Unusual Euphemism

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They're talking about screwing, right?
"I apprehended the accused and advised him of his rights. He replied, 'Why don't you ram it up your pimhole, you fusking clothprunker.'"

The characters are talking about an embarrassing issue by using a euphemism that the scriptwriters just made up.

Many Science Fiction shows make up such curse words so as not to offend Standards and Practices, probably because these expressions can pass as Future Slang.

Can sometimes even be the result of censorship: see the Bowdlerization: Film subsection.

Rather than being used to talk about an embarrassing issue, may be used to discuss something of questionable legality without attracting attention. If used to talk about one's personal body parts, the trope is I Call Him "Mister Happy".

Contrast Unusual Dysphemism. Compare to Never Say "Die", Foreign Cuss Word, Pardon My Klingon, Gosh Dang It to Heck, Curse of the Ancients, Hold Your Hippogriffs, Getting Crap Past the Radar and Informed Obscenity.

A Date with Rosie Palms attracts a lot of them. See also If You Know What I Mean. If a character interprets an innocent phrase as one of these, you have Is That What They're Calling It Now?. Intercourse with You songs and, of course, Bawdy Song ones sometimes have a lot of these.

Examples of Unusual Euphemism include:

Straight[edit | hide | hide all]

Advertising[edit | hide]

  • The referral of the product as "bath tissue" in toilet paper commercials.
  • An advert in the 1990s for the health drink Horlicks once had its participants exclaim 'horlicks!' when something went wrong.
  • Commercials for Orbit gum featured people talking in this manner after having it (e.g. "What the French toast?"), since it is advertised as "cleaning dirty mouths".
  • A commercial for Orbit gum features a woman walking in on her husband smooching his paramour—but because they're all chewing the gum that gives you a cleaner mouth, Unusual Euphemisms abound. Some of the insults slung between them are "son of a biscuit-eating bulldog!" and "you lint-licker!" In another Orbitz commerical, two male cheerleading teams have a spat, but the coach tells them to "lay off the pumpernickel!"
    • "Kiss my Madagascar fanny pack" and "I'll pineapple-slap your ascot."
    • Similarly, a commercial for another brand of gum has a woman and a man in a romantic situation. The woman purrs, "Talk dirty to me." Having just popped a stick of the gum into his mouth, he says, "Skinnamarinky-dinky-dink, skinnamarkiny-doo..." (This is a reference to the closing credits of Sharon Lois And Brams Elephant Show.)
  • Snickers chocolate bars in their "Not going anywhere for a while?" campaign. The old man had just painted the Kansas City endzone to read "Chefs", then said "Great Googly-Moogly."
    • That particular line has its origins in the Jayhawks' (Cadets') 1956 novelty song "Stranded in the Jungle", when the narrator, recalling his near-boiling experience in a cannibal tribe's cooking pot, exclaims "Great Googly-Moogly, get me outta here!"
      • The Jayhawks and Cadets are two different groups. The Jayhawks were later known as the Vibrations, and also the Marathons, who did a song called "Peanut Butter". The Jayhawks did "Stranded in the Jungle" first and had a regional West Coast hit with it, while the Cadets made the song a national hit. The Cadets were also the Jacks, who did "Why Don't You Write Me", which was originally done by the Feathers. (Confused enough yet?) In closing, the Jayhawks didn't say "Great Googly-Moogly" in the song. The Cadets did.
    • Frank Zappa also used the phrase, in his song "Nanook Rubs It".
  • Commercials for Cialis (a drug to treat erectile dysfunction) will feature a couple kissing and pawing one another. It will later cut to the couple sitting in separate bathtubs, usually in an outside scene. It may be the most unusual euphemism of them all, since no one seems to be able to figure out how this motif relates to sex.
    • A competing product, Enzyte, featured ads rife with wink-wink euphemisms such as: "He is a stiff negotiator"; "He is wood that will not bend"; "Bob is swelling with pride"; etc.
  • An ad for Oreo Fudge Cremes has a family sampling the cookies and being moved to such exclamations as "Shut the front door!", "Mah Jongg!", and "Franklin Delano!"


Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • After one character in Best Student Council catches the Class President coming out of the new girl's dorm in the morning, she immediately and loudly assumes payapaya. This is helped by a visual gag of "patty-cake", but amusingly enough most of the flabbergasted cast doesn't actually know what the word is supposed to mean.
  • The Trigun fandom has adopted "Making Sandwiches" as their pet euphemism, after a scene where Milly and Wolfwood are discussing sharing Millie's freshly made lunch, then immediately following that up with a shirtless Wolfwood staring out a window, and an obviously naked Millie asleep in the background.
  • The inhabitants of Amazon Lily have a tendency to use the world "jewels" to refer to testicles, best seen with their interaction with Luffy
  • The Macross franchise features a multipurpose euphemism in "Deculture", borrowed from Zentraedi slang, generally meaning anything from "amazing!" to "disgusting".
    • It's more like "Oh god!", as the Zentradi fall in love with Earth Culture, hence the "Culture" in "Deculture".
      • Seeing men and women together in Macross: Do You Remember Love? caused an astonished Zentraedi to remark "Yakh... yakh deculture!"
  • One episode of Sailor Moon had Makoto (Sailor Jupiter) argue that she was best suited for the main role in a school play, because she had the largest breasts. When it was translated for American broadcasting, she instead claimed to have the greatest talent. However, there was no way for them to remove the rather unambiguous gesture that accompanied the line and its original meaning. Since then, SM fans enjoy using the word 'talent' and 'being talented' for... well, having large breasts.
    • Predated by Joe-bob Briggs' use of the term (and probably long before that) to describe B-Movie actresses who were hired for their "two enormous talents".
    • Another unusual euphemism for Sailor Moon: Haruka (Sailor Uranus) and Michiru (Sailor Neptune) were lesbians in the original Japanese anime and manga. But in Cloverway's English dub, they became "cousins."
  • In episode 5 of Strike Witches, the seemingly innocent protagonist Yoshika has a very... interesting dream about her best friend in the Strike Witches. Her best friend misinterprets her trying to explain her dream as 'flying in formation with her'. Yoshika is about to correct her and say "No, 'perverted misconduct'" but quickly sees the writing on the wall and substitutes "Y... yeah, 'flying in formation'. That's it exactly." The pun being that the words Yoshika used to describe it can also be heard as 'flying in formation', and it took her a second to catch on.
  • The comical Nosebleed, a very common sight in anime and manga is in fact an Unusual Euphemism. See the entry for more details.
  • The title of FLCL. Throughout the series, these four (intentionally) ill-defined syllables are used throughout the series to refer to, among God only knows what, sexual acts. This has lead viewers to (falsely) believe it to be an onomatopoetic Japanese expression referring to breast fondling.
    • That mistake isn't unwarented. In the first episode's manga page interlude, Naota's grandfather hears "furi kuri" and mistakes it for "kuri kuri," which is the actual onomotopeia for... well, he calls it dough kneading.
  • In Texhnolyze the euphemism for a gang-war is Matsuri, which is Japanese for "Festival", though the offical translation calls it a "Spectacle". Its purpose is mainly to demonstrate how people in the show feel about violence as a way to solve problems.
  • In the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni water-park episode, Rena really wants to see Keiichi's cute "sea bear".
  • Kikaider gave us "fixing your arm"...
  • In the Naruto censored/TV version dub, due to censoring they referred to Lee while in a drunken state as being "loopy", yet the "magical elixir" sounds similar to an euphemism.
    • They never called it "magical," and "elixir" is already a euphemism for alcohol. It's also a euphemism for "magic" potions, though, so they probably chose that for the benefit of young watchers. "Loopy" was probably used because there's no child-friendly term for "drunk out of his head." Things like this are why some people prefer fansubs, but let's not get into that argument here.
    • When Shikamaru looks through a bingo book of the Akatsuki members and becomes tired of it, he exclaims "What a pack of wolves!"
  • The famous Monty Python and the Holy Grail 'tracts of land' euphemism is carried over into Axis Powers Hetalia- Ukraine's Gag Boobs are often referred to as her 'huge tracts of land'. Including in canon, by her brother. Which is funny, because Ukraine does have 'large tracts of land' in Real Life.
    • And let's not forget the claiming of "Vital Regions". Made significantly worse in the show (both sub and dub) when Prussia's invasion of Silesia is referred to as an invasion of Austria's "little happy place".
    • To "pull a Turkey" is to hold in your pee. Don't ask.
  • HAPPY END has become a euphemism in Mirai Nikki, especially after Yuno actually got hers
  • Considered how Nanoha has to almost vaporize people with her magic, who later become her friends, befriended has gained a completely new meaning in the fandom. As seen on the page:
befriend (v.): to use mecha-class beam weaponry to inflict grievous bodily harm on a target in the process of proving the validity of your belief system.
—From a post on rpg.net
  • Toradora! has Ryuuji and Minori using the ability to see ghosts as a euphemism for love. It actually makes sense; Minori is saying that's she's never seen a ghost, but she still believes in them, and she's not sure what to think when other people say they've seen one.
  • Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai gave us "Living dutch wife!".
  • When Hinata Aki of Keroro Gunso finally appeared in a swimsuit, only one word could be used to describe her... assets. "Dynamite!"
    • This isn't that odd; "bakuretsu", or "explosive", is often used in this context in Japanese, and that's a fairly good English equivalent.
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler, the Yakuza who are initially after Hayate (after his parents sold his organs to them to pay off their gambling debts) are constantly refered to as "the Very Nice Men".
  • "It really gets on my tits that she wouldn't see us in person!"
  • I will be short, "Time for a breather." The funny thing is the one usually saying this also has quite the talent, among other things.
  • In the series DearS, the Lady Killer of the series often asks if the woman with him would like some Coffee. How the situation is (like how the girl is getting dressed in the background) strongly suggest this is a euphemism for sex.
    • That's a typical Japanese euphemism - in the evening, invite somebody home for "morning coffee," and as long as we're waiting for morning... Played with in Miami Guns, where the invitation is made and in the next scene we see him at the coffee maker, with a can labelled "Morning Coffee" (which apparently wasn't up to her usual standard).
  • One episode of Yu Yu Hakusho had Yusuke fighting what appeared at first to be a female demon. When Kuwabara complained that Yusuke was being too rough, he explained that, in the course of the fight, he learned that his opponent was actually crossdressing. The Japanese had him put it as the demon having "something downstairs", but the dub gives us this wild variation.

Yusuke: The family jewels have not been stolen.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • In Marvel Comics' 2099 universe, the standard epithet is "shock".
    • Which led to a hilarious adaptation in Italian where "razzo" (rocket), was used instead of "cazzo" (cock, an actual Italian interjection used in similar way to the English "crap!")...nobody was able to see Marvel 2099 characters ejaculating "Rocket!" in front of flabbergasting or intense situation with a straight face.
    • Spider-Man 2099 writer Peter David said he had considered introducing "shuck" as another futuristic epithet, on the grounds that it was a combination of "shit" and "fuck".
  • In Jhonen Vasquez's Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Johnny C. sometimes says "Fook!", though he usually just uses the plain ol' F-Bomb.
  • In the series PS238 about a secret school for the super-powered offspring of heroes/villains, an aspiring young Super Villain named Zodon has all his swear words replaced by random words, due to a chip implanted in his giant-brained head. Before that, his cussing was represented by the usual string of punctuation.

Zodon: What the Gumball did you do to me, you Windshield?!
Herschel: I just gave you what I call a "Barry Ween" chip. We can shut it off if you learn to tone down the cussing, and it'll dissolve completely when you turn 18.
Zodon: You Flower Garden, I'll Fox Trot all over your Drinking Fountain! Umbrella! Crunchberries! Cordless Telephone!

    • And if he gets really upset and starts swearing non-stop, the chip causes him to sing show tunes.
  • And in Aaron Williams' earlier comic work Nodwick, there was a short story arc about marketing the hottest new swear word - KRUTZ! It's because two necromancers need a word of power said more times than they can hope to themselves in any reasonable amount of time.
  • Judge Dredd often shouts "Stom!", "Grud" and "Drokk!".
    • "Grud" is a Mega-City corruption of 'God'. The Vatican, which is a police state equivalent to a Catholic Mega-City, sort-of worships him, although the majority of high-ranking members of the Vatican's establishment seem to not care either way.
    • Now that 2000AD (Judge Dredd's parent comic) isn't exclusively aimed at children, real swearing has started to creep in, though it's still peppered with the odd Drokk every now and then for good measure.
  • Sinister Dexter, another Two Thousand AD comic, presents "funt" as the curse of choice in the future pan-European city of Downlode. No definition is ever given, and, aside from the obvious variations such as "funting", several more unsual forms appear, such as "smugfunt" and "funtwipe", further enhancing the ambiguity of the word. Given the often tongue-in-cheek nature of the series, it is likely that this is, at least in part, a nod to similar practices in other sources, particularly earlier 2000AD strips.
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes comic had a variety of alternate swear words, including "Pain in the klordny", which an editor translated as "neck" when challenged on it. Why "pain in the neck" would need a euphemism was unanswered, and later usage included "get off your klordny"... There was also a completely unexplained "klordny week" holiday/festival... which is probably better not thought about much.
    • Most of them are used inconsistently. "Sprock" usually means what it ends like, but "Sprock happens" once appeared. "Grife" appears to be the name of a deity - never used except as a curse. And on occasion, curses from other universes are used (Oh, frak.")
    • At one point the frequency of futuristic swear words was lampshaded in a fictional interview with the Legion's police liaison, who commented that those kids had the filthiest mouths she'd ever heard.
  • Lobo's all-purpose curses are "frag" (a real term for killing with shrapnel) and "bastich".
    • Bastich (or bastiche if you're feeling highbrow) is a combination of Bastard and Bitch generated out of necessity: When encountering as many alien species as The Main Man, one cannot always be sure of the gender of the person one is insulting.
      • Can't "bastard" apply to both men and women?
        • Yes, but in common, modern-day usage, it's almost always used to refer to a man.
  • Genis, the title character of Peter David's Captain Marvel series, used the expletive "grozit". This must be Peter David's personal favorite: it's also used by Catalina (who is from Saturn's moon Titan, just like Genis) in the kid's show Space Cases, which David co created, and by Mackenzie Calhoun from his Star Trek: New Frontier book series.
    • In a Peter David-penned Hulk series, "flark" was used as a Future Slang f-bomb; later, Genis's own circle of friends began using it in the present as alien slang.
  • Averted in Madman, in which the titular character is unable to curse due to an unknown issue.
  • Captain Haddock from Tintin used a variety of very creative oaths, mostly variations on "Blistering barnacles!" and "Thundering typhoons!" There's actually a list of them here. ("Bashi-bazouks!" "Lubberscum!" "Coelacanth!" "Diplodocus!") The ultimate would probably be "Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon!"
    • or: -in ten thousand thundering typhoons!'
    • Let's not forget Rastapopoulos, who would use curse words that generally looked like they were produced by bashing randomly on a keyboard. The word "MDJRK!" appeared at one point.
    • Tintin himself was prone to shout "Great Snakes!" while Thomson and Thompson sometimes used "Scotland Yard!" as an exclamation.
  • Kl'lrt the Super-Skrull did, in his miniseries, use such expletives as "Son of a Sch'mag!"
  • The phenomenon of female robots aside, a truly Unusual Euphemism shows up in GI Joe vs. the Transformers: The Art of War, where Bumblebee races against Arcee.

Bumblebee: Hey Arcee, if I win, you owe me a kiss!
Arcee: Please. If you can beat me, I'll rotate your tires.
Bumblebee: ...WOOO-HOOO!

  • A brief conversation in Nextwave between Elsa Bloodstone and The Captain:

Elsa: What was your superhero name?
Captain: Captain ☠☠☠☠.
Elsa: You're kidding me.
Captain: Nope. I was Captain ☠☠☠☠.
Elsa: Why, for God's sake?
Captain: Hey, I'm from Brooklyn. I'm gonna call myself Mr. Friendly? Hell no. Captain ☠☠☠☠. I met Captain America once. He asked my what my name was.
Elsa: And you said Captain ☠☠☠☠.
Captain: Man he beat seven shades of it out of me. Left me in a dumpster with a bar of soap shoved in my mouth.

  • In some of Disney's Scamp comics, Scamp tends to use words relating to cats in place of expletives.

Tramp: For causing me all that trouble, you're going to sit in the corner while I nap!
Scamp: Oh, cat!

