when my blush has faded.
It's when somebody uses a Sharpie to draw cables on a T-shirt?
You'd enjoy watching sam_stil
play Super Smash Brothers. He has the best fake swears. One of his more frequently used ones is monkey biscuits.
I use "rats!" and "good grief!", having been a Peanuts fan my whole life, but my favorite was used by someone I went to college with: "Holy hammer!"
I always enjoyed imagining it being a millenium-old swear originating with Thor-worship. (I did ask once: she said she picked it up from someone she used to know, and had no idea of its origin.)
In my prissy Southern family it was, "Oh, your foot in the tar bucket!"
Ozarque had some nicer ones; many rigorous variations of "Oh, bless his heart!"
In my husband's prissy Southern family it's "My Word Matilda!"
I've been having a right flax waffle of a day and this was exactly what I needed. Thank you! :-)
In reference to the "Go Way Back and Sit Down" my grandmother's favorite insult to conclude a disagreement was "Because you don't have the sense God gave a little gray goose."
My work collegues were a bit... nonplussed when I got frustrated, dropped the accent down to southern, and came out with that.