Tag Archives: creative swearing is the only way to C.Y.A.

Replacement Words

31 May

The joy of having kids is that we get to use replacement words.  Such words have a double meaning, or even a triple meaning.  I’ve used many such words in my 11+ years of parenthood.  My grandma is famous for also using such words.  My grandma uses “sugar” as her favorite replacement word.  Got a hang nail?  Oh sugar.  Just cut yourself?  SUGAR!  Sugar is also shortened to “Sug” a term of endearment.

My newest and most favorite replacement word is Bandersnatch.  I first heard the term from the 2010 Disney film Alice in Wonderland.  In the movie it’s a large hairy creature with sharp-pointy teeth.  In my replacement word usage, it has replaced everything from S#!t, the f-bomb, to any other word(s) that I don’t necessarily want my kids to hear.  “Awe Bandersnatch” is a common phrase to spout from my filthy sailor’s mouth.  At a cook-out on Saturday, we were discussing replacement words.  When I told the group of assembled party-goers my favorite word, they were a bit taken back.  “It still sounds filthy” said one.  I replied in my usual snarky manner that it was because the last half of the word is snatch.  That’s what I like about Bandersnatch.  It’s clean enough that Disney (and Lewis Carroll, though he was NOT that clean) used it, yet dirty enough to be successful in delivering the desired effect. 

Past favorites have been:  sugar (Thanks Gram!), blast, what in the world, and fork for obvious reasons…  Replacement words don’t tend to stick around too long.  Soon enough the kids will find out what word you are replacing and give you that look.  All parents (dads especially) know that look.  The look that says, “I’m telling mom!”  The look that let’s you know that your little girl isn’t that young anymore.  That she knows what’s going on.  It’s the same look you receive when you’re driving in the car and that one inappropriate song in your current playlist comes on.  As soon as they hear that f-bomb or s-word, you know.  You’re screwed.  The Boss’s going to find out.  She’s going to wring your neck.  “Mom!  Dad was swearing!”  “What’d he say THIS time?”  “Well, he said Bandersnatch, but what he meant to say was….”  This usually results in a verbal reaming for both me and The Thing which has figured out what word I was replacing.

Parenting is hard.  If it weren’t for the fun moments, I think we’d all eat our young.

Do you use replacement words?  Which are your favorites?