  • A faerie in Sandman mutters "Iron nails!" under his breath.
    • Which actually is a real life minced oath in Sweden.
  • Another 2000 AD example, Shakara, features 'frukk', as in "Oh, frukk!" and "Get that frukker!"
  • Strontium Dog initially used Dok for God. When is moved over to 2000 AD, it started using the same curses as Judge Dredd.
    • With one notable exception--Strontium Dog has "Sneck" as its "Fuck" Equivalent.
    • A number of early Dredd stories also used Dok.
  • In Orc Stain the eponymous race are rather proud of their gronches.


Fan Fiction[edit | hide]

  • A recent and absolutely hilarious Stargate Atlantis fic came up with "ice farmer" as an Alien Euphemism for "gay," leading to a particularly wonderful example of Metaphorgotten. ("If the ice wanted to be farmed...")
  • There is a fic with lines from Jabberwocky used as dirty talk during a BDSM sex scene. The girl (who was unfamiliar with the poem) was freaking out.
  • A Torchwood fic once referred to sperm as "cheap white carbohydrates." Made even worse when in context the author easily could have meant bed sheets, and out of context, white bread could be assumed. And ejaculate is more protein than carbs anyway.
  • Stormbenders, an Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic, uses the term "pearl diving". When a man asks a woman if she would like to participate, it has nothing to do with oysters.
    • Incidentally, the town that the main characters reside in is called "Oyster District"; this term gives the town name a whole new meaning.
  • A particular (pre-clonebomb) fanfic somewhere in the Homestuck fandom has Jade decide that "tangle buddies" is an appropriate name for nervous interlacing of fingers, which then gets seized on for some reason as a euphemism.

"Kohlrabi freakin' slaw salad with hoisin-sauced duck!"
Who knew food could sound so much like profanity?

  • In the fourth year of the Dangerverse Draco Black refers to kissing Luna as "transferring luck."
    • Leading to the priceless moment where Hermione and Danger team up on Draco:

Draco: Luna had to go to a custody hearing when her mum died, and hers came out all right. So she was transferring some of her luck to me, for tomorrow.
Hermione: "I never knew luck was another word for spit."
Beat
Danger: "Really, Hermione. I wanted to say that."

  • A Kim Possible fic has this, "Drakken's face was pressed into Warmonga's huge tracts of land."
    • The same fic also mentions that her "quarlaps" were getting very warm.
  • The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle gave us the somewhat memorable statement that using magic with an antimagic collar apparently "hurts like an applebucker". Admittedly, given that "apple-bucking" in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic consists of kicking a tree hard enough to rattle all the apples out of it in one blow, it seems reasonable that being bucked would indeed hurt a lot.
  • In the Mega Crossover fancomic Roommates Erik swears almost entirely in musical terms. What. The. Forte.
  • Corwin Ravenhair from Undocumented Features tends to use "slag" as an all-purpose epithet, especially in his youth. Which makes a kind of sense, as he's the son of the Goddess of Technology, and slag is the waste product generated by refining ores. Also, as UF is a Mega Crossover Space Opera which incorporates the Transformers as a major race on the Galactic scene, it's possible the expletive comes from them.


Film[edit | hide]

  • In Anchorman Ron Burgundy does this quite a bit, at one point saying "Son of a beesting" and, more oddly, things like "Great Odin's Raven!" or "Knights of Columbus, that hurt!"
  • In Galaxy Quest just before Jason and Gwen are forced to go through the Chompers? She says "screw", but it's obvious she's saying something else...
  • In Alien Nation, the aliens use the term "sykes", which is later revealed to translate as "excrement cranium". Coincidentally, the main human character is named Sykes...
  • Annie Wilkes, the insane villain from the film (and novel) Misery, replaces all swear words in her vocabulary with childishly bizarre words or phrases such as 'cock-a-doodie' or 'dirty birdie.'
  • Seen early on in Almost Famous: Anita tells her mother to "Feck off"; when their mother reacts as to the actual swear, William (eleven years old at this point) comments that she said "feck". "What's the difference?" "The letter "U".
  • In One Fine Day, George Clooney's character does this in order to discuss romance with his psychiatrist in front of his young daughter, leading to lines like, "I just want to find a fish who isn't afraid of my dark chocolate layer... and of course she'd have to love my cookie too."
    • Perhaps lampshaded when it doesn't work. When talking about a woman in whom he is not really interested, the daughter later explains to the love interest that "He wants a fish who'll love his cookie, and she's not the type."
  • W.C. Fields movies. Fields was the grandfather of this trope, since he wrote his own movie screenplays under bizarre pseudonyms. Phrases like "Godfrey Daniels!" littered his movies so that he could get around the censors of the day.
  • In Splash, the tour guide who first sees the naked Madison shouts "Bocce Balls!"
  • Johnny Dangerously. Romon Maroni is a Sir Swearsalot who delivers Cluster F Bombs that are entirely composed of unusual euphamisms such as "cork-soakers," "farging" "somanumbatches" and "icehole." Everyone reacts as if he's swearing profusely.
  • In the first Spy Kids movie, Carmen reacts in dismay in one scene with "Oh shiiiiiiiiiitake mushrooms." Also done in the sequel. "You are so full of..."
  • Idiocracy. Since most businesses have been converted into brothels, whatever their previous product was, is now used as a euphemism for sexual acts. For example, in Starbucks lattes are really handjobs and H&R Block now has "adult" tax returns.
  • In one of the more famous examples that has since passed into common usage, the king of Swamp Castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail makes repeated reference to his son's fiance's "huge...tracts of land". Amusingly enough, he meant it literally at first (this being the reason he arranged the marriage in the first place), then began using the phrase euphemistically while expounding on her other...* ahem* ...assets.
    • This euphemism is carried over into Axis Powers Hetalia- Ukraine's Gag Boobs are often referred to (even in canon) as her 'tracts of land'.
  • Sex Drive has "visiting my grandma" as a euphemism for having sex.
    • Incidentally, this is also a Shout-Out to a skit in The State, in which a character mentions visiting his grandma, his tablemates tease him by suggesting that he has sex with her, and then he coolly admits it.
  • In the clean, nice Utopia of 2032 in Demolition Man, you get a 1 credit fine for swearing, so people use 50s era euphemisms like "Jeese louise" and "jeepers"; the main character uses this to his advantage—when he's unable to figure out how to operate the 'modern' toilets of 2032, he stands beside the nearest microphone and swears a blue streak at it until he has enough swearing tickets to use in the washroom.
  • Somewhat averted in Baron Munchhausen when the group are on the moon, and the queen (just her floating head) comes to save the Baron and friends from the cage. All the while, she is moaning and making odd noises. The girl (Sally?) asks what's wrong with her, to which the Baron replies "the king is...tickling her feet". Strangely enough, it soon cuts to the king and the queen, in bed, under the covers...and it turns out he IS in fact tickling her feet...
  • Pineapple Express:

Dale: I'm sorry, that sounded really mean... just to hear that, that sounded really mean.
Saul: No, I see. The monkey's out of the bottle now!
Dale: What? That's not even... a figure of speech.
Saul: Pandora can't go back into the box - he only comes out.

  • In Om Shanti Om Om Kapoor frequently yells "Fish!" instead of the more obvious alternative.
  • The original version of Bulletproof Monk was rated R, when they revised the film to PG 13, they were forced to rename the character to Mr/FUN Ktastic as opposed to his original, more obscene moniker. The other result of this is that to avoid makeup costs, they simply glued a large gold chain to his chest to cover up his now un-PC tattoo.
  • Cats and Dogs had one of the canines exclaim "Son of my Mother!" for a Parental Bonus.
  • Used for an Overly Long Gag in Carry On Dick (1974) where the others are repeatedly trying to explain to a reverend that the only known fact about highwayman Dick Turpin is that he has a big (bleep). The Reverend's reply would indicate that an Unusual Euphemism had been used, and that he was Comically Missing the Point; e.g. "I cannot believe it's Jake the Woodcutter, for he's the only one around here with a big chopper!" To be fair; the Reverend's replies were probably a case of Obfuscating Stupidity since he was Dick Turpin.
  • The antagonist of the Marx Brothers movie Room Service is fond of "jumping butterballs".
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
    • "Applesauce!" This is coming from Baby Herman, an old-timer in a toon baby's body. He uses euphemisms a few times in the movie. To be fair, "applesauce" was a common explicative in the twenties, used to denote frustration or disbelief, the way Herman used it.

Baby Herman: My problem is I got a 50-year-old lust and a 3-year-old dinky.
(Later in the same scene.)
Baby Herman: The paper said Acme had no will. That's a load o' succotash.

    • A subversion- it's obvious what is meant by Jessica and Marvin Acme "playing patty-cake They are really playing patty-cake
  • A young Thora Birch brought us "yabbos" as a completely unbelievable euphemism for breasts in Hocus Pocus.
  • In Fantastic Mr. Fox, all swear words are efficiently replaced with "cuss". People in the audience who catch on shouldn't have any trouble deciphering the uses of "cluster-cuss" and "cussin' with their heads", for example. In the background of one scene, "CUSS" is written in graffiti on a wall.
  • A memorable example occurs in Labyrinth, when Sarah uses her lipstick to mark a tile on the ground while finding her way through the maze. As she leaves, a little goblin pushes the tile up, cusses angrily in gibberish, and ends with the colorful "Your mother is a fraggin ardvark!" before flipping the tile around and slamming it shut. Or something of the sort.
  • Used in the 1994 movie Threesome when a character reveals what he has found out about the main character.

Stuart: Eddie is a proud homeowner. A homeboy. Homo Erectus... A fag.

  • In Caddyshack the famous final line by Rodney Dangerfield was "Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid." In television it's changed to, "Hey everybody, let's all take a shower," which doesn't sound like ANYTHING Czervik would say.
  • The on the Quotes page from The Lonely Guy is a subversion in which Steve Martin's character is writing a romance novel. It's supposed to illustrate how awkward he is at romance in general.
  • A Christmas Story,
    • When Ralphie's father is fighting with the furnace, or about anything else, he utters a string of jibberish which could sound like curses. Evidently, they listened to those bits over and over, slowed down and speeded up, to make sure there weren't any dirty words sounded out by mistake or otherwise.
    • Ralphie says, "Oh fudddddddddddddge!" when he drops the lugnuts. The narration makes it clear that he didn't really say "fudge," but the "eff dash dash dash" word.
  • In The Tinkerbell Series much strange fairy slang is used. Including, but not limited to: "Who gives a pile of pebbles?", "Flitterific!", "Splinters!", "Teetering Teapots!", "By the second star!". And from the book: "Fly with you", "I'd fly backwards if I could" and the popular slur for humans: "Clumsies."
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You:

Kat: Well, now that I've shown you The Plan, I'm gonna go and show The Plan to someone else.

    • When asked later by Patrick how she distracted the teacher, she replies that she dazzled him with her "Wits".
    • There's also the brilliant TV-edited "the squid hath hitteth the fan."
  • Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory gives us "coming of age", which seems to have something to do with lying. The insane vagueness of the phrase allows the Incognito Cinema Warriors XP crew to have a field day sliding it into different contexts.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve has no idea what "fondue" is and thinks it's got some kind of dirty meaning in French.
  • In Spartacus, Depraved Bisexual Crassus indicates his interest in his slave Antoninus by means of a metaphor involving oysters and snails. Antoninus gets the point...and runs off to join Spartacus's slave rebellion.
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy
    • Ford exclaims "Oh Belgium!" at one point while under fire from the Vogons. This is a nod to the American version of the book, in which Belgium is mentioned to be a strong swear word everywhere except Earth.
    • Also played with when Zaphod is running around, yelling "Hummakavula!" Once the group meets the character, Arthur says, "So that's Hummakavula. I thought [Zaphod] was just swearing."


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    • In the original radio play and the American version of Life, the Universe, and Everything, the word "Belgium" is recognized everywhere in the Universe except on a certain Insignificant Little Blue Planet as such a rude word that it's only used in serious screenplays (one character has an award for Most Gratuitous Use of "Belgium" in a Serious Screenplay). The UK version of the book simply used "Fuck", but the "Belgium" joke seems to be more popular with many readers. For the same reason, the American edition of Life, the Universe, and Everything borrowed "swut" from the radio series, and changed an insult for Arthur Dent from "arsehole" to "kneebiter" (again, some readers prefer the latter).
    • The name of The Great Prophet Zarquon is also taken in vain occasionally. The term "zark", used in similar contexts as "fuck" (e.g. "zarking", "zark off"), was said by Douglas Adams to have been derived from this.
    • "Photon" and "dingo's kidneys" (occasionally "flying dingo's kidneys" were also used for swearing, mostly by Zaphod in the radio series.
  • The Warhammer 40,000 Gaunt's Ghosts novels have Tanith characters use the terms "feth" and "fething". The word Feth actually refers to a tree spirit, but is used in all contexts exactly like another four-letter word beginning with F, even to the point that anti-tank rocket launchers are nicknamed "tread-fethers" - although, as Gaunt tells an Inquisitor in Ghostmaker, apparently not the sexual connotations. The newer recruits from Verghast use "gak", and it's said that Gaunt knows the regiment has knit together when the two groups start using each others' swearwords. Other novels include such gems as "kec" and "nink", along with appropriated terms such as "frag" and "frakk". It seems that every world in the Imperium has its own unique curse of choice.
    • "Frak" is used in the Ciaphas Cain books, as a deliberate shoutout.
    • The Imperium as a whole has a variety of other phrases, largely replacing religiously-inclined curses, Including oaths such as "Emperor on Earth", a variety involving the word "Throne" ("Throne Damn It", "Golden Throne!" and so on), and the best of all: "Emperor's Bowels!"
  • The use of Unusual Euphemisms in Science Fiction dates back at least as far as the 1930s, where the galaxy-spanning heroes of E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman saga were prone to swearing by the iridium intestines, carballoy claws, and other metallic body-parts of the "spaceman's god", Klono—making this Older Than Television, and an integral part of the Space Opera subgenre since its genesis.
    • Indeed, Klono is popular among spacemen because of his plethora of adjectival bodyparts, making it easy to swear by him.
    • Smith wasn't above swiping from Yiddish - Kim Kinnison once accuses Nadreck of just sitting around on his "spiny tokus" (= tucchus = rump - if Nadreck actually has such a thing, being a 4th-dimensional Palainian....)
  • The Doctor Who Virgin Publishing Expanded Universe novels had the term "cruk". In one book a character from the mid-21st century claims it's from a kids' TV series and means "tired", but the Doctor says that by the 24th century (where his companions picked it up) it means "something very rude indeed".
    • The novels were also fond of using "spack" as a multi-purpose cussword. It actually derived from a fluffed line in the original series story "Destiny of the Daleks" where, trying to say "Stay back" or "Back off", the Doctor ends up shouting "Spack off!" to some Daleks. In the early days of the novels series, real-life words were used. Repeatedly. To the point where the BBC stepped in and told them they weren't allowed to use the F-bomb any more, or they'd lose their license. (Later on, they did lose it.)
    • In the Eighth Doctor Adventures, this exchange occurs, and makes you glad the TV series uses "dancing":

[Sam, speaking about the Eighth Doctor] ‘This was not some moony little teenage crush. This is a real live want-to-throw-him-on-the-floor-and-shag-him-till-bits-break-off kind of problem. All right?’
[...]
‘So why didn’t you?’ said Paul.
‘Why didn’t I what?’ said Sam, locked in battle with her shoelaces.
‘Break bits off him.’

