La vie est belle !

SoCS –Oops!


This post is part of Linda G Hill’s “Stream of Consciousness Saturday”  — Click and read, click and join in! Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “four-letter word.” Use any four-letter word as your theme. Enjoy!



So…oops! Here’s what happened: I had to work on Friday and Saturday, which I haven’t had to do in years, because I am a spoiled brat 🙂 And I forgot that it was time for SoCS! 😦 That made me sad, so I hope it isn’t too late to jump in today.

Oops! is a four-letter word you don’t usually want to hear. Something went wrong!  I think it’s one of the first words we learn as kids. Either that one or “uh-oh” which is really the same thing, and which, coincidentally, also has four letters.  Most people use both words all their lives, but as adults, we often substitute other, stronger “four-letter words.” I try  not to do that but sometimes I do. I wonder why we feel the need to have very strong words when we are frustrated or angry or upset…Mankind has probably been swearing for as long as he has existed, I guess because that’s how long we have been making mistakes!

Kids think it’s daring and grown-up to use bad words, and use them behind their parents’ backs.  Do you remember the first time you said a “bad” word in front of your parents? I am not sure that I do, (although I’m sure I must have done it once!)  and I still don’t say really bad words in front of my parents. (I pretty much only say the really bad ones in my car when I am alone, and that is always the fault of “other drivers!”)

I have a co-worker whose family is from Mexico but he grew up here and doesn’t speak Spanish…except that he does know the “bad” words!     So often, people learning another language are fascinated by the swear words right off the bat. For me, I’d prefer not to even know them, but I do know some French ones, if only so I don’t accidentally goof up and say one, or so I understand whether or not someone is insulting me or something 🙂

It is interesting how some words are “stronger” in one language or the other. For example, I say “crap” quite often, but never say the corresponding stronger word with the same meaning which begins with an “S” because I consider it too strong. However, the “S” word is a direct translation of a French word beginning with “M” which seems to be commonly used, (not by me, but given the frequency of the word online I am led to believe that it is somewhat less strong than “S” in English) Of course, looking at movies and TV is probably a poor representation of frequency of use among normal people. A foreign person looking at American movies might be led to believe that the “F” word is perfectly acceptable here, when in fact, it is not. Shame on you, movie directors, for letting foreigners think that we are all a bunch of potty-mouths.

We do use euphemisms for four-letter words, though. While it is unacceptable in polite society to use any of these words, euphemisms or not, among friends in a ‘familiar” setting, it is ok to say “effing” or “frickin’ ” in lieu of the “F” word. And we have creative substitutionary phrases that we use around children, like “Fudge.”

At the airport, I hear angry passengers lose their filters and just say the bad words, usually towards gate agents or flight attendants who really haven’t done anything to them. Let’s face it, these days flying is just no picnic no matter what you do. But cursing at gate agents will win you nothing but trouble. No matter how angry you might be, you’ll catch more flies with honey, if you know what I mean.

I recently heard a guy tell a gate agent to “Go to hell!” I stopped and thought about that one for a minute, and I thought that if he said that because he wanted to never see the agent again, he’d better have a pretty good method of making 100% sure that he himself would not eventually go to hell as well…hmmm.

Oops! I think that’s enough rambling on the four-letter words. SoCS !!! I don’t know if “SoCS” is a word, exactly, but they are four letters that I like very much 🙂

Et vous, chers lecteurs?  What euphemisms do you use for four-letter words? Do you say funny things around children or your parents in order to avoid saying them? Are you trying to stop saying them in your everyday life? Or are you one that has never cursed? Do you think that humans curse naturally or do our parents and friends and workplaces teach us this? If you didn’t know a single curse word, do you think you’d make up one the first time you hit your thumb with a hammer? What’s wrong with Hollywood that they include so many of them in our movies that foreigners probably think we all curse like sailors? Why do sailors curse so much?

Oops. Too many questions 🙂

SoCS. Gotta love it! 🙂




19 Responses to “SoCS –Oops!”

  1. tnkerr

    When I was young we had some next door neighbors. A husband and wife – no kids. She was from France and occasionally used to yell at him. A loud, passionate stream of English curse words, that could have made a sailor blush, would echo out their front windows, filling the street with color. My mother asked her once how she could call her husband all those terrible things. She said that she would never say these things in French but because they were in English they didn’t mean anything to her. They didn’t carry the same weight or have the same impact. I believe that this was when I first became aware of the power of words. I was really young though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jetgirlcos

      That’s really funny…I suppose they didn’t mean anything to her until the neighbor moms started saying those same words back to her for teaching them to the kids playing near her house!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. herheadache

    I love how, in avoiding saying those four-letter words, we often switch over to a five-letter word instead. Symbolic of something I’m sure.


  3. domingosaurus

    “Ooooooh Fuuuuuudge! Only I didn’t say “fudge.” I said THE Word. The queen mother of all dirty words. The F double dash dash word.”
    (That’s one of the greatest lines from one of the greatest Christmas comedies of all time, by the way.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bea dM

    hi fun post 🙂 just back from USA and at airport luggage pick-up I realised fully this was Rome again on hearing a couple of beauties that wouldn’t have been ok at all in public in English! Different languages do have different levels of aggressiveness. Yes, you can use the French M-word and still be a lady (it’s the tone), my mother used to say “darn it!” (sounds ancient in its respectability), and thanks for reminding me of “crap” which I’ll try to substitute for “S” – but how does “shoot” sound to you? My original contribution: instead of sending someone off to do something extremely gross in Italian, I send them off instead to “fare un brodo” (=make some broth)


      • Bea dM

        zut alors is fine but a bit bland, lacks umph when you really need to express something! I guarantee that M in French with a ladylike attitude will enhance your ethos with locals – get them thinking you’re one of them 🙂


  5. Jennifer G. Knoblock

    Also in Germany, the equivalent of the French “m” word or English “s” word is not that “strong.” I remember a funny field trip with third graders, in which the German tour guide, speaking in English, dropped it right into her explanation of honeybees. 🙂


  6. Le Génie

    J’ai une histoire qui m’a été racontée par un professeur de français qui avait enseigné aux USA, la voici :
    ” Quand j’enseignais au début de ma carrière, beaucoup d’étudiants venaient me voir et me demandaient comment prononcer le mot :”phoque” …. “

    Liked by 1 person


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