F**king ‘ell

by Kyla on September 2, 2014 · 8 comments

I’m the eldest of three girls born into a relatively large English family, when we were younger and swore or got too mouthy my Nan in particular would always threaten to wash our mouths out with soap. I say threaten because the only one who ever pushed her far enough to do it was my younger sister, I can’t even remember what she said but the sight of my Nan holding her head over a basin and scrubbing her tongue with soap? Yeah, I remember that.

I suppose these days that would be considered child abuse or some such bullshit. I’m more than sure my sister deserved it – she was (and still is) mouthy as hell.

Despite that early education on what not to say, I do swear… a lot. It’s not deliberate, most of the time I don’t even notice myself doing it. That is, until my personal echo (Mr 4) pipes up with it anyhow – there’s nothing like hearing your sweet child use profanity (with perfect infliction, mind you) to make you more aware of what comes out of your own mouth.

I started seeking replacements for my favourite exclamations after D dropped a Lego piece with a perfect “damnit” and followed up later that same week with a loud and heartfelt “fucking ‘ell” after knocking a phone off the bedside table. That second one was in front of TheGamer who looked at me with that arched brow that said he knew exactly where those words were coming from (like I’m the only one that swears in this house) and I figured I’d better make an effort to change – if only so I could do the arch brow thing at him next time.

I started using replacement words for my favourite profanity, little sayings that didn’t do much to alleviate the tension (there is nothing like a good swear) but would do enough when the little people and their big ears are around. Pretty standard solution and it was working.

It was.

A couple of weeks ago when I said “oh f- golly gee” in response to a traffic incident and a little voice piped up from the back seat asking what golly gee meant. I gave myself a mental high five because I was awesome at remembering to use innocuous words instead of my much preferred profane ones and explained to little Mr Curious that it’s a term people say when they see something that amazes or frustrates them.

I did awesome there, right?

Yeah, I thought so too until the little voice in the back-seat responded, with a tone of great understanding “oh, is it like fucking ‘ell?”.

Child 1, Parent 0

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