  • Star Wars mostly stuck to "damn" and "hell", at least from the human characters, but the Star Wars Expanded Universe features a wide variety of made-up profanity. Some of it is a thinly disguised substitute for real-world swearing, such as "shavit" in which the middle two letters might as well not be there. The word "kriff" (invented by Timothy Zahn in one of the better EU novels) seems to be used as a substitute for "fuck" in all its contexts, especially on some of the stricter Star Wars fan forums that don't allow Earth-based expletives. One site doesn't even allow initialisms that suggest the word "fuck", as a result of which such terms as WTK, KUBAR and SNAKU are widely used and understood. Unfortunately, which words each character uses is one of the many things authors don't share with each other, so there are a lot which only come up in a particular book or series, which implies that specific swear words spread, meme-like, and are replaced over a very short period of time.
    • His more recent story Allegiance, by virtue of being about a bunch of navy men and pirates, is littered with all kinds of krinking swears. It's a bit strange to hear Han Solo "swearing" in front of Leia like that. Zahn also uses "fusst," and has a stormtrooper wondering "What in the worlds?"
    • Let's not forget Leia famously calling Han Solo a 'scruffy looking nerf herder'. Wookiepedia explains it. They are unpleasant beasts indeed.
    • In the X Wing Series in particular, various uses of the word "sith" are popular as well, sithspit, sithspawn, son of a Sith, the whole sithing gamut. Made more confusing because "Sithspawn" also applies to various monsters created by the Force. Weirdly, it never gets applied to Luke or Leia, although it would be entirely appropriate.
      • Possibly because they were conceived before Anakin actually turned and he'd been redeemed by the time everyone found out. If what's been said about Darth Plagueis and Shmi Skywalker is true, though...
      • A line in I, Jedi indicates that the Skywalkers tend to keep their heritage secret, for reasons that should be fairly obvious.
      • Kyle Katarn, of the Dark Forces games, is fond of "Aw, sithspit..." And it works.
    • "Spast" is a fun one but "stang" is one of the oldest ones, showing up VERY early on, as a popular Alderaanian swear word. "Mudcrutch" is popular too, for "bastard" or such words, and "Kath hound", a Star Wars-universe animal, works for "bitch". "Kark" seems to be another substitute for various curses, and was notably used more in the Old Republic. e.g.: "Kark on you, Jedi," and "We're karked!" We've also got "scragged" and the rather inexplicable modifier "milking", as in "We're milking scragged!"
      • The Huttese term "E chu ta" was invented for the Star Wars universe, and is actually used by a protocol droid on Cloud City at C-3P0, who responds aghast "How rude!" I think it was Ben Burtt who created it, but I may be wrong. Considering the context it is used in, and the way it is described by the creator, the most likely translation for it would be "Fuck you".
    • Perhaps inevitably, "frak" has made its way into the Star Wars universe, apparently courtesy of Michael Kube-McDowell who uses it in the Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy.
    • There's also "rodder" (Kriffin' rodders!), and the decidedly hilarious "lube" (He got lubbed!). There was also another from the Dark Nest books which was an obvious stand-in for "fuck", since there was a whole "Mommy, what does mean?" bit between Mara and young Ben.
    • Karen Traviss once condemned about half of the existing swear words - all the ones that get said as an expression of surprise - including "Stang" and "Bloah", claiming that all real profanities had to be sharp-sounding and easy to say! Like "fierfek" and "di'kut". ...People paid about as much attention as you'd expect.
    • In the Star Wars Legacy comics, scribe John Ostrander had a torrent of Unusual Euphemisms coming from the mouths of Cade Skywalker and his bounty hunter crew—including "Noi Jitat", and posibly other Shout Outs to Pirates of Dark Water.
    • Then there are the HILARIOUS euphemisms for sex. In The Courtship of Princess Leia, Han says how in Luke's position, he'd have those girls riding his rancor. Which is all well and good, and typical Han, but one of them just used the Force to rape Luke. Surprisingly, this is one of the protagonists.
    • For the complete list, see here.
    • Troy Denning is apparently slowly trying to insert real-life profanity into the EU; "bugslut", anyone?
    • Matt Stover has Han mock unusual euphemisms in Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, apparently unaware that Han has said more awkward things than "By the Emperor's Black Bones!" before.
    • "Poodoo!" seems to be a common profanity in the Star Wars Universe, and although it is translated as "fodder" in the movie subtitles, I'm sure we can all guess what it really means.
  • In Bruce Coville's My Teacher... science fiction series, one of the characters is implanted with a Universal Translator that can interpret every word, gesture or inflection that the various alien characters use to communicate. However, an alien named Kreeblim is known to use the word "plevit", which his translator has no English equivalent for, and which is implied to be incredibly rude.
  • In some Larry Niven stories, the characters use "TANJ", which stands for "There Ain't No Justice". There may also be an occasional TANSTAAFL.
    • Tanj is very frequently used in situations where the context makes no sense, thus making the word very distracting and detracting from the text.
    • In others, the characters curse - and mean it! - by using the literal words censored and bleep. Apparently, the media of his universe had never relaxed the censorship that ours started with, and the replacement words stuck.
      • This is lampshaded in the novella The Defenseless Dead when one character explains that 'censor' and 'bleep' were originally euphemisms for words which they wouldn't let you use, and not actual expletives. It's also pointed out that 'damn' was originally "a technical term in theology".
      • It might also help that a good amount of his fiction is between people who colonized various places, and "censored" and "bleep" would certainly spare the inevitable "But what does that mean?"s that using their home's Unusual Euphemisms would result in. If you can't guess then, you're kinda sad.
    • His characters have also invoked Finagle in their curses fairly frequently. Also, in his Ringworld series of novels, the denizens of said ring have "flup" as a curse, which actually refers to seabottom ooze.
      • It's not terribly unusual if your familiar with Finagle's Law "Anything that can go wrong, will--at the worst possible moment".
  • Literary/film example: The first time we ever see Hermione in the film of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, she says "Holy cricket, you're Harry Potter!" A more direct example would be the insult "Mudblood", relating to pureness of blood, which seems to be analogous to a racial slur and is considered very offensive in the Wizarding World. Another way this is avoided is to have a character's dialog stated indirectly in the narrator's voice—as in, "Ron cursed loudly."
    • The online fanseries "Potter Puppet Pals" plays on this trope.
    • Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows has Hermione shouting the wonderful expletive "Merlin's Pants!" There's also "Merlin's most baggy Y-fronts!" They're both Lampshades on one of the more common Unusual Euphemisms, Merlin's beard.
      • "Merlin's saggy left--", on the other hand...
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix gives us "galloping gargoyles!"
    • Don't forget Moony's "furry little problem", as James called it.
    • In one memorable chapter Ron stubs his toe and exclaims "Suck an ELF!"
  • Robert Anton Wilson, in his late-1980s Schrödinger's Cat novels, used the names of the then-current political figures and feminists in place of various more explicit words, turning what might have been seen as dirty language for the sake of dirty language into a masterful piece of political satire. Thus, breasts are referred to as (Susan) Brownmillers, orgasm as (Kate) Millett, and excrement as (Warren) Burger (this last is particularly hilarious in a gag involving a chain letter about fertilizing your lawn by getting strangers to Burger on it).
    • This one originated with Gore Vidal's Myron. In the original version of the book, Vidal replaces all the swear words with the names of Supreme Court Justices who had just voted in favour of some pro-censorship measure or other. So we have Burger = bugger, Father Hill = tit, Rehnquist = dick and so on.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels have several of these. Some examples:
    • "Seamstress" has become an Unusual Euphemism for "prostitute" in Ankh-Morpork ("They call themselves 'seamstresses'... hem-hem!"). This often leads to confusion, and as such actual seamstresses are in short supply in the city.
    • In Guards Guards, a nervous Fred Colon remarks "I'll be mogadored!" when he spots Errol the swamp dragon and thinks Captain Vimes has captured the noble dragon that's been terrorizing the city. Said phrase is later used in Maskerade, when Nanny Ogg is so flabbergasted at the sight of Granny Weatherwax dolled up for the opera, "I'll be mogadored!" is the only oath she can think of.
    • The Truth contains an example which is also a Running Gag complete with its own Lampshade. The thug Mr Tulip uses the swearword "--ing" in every sentence. As in, "A --ing werewolf? Are you --ing crazy?" At one point, this prompts another character to wonder how he manages to pronounce the dash. Later in the book, the very prim and proper Sacharissa ends up threatening a character with a gun and the words, "Let us use your 'ing' presses or I'll 'ing' shoot your 'ing' head 'ing' off!" - adding, "I think that's how you're supposed to say it, isn't it?" (Followed on the next page by, "What a silly girl I am. 'Ing'. I feel so much better for saying that, you know? 'Ing'. 'Inginginginginginging'. I wonder what it means?") Strangely, other characters' replies at various points only make sense if he is using an actual swearword.
      • Apparently he has a "speech impediment".
    • Combining "Plonker" with "todger" gives us the term "tonker", originally supposed to be dwarfish, but now firmly entrenched in Morporkian, much as certain Yiddish terms found their way into Cockney.
    • In Guards Guards, a cult leader has his underlings swear an oath of loyalty, on pain of, among other things, being "strung up by one's figgin". None of them even ask what a "figgin" is.
    • A somewhat weird example occurs in The Last Continent, where the Chair of Indefinite Studies expresses the opinion that bridge would work better for procreation than sex. When reminded that this would need at least four people, he suggests croquet instead, and states that he has indeed "enjoyed a quiet knock-about all by [him]self." Cue slow edging away from the Chair.
    • In Monstrous Regiment, the protagonist's use of a pair of rolled-up socks to give her the appearance of a "package" leads to a Running Gag of various sock-related euphemisms for the male groin.
    • Various characters are described as going "librarian poo". The Librarian of Unseen University is an orangutan (an ape).
    • The Tiffany Aching books are usually preluded by a short glossary of Nac Mac Feegle terms, compiled by a rather prim and proper witch. As a result, the entry for "pished" reads: "I am assured that this means tired."
    • In Thief of Time, the Auditors starts out using curse words like "Discord!" and "Confusion!", but feels the need for something... coarser. Hence: "Do as I say, you organic organ!"
    • Interesting Times uses "complicated pictogram".
  • Anthony Buckeridge's Jennings schoolboys swear very politely. "Fossilized Fish-hooks!" and the like.
    • This was done to avoid the language in the stories becoming outdated. Nice try, anyway.
  • Neil T Stacey's Trespasser's will be prostituted, set about 100 years in the future, introduced the word "vampire" as a euphemism for a homosexual. Most readers interpret this as a subtle jab at Twilight fandom. This is carried over into Stacey's newer book, Kill Time or Die Trying.
  • Finn's Mister God, This Is Anna includes a tough Cockney demanding to know which of the "Sodden Baskets" in the pub has nicked his bangers and being told to "Mind yer language, there's a nipper 'ere."
  • The baddies in C. S. Lewis' That Hideous Strength use "buck" and "bucking" way too often (which makes it rather startling when someone says "infernal bitch").
  • In one of the Narnia books, a talking dog says that its kind call their puppies "boys" when they're being naughty. Another dog adds that "girls" is also used, but is shushed by the other dog because the term is considered so very rude.
  • The old Wizard in Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule swore, "Bags!".
    • This is even lampshaded in the series, when at least one character's internal dialog mentions having no idea why this is a rude thing to say.
  • In Stationery Voyagers, Stationery sex is described by some as thripping. It isn't nearly as offensive a word to them as its alternative form is to us.
    • Since male genitals are hidden behind a fold and must be revealed, and since they don't have legs to spread, both genders have to curve their bodies into "S" shapes or their genitals can't make contact.
    • It also makes them prone to hugging either left cheek to left cheek or right to right.
    • The actual "thrip" refers to their bending into the S-shape in preparation for sex, not necessarily for the sex itself. So it doesn't carry the domination and degradation connotations that the word's human counterpart term carries.
  • All of KA Applegate's series (Animorphs and Everworld, for the benefit of nonfans) use the "indirect quotation" route. Things like "Jake sat up straight and said a word you really shouldn't say in class," or merely referring to "words I won't repeat." It actually seems like a good way of compromising between actual cussing on the one hand, and the Gosh Dang It to Heck style on the other.
    • Remnants, Applegate's third junior scifi series, gets to say "jackass" and "damndest" once each, but that's it. Considering the fact that the world blew up and there's a giant sentient spaceship trying to kill them, you'd think there'd be more of this at least, but unlike the previous series, this one isn't written in the first person.
  • Similarly, this is how Bertie talks about his boisterous Aunt Dahlia's more uncouth hunting language in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories.
  • Frank Herbert's Dune, at least on one occasion, replaced the f-bomb with "floggin'". The author was perfectly happy to use other cuss words through the series, but even "flog" isn't used again for the series.
    • "Beefswelling" is used as a rather... unfortunate euphemism for "erection" in Children of Dune.
  • Characters in Isaac Asimov stories will often exclaim words such as "Space!" and "Galaxy!". Ebling Mis from Foundation and Empire was quite fond of calling things "unprintable".
    • In the novels about Elijah Baley, he uses the expletive "Jehoshaphat!"
  • Arthur Herzog's Make Us Happy is set in a computer-run utopia where the computers merged all the important swear words for simplicity. They ended up with "fusb".
  • Toward the climax of Watership Down, Bigwig tells General Woundwort 'Silflay hraka, u embleer rah'--though one could argue it's rather more Getting Crap Past the Radar, since any reader who's been paying even marginal attention to the rabbit language can easily translate it as "Eat shit, you stinking prince". Quite the Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Orson Scott Card's novella Dogwalker is full of cyberpunk-style slang, and has a character use the word "pope" to mean "penis." Later a character is described as being "smart enough to put his hands in his pockets without seeking an audience with the pope."
    • Given that Card is a member of the LDS Church, this could be seen as a Take That to Catholicism...
    • In Britain at any rate, "bishop" can be used as a euphemism for "penis" ("bashing the bishop" being one slang term for jerking off) since the bishop in a chess set looks vaguely like the organ in question. There is also at least one example of "cardinal" being used (in Aleister Crowley's Not The Life of Roger Bloxam.) Presumably Orson just took the idea to its logical conclusion...
  • The outdoor humorist Patrick McManus sometimes details adventures with his (fictional) neighbor, who calls people he dislikes "crude anatomical names." Like "elbow", or "kneecap". McManus also sometimes uses "bleep" in a humorous fashion, as in this example from his (again, fictionalized) childhood: "'Bleeping bleep of bleep!' he screamed, introducing me to that quaint phrase for the first time."
  • In the Dream Park novels by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, "drown" is now a swear-word in a California that has suffered through a particularly massive earthquake.
  • Grignr from The Eye of Argon occasionally uses "Mrifk!" as a swear word, which doesn't seem to have an English- (or any-) language equivalent. His enemies also liberally throw around the word "Slut!" with both men and women alike, for whatever reason.
    • "Mrifk" is evidently a being of some sort, given that Grignr swears "by the surly beard of Mrifk" near the beginning. Beyond that, it's unclear who or what it is.
      • I thought it was the author's cat jumping on his typewriter.
  • The Gripping Hand (The sequel to A Mote in God's Eye) by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle uses an Unusual Euphemism as a plot point. In order to prove they haven't been replaced by master-psychologist aliens (who haven't been in contact with humans in years) some characters use the recently invented curse "rape my lizard!", with the justification that profanity-evolution is essentially random, and won't be predicted by the aliens.
  • In the Artemis Fowl books, a common expletive is D'Arvit, which is revealed to be a curse that is untranslated from the fictional fairy language in order to avoid censorship.
  • In John Ringo's Council Wars series, the word "fisk" makes the obvious replacement, though it's legitimized by the fact that the series takes place roughly 2000 years in the future.
    • Given Ringo's Anvilicious use of politics in a lot of his books, that's probably as much a shot at Robert Fisk as it is an Unusual Euphemism.
    • His Into the Looking Glass series uses "maulk" for shit and "grap" for fuck, which are loan words from some friendly aliens, though the accuracy of their use is never gone into.
      • Just for the sake of completeness (and, yes, be an annoying smarty-pants showoff), those words were originally from the Prince Roger series he co-authored with David Weber. He ported them, and one of the characters, into the Into the Looking Glass series.
      • Poertena, the Pinopan armorer from Prince Roger whose characteristic tool is his "pick pocking wrench". While "pock" is his Funetik Aksent , the rest of the company adopts the term as well.
  • Tanya Huff's space marine novels Valor's Choice and The Better Part of Valor have Fuk.
    • Her "Quarter" books use "butchering" instead of the F-word, if memory serves.
  • Many of Dave Barry's newspaper columns noted that certain words in quotes were replaced with euphemisms to avoid offending family audiences. These euphemisms could be Inherently Funny Words or proper names from context, but usually they were obvious soundalikes, such as "duck shoe." Dave Barry's novels Big Trouble and Tricky Business use actual dirty words, as the author warns at the beginning of both.
    • After a column he did on Beano was left out by a couple of newspapers, he did a column on circumcision. He explained it as someone "taking hold of a guy's Oregonian and snipping his Post-Dispatch right off."
    • Upon discovering that they had named their new cigarette spokesperson "Dave," Barry wrote a column using Phillip Morris CEO Geoffrey C. Bible's name as a euphemism.
      • "Honey, the dog made Geoffrey C. Bible on the carpet again!"
  • Used in some Magic: The Gathering novels. Most notably, one minor character in The Eternal Ice uses the phrase "What the phrex?", obviously short for Phyrexia. Unlike most Unusual Euphemisms, this one was only used once. Sometimes other curses are used that refer to Phyrexia, such as "the nine hells."
    • Also, characters in Clayton Emery's novels tend to use names of cards and characters, such as "Eye of Orms-by-Gore!"
  • An amusing example in the Ripliad book Ripley Under Water. Earlier in the novel, he is looking at travel advertisements and is amused by the actual Thai island, Phuket. Later, when really angry, he thinks out loud Phuket!
    • This is actually used incorrectly in the story. It is actually pronounced 'Poo-ket', rather than like the profanity it resembles. Whether this falls in to Aversion or Subversion is up to others, and may depend on if the author knew how to pronounce it.
  • In L. Frank Baum's Oz book Ozma of Oz, the Nome King exclaims "Rocketty-ricketts!". When further vexed, "he screamed in a fury, 'Hippikaloric!' which must be a dreadful word because we don't know what it means."
  • Anne McCaffrey seems to be fond of the word "Fardling". And the common use of "shards" in her Dragonriders of Pern novels. From The Dragonlover's Guide:

By the first shell: The first Hatching is of noteworthy importance to those who revere dragonkind. They swear by the beasts and men who protect them from danger of Threadfall. Many Pernese oaths are of a similar character, in which a rider will pledge his behavior (or his disbelief) by the first Egg of Faranth's clutch (the first of the fertile queens) or by the egg of his own dragon. Expletives in the same vein depict broken or damaged eggs ("shards," "scorch the shell and sear the skin," or "shells").

