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PB-friendly cursing?!

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Are there any quasi-curse words that are considered okay in picture books? I'm trying to create curse-filled dialogue without actually cursing (think pirates or similar).

Is 'darn' okay? Or should I just make words up to make sure I don't offend? Flabblejobbles, that type of thing?
#1 - October 24, 2012, 06:27 AM

I think I've seen "darn" used in PBs, but "Flabblejobbles" is going to be my new favorite curse word! It's fun and much more interesting to read and say aloud.

Anytime you can create fun words that fit your story in a seamless way, I say go for it.
#2 - October 24, 2012, 06:32 AM
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I have parents who won't read a picture book that has the word "hate" in it ... so I'd go with made-up if possible. When I was little, "darn" was considered a bad word by my family. :ranting:
#3 - October 24, 2012, 06:35 AM
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Make it up -- especially because you're so very good at silly word making!
#4 - October 24, 2012, 06:42 AM

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Make it up -- especially because you're so very good at silly word making!

Thanks! Now if only I could find a job as Silly Word Maker. That would be fabbletastic!
#5 - October 24, 2012, 06:47 AM

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Darn is probably bad because it's a version of d a m n? So then words like blimey and blooming would also be bad.

Made-up does seem to be the way to go!
#6 - October 24, 2012, 06:49 AM

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Is blimey a curse word? I've always read it as more of a "wow" kind of exclamation.  Who knew?  :eh2
#7 - October 24, 2012, 06:52 AM

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Is blimey a curse word? I've always read it as more of a "wow" kind of exclamation.  Who knew?  :eh2

Well, it is an exclamation but it could be bad or good. But it is based on 'bloody.' (Same as 'blooming.') So in that sense it's a curse word. If I cut my finger I probably wouldn't say, "Blimey!" whereas I might say another word beginning in c and ending in p (with r and a in the middle!). But someone could tell me something awful and I could say, "Blimey!" in response, which would mean something along the lines of, 'Oh my goodness." But if you told me something great I could also say it.
#8 - October 24, 2012, 07:01 AM

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I've used "phooey" in PBs, and also things like 'fiddlesticks'.
#9 - October 24, 2012, 08:36 AM
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On Spongebob, they used the sound of a dolphin in place of a bleep sound. They implied bad language by adding in the dolphin sound. It was hysterical--- like an inside joke for us adults watching it, but kids just hear the dolphin sound!

Fiddlesticks! I didn't answer your question at all! But it made me think of this particular episode that made me laugh.
#10 - October 24, 2012, 08:42 AM

I say make em up.
#11 - October 24, 2012, 09:09 AM
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My son used to say, "Aw, Snap!" That lasted until kindergarten, and then "Dang" came along and stayed for the duration (but is not allowed when visiting our more religious friends who feel it is too close to another D word). Now that he's a fifth grader, it's the year of the big bad words, but only the first two letters: "Aw, sh_ _ !"   
 :) I miss "Snap."
#12 - October 24, 2012, 09:18 AM
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made-up words would be effective but safe, and add humor as well
#13 - October 24, 2012, 10:28 AM

I know in England "bloody" is a bad curse word (or so I've been told) but in the US it just seems charming and English and not really offensive. So, "Blimey" won't raise hackles here (I don't think). Still, making words up is more fun and would add a lot of charm to your ms I think. :)
#14 - October 24, 2012, 12:31 PM
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I'm with everyone else... make 'em up. :)
#15 - October 24, 2012, 12:47 PM
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I just wanted to pipe in that I got a good chuckle out of the subject line: PB-Friendly Cursing, and would totally read a book with a kid-friendly expletive.
One kid of mine used to say, "Oh, poopie pants."
#16 - October 24, 2012, 02:45 PM
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I second fiddlesticks! That came to mind right away.

(Now watch an in-depth Google search reveal a shady history for the word. Ha.)
#17 - October 24, 2012, 03:22 PM
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Not sure this is the same thing, but in GOOD NEWS NELSON, Mrs. Snodberry (the cranky neighbor) says "BAH" all the time.

