Growing up around, then serving among preachers, missionaries, and denominational servants, I was always amazed at what they substituted for genuine cuss words. They couldn’t say “Damn” or “Hell” or any number of worse words, so they made up new words to use when the occasion called for a cuss word. New words, like “Dang it!” “Dern it!” “Oh, shoot!” or even “Shoot a monkey!” My Pastor father used “Piffel.” My saintly mother said, “Fiddlesticks.” My wife says, “Darn it!” My favorite Aunt, a godly Sunday School Teacher, often said, “Oh, good honk.” My Grandfather said “Dad burn it!” and when he was really mad, he said, “Diddily dad burn it!” My other grandfather was a truck driver. He stuck with the original cuss words. No substitutes for him. One friend said “Horse feathers!” and another used “Dagnabbit” as substitute profanity. Early on, when I dared venture into the use of one of these substitute words, my mother would remind me that it’s not what is on the lips, but what is in the heart that matters. Really? Makes me wonder again about the meaning of Proverbs 23:7, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Anyone have any new substitute cuss words? I’ve just about worn out all of my old ones.
Dr. Dan Crawford, Senior Professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, is the WestCoast Baptist Association’s Spiritual Life & Leadership Mentor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DrDanRC and Facebook www.facebook.com/dan.crawford.