    • "Through Fog, Fall, and Fire" is reminiscent of the vow of the American postman, who promises to deliver the mail "through rain and sleet and dark of night." Like a good Celtic triad, it names three disasters or trials through which one must pass to prove faith.
  • Gregory Maguire named his second Wicked book "Son of a Witch". And let us not forget Shiz University, a very clever incarnation of this trope.
  • Letty Chubb suffers panic attacks upon merely seeing the word "de-", oops, "the word about dying that rhymes with breath" written down, and in her diaries she always uses "banana" instead. She mentions that she tries to find creative ways to avoid it in essays, but "phrases like 'hurtling into the chasm of doom' not appropriate for life cycle of tadpole". She also uses the term "pluke" both to refer to her pimples and as an expletive.
  • The Wheel of Time has quite a few, most commonly used by Mat, including "Light", "Burn me", and "Blood and ashes".
    • These curses are quite consistent with the philosophy and cultures depicted. One which was rather vulgar that I remember was "Mother's milk in a cup" (said by Elaine, who is noted to try to remember the courser language she hears). One of the Forsaken does use a curse word, tsag, which another Forsaken finds strong, although it is meaningless to us.
    • Not sure if it really counts, but saying the Dark One's name (Shai'tan) (which is actually a slight corruption of the Arabic word for the devil) "draws his attention" and causes nasty bad luck, leading to rather strong reaction from any other characters present.
    • When Mat's angry with someone, he might call them a "son of spavined goat". When he's really upset, he says "Sheep swallop and bloody buttered onions!"—a phrase that Elaine carefully memorizes.
  • Peter David gave his Xenexian Star Trek captain the curse word "grozit", which is about what you'd expect.
    • Also, David is one of quite a few to use "Kolker" as a swear word on par with "Jesus Christ" or "God". Apparently a lot of writers revere Robert Kolker.
  • The publisher of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead famously persuaded him to replace all occurrences of the f-word with "fug." In an apocryphal story, Dorothy Parker (or Tallulah Bankhead, in some versions) introduced herself to Mailer later with, "So you're the young man who can't spell 'fuck.'"
    • The use of "fug" in The Naked and the Dead inspired the name of the '60s rock band The Fugs, who preferred the uncensored version of the word in many of their songs.
  • C.S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy uses "vulk", as in 'vulcanism' - since volcanic activity can stir up the planet's fairly unpleasant magic.
  • A Clockwork Orange. The book was written almost entirely in unusual euphemisma, even for ordinary, every day words. (Well, it was more like butchered Russian.)
    • Nadsat, a language invented by the author, which based many words on Russian.
  • In one really weird subversion or inversion, Niven and Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye simply avoids the euphemism altogether as characters just flat-out use the word "rape" in places one would expect a different four-letter word that starts with f.
  • Madeleine L'Engle's book A Wind in the Door uses "fewmets" (deer droppings) as a swear word.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
    • Rodrick and Greg have several of these so their mom doesn't catch them swearing, like "spooky stork" and "raspberry plastic tickle bear". Greg has to be careful not to embarrass himself by accidentally saying these words at school.
    • "Ploopy"—we don't know what it means, but Greg's baby brother Manny considers to be quite offensive.
    • Apparently, in Fregley's secret language, "juice" means "I have to go to the bathroom."
  • Mercedes Lackey: A synonym for "penis": Jakko.
  • In Ysabeau Wilce's second novel of the Flora series, Flora's Dare, it becomes clear that the Republic of Califa's preferred four-letter word is "fike". This is a disappointment after the first book's more imaginative exclamations, such as "Pigface Psychopomp!"
  • Jane Yolen's Pit Dragon Chronicles uses "fewmets" as a swear word.
  • The Dresden Files has a few of these; Harry typically uses "Stars and stones" or "Hell's bells" when exasperated/surprised/frustrated, and the incubi and succubi of the White Court tend to use, "Empty night..." in the same context.
    • Word of God states that the last three books in the series will be an apocolyptic trilogy titled "Stars and Stones," "Hell's Bells" and "Empty Night." Jim Butcher has gone on the record stating "They're swears for a reason."
  • H. Beam Piper showed one way this could come about in the short story Naudsonce. It features an exploratory team of humans landing on an inhabited planet to find that the inhabitants seemed to have four different words for "me" - fwoonk, pwink, tweelt, and kroosh. A fair amount of time later, they were no closer to translating the local language, and the expedition's military contingent had begun using those four words as profanities. It turns out the aliens had a unique "nonauditory sonic sense", or naudsonce, that essentially let them feel sound.
  • In some of Tamora Pierce's young-adult fantasy novels, including the recent Bloodhound, characters use "swive" and "swiving" in place of "fuck" and "fucking." Bloodhound is full of made-up slang, but "swive" is a real medieval English word (used frequently and with glee by Geoffrey Chaucer, among others). It is possible that Pierce managed to get this word past the censors simply by virtue of using so many other actual Unusual Euphemisms in the book.
  • At least one Star Trek novel has a rather amusing case of this trope: to the Ferengi, "Charity" is the equivalant of dropping an F-Bomb.
    • Philanthropist!
  • Rone Leah from Terry Brooks' Shannara series frequently says "For cat's sake!".
  • Several of Spider Robinson's stories have "slot" as an insulting epithet for a woman, often in the phrase "taken slot" (substituting for "fuckin' slut").
    • Robinson also uses the word "kark" in place of "fuck," even in stories set five minutes in the future.
  • In the novelization of Starship Titanic, The Journalist tends to use the word "Pangelin" (sometimes "Purple Pangelin"), which is the Blerontinian equivalent of "shit", we're assured in the footnotes. He also finds out one of the female characters is named "Lucy," and reacts with a start; he refuses to tell her what it means in his native language, even after they get married.
  • An amusing example or two from Good Omens: The demon Crowley, being a demon, finds religious swears to be inappropriate, but doesn't want to use the Devil's name for fear of getting his attention, leading to phrases like 'oh, for Someone's sake'.
    • A line in the book claims that 'angels are sexless unless they really want to make an effort', leading to fandom adopting 'effort' as a euphemism for (usually male) genitalia, and 'making an effort' for arousal.
  • Ellie Arroway, protagonist of Contact, says "Holy Toledo!" when she's shocked but other people are around. When they're not, as in when the Very Large Array has picked up what looks like a genuine message from extraterrestrial intelligences, she carefully sequesters herself for just a moment and whispers "Holy shit!"
  • When we finally see Grood in Lord Brocktree use the bad language Jukka has repeatedly berated him for, it's apparently in squirrel dialect: "Gorokkah! How'd that splitten flitten gurgletwip get up so high?"
  • The dialog in the Codex Alera series involves a lot of creative variations on "crows" and "furies." Among other things, this has led to one character earning the Fan Nickname "the Crowbegotten Batman."
  • Piers Anthony's The Flying Sorcerers includes a hysterical scene featuring what a space traveler's Universal Translator does to a lengthy stream of expletives.
  • All of the swearing in Warrior Cats is made up of either "mouse dung" (mild) or "fox dung" (more severe).
    • "Mouse-brain" is a mild insult meaning "stupid" or "silly". A group of cats from the mountains uses "beetle-brain" instead.
    • The cats really don't seem to like foxes: "foxhearted" is apparently a heavy insult (based on the reactions when it's used), which makes the cat actually named Foxheart have an Unfortunate Name.
  • "Dirty Pillows" is a euphemism for breasts in Carrie.
  • In The High King, the final volume of the Prydain Chronicles, the outlaw Dorath informs Princess Eilonwy that he intends to "remove your charms" "until you are fit company for a swineherd," referring to the hero Taran. What he means is that she's going to be gang-raped by his band of thugs. The odd wording is to keep from traumatizing younger readers, who can understand that she's in danger without knowing exactly what's going to happen; older readers can figure it out, as Eilonwy did.
  • In Frank Mccourt's memoir, Angela's Ashes, his teenage self refers to sexual relations as "the excitement". He and other members of his family refer to his conception (which was up against a wall) as a "knee trembler".
  • The animals of the jungle refer to fire "the Red Flower" in The Jungle Book.
  • In Deadly Quicksilver Lies, Winger describes her employer's gang as "the kind of guys who wear earrings", and Garrett semi-sarcastically remarks that they might be ferocious pirates. For the rest of the novel, Garrett refers to the Rainmaker's mooks and associates as "pirates", even when it's clear that, yes, this particular crime boss operates through TunFaire's homosexual community.
  • Characters in Alan Dean Foster novels sometimes swear by 'Patrick O'Morion' whoever the heck he may be.
  • In the Guardians of Ga'Hoole books, the owls have many of these. "Sprink" is considered to be the worst.
  • In The Maze Runner, the Gladers have several of these. "Klunk" means "feces," "shank" means "guy," and "shuck" is just an all-purpose euphemism.
  • Holly Lisle's Talyn, a fantasy, includes "pogging" to refer to sex. The character's a soldier, so she uses it quite a bit.
  • In An Abundance of Katherines, the main characters use "fug" and its derivatives (fugging, fugger, etc). They explain that this was taken from a war novel where the publishers wouldn't allow the F-bomb to be used.
  • In Friday by Robert Heinlein, slitch is a term of opprobrium directed at some females. While the meaning is unclear, it would make perfect sense to view it as a portmanteau on "slut" and "bitch".
  • In the world of David Eddings' Belgariad and Malloreon, Angaraks have taken to refer to their maimed god, Torak, when making curses. "Torak's teeth!" and "By Torak's boiling eye!" are pretty common among them, even after Torak was slain at the end of the Belgariad.
  • Haunted 2005: "Pearl Diving" is Saint Gut-Free's term for underwater masturbation.
  • The Culture, dues to its nature as a machine and biological society, has several curses devoted specifically to describe AI's. "Meatfucker" is a common one for an AI that somehow transgresses a biological (usually through mindreading). Less frequently, biologicals use the word "Motherjunk" to describe drones who misbehave.
  • Book of the Short Sun- after the protagonist has come home from a very long trip, the local priest wishes to know if he engaged his wife in the-hum-"warm commerce".
  • In Chess With A Dragon, the backstabbing culture of the InterChange is such that "interesting" has become a euphemism for "dangerous", on the basis that a matter of survival is always interesting.
  • "Pearl diving" was used as a euphemism for underwater masturbation in the book Haunted 2005.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Farscape used many made-up expletives and insults, such as "frell" (fuck), "dren" (shit), "mivonks" (balls), etc. This was parodied in the Stargate SG-1 episode "200", in which a scene inspired by Farscape featured dialogue consisting of little more than a string of made-up profanity. The two shows share two common actors - Ben Browder and Claudia Black.
    • In addition to the usual cursing, colloquial usages, there was at least one instance where Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) used "frell" literally, to refer to actual sexual intercourse.
    • Frell was also used on The Invisible Man, which at the time was airing on the same night and channel.
  • Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica (the original series) was fond of words like "frak" and "felgercarb". (On the new series, Adama pére has a "Frack" shaving mirror from IKEA in his quarters, a deliberate reference to the goofy fake swear word they inherited. "Frak" is still used regularly in the new series as a substitute for the mother of all swear words, in all its possible contexts. And we mean all, including "clusterfrak" and "motherfrakker". And since it still begins with F, they can get away with saying "FUBAR".)
    • Spoofed in a Robot Chicken episode, lampooning clueless FCC censors.
    • Rather hilariously, someone at Kentucky Fried Chicken really didn't get the point, and created a BSG tie-in promotion involving a "Frak Pak" of chicken.
      • There was an in-universe poke at the simple substitution with Cally saying "motherfrakker", which obviously wasn't a common in-universe usage.
  • Babylon 5 used the word "frag" in the same context, as does DC's Lobo, and Batman Beyond - this is a bit odd, as the term is also an Unusual Euphemism for killing someone on your own side of the conflict, generally with a fragmentation grenade, which is where "frag" originated.
    • "Frak" also appears in some Babylon 5 Expanded Universe material, almost certainly a Shout-Out.
    • Early seasons of Babylon 5 also use "stroke" and "stroking" in place of "fuck" and "fucking"—presumably referring to masturbation.
    • The RPG Shadowrun started out using "frag" as an Unusual Euphemism for killing, but somewhere around third edition switched to this.
  • Red Dwarf was an unusual case, in that the writers found out later that their made-up word ("smeg") did, in fact, have a borderline-naughty meaning. Actually entered semi-common usage in the UK for a while.
    • The trade name "Smeg", completely independently, is also an Italian line of cooking ranges. The writers of RD, hearing about this, expressed regret they had not thought to copyright the word.
    • Although there were weren't other made-up swear words, there were quite a few made-up insults which were favoured by Rimmer, and oddly enough all began with G: goit, gimp, gimboid and gwenlan. (The latter was in honour of a TV executive with the surname Gwenlan who'd insisted the show wouldn't work as a sitcom because "there were no french windows".)
      • Gimp isn't really a made up insult, even in context.
    • The phrase "Gazpacho soup" was worse than any smeg based insult for Rimmer.
  • iCarly: Aside from character expressions, the random phrases printed on the Penny Tees can be either this or this.
    • Carly's "Holy flab!"
    • Sam's "Whoa, daddy!", "No chiz!", and "Holy cheese!"
    • Freddie's "Oh, butter!" and "Good gravy!"
    • Spencer's "Gas bubble!" and "Holy similar!"
    • Gibby's "Oh, mustard!" and "Sha-Boom!"
      • Dan Schneider does this so often in general that the trope could easily be renamed "Schneiderism" in his honor. In addition to iCarly, Victorious has given us such gems as Jade being a "gank" to Beck, Sikowitz exclaiming "What the hairballs?" in one episode, etc.
  • Blackadder Goes Forth had several moments, most notably when George's euphemisms for "dying" get more and more out of hand, eventually Lampshaded.

George: Well, uh, Jocko and the Badger bought it at the first Ypres, unfortunately. Quite a shock, that. I remember Bumfluff's housemaster wrote and told me that Sticky'd been out for a duck, and the Gubber had snitched a parcel sausage-end and gone goose-over-stump frogside.
Blackadder: Meaning?
George: I don't know, sir, but I read in The Times that they'd both been killed.
Blackadder: And Bumfluff himself?
George: Copped a packet at Gallipolli with the Aussies. So did Drippy and Strangely Brown.

  • El Chavo del Ocho, El Chapulin Colorado and all Chespirito's works including "Chanfle" (Scurl) as any kind of profanity becoming so famous that this use is spread more, over its original soccer meaning .
  • The most celebrated Unusual Euphemism is the "Master of your Domain" episode of Seinfeld, where the characters have a masturbation contest (who can go the longest without) without once using the word "masturbation".
    • This was because NBC censors wouldn't allow the show to say the word "masturbation," and thus, a pop culture reference is born.
    • At the Hamptons, Jerry and Kramer are stunned at George's date matter-of-factly going topless. "Yo Yo Ma!"..."Boutros-Boutros Ghali!"
  • Chandler from Friends once came up with the most brilliant example of an unsual euphenism, to describe a character who unknowingly has shorts so short that everyone in the room can see his penis - "The man is showing brain!"
    • Another instance of an unusual euphemism comes from Joey, when Phoebe acts on Days of Our Lives. The director can be kind of rough, so Joey replaced one of the words he used a lot with a nicer one, like, "puppy", as in, "If your puppy friend doesn't get her puppy act together, I'm gonna fire her mother-puppy ass."
    • The Ross fist-bump. Nothing more need be said.
    • Somehow subverted for laugh, in episodes where Ross gets his capuchin monkey, Marcel.