I'm with the "make it up" people...
#18 - October 24, 2012, 03:46 PM
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 :nothing Just wanted to say this thread is funny  :grin
#19 - October 24, 2012, 04:33 PM
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I second fiddlesticks! That came to mind right away.

(Now watch an in-depth Google search reveal a shady history for the word. Ha.)

This reminds me of when I watched 101 Dalmations (the movie, not the animated version) and one of the bad guys kept calling the other bad guy a 'berk.' I wondered about the meaning of that word and looked it up. I had no idea! Shocking!

I'm actually reading a book where one of the MCs says 'beep' instead of curse words. It works so well when she says things like, "That beeping beep beeper, I'm going to show him..." or similar. Very clever!

I looked up fiddlesticks and the origin seems quite harmless?

"The word fiddle has been used in exclamations since about 1600.  It has been used alone, as fiddle-de-dee and as fiddle sticks.  Unlike modern violin bows which may cost many hundreds of dollars, a fiddle stick was once emblematic of any object of negligible worth.  In the 17th century, one might not care a fiddle stick or even not care a fiddle stick's end."
#20 - October 24, 2012, 04:43 PM
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 05:34 PM by Franzilla »

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 :new:

There's always "Curses!" of course, but I agree with everyone else. Make 'em up! I want to read a book where I get to say "Flabblejobbles!"

I'm starting to think that real people should go to the trouble of making up curse words...it would make life so much more interesting whenever someone stubbed their toe.  :)

Oh, and I just wanted to be included in this thread too. And on a totally unrelated note, you have a mind-boggling array of smilies here.  :broccoli
#21 - October 25, 2012, 06:24 AM

I agree, made up curse words are so fun. Plus, reading them aloud guarantees giggles and you might even start a new trend.
 :moose
#22 - October 25, 2012, 06:50 AM
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:new:

There's always "Curses!" of course, but I agree with everyone else. Make 'em up! I want to read a book where I get to say "Flabblejobbles!"

I'm starting to think that real people should go to the trouble of making up curse words...it would make life so much more interesting whenever someone stubbed their toe.  :)

Oh, and I just wanted to be included in this thread too. And on a totally unrelated note, you have a mind-boggling array of smilies here.  :broccoli

Welcome! The smilies are plentiful and ever so useful. I quite often find myself wanting to write <insert dancing broccoli here> in emails to people who would have absolutely no idea what I was on about!
#23 - October 25, 2012, 06:55 AM

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I was unaware (until last night) about the origins for the word SCHMUCK. EEEP!
Agent Tracy Adams posted something about it on FB and I was all "huh?", did a google search, and then all "OH!" and then all "hope my grandma never heard me say that!" :)
#24 - October 25, 2012, 09:42 AM
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Well I never! And dork too apparently. Seems there's really no such thing as a PB-friendly curse word! Flabblejobbles it is!
#25 - October 25, 2012, 11:31 AM

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I just have one word to say about made up words: FRINDLE!

Enough said. I say hoist the Flabblejoobles!

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#26 - October 25, 2012, 12:15 PM

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Or...you don't even have to make up words. Sometimes the way you put words together and use them in context will give the feeling of "cursing." Any kind of funny exclamations could work.

like, "Crackling Cookie Crumbles!" or, "Vanishing Viper Venom!" or whatever...I'm sure you can come up with something waaay better than that, but you get my drift?

#27 - October 25, 2012, 05:17 PM
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If you want something pirate sounding, how about something like, "Oh, poop deck!"

I seem to remember when I and my friends were about four, we thought "bathroom words" were the height of hilarity.
#28 - October 25, 2012, 05:22 PM

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One of my favorite movies is "Rocketman."  The lead character Fred Z. Randall uses curses such as  "sweet swirling onion  rings" and "Sweet Alaskan Asparagus Tips."
My daughter's kindergarten teacher would say "my stars". :catmoon:
#29 - October 25, 2012, 05:27 PM

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If you want something pirate sounding, how about something like, "Oh, poop deck!"

I seem to remember when I and my friends were about four, we thought "bathroom words" were the height of hilarity.
I have a four year old. They are. :)
#30 - October 26, 2012, 12:03 AM

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