Weekend Wrinkle: Expletives We Don’t Have to Delete

You just slammed your thumb in a drawer, and there are not-so-nice words pressing your lips, desperate to get out.

Unfortunately, there’s a small child standing there with large, innocent eyes and cute, untainted ears. What do you say?

NixonLuckily, there are a ton of G-rated alternatives: phooey, sugar, shoot, drat, and darn, to name a few.

Expletives don’t need to be profane or obscene. There are a lot out there that do the job without polluting the mind. Let’s list a few: heck, goodness, goodness gracious, geesh, freaking, for crying out loud, and holy cow.

There are some that are on the borderline. I was driving along with my grandson in the back seat one time, and I missed a turn. “Crap!” I shouted then quickly apologized for my bad language.

“That’s all right,” my grandson replied. “I’ve heard worse.”

There are some unusual ones. I knew a lady who would say good night or good grief. (I hadn’t heard good grief said outside a comic strip.)

My parents used to declare, “Yer Aunt Tillie’s!” leaving what it was that belonged to my fictional Aunt Tillie to the imagination.

I was talking to a student one evening and became frustrated with a failure of technology. “Geesum crowbars!” I said.

He actually laughed. I guess that’s a much better response than a stronger expletive might produce.


2 thoughts on “Weekend Wrinkle: Expletives We Don’t Have to Delete

  1. Some people I know use the expression “pant load” of trouble or otherwise. Sure conveys the message without using words not acceptable to everyone.
    Sometimes just sputtering and muttering is enough to let those around you know that finger in the drawer surely is causing trouble.
    Anyone else??


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