Ross: I just thought we could go out to dinner, and then maybe bring her back to my place and I'd introduce her to my monkey.
(surprised glance from the girls)
Chandler: And he's not speaking metaphorically

  • The X-Files episode "Blood" has a hilarious example: A bus driver recounts the behavior of a passenger (a character being driven mad by chemicals and secret messages delivered by electronic devices):

Bus Driver: Yeah, I picked him up. Drove four feet, then he went apewire.

    • The X-Files also played with this trope in the episode "Jose Chung's from Outer Space":

Dana Scully: Well, of course he didn't actually say 'bleeped', he said -
Jose Chung: I'm familiar with Detective Manners' colourful... phraseology.
and
Detective Manners: Oh, you bet your blankety-blank bleep I am!
as well as the mother of all quotes from that ep:
Dana Scully: He says he's found your bleeping UFO.

  • A sketch on The State parodied this, in which a vulgar play was modified for broadcast tv, causing the dramatic tension to be lost in phrases like "Let's get milk faced and hum like rabbits!"
  • In Firefly, the characters would swear in (poorly pronounced) Mandarin, despite usually speaking English. Though, since more mundane phrases and some signs are also said/written in Mandarin, it's implied that the two share status as the official languages of humanity. The show also employed the real-but-obscure English curse words "gorram" (an out-of-use variation of "goddamn"), "rutting" (another word for "the deed," used adjectivally in the same manner as the most famous word you can't say on TV), and "humped" (ditto).
    • In a network that almost certainly wouldn't let them call someone a pussy, nor drop the c bomb, a rogue cop managed to happily call a a post office employee a quim. Archaic words rule!
      • It's possible that they would have gotten away with it, but the episode in question ("The Message") was only included on the DVD and didn't actually air on TV.
    • Let's not forget "You're not sly, are you? 'Cause i've got my boys..."
  • On Peachdale, the young characters frequently use terms like "eff", "dee", and "waugh" to stand in for common expletives.
  • Elliot on Scrubs refers to female genitalia as "bajingo", and related secretions as "icky-sticky". And then tries to become a gynecologist.
    • Elliot is also fond of the word "frick" (close to "fick", German for the F-Word), which she uses with great creativity. ("Frick on a stick with a brick!"; "Just put the motherfricking ring on the motherfricking finger! Frick, frick, frick!")
      • In Real Life it may be related to "frig", which is like "wank" except Oop North.
        • Specifically, "frig" is usually the female version of "wank"
          • Frick and Frig (commonly used as Fricken and Friggen, which is a less offensive version) are both common Australian swear words, especially for older people.
            • Likewise popular in certain parts of the US, but more with teenagers and young adults, oddly enough.
  • In The Tenth Kingdom, the Trolls humorously use the phrase "Suck an Elf!" as an obscenity.
  • In Grey's Anatomy, Media Watchdogs have forced the writers to try to avoid using the word "vagina" in a non-medical context; because of this, it has been referred to as "Va-jay-jay" and "my good girl". In a hospital, of all places.
  • In the modern-age Fairy Tale Sitcom, The Charmings, Eric Charming gets Snow White a car for her birthday, although neither of them really understands how it works. One scene has their children running up to Snow after having watched their father work on the car. One of the children says to Snow that Eric became angry working on the car and yelled out "Fiddlesticks", whereupon Snow covers his mouth and admonishes, "The F-Word!"
  • In the 1980s Degrassi Junior High, the kids use the phrase "broomhead" as if it was an incredibly vile expletive, only dished out when somebody is really, truly angry. There was a reason for the characters to use it as in insult (it's based on something that happens in the first few episodes), but this didn't stop it from sounding silly.
  • How come it's taken so long for the British contributors to this site to include Only Fools and Horses, you plonkers?
    • Probably Only Fools And Horses didn't invent the word. However its meaning did change after staring on the show.
  • Father Ted got away with tossing the f-bomb all over the place by simply changing the word to "feck". That was enough to make its liberal usage completely okay.
    • Feck is in common usage in Ireland and is considered acceptably mild in comparison to the f-bomb.
    • The ironic thing is that, other than a minced vow for the obvious, it's also Irish slang that simply means "to throw", and coincidentally Esperanto for shit.
    • Another episode featured a public area with a no-cursing rule in place, so a group of people are forced to use substitutions to curse at Ted.
      • People with keen ears can also hear quite a few unedited curses in Father Ted, said by crowds. One notable example that always gets me rolling is about 20mins into Season 3, Episode 2 "Chirpy Chirpy Cheap Sheep" (Right after Father Ted says "Hud Hastings". I'll let you listen to it and tell me if im crazy or not.

Frank: Fup off, you grasshole!

    • The f-word is considered pretty grave in the Father Ted universe. As Mrs. Doyle commented with regards to the works of a visiting novelist, "And of course the F-word father, the bad F-word. Worse then Feck. You know the one I mean." Also, wall-to-wall bastards.
    • According to the Scrabble dictionary, 'feck' means 'value', hence the derivative 'feckless', or 'worthless'. Therefore, I can use it as a swearword and say, 'it means value!'
  • Thirty Rock with "Blurgh" and "By the hammer of Thor!" The writers have tried to develop these terms as Catch Phrases as well.
  • Doug Heffernan on The King of Queens occasionally says things like "Son of a mother!" and "Mother of ass!"
  • Cheers has plenty of this. One example:

Diane: (to Sam) YOU are a sand flea!

  • How I Met Your Mother justified the use of the word "grinch" as an Unusual Euphemism for cunt because The Narrator is simply retelling the story to his kids. In a different episode, we even see a Visual Euphemism: all references to (we assume) marijuana were replaced with sandwiches, so we see the characters getting high off of large subs. Another Unusual Euphemism is replacing "going to the bathroom to poop" with "reading a magazine". Lampshaded later in the episode when Barney uses the euphemism, taking a guess at what it means:

Barney: For the record, "reading a magazine" means masturbating, right?

    • And "I'm too old for this shit." being replaced by "I'm too old for this stuff."
    • Ted's annoyingly loud neighbours "play the bagpipes" rather too often. (And we do hear bagpipes.)
    • And thumbs-up takes the place of the middle finger.
    • And "kiss" as a euphemism for fuck
      • Also, "holding hands". We also see Robin "catch" Lily and Marshall sitting in a bathroom stall holding hands.

Marshall: I'm gonna hold your hand so hard you won't be able to shake hands for a week.

        • Although that last case was past Ted, bowdlerising a story in order to convince Marshall to stop interfering with the stories he wants to tell in his best man speech.
    • Absolutely hearbreakingly deconstructed with "pole-vaulter" in place of "mother".
  • A character from Neighbours used "Belgium" as an expletive, an obvious Shout-Out to Hitchhikers Guide (see below). The same character had a library of Unusual Euphemisms.
  • On early episodes of Full House, D.J. calls Stephanie, "nerdbomber", "geekburger", and "double geekburger with cheese".
    • On one episode of Full House, Joey told Michelle that newlyweds Jesse and Becky haven't been able to play with her lately because they're "doing their taxes"

Michelle: Are they going to be doing their taxes EVERY NIGHT?
Joey: For the first few months, yes.

  • The "Chemist Shop" sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus included a list of slang words, mostly anatomical, that the censors who interrupt the sketch request not to be repeated. The last word on the list is "Semprini". What's a Semprini? If it isn't this dude, nobody knows just what, except that the (fictional) censors don't want to hear about it.
    • It is that dude. Semprini had a radio program of "light music" whose last years overlapped with Monty Python's run, and also wrote a lot of it. By the time of Monty Python, "light music" was a Dead Horse Music Genre. It would be like using "Lawrence Welk" as a swearword - or, for more modern swearwords, "Yanni" or "Kenny G."
    • Several euphemisms are also used in the Monty Python skit "Nudge Nudge".
    • "You're not suggesting we should tax...thingy?"
  • The Goa'uld of Stargate SG-1 consider Jack O'Neill a "pain in the mikta":

O'Neill: Neck?
Teal'c: No.

  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? featured a game called "If You Know What I Mean" where the players spoke entirely in Unusual Euphemisms, usually meant to be sexual. Usually nonsensical.
    • Lampshaded in that Ryan once responded with "No, I don't know what you mean."
    • Another has Colin ending the game with a deadpan "I'm going to go to the bathroom."
  • On one episode of Murphy Brown, Corky had to read her diary in court. On one entry she uses the word "bleeping", and the judge advises her to read the entry as written. Corky then points out that she indeed wrote "bleeping" in the diary.
  • There's an episode of House where a young girl discovers masturbation, and her mother thinks she's having seizures and brings her in. House uses several movie titles as euphemisms, apparently just to annoy the mother:

House: You know, ya-ya-ing the sisterhood? Finding Nemo?

  • The Middleman uses "Code 86" for sex, named for the protocol a Middleman has to invoke to get even a moment of privacy from their round-the-clock surveillance. The Middleman himself uses a wide variety of creative replacement words and expressions for swearing (while other characters swear quite frequently, with the audio removed and a black rectangle covering their mouths).
    • In one episode, the Middleman exclaims "Ghosts of the living!" Considering that the case of the episode involved the presence of the departed spirits of people who seemed to still be alive and walking about, Wendy questions whether he's using a colorful phrase or describing the situation.
    • In one episode, a previous Middleman questions the current Middleman's unsual euphemisms, to which Wendy explains that "it's just a friendly way of saying (her word is bleeped and blocked with a black rectangle)".
  • The Armstrong and Miller Show had a sketch dedicated to this, featuring two men who decide on the words for the dictionary of a predictive text message dictionary. A notable inclusion: pigt (the abbreviation of the human gene coding for phosphatidylinositol).
  • On an episode of Ellen, Paige Clark (Joelly Fisher) used "go camping" as a euphemism for "have sex", as in "I want to go camping!"
  • Colonel Potter of MASH fame is known for having a wide range of these.
    • Among the long, LONG list: "What in the name of Sam Hill?", "Bull Hockey!", "Great Ceasar's Ghost" (which is probably a nod to Superman's Perry White)
    • His predecessor, Henry Blake, would occasionally come up with some goodies, too. (Entering a tent on a cold, windy night: "Hoo, boy! Better keep the brass monkeys in tonight!")
      • Actually, this is not quite the same thing- this refers to a Scottish slang phrase, "cold enough to freeze the balls off brass monkeys." Brass Monkeys were the plates beside cannons that held the 'spare' cannonballs. However, if the weather became particularly cold, the brass of the plate would contract, and therefore the cannonball would fall off- hence, freeze the balls off the brass monkey. So its really an interpretation as to whether he's referring to his, erm, "brass monkeys", or paraphrasing this slang.
  • Gossip Girl has come up with a few quite creative ones, like "fustercluck," "Bass-hole," and "Oh my effing god."
    • Don't forget "Motherchucker."
  • One of the earliest examples is 1970s British sit-com Porridge. Being set in a prison, the writers invented the word "Naff" so thet the prisoners could swear on a family show. They also invented the word "Nerk" to be used as a personal slur - as in "Naff off, you nerk!"
Since Royalty tend not to swear in real life, Princess Anne once famously had to resort to using "Naff Off!" herself. This made headlines at the time.
    • "Naff off" may have originated with Porridge, but "naff" did not—it was well-established in the theatrical and gay argot Polari long before, meaning "un-stylish" or "pathetic".
    • The Two Ronnies, from which Porridge's lead actor was best known, was famed for its unusual euphemisms. Not least because in spite of not having heard them before you can tell what they're meant to refer to.
  • Another British sit-com, 'Allo 'Allo!, inverted this quite creatively. The show was set in France and had a convention whereby they simulated French dialogue by having the actors speak English with thick French accents. One character was a British spy who couldn't speak French very well at all. They had him speak English, in a thick French accent, but get the English words slightly wrong in order to simulate mangled French (if you can follow that). Sometimes the writers chose mispronounced words that - if played straight - were actually outright swearing that would never have made it on to an early evening family show. Examples such as "I was pissing by the door when I heard two shats." were common.
    • And my favorite: "I was just pissing by and decided to drip in"
  • "If your Colbert Report lasts more than half an hour, consult your physician." Thank you, Stephen Colbert - I am so using that.
    • On the November 9, 2010 episode of The Colbert Report, Cee Lo Green was the guest and wanted to perform his new single, but the profanity-laden chorus would've resulted in a bunch of bleeps interrupting his singing. After rejecting Stephen Colbert's previous suggestion of replacing it with "beef stew", he settled on substituting "Fox News" for the performance.
  • Joel from TV's Mystery Science Theater 3000 would often use "telling secrets" as a stand-in for sexual activity.
  • In an episode of That '70s Show, Eric and Hyde use creative metaphors to refer Kelso's impotence: "the rabbit wouldn't come out of his hat", "the weasel wouldn't pop out" and "there's a lot of Amish people, but they never raised a barn".
  • On Top Gear, various harm has come to the presenters' "wedding vegetables". The "plums" and "gentleman's area" have likewise been endangered, and buying a flashy car is advertisement that one has a small "vegetable"
    • James May commented that it was difficult to help the buxom Madison Welch with her racing harness without touching "the work of the good Potter"
    • "I think I might be having a CRISIS!" is also used when Jeromy sees a particularly sexy car for the first time.
    • And you may not want to get Alfa Romeo tattooed on your "Gentleman's Sausage".
  • Shaun Micallef has taken the use of the word "freak" (and every conceivable variation upon) to something of an art form. When combined with the deliberately bad acting of his David McGhan sketches, this results in lines like this:

"You call that justice? I call it freakin' of someone, entirely!"

  • In an episode of Life, Reese goes to interview a dentist/cover band rocker who has tallied off every single woman he's slept with (a lot) on his office wall. He asks her if he should "uncap the Sharpie." Her response: "No. You may not uncap the Sharpie." She continues to be horrified every time she sees or has to mention a Sharpie for the rest of the episode.
    • I think he actually meant a Sharpie as in a pen- he was probably tallying the numbers with said Sharpie.
    • It's still a pretty blatant Double Entendre that could easily be translated as a euphemism if that's how he keeps track of how often he gets to "Uncap his Sharpie".
  • A one-shot sketch on Mad TV featured an office worker talking to his coworker about a third employee, using bizarre euphamisms such as "He's a midnight golfer" and "He has a bowl of magic markers in his garage". The second man joins in, attempting to form his own nonsense euphamisms, which the third man overhears; he approaches the two and responds angrily to what was, according to the first and third workers, an insinuation that he was gay. It soon becomes apparent that the first man's euphamisms were intended—and understood by the third man—to be general compliments. The second man is utterly confounded by his coworkers' mutual understanding.
  • During the 1990s, Sports Center anchor Keith Olbermann would use the name "Gianluca Pagliuca" over video of an athlete or coach swearing. The basis was from ESPN's 1994 World Cup coverage where colleague Gary Miller kept tripping up over the Italian goalkeeper's name and blurted an expletive in disgust. "We'll spare you WHICH expletive".
    • "I can read his lips and he is not praying."
  • Several different ones were used throughout the Xena series, such as Xena calling Joxer a "son of a Bacchae."
  • Latka Gravas from Taxi. "yachtabe," ibida", "nik-nik"...
  • In the Bones episode "The Double Death of the Dearly Departed", they replace they word 'murder' with 'translate' in order to disguise the meaning of their conversation. This leads to some hilarious quotes.

"This man was translated!"
"No evidence of translation."

...shaking frothy white coconuts from the veiny love-tree.

