Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: I Swear, It's True

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  • Emma Hart,

    I feel I should apologise for all the filters this column will not make it through. And give a special wave to the Titirangi Public Library. Also, my copy of Word had a nightmare with this. Interestingly, while it simply assumed most of the words were spelt wrong, it was adamant that "twatcocks" was ungrammatical.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Prudence,

    Gorgeous!. You do my head good Emma.
    I like 'frog's pisle'
    "You wanking frog's pisle"

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    And give a special wave to the Titirangi Public Library.

    Years and years ago, when Public Address first went on the internets (late 1990s? Early 2000s), it was banned at the Titirangi Library on the basis of RB’s bad bad language. Maybe he mentioned that Doug Myers was an aresehole or similar.

    At any rate, I complained in writing to the powers that be at the Titirangi Library about unnecessary & inappropriate censorship. I never heard back but your comment makes me now wonder if there’s been any policy change…

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to David Haywood,

    it was banned at the Titirangi Library on the basis of RB’s bad bad language

    See, Russell tells people it's MY fault. Lying cock-sandwich.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    I forgot to mention "Jesus on a stick!", "Christ in a bucket" and "Jesus H. Fucking Christ!" for the trifecta.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    See, Russell tells people it’s MY fault. Lying cock-sandwich.

    Perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me. It does certainly sound like the sort of thing that would be all your fault, now that I think of it…

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell,

    I just like to say cocksplat. It gives me enormous pleasure, as Stephen Fry once said.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell,

    On a very tangentially related point - I think we all owe Donald Trump an enormous debt of gratitude in this context. Namely that he provokes us all to ever-greater peaks of achievement in the exploration of profanity. He is the spur of so much achievement in this noble field of human endeavour, and I think we should stop, if only briefly, to thank him for that. Never, in the history of human malediction, have so many owed so much to one man.

    Fucking orange cockwomble.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Fen Tex,

    MY favourite 'swear' in exasperation is "Expletive deleted!"

    Christchurch • Since Oct 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Fuckwit spits out well.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    As an added bonus swearing increases your ability to tolerate pain - unless you're a male with a tendency to catastrophise

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I personally prefer those swears that lend themselves to shouting, generally single syllable but also with a good hard consonant to build up pressure behind before you let rip.

    Bugger is always good - but to be fair I like that one mostly because the teenage American student helpers in the lab said they really like the sound of it when I swore at myself for doing something stupid, then they asked "what does it mean?" and I told them ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    True story. I used to answer the government's email at www.govt.nz and we would get all sorts of inquiries that I would either answer briefly or flick on to the relevant department. A lot of them were from school kids, many of them American (I used to have a little chart beside the monitor that converted American, Aussie, UK and NZ school grades to the corresponding age of the enquirer). About the time that the Toyota "Bugger" ad was famous, an American kid of about 16 wrote to ask what 'bugger' actually meant. So I told him, with references to various websites he could look up for further detail. I forgot that my boss was copied in on my responses. Fortunately, he thought it was the best email he had ever read. I never heard from the kid again, though...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hebe,

    Fuckwit spits out well.

    Fuckwit seems universally beloved. An elderly Australian a few years back was describing how, as an adolescent in a small NSW town during WW2, he was made a fire warden. This involved patrolling the town while wearing a helmet emblazoned with the letters FW. Everyone, including the most straight-laced citizens, seemed mightily amused by this. As long as he smiled and waved right back the joke never seemed to get old.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Womble is an excellent suffix for swearing, and I'm not sure why. Cockwomble, cuntwomble, fuckwomble, douchwomble, you can fucking womble free the fuck all over that shit. Yeah, ok, I'm swearing just because I can. I'm still an arse man at heart, though. Arsehole, arse-licker, arse-emptying-dickhead.

    Oh, and motorist. It's one of those terms of abuse that many people don't understand, whereas calling them a planet-raping, child-murdering arsehole takes more syllables and is somehow considered more offensive. Perhaps if I said moron instead of arsehole?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    "Bollocks" seems to work in any situation. And my Twitter feed was briefly reminded of that moment when Ron Mark mumbled the F-word, and the sign language interpreter translated it as a middle finger.

    And even further back, Canada's Pierre Trudeau once told a group of striking truckies to "mangez de la merde".

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Moz,

    A motorist is just a more rapid wanker, innit.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • EliotBlennerhassett,

    Swing from the futtock shrouds and tap a firkin behind the arras.

    Christhcurch • Since Jan 2010 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Sister Mary Gearchange, in reply to Emma Hart,

    See, now "lying cock sandwich" rolls off the tongue smoothly. I think that's vital for a good bit of swearing. Not in print form, mind, but when spoken. A lot of the ones you mentioned simply don't lend themselves to being used in anything other than print. And that's a shame because good swearing should be applicable in every medium to stand a good chance of enduring and becoming widespread. "Hoofwanking bunglecunt" isn't ever going to be shouted in anger without the shoutee sounding like a complete muppet, but "unmitigated arsehattery", surprisingly perhaps, can just trip-trot right on out without nary a pause.

    Since Oct 2015 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Guttersnipe.

    Since Mar 2010 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    He thinks is a wit but he is only right half of the time ....

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    He thinks is a wit but he is only right half of the time ....

    I suppose, on that basis, you could just call someone a Paul Henry...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    It has been a long time since I've spent sufficient time at Public Address! This is all genius.

    Australians have many, often localised, variations of traditional NZ terms. "Died in the Arse" is one, "Rat Fuck" another.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    The poms really are the best at coming up with creative swearwords. I mean, I like the American "douchecanoe" (I feel it should be run together), but "cockwomble" and "fuck trumpet" are so Old English in their use of assonance in the paired words. And a nice spondee for emphasis. "Douchecanoe" has the assonance as well.

    I've been particularly charmed by English swearing since I first heard someone described as a "bell-end" in a classic North London accent.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    it was banned at the Titirangi Library on the basis of RB’s bad bad language

    See, Russell tells people it’s MY fault. Lying cock-sandwich.

    And if so, what a twatcock I turned out to be! I genuinely can’t recall (and I have recently consumed too many potent craft beers to go looking) why I thought that it was Emma who had troubled the good librarians of Titirangi.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

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