Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Insults and insulting descriptions and curse words

Tattletale, worrywart, fraidy-cat (or scaredy-cat), sneaky, mean, bully, snot, brat, snotty brat, bratty snot, and baby: these are the sorts of expressions that could get somebody's mouth washed out with soap if said within hearing of a grown-up (although they usually were not). I never knew any of these words until at about the age of four I began to consort more with kids than with adults. Insults didn't get to the physical, which is a good thing for cross-eyed kids (I was sort of one). The level of public discourse might be improved if people didn't go much beyond these, which are hurtful enough. Not for kids to say were: "J---s, M--y, J----h," "Saints preserve us," "Diosito Santo," "G-- A------y," "D----t," or even "oh H--l" (using dashes in keeping with the spirit of the prohibitions); these were used more in awe or when something went wrong when a nail was being hammered.


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