  • The Suite Life On Deck with Bailey's "What the feathers?"
  • In Student Bodies the guys begin talking about all the girls they've "Been to Wonderland" with.
  • Doctor Who spent most of an episode with Rose asking whether on not The Doctor ever "dances." At the end of the episode he then "dances" with both Rose and Jack. In a later episode he leaves Rose and Mickey alone while he goes off to "dance" with Madame De Pompadour.
    • No. The Doctor literally dances in all of those cases. Nothing sexual is either shown or even properly implied to occur. "Dance" is jokingly used as a euphamism a couple of times for Jack's actions, but not the Doctor.
      • The producers themselves have said that in 'The Doctor Dances', they were using 'dance' as a euphemism. The Doctor himself doesn't use it though, it was just a joke by the creators.
        • He sort of does. When Rose expresses surprise that humans have relationships with aliens she says something along the lines of "So we seek out alien species and--" "Dance." Not to mention every time it's said in that episode you can hear the air quotes. He also uses it when talking to Madame de Pompadour.
          • Another example comes from "Daleks in Manhattan," when 1930s chorus girl Tallulah thinks the Doctor is "Into musical theater" when Martha says he hasn't noticed her crush on him.
            • Also in the original series, the Doctor famously tells someone to 'spack off', although it is hotly debated between fans whether this is really a swearword or whether he's just advising someone to back off.
  • Hannah Montana: In the first season, Lilly sometimes insulted Oliver by calling him "donut," which was probably a euphemism for "asshole."
    • The main character's catchphrase, "Sweet Nibblets!", is one.
  • Man reactions, that is all.
  • Vyvyan of The Young Ones may have invented one of these, in the course of being snarky:

Neil's Father: Felicity Kendal is a wonderful woman, and I want to protect her.
Vyvyan: Well, it's the first time I've ever heard it called that.

  • On Skins, Series 2, episode 5, Chris uses a rather fabulous string of normal words in place of swear words when talking to his career counselor. When he's done, she comments that he may have let a swear slip in. He apologizes and immediately comes up with a different word.
  • In Get A Life, Chris starts hanging out with construction workers fixing the family home. They all shout typical rude suggestions at a passing young woman - Chris chimes in "Yeah! Eat that cheese, lady!", she turns around, walks up to him, and knees him hard in the groin.
  • Chuck has the line "Oh, Chuck me."
  • Better Off Ted has a meeting about a new bomb; since Ted's nanny is sick, his daughter came to work with him so they need to talk about it euphemistically.

Phil: Next, we looked at what would happen if we dropped the... bunny from an airplane at 30,000 feet. At that altitude, the bunny would... cuddle everyone within a two-mile radius. Within four miles, people would be... snuggled so badly they would have to be hospitalized with severe burns.
Linda: And that's why bunnies make bad pets. The end.
Ted: Thank you, everyone. For those of you not sure what's happening, we'll have this meeting again tomorrow.

  • Monk uses "BM" for "shit" and "haul bottom" for "haul ass".
  • Maddie Hayes, to put it simply, never agrees with David Addison on anything, and she doesn't give a "flying fig" what he thinks. In the episode where the phrase appears, David says he doesn't know what it means, with Maddie pointing out that "we" (as in the viewers) do.
  • An NCIS episode has Gibbs bringing Abby (who Must Have Caffeine) an extra-small Caf-Pow because that's all that was available. Her response: "What the bio-hazardous material is this?"
  • The Borgias: "Invading France."
  • On What About Brian, Dave and Deena are discussing their newly open marriage, but they realize their young daughters can hear—so they start talking about the "open ... milk." There follows an extended conversation that ends up on the subject of the guy Deena didn't sleep with, a tantric yoga instructor:

Deena: I heard he can drink milk for five hours without finishing the carton.
Dave: Wow. That sounds ... painful.

  • In the Community episode "Mixology Certification" Britta excuses herself at the bar to "go see a woman about the female equivalent of a horse".
  • Game of Thrones features Tyrion giving a flurry of metaphors for masturbation in quick succession. "I made the bald man cry!"
  • The Newlywed Game famously used "making whoopie" as a term for intercourse, though contestants sometimes slipped words out, so they also made use of a distinct "cuckoo" Sound Effect Bleep.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard had Sheriff Rosco and his deputies occasionally use colorful but clean exclamations for a bad situation. Enos used, "Possum on a gum bush!" in his days, Cletus tended to say, "Buzzards on a buzz saw!", even Sheriff Rosco occasionally resorted to saying, "Judas priest on a pony!"
  • Most characters in Supernatural don't bother with this and just say 'bitch' or 'son of a bitch', but Bobby called the protagonists 'idjits' on a few occasions. Also, Crowley had this fun moment:

Crowley: My new boss is gonna kill me for even talking to you lot.
Sam: Wait, what new boss?
Crowley: Castiel, you giraffe.

  • In Big Bang Theory the common replacement is 'frack'.
  • In what is possibly a parody, Hugo on The Vicar of Dibley switched a letter when he described to Geraldine his father's reaction to Hugo saying he's in love with Alice:

Hugo: He asked me what the duck I was playing at. He said he didn't give a flying duck if I ducking loved Alice ducking Tinker, and if I ducking kissed her again, he'd make sure that I was well and truly ducked.
Geraldine: Well, duck me.

    • In a later episode, Alice describes having sex with Hugo as "playing the odd round of Hide the Purple Parsnip".
  • In the Quantum Leap episode Dr. Ruth, Al has trouble saying the word "breasts" & runs through a list of euphemisms; casabas, melons, ho-has, honkers, hooters, headlights, ta-tas, teeters, tweeters, tom-toms, tee-tees, meatballs, mangoes, cream pies, cupcakes, bangers, bouncers, bolumbas & bazongas.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Roy Zimmerman's song "Firing the Surgeon General" established the title phrase as a euphemism for masturbation (by paralleling it to a number of other such euphemisms) to satirize the controversy that resulted in the 1994 dismissal of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders.
  • Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. "Chocolate starfish" here being a euphemism for asshole, while "hot dog flavoured water" comes from an in-joke about how Wes Borland saw flavoured water on sale at a truck stop while touring, and jokingly wondered if they also come in meat or hot dog flavour.
  • Kelis: "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard..."
  • When Emilie Autumn performed her song "Misery Loves Company" on a morning news show, she replaced the line "pray for me you fucker, if you fucking dare" with "pray for me you muffin, if you muffin dare".
  • Bloodhound Gang's "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo" is just full of these.
    • That's all the song is. Try and find one line that doesn't have an Unusual Euphemism in it.
    • Almost every one of BHG's songs are like this. The most obvious being "Uhn-Tiss Uhn-Tiss Uhn-Tiss", "Bad Touch" and the aforementioned "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo"
  • The Decemberists' "The Chimbley Sweep":

"Oh lonely urchin," the widow cried
"I've not been swept since the day my husband died."

  • "Sugalumps" by Flight of the Conchords is filled with euphamisms for testicles, including the titular "sugalumps."
    • Don't forget the song "Mutha'Uckas" and the term Muther'flippin from "Hiphophippotomous Vs. Rhymnocerous"
  • Played with in the music video for "Laid" by the band James. One line originally goes "But she only comes when she's on top." The version used in the music video replaces "comes" with "sings" - but that part of the video has a close shot of the lead singer, who is obviously singing the original lyric.
  • Originally composed for the alt.games.nintendo.pokemon.hentai newsgroup, the song "I Wanna Slowpoke Your Cloyster ('Till My Bulbasaur)" introduced the title phrase, as well as "jiggling the Jigglypuff".
  • "The Fez" by Steely Dan isn't about a hat. It's a (made up?) euphemism for a condom.
    • But then "Steely Dan" is a euphemism for an erection, so that's hardly surprising.
      • Steely Dan actually took their name from the nickname for a large metal dildo in Naked Lunch.
  • Viktor Vaughn's song "Mister Clean" has little to do with cleaning supplies; the title refers to Vik's insistance that his barber "Give me a Mister Clean", or shave his head completely, at the end.
    • Vik has a lot of strange or unique words or phrases. At one point he reminisces about something that happened "six degrees ago", etc.
    • The same artist does something similar in his Kind Geedorah persona; Geedorah is a space monster who doesn't truly understand humanity, and his alien perspective is partially represented by some seriously idiosyncratic speech quirks.
  • In the Meat Loaf song I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), "that" is a reference to a previous line where the singer names a thing he would never do ("forget the way you feel", "stop dreaming of you", etc.) Due in no small part to the complexity of the lyrical construction, it's also assumed by many listeners to be a euphemism for something else, to the point where Meat Loaf says "What is that?" is the most frequent question he's asked by his fans.
  • Spinal Tap: Big Bottom.
  • Lady Gaga gives us "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick!" in "Love Game" and "bluffin' with my muffin" in "Poker Face".
  • Countless P-Funk songs use the word "funk" not only to refer to the music style, but also as a substitute for a similar-sounding word.
    • As do the Black-Eyed Peas in "Don't Phunk With My Heart".
      • As a result, some radio stations played "edited" versions replacing "phunk" with "mess", as in "Don't Mess With My Heart".
  • Jack Ingram did this with "Love You", replacing "fuck" with "love" (e.g. "Love you, love this town / Love this mother-lovin' truck that keeps breakin' lovin' down").
  • Madness' House of Fun is all about a kid on his 16th birthday trying to buy "party hats" at a pharmacy, for the celebration thereof. You know, A box of balloons. Party poppers? That pop in the night?
  • American Ride by Toby Keith has "The fit's gonna hit the shan"
  • Subverted in "Big Dumb Sex" by Soundgarden, the verses are full of unusual euphemisms, but the chorus is "I know what to do. I'm gonna fuck (fuck) (fuck) (fuck) you!"
  • "Elektronik Supersonik" by Zlad! includes the lines "I put my port plug in your socket" and "So onto my love rocket, climb."
  • Rammstein does that kinda often as well. Most notably in Pussy. Blitzkrieg mit dem Fleischgewehr!
  • A radio edit of Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath" removed "balls" and spliced in the word "fun" from the previous verse, resulting in the strange expression "got him by the fun."
  • Starflyer 59: While their lyrics never use any words worse than "hell", Jason Martin reportedly used (and possibly still uses) euphemisms like "what the eff" and "piece of shin".
  • Steeleye Span's "Drink Down The Moon" uses "cuckoo's nest" to refer to female genitalia.
  • Aerosmith songs are full of this. Most notably the famous Walk This Way has this line "You ain't seen nothin' 'till your down on a muffin." Lady Gaga's line in Poker Face is probably a Shout-Out to this song.
    • "Muff" may be dated, but it's not an unusual expression, at least not in 1975.
  • Insane Clown Posse use the terms "Neden" and "Cotton Candy" over "vagina" or "pussy"; other Psychopathic Records artists have used this term as well: Anybody Killa released a song called "Your Neden's Haunted", loosely about sexually-transmitted disease ala ICP's "Bugz On My Nugz".
  • When Moral Guardians complained about Christian rapper Manafest using the phrase "you scare the hell out of me" (a religious pun previously used by Stryper and Impending Doom), he changed the line to "you scare the junk out of me." Unusual Dysphemism?
  • Cab Calloway, in "Minnie the Moocher" tells how her boyfriend taught her 'how to kick the gong around', which meant 'how to smoke an opium pipe' in the 1920s.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's One More Minute mentions being "stranded all alone in the gas station of love", and having "to use the self-service pumps"
  • Ludo: Whipped Cream

I wouldn't say that Whipped Cream is actually about... whipped cream

In the cool of the evening
When the sun goes down
My wife's playing canasta
With every guy in town


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

Calvin's Dad: "Slippin'-rippin'-dang-fang-rotten-zarg-barg-a-ding-dong!"

  • Doonesbury was known for substituting inappropriate words with a description of the words in parens, for example (expletive) or (body part)
    • In one example an angry Frank Sinatra lets loose with an "obscene gerund" which puzzles the medium aware target of his rage.
  • In FoxTrot, Paige once told Peter to "eat spit and die".
    • In another strip, when Andy asked Jason how it was like golfing with his father, Jason replied that it was "colorful." Andy then asks whether he meant the color of nature, the ball, the clubs, or his dad's orange plad golf pants, Jason elaborated to mean that he was actually refering to Roger's language. Cue Roger swearing.
    • Lampshaded in another strip, in which Peter stubs his toe and literally shouts things like "asterisk" and "dollar sign," and then remarks that "comic-strip curse words leave something to be desired." Jason helpfully suggests he add some daggers and lightning bolts. Oh, *$&!
  • Baby Blues had at least one in the form of "child-safe cuss words".

Daryll"": "Dingy-dangy dog-gone heck to phooey!"

  • In one Bloom County comic, Opus is writing a personals ad for a woman who is seeking "intense physical affection," but doesn't want to sound crude. Opus suggests "snugglebunnies" as an alternative euphemism, and the woman insists that he use "sweaty snugglebunnies" instead.
  • Pogo: "Rowrbazzle!"
  • And, lest we forget: "Good grief!"


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • In the WWE, Kurt Angle and Booker T once had a Shout-Out to Die Hard when Booker asked Angle, "You really think you have a chance, Mr. Cowboy?" Angle's response: "Yippie-kai-yay, Mother Hubbard."
  • The independent wrestling company CHIKARA promotes itself as family-friendly and discourages foul language. This led to fans chanting "Holy Poop" after impressive moves or dives.
  • The Rock used a lot of these, notably using "pie" as a nickname for vaginas, and "strudel" as a nickname for penises.
  • John Cena, vocabulary constrained by WWE's new PG policy, has recently made "Elimination Chamber" a euphemism for "ass". Runs into Department of Redundancy Department when he starts talking about "kicking people's elimination chambers" and then going to the Elimination Chamber PPV and "kicking more elimination chamber".
    • Double Subverted. Contrary to popular belief, the word 'ass' can be and is said by John Cena and others in the PG era. He only did that in one or two promos Just for Pun... it would have turned into a Cluster A Bomb otherwise.

And let's not forget: "BALONEY, FUDGE AND MUSTARD! MY LIFE IS BEING RUINED BY THE INTERNET!"


Radio[edit | hide]

  • Ancient BBC radio comedy Round the Horne features Rambling Syd Rumpo (Kenneth Williams), a parodic folk-singer who sang such things as "Vain she was and like a grusset / Though her gander parts were fine, / But she sneered at his cordwangle / As it hung upon the line".
    • Or the song about the Highwayman who "scrooped all the ladies and whirdled the men, then he straddled his nadger and rode off again". When he is finally caught and brought to be hung upon Old Tyburn Tree (a historic euphemism for London's most well-known gallows), he said:

If I had the time to live my life once again
Then I'd whirdle the ladies and scroop all the men!

    • Round the Horne also had two camp characters who revived gay slang "Polari."
  • One of the weekly assignments on internet radio show 2 Sense was to invent a new swear word, that didn't mean anything but sounded really offensive. The hosts had great fun stringing together the better responses:

2: Spung your derp, you slutterpuck!


Stand-Up Comedy[edit | hide]

  • Irish comedian Dylan Moran discusses how, even in modern times, topics such as homosexuality are still dressed with euphemisms.

"Well you know what they say about John, don't you?"
"Actually, no, I don't. What do they say?"
"Well, you know, that he's..." (raises right knee into air)
"...what?"
"You know, he's still picking up twigs in the springtime... (beat) ...he likes his toast done on all three sides."

  • Jeff Foxworthy subverted this in a skit where he says that his wife always seems to have whatever disease they're discussing on the news: "You do not have testicular cancer. You don't even have testiculars!"
  • Any verbified noun is a euphemism for drunk, according to Michael McIntyre.

"Did you have a drink last night?"
"Are you joking? I got utterly gazebo'd."


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • In Shadowrun, the vulgar lingo of the streets required a number of less offensive stand-ins for common curses. Most commonly, you would "kick hoop" because that "fragger" fed you a line of "bulldrek". This has mainly been discarded in Fourth Edition in favor of more traditional forms of swearing.
  • If you get enough Dungeons & Dragons nerds together they will begin taking the names of fictional deities in vain. "By Vecna's dental filling!", "Pelor preserve us!", and "Moradin!" shouted at dice which stubbornly insist on rolling 1's.
    • Most D&D players consider 'Lolth!'and related exclamations the worst/most serious of this variety. Players also swear 'By the Beard of Gygax!' and more recently 'By the Ghost of Gygax' or 'Great Gygax's Ghost!' (Garry Gygax was co-creator of D&D and one of the founders of the entire hobby).
    • Don't forget By the semen-soaked eyehole of Grumushh!
  • Not the game itself, but the fandom: a large population of those Warhammer 40,000 fans who hang out on 4chan have adopted "purge" as a euphemism for sex, taken from the "HS40K" fanfic.


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • The "Jet Song" from West Side Story uses "buggin'" and "mother-lovin'", as well as the phrase "when the spit hits the fan." Though the writers also used sanitized street language at the end of "Gee, Officer Krupke" ("Krup you!"), they must have forgotten about "schmuck" earlier in the song, which had to be censored on the original Broadway cast recording, even before it was (differently) censored in the movie—without breaking the rhyme in either case.
  • At the first act of Angels in America: Perestroika, Prior refers to his ejaculate as "spooge", a term even Belize seems not to have heard before.
  • The off-Broadway musical Altar Boyz had a character claim he had just come out of rehab for "exhaustion". Thereafter, the play makes a Running Gag of using "exhausted" as a euphemism for "drunk", leading to such lines as "Don't blame me, I was incredibly exhausted at the time!"
  • The Tennessee Williams play Cat On A Hot Tin Roof was fairly loose with profanity for The Fifties, but it still avoided using a certain four-letter word, as shown by lines like "Rut the goddamn preacher!" and "Frig Mae and Gooper, frig all dirty lies and liars!"
  • A Boy Scout skit involves a Scoutmaster teaching a kid to say "whisper" instead of "pee." Hilarity Ensues when the kid later tells another adult that he desperately needs to whisper this instant, and is told to "Whisper in my ear."
  • Jo uses "Christopher Columbus!" when surprised or distressed in the musical adaptation of Little Women.
  • In The Merchant of Venice, Launcelot employs a Hurricane of Euphemisms to describe his father's promiscuity: "...for indeed, my father did something smack, something grow to, he had a kind of taste..."
  • Li'l Abner, "The Country's In The Very Best Of Hands":

Just sits around on their you know what--
Up there they calls 'em their thighbones.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Interestingly, in the Next Generation Bionic Commando two tidbits go on the opposite direction. Once, prior to facing a boss, Super Joe tells you that "There's no way around [the boss], you'll just have to fight.", to which Spencer replies "My pleasure". However, if you die and try again, Super Joe tells "you'll just have to fuck it", leaving us with a puzzled "Hmmmm...?" response.
    • Then, later, on a less humorous stance, Spencer is mumblimb about how the last boss 'shouldn't have messed' with him. Again, if you die, it becomes 'shouldn't have fucked ' with him.
  • How about the word "Kupo" said by the moogles from Final Fantasy? An early cutscene in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has Monteblanc, a moogle, utters the line "That's the most Kupo thing I've ever heard!"
    • There's also a moogle in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings that spouts out a long string of 'kupo'. Not entirely coincidentally, said moogle has the name "Foul-mouthed Moogle".
    • The fact that it colloquially means "excrement" in Polish is probably a coincidence. The name of the perennial Super Mario Bros. villains caused a certain amount of hilarity in that part of the world for the same reason.
      • Better word to describe it would be "poo", as it carries similar, childish and informal meaning. And to be more specific, in Polish "kupo" could mean either "you poo", or be used as a vocative case.
    • Jarringly averted in Final Fantasy IX, where, upon breaking a moogle out of a iceblock with a fire spell, he says "You bastards!"
    • Seems more like a multi-use word, like "Those smurfing smurfs smurfed Smurfette!" and "This tea is smurfingly smurfy!" ...Only with kupo.
    • You spoony bard! This line has gotten so iconic that it's been lampooned countless times and always included in every remake of Final Fantasy IV even when the entire script has been rewritten (so far it's happened twice).
      • Funny thing was that much later on, spoony turned out to be a real word that accurately described the character.
    • Son of a submariner! One of the few times where the euphemism makes more sense than the word it's replacing.
    • Final Fantasy VII is strangely inconsistent about this, often replacing dialogue with a string of !@#$% but leaving the word "shit" uncensored.
      • Could be not so inconsistent - they print everything but the word "Fuck" in that game, so the strings of %#$@$^#$!^^ could be construed as long-winded rants rife with F-words that would've been too time-consuming to differentially censor, and possibly less funny as well.
      • The translation used for the PC version is much stricter. Even "shit" is isn't allowed and certain other more adult dialogue is edited out as well.
      • If you play your cards right, you can enter the Honey Bee inn on Disc 1 where a room labeled "&$#% Room," which appears to be like all the others, is found.
  • The third Sly Cooper game had a level inhabited with pirates who came up with some rather amusing insults rather than traditional profanity. The title character even lampshades this at one point.
  • In a probably unintentional example - being a game targeted to a younger audience - within the game Mechquest, there was a holiday event in which you could go into a house where a randomized NPC would say a rumor about your character. One included: "I heard that *your character name* does somersaults with Nurse Helia!" Nurse Helia is female, if you were wondering. Or maybe Freud Was Right in just my case.
  • In the MMORPG Puzzle Pirates, the game client allowed three settings for filtering swear words: Leave them unfiltered, turn them into %* $#@! and the like, or "Pirate-ize" them, making them acceptable terms. This generated such phrases as, "We're all scuppered." Even the simple acronym "wtf" would be translated into "Blistering blue barnacles!" - a Shout-Out to Tintin.
    • For certain sexual terms, the "Pirate-ize" filter will substitute "John Thomas" and "harmonica lesson". The full list is available here.
  • Internet humorist Seanbaby did this in this article about adult video games, replacing sexual terms with the names of vehicles (NOTE: Link is definitely NSFW).
  • Miscreants like Garrett are called "taffers" in the world of Thief. Lower-class citizens use variants on this word, making sure nobody is "taffing about", "taffing with me", or "giving me taff". Though fans of the series speculated that "taffer" was derived from some real word from a European culture the universe resembled, the creators assures us the word was made up.
  • In the Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic games, "space" is frequently used. Examples include "Space off," and "Go space yourself".
    • The term 'space' (as a verb) is sometimes used in Sci-fi as shorthand for the act of ejecting something from an airlock, e.g. in one episode of Babylon 5 wherein an alien ship is said to have 'spaced' the captives held on board.
    • Another term from the same games is "Schutta." If the Exile asks Atton what it means, he replies, "Ask a Twi'lek. It's not flattering."
    • There are some other fun ones for the sex act. "Just because I saved her doesn't mean I'm going to go charging up her boarding ramp!" "You look like you and [your Love Interest] just hooked up a power coupling" (for that last one, you can ask "What do you mean?", and Mira replies "You know! Hooked up a power coupling?" A more obscure example referencing the previous game is "Pulling a Bindo," which apparently means leaving the Jedi. The expression is a Shout-Out to the first KOTOR game, when NPC Jolee Bindo did just that.
      • Specifically : leaving the Jedi to be with a woman (since Jedi are Shaolin monks IN SPACE, and thus supposed to be celibate)
    • Also there's this double example with no naughty meaning at all: "Now that we're off that dejarik board of a planet, I say we burn sky until we see lines."
    • In Republic Commando, Boss likes to demand "What in Death's name?", and when telling his squad to blow stuff up he says things like "Let's rearrange some architecture, Deltas," and "Initiate radical restructuring, Commando." He also once says "By the Force!" and "BLAST!" After that last one, his most rulebound squadmate asks "What's that, sir? I didn't copy" and is told "Uh, just some interference on the comlink."
  • The original Wing Commander used "slag off" as an Unusual Euphemism for less Media Watchdog-friendly terms ending in "off". Unfortunately, as to slag someone off means to insult them, "slag off!" is equivalent to shouting "insult!"
  • Marcia of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has used the following words as expletives: crackers, chestnuts, mutton chops, horsemeat, jerky, and barnacles. She's just as colorful when coming up with an insulting term for someone.
    • In fact, Fire Emblem is full of this stuff. "Moldy onions" and "hornet hairs" in particular stand out.
  • The word "Frag" is used to mean a kill in an online FPS. See Live Action TV examples below.
    • Frag is short for "fragment", or "tear into pieces". So not really less graphic. It may mean a more difficult, more graphic type of kill, in some games.
  • In Zork: Grand Inquisitor, Yoruk is an ancient and powerful wizard, so powerful in fact that wars have been fought over the possession of his skull. (And yes, this is a Shout-Out to Hamlet.) As such, people use the term "Sweet Yoruk!" in the same way people in real life use "Sweet Jesus!" (though they say "Sweet Yoruk" more than people in real life say "Sweet Jesus". When was the last time you heard someone say "Sweet Jesus"?)
    • Also, the people in Zork get milk from Hunguses instead of cows, so "Holy Cow!" becomes "Holy Hungus!"
  • Math-obsessed Minamimoto in The World Ends With You flings mathematical terms instead of profanity, most commonly "hectopascals" and "you zetta sons of digits". This is most obvious near the end, when he clearly replaces the F-word with "factor" (especially since "factoring hectopascals" makes no sense as it's a measurement of pressure).
    • Eiji Oji, an in-game celebrity, has a blog called "F everything," and its title may you to believe it's a stereotypical angst-filled blog...until you discover that to "F" something means to declare it to be "fabulous."

"F this ramen! F it to high heaven!"

  • The Sims 2 has pairs of Sims "Woohoo", rather than have sex. Used consistently, though the original The Sims would only have "Play" in similar contexts.
    • Fans of the game has since adopted it as their own euphemism.
    • In The Sims Medieval, pirate town Aarbyville is also known for its "meat trade." This is actually an Unusual Euphemism for prostitution, though it takes a few references before you get it. (The Fighters' Guild quest has perhaps the most transparent one.)
  • In Days of Ruin an unnamed IDS agent uses terms such as "Oh good gravy" and "Sweet corn casserole!". This and her other funny dialog (such as being the only one to care that the plane they are on is crashing) is key in framing the theme of the breather chapter she appears in.
    • Her dialog is completely straight faced and purely expository in Dark Conflict
  • One of the Naughty Sorceress' attacks in Kingdom of Loathing refers to cooking you up "a nice spaghetti breakfast." This is an euphemism one of the game staff uses for tentacle rape.
    • This euphemism was originally shared with the founders of the game 1000BlankWhiteCards.
  • In Reality Breakdown: Kel's War, the third game in the Reality Breakdown series and the first to happen chronologically, protagonist Kel's home dimension seems a bit different from most other dimensions, in that they use energy from the sun to perform their "magic", and have "frap" as a swear word. The word is versatile, too, as one NPC is seen running into town yelling "One frapping huge army is coming!", while another time Kel wakes up and asks a party member how long he was out. When hearing how many days he was unconscious, he says "frap, I missed the weekend". Amusingly, Kel uses the word in another dimension later in the game, and naturally no one knows what he's talking about. The word is likely a combination of "fuck" and "crap".
    • Interesting combination, as "fuck" and "crap" are two words on opposite sides of the swear scale (with "shit" being about between them, but leaning slightly more to the "fuck" side of the scale). Of the five most common expletives, they rank fuck, shit, crap, damn, ass. Just check most TV programs. Censorship seems to only allow swears up to a certain level of the scale depending on the program, and likely the time it's on. Futurama will allow crap, damn, and ass (lots of ass), but not shit or fuck. They say "bastard" a few times, though.
  • An NPC in Happy Happy Village in EarthBound tells Ness, "Don't go to heaven!" This piece of dialog sounds like Nintendo of America put it in as an oddly censored version of "go to hell," but it was present in the Japanese version as well.
    • There's also the memorable, "You will be gone, and you'll be burning in...well, you'll go to heaven!"
  • In Dragon Age Origins, Alistair will ask the player character in they've ever "licked a lamp post in the winter." In context, this becomes a euphemism for sex...or something. Also, Oghren will ask "Where can I get some sauce for that rump roast?"
    • There is also a rather hilarious exchange between Alistair and Oghren about "polishing their swords." Whether or not this is in fact a euphemism or not is lost on everyone, including Alistair.
    • Oghren seems to be a master of these, as evidence by this conversation, again with Alistair:

Oghren: So. With the boss, aye?
Alistair: Pardon?
Oghren: You and the boss. Rolling your oats.
Alistair: I don't know--
Oghren: Polishing the footstones.
Alistair: --what you're--
Oghren: Tapping the midnight still, if you will.
Alistair: what are you going on about?
Oghren: Forging the moaning statue. Bucking the forbidden horse. Donning the velvet hat.
Alistair: Are you just making these up right now?
Oghren: Nope. Been saving 'em.

    • Oghren also drunkenly mistakes the PC for his ex-wife's female lover, referring to her as a "moss-biting poetess." Sort of the dwarf equivalent of "carpet-munching," one would assume.
    • The sequel continues the fun with filthy-minded party member Isabela, who utters a similar series of euphemisms asking if Aveline and Donnic have had sex and how good it was. "Put it in your peach" is one memorable one; she also uses "mastered your taint," riffing on an unintentionally humorous line from the first game that underwent Memetic Mutation.
  • BioWare seems to be quite fond of this trope (among many, many others), as in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for Mass Effect 2, we had this exchange.

Shepard: (looking at a giant screen with asari dancers) What kind of hotel is this?
Liara: Azure. It's a luxury resort with an... "exotic" edge. "Azure" is slang for a part of the asari body in some areas of Illium.
Shepard: Where?
Liara: In the lower reaches - near the bottom.
Shepard: I meant "where on the Asari body".
Liara: So did I.

  • Jurassic: The Hunted has:

"What the Foxtrot is going on here?"

  • The Commander Keen fandom often uses "fucl", although it's not actually used as a euphemism in the games. It comes from an Easter Egg in which a few platforms on one level spell out "FUCL", but it's obvious what the developers ment, and soon became a meme.
  • The official motto of Dwarf Fortress is "Losing is fun!" The fandom took this and ran with it, so now anything that's likely to kill your fort is "Fun." As in, "forgetting to put in a system to prevent your well from overflowing can lead to a lot of Fun." In this sense, it often overlaps with Deadly Euphemism.
    • The "Hidden Fun Stuff". But certain parts of the community got tired of that, and when DF 2010 came out, produced a suite of Unusual Euphemisms: getting some "cotton candy", going to "the circus", and meeting "clowns".
  • In Fatal Fury 3, when you play as Mai Shiranui in a single player game, the pre-battle conversation with Andy Bogard includes this line:

Andy: W...What?! Mai, what in the name of the Great Ice Cream Salesman are you doing here?

  • In Paper Mario, Koopa Koot shouts quite a variety of these (mostly involving enemy characters) when Mario completes favors for him. "Great galloping goombas!" and "Suffering shy guys!" to name a few.
  • Sengoku Rance replaces every instance of the word "penis" with "hyper-weapon" and uses "imperial juice" as a euphemism. Which leads to...

Rance's hyper weapon is ready for action!

  • In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings it seems to be a common euphemism to replace the verb "fuck" with "plough", as in "Go plough yourself!" As a standard exclamation "fuck" is still liberally used in the game
  • One of the Harvest Moon games has the term "Best Friend system" when to the lesbian marriage option. You "best friend" your 'friend' even though they clearly have both Affection and Friendship points once you get a certain item, and that the clearly affectionate lines are all left in from the original male-only version of the game.
  • In the middle of Halo:Reach, Kat comes up with a highly unconventional plan to take out an enemy super-carrier.

Carter: "Even for you, Kat, that's..."
Kat: "...inspired?"
Carter: "Not the word I would use."

Rashe: You want me to punish you like dad used to?
Roland: No no! Not in my Lapis Seeds.

Sam: Percent sign ampersand pound sign!
Max: And colon semicolon too!
Spoonbender: What the [bleep] are you doing?
Sam: Swearing in longhand, asterisk-mouth.

  • In Blaze Union, when the girls of the party reject a gaggle of gangsters propositioning them, the gangsters decide to use force where words wouldn't work, and declare "Im Taking You Home With Me" before attacking. Explicit use of the word "rape" would probably have forced a higher CERO rating on the game, but more importantly, it would have destroyed the over-the-top nature of the scene and taken away all that remained of its humor value.
  • One of the questions on the G.O.A.T. character-design test in Fallout 3 is, "A crazed vault scientist runs up to you and yells 'I'm going to stick my quantum harmonizer in your photonic resonation chamber!' How do you respond?" It's a euphemism for something, but we're not quite sure what.
    • And oddly enough, the obvious answer isn't on the list of responses. "Up yours" is, however.


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • Homestar Runner characters are notorious for made-up swears:
    • In the Show Within a Show Teen Girl Squad, Tompkins often uses the expression "Aw peas!".
    • Strong Bad has used "bulltonk" and "bullhonkey", the latter later being turned into the name of an energy drink (a parody of Red Bull).
    • "What the pfargtl?!" is used once and referenced within the same episode as the acronym "WTPF."
    • Homestar Runner himself refers to his butt as his "tweese", even though he's actually said "butt" before (apparently it's a shortened form of "buttweesimo"). He has also said, "Sweet genius, that hurt!"
    • Marzipan then later calls Strong Bad a horse's tweese.
    • Strong Sad has peculiar elephant feet. He calls them "soolnds".
    • In the DVD commentary for the sbemail "technology", Matt says "parg" when Mike tells him to swear.
    • In one halloween special, after Bubs and Coach Z come to the door, their response to the candy they get:

Bubs: Aww, zagnut!


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Piro and Largo from Megatokyo say "Fsck!", which is a UNIX command that scans the hard drives for errors and fixes them. Since its usage is common in hacker culture, this insult makes sense, since Megatokyo features a lot of influence from the hacker culture.
    • The legend behind the fsck command is that it was originally more colorfully named, being what one types when the disk is broken, but that the name had to be changed to satisfy lawyers in an early release; filesystem consistency check is thus a backronym. Or, as the Unix Haters Handbook puts better, "think of a good English word to describe what you want to do, then think of an obscure near- or partial-synonym, throw away all the vowels, arbitrarily shorten what's left, and then, finally, as a sop to the literate programmer, maybe reinsert one of the missing vowels."
  • In the Jenniverse, starting with Unicorn Jelly, odd runes were used where the offending words were used, but a more common and understandable version was the multi-purpose 'Farg'. Since the language they spoke was supposed to be a compromise of mostly english and some other languages, this makes sense.
  • In Adventurers! one strip plays with the censorship on RPG curse words, using various ways of covering up the words themselves, eventually using "Spoony", a play on a famous scene from Final Fantasy IV. After that, the word "spoony" became a running joke in the strip, with characters spouting it all the time in place of curse words. Other utensil-related words were used, such as "spoon" on its own, "Fork you", or even "utensil", but "spoony" was the most widely used.
  • In Erfworld, Parson finds that any cussword he attempts to utter (and he attempts to utter several immediately after being summoned) comes out as "boop". Apparently, the "game mechanics" that govern Erfworld include a profanity filter.
    • Parson thus likes it when he finds a curse not covered by the filter, and in the meantime has begun to use some unusual language of his own.
  • "Butt-noses" in this Loserz strip. Almost adorable, isn't it?
  • CRFH!!! has used, among others, "xlempaphroggin'" and "spiroratstar." Real ones are used sometimes, though; they're just scribbled out.
    • Astute readers will notice that "spiroratstar" is actually a written-out rendering of an instance of Symbol Swearing that appeared in an earlier strip.
  • Achewood features Philippe, a five year old otter, who obviously can't be allowed to swear like everyone else in the comic can (and does), on account of being five forever. For example, when Philippe comes across straight man Teodor watching gay porn and is informed that it's really Superman helping another man out of the shower: "Superman wouldn't wear a police hat in the shower! Applesauce!"
  • For a while, Everything Jake had "Quck" which even the other characters were unsure of.
  • The characters from Bob and George often use, "Nutbunnies!"
  • Save Hiatus has a strip where Ven goes on a Cluster F-Bomb rant without using any actual swear words, just various sci-fi and fantasy Unusual Euphemisms.
  • The comic 1/0 lifted its first character, "Barnacle" Jones, from the comic Absolute Tripe, which introduced him as "the first man in history to seal a fart in a mason jar". The jar came along with Jones, though 1/0 never shows it in-panel. Later in the strip, characters begin using "Jar Breeze" as profanity.
    • Junior attempted to use the author's name (Tailsteak) as a curse word for a period of time because he reasoned that the author can't bleep out his own name.
  • This is the sole purpose of one character from Sexy Losers who is only called Touro's friend (swearing). The creator acknowledged that his speech kind of makes sense but really doesn't it's just meant to sound insulting and use a lot of swearing. He's given us such gems as "Yeah spooge mouth. You fuck cows in retrospect" and "Yeah fuckwit you shit for sale."
  • Various couples in Namir Deiter have expressed fondness for "Cookies and Pudding".
  • The Wotch. Anne Onymous often says "fish sticks!" instead of a more objectionable expletive.
  • David Gonterman censors his Gonter Verse relentlessly, so he's come up with quite a few of these. Phrack (guess what it's a substitute for) is a particularly common one, but there's also the infamous "Clinton Jobs".
  • The Cyantian Chronicles has "Squid", which is used as a catch-all curse word for cyantians. Normal curse words get censored. The origin of "Squid" as a swear word comes from the period where the whole of Cyantia was enslaved by the Moulin Phedra, who happened to look a lot like Squid.
    • "Squid on a Stick" is my favorite occurrence of this.
    • "Dratsad", which is used instead of "Bastard!".
  • Misfile with "Your pop up thermometers just went active."
  • Thinkin' Lincoln has the occasional use of lines such as "What the crumpet" and "Son of a birch."
  • Within the much-maligned "Oceans Unmoving" plotline of Sluggy Freelance, scientist Kada frequently uses the interjection "splat" and euphemism for generic curses. After the Carib "Honest" Stu gets shot and is dying, Kada swear revenge, referring to the attackers as "splats" and Stu interrupts her to tell her that "splat" is actually a derogatory term for Caribs themselves, derived from the sound they made when being run over. Cue Kada's horrified backpedaling followed a beat panel, then Stu saying "Now I know why you guys lie all the time. It's funny!" before dying.
    • She also uses "freg" to stand in for the f-word - generally at least once per comic she appears in. Yeah, she's pretty foulmouthed.
    • Don't forget to ask Gwynn about her Monkeys. Especially if they have escaped and you need your friends to help you look for them.
  • Badly Drawn Webcomic takes this to the logical extreme in this strip.
  • Terinu makes frequent use of "Frell" (borrowed from Farscape) and "Fragg", both standing in for the usual F-word. Word of God reports that "Fragg" came from her husband's attempt to not swear in front of their children, instead substituting Fraggle Rock!
  • Cardinal in Finder's Keepers uses "Compass and Cross!" as an exclamation of shock and frustration in lieu of swearing. Cailyn, on the other hand, drops regular old-fashioned F-bombs when she's stressed.
  • Polk Out example: [1]
  • Leslie from Friendly Hostility uses *swear* as the author does not know a word strong enough for him to say.
  • In one strip of El Goonish Shive Grace and Sarah are talking about Sarah and Elliot "getting a room". The title of the strip "clarifies" that they are referring to "playing boardgames". "Playing boardgames" has now become a euphemism used by the EGS fandom. Considering how EGS has also mentioned at various points "Strip Scrabble", naked games of Twister, and the "Best. Card. Ever!", this euphemism is not unjustified.
  • The titular Dominic Deegan refers to large breasts as "lower back problems" - a joke that dates back to Strip #2. Which might also be Truth in Television as well.
  • DMFA uses the word "frig" a lot (especially Dan).
    • Which is also a real-world euphemism. Mab, on the other hand, yells "Friggernaffy!"
  • We get the amusing "poofers" in the better than it sounds/appears webcomic Hamsta Powah. The idea behind the word is that, due to the fall of humanity and small creatures artificially evolving as the new intelligent race (so far, hamster, mice, rat, squirrel, and rabbit furries have been seen), new swear words have popped up. "Poofers" translates to "crap" or "shit" when used in conjunction with disapointment at something happening. A notable example is when Sam said "Oh, poofers" before being hit with the tornado from Hiate's Sky's Fury summon.
    • Author and artist Sam Boyd says the word is really just because, quote "hamster profanity is fun".
    • Possibly Averted/Subverted/Funny Aneurysm/Did Not Do the Research in that 'poof' is a British slur against a homosexual man; particularly one that exhibits effemenate mannerisms. Calling someone a 'poofer' (particularly in the 1960's, as in modern parlance it becomes 'poofter') is a distinctly nasty thing to do, but not particularly unusual.
  • Subverted in this comic of Order of the Stick, where Celia catches her boyfriend "slipping the wood" to some dryad hussy.
  • The note for one Schlock Mercenary strip: For our younger readers, "alone time with my wife" is a euphemism for "playing scrabble." Haban doesn't want Petey to know he got the word "stimulation" on a triple-word score.
    • Later, the readers are given "Charlie Foxtrot" and interesting derivatives, such as "Charlie danced the Foxtrot." This one actually makes perfect sense: Charlie Foxtrot is the Military Alphabet phonetic version of CF, which is short for clusterfuck.
      • Cluster-fluffle.
      • Later on Kathryn Flinders uses "ficus foxtrot" and, on one particularly harrowing occasion, "creeping Charlie ficus foxtrot".
      • MaKo used "Mother foxtrot" when she figured out impending invasion a few minutes before it began.
    • The phrases "crap on a crutch" and "hellfire and blamnation" are occasionally used as well. According to writer Howard Tayler, these are profanyms (or, more specifically, blasphenyms): words that sound naughty, but aren't.
    • Thin air.
    • Chuckyfox.
  • Suicide for Hire got one in a Continuity Nod: an early comic depicted a fully-clothed Talking Animal turtle. Clothes have to be a weird shape to fit over a shell, and this got a Lampshade Hanging with an author's note reading "Don't ask me how turtle shirts work. They just do." In a more recent strip, Arcturus sees something shocking and yells "What the turtleshirt is this?!"
  • Drowtales gives us, Moonblood.
  • According to Penny Arcade, "ham doctor" will soon be a horrifically offensive swear. Make it happen.
  • Nick Zerhakker in Skin Horse has censoring software put in him, which substitutes similar but clean words much like broadcast versions of movies do. Its choices are getting increasingly baffling.
  • Out There: "Writers" in reference to people checking Miriam's assets out. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • While the dwarves "fukken" in Oglaf may seem to be only a slightly unique pronunciation of an obvious word, their tendency to use it as their only swear and interject it at seemingly random points leans more to this trope.
  • The Walkyverse gives us "Cheese" and "Cheesus" in place of God in most contexts. "The Cheese" is a nickname for a godlike entity in the 'verse, which half-explains it, but several characters with no idea who the Cheese is use it from time to time.
  • Lackadaisy has a storm of euphamisms for drug use in one of it's extra pages. Specifically the author has noticed how some fans wonder if is Zib "is a viper", having a "Texas tea party", doing the "golden strut", "kicking the gong around", "copping a deuceways", "courting the white lady", and having a "whizbang good time".
  • Wonderella tries to take a day off from heroics to play "Hello Kitty the home version".
  • Ménage à 3: "Rubbing my earlobe". It Makes Sense in Context. .
  • Antihero for Hire with "Great gyroscopes! We may be entirely fornicated."
  • Sugar Bits has a rain of those on this page.

Web Original[edit | hide]

Vegeta: "Son of a gum-chewing funk monster! Why the fruit does all this funny stuff happen to me?! Forget my life! Always surrounded by miserable failing clods! Like this whole world just likes to bend me over and find me in the Alps! Like I'm some sort of slot receptacle! Well as far as I care, these miserable cows can have a fancy barbeque, with a Goddamn pig!"

  • How many of you had heard "fark" before Drew Curtis launched the eponymous website in 1999?
  • Played with in Tales of MU, with actual swearing rendered in the familiar English, but local variants exist to replace such things as "gee" and "gosh."
  • A variation appears in Survival of the Fittest' which otherwise averts the trope entirely. When making evalutations of the student files (in-character versions of the student profiles handlers write for the characters), Danya tends to use "motivate" as a euphamism for playing the game/killing. For example "has potential to be a motivator" or "could motivate if given the right incentive."
  • When talking on image boards, be aware that safe driving means breasts that straddle the line of being sent to an alternative board for their immense size.
  • In Stupid Mario Brothers, Ash often says things like "Son of a Bulbasaur".
  • A YouTube ROM Hack reviewer named Azureblade 49 used "Ferjuckers" as a minced oath several times. In one instance, he even left a comment explaining that he uses this word whenever something doesn't quite call for a WTF.
  • The Gaming in the Clinton Years review of Tomb Raider 2 refers to Lara Croft's breasts as "front-loaded anvils."
  • The Euphemismator
  • The Protectors of the Plot Continuum say things like "Flaming Denethor" or "Jadis in a block of ice", and use "Glaurung" as a substitute for the F-word.
  • Linkara said "What the pluperfect hell has that got to do with Batman?!" in his review of 'The Dark Knight Strikes Again: Part 1.'
    • He also asked, I think in the same review, "What the Flying Dutchman is up with this background?" And his Running Gag of saying "What the Funk and Wagnall?"
  • Let's Player Deceased Crab can often be heard to exclaim "Bake sale!" when he screws up.
    • Similarly, Seorin's Let's Play of Tsukihime uses the names of breakfast cereals, cookies, and other foods to partially censor the ero scenes. You will never look at breakfast the same way again.
    • Later on, in the epic LP of Sonic 2006, Pokécapn tended to scream "PHYSICS!" whenever he died. It stopped being hilarious after 500 times. But only after.
  • Sara's done the fun in all sorts of places
  • Knock knock. Who's there? You are a shizno.
  • Kit-chan's capsummaries include endless amounts of these! "I would like to 'work under you', Sir.", "Keep an 'apple pie' warm for me!" are two notable ones.
  • You're an apple!
  • In keeping with "number one" and "number two," masturbation has been referred to on the podcast You Look Nice Today as "number three."
  • The Drunk Tank Podcast, by the guys at Rooster Teeth Productions, uses the term "hands" for breasts. Eventually, Geoff refers to a bartender they call "angry boobs" as having "huge, pendulous, beautiful hands."


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In The Smurfs, the word "smurf" is applied to anything the writers feel would be funny, but especially as a rather transparent substitute for expletives; in some cases, they are then upbraided by another character for using "such language."
    • Likewise The Snorks and "snork." Only they don't do it quite as much but there have been allusions to the "F-Word", with them saying "Snork off!".
    • Family Guy once parodied this by having Stewie watching an episode of the Smurfs where one was describing to another his date with Smurfette, using "smurf" to stand in for a lot of naughty words.
    • South Park once parodied this trope in the episode "Starvin' Marvin in Space", where the boys encounter a race of aliens known as Marklar. The word "marklar" is the only noun in the language, and is used for everything.
  • Transformers is famous for this, particularly Beast Wars. Various permutations of the word "Slag" are the most popular, but are others, including the perennially popular "kiss my skid plate" (though "skidplate" is used similarly in Animated)
    • Slag is molten gunk cast off during various metallurgical processes, so it is an obvious stand-in for excrement when dealing with robots. Less fortunate is the Generation One Transformer named Slag, who has retroactively received a very foul name. Some feel that this fits Slag's character a little too well, and the whole thing's an infrequently used running gag among the fandom. They were even going to call his counterpart in Animated Slag, but decided against it.
      • Perhaps slightly Older Than They Think, with Galvatron in the 1987 season of the first cartoon shouting "Die, you worthless piece of slag!" Given that in Australian and British English, this word means "slut" (or sometimes, in Australia, "spit"), that probably wasn't the best choice, and is why they changed the name in Animated.
      • Indeed, someone at ITV took so much offence at the term "slag", that all references to it were more or less edited out of Beast Wars when it was aired in the UK.
      • In one episode of Animated they make a lampshading of this. After Sari expresses surprise that Scrapper has named said counterpart 'Snarl' (taken from another G1 Dinobot), Scrapper replies "Well I was gonna name him 'Slag', but he seemed to take offense at it."
      • That's kinda closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. They didn't seem to consider that when they named him back in '85, and it's certainly not a new use of the term.
    • Animated gave us a couple, such as "glitch-head". They're actually seeing how far they could go (they had to cut the line "What the forklift was that"; in the finished episode, the line largely survives, but "forklift" had to be replaced with "front-end loader"), as they weren't allowed to use many initially. However, during the second season, some of the bots (especially Bumblebee) got surprisingly rust-mouthed.
    • In Prime, the go-to word seems to be "scrap", with Arcee getting the most mileage out of it.
    • In fact, Transformers wiki has several pages on this, which includes a list of Anatomic Euphemisms. Gold star if you guessed "tailpipe" was on the list.
  • For a while, this spread to other children's action series, such as Batman Beyond.
  • Parodied on Futurama, where Amy uses made-up equivalents for very mild oaths indeed (such as "Gleesh" for "Gosh", probably a direct parody of "frack" and the like). As well, one episode had the planet of Amazonia, where "snuu-snuu" is used to refer to sex.
    • Also, Bender frequently yells things like "Cheese it!" and "We're boned."
      • This may lean more toward simply being anachronistic slang, at least in the case of "cheese it," which was common slang in the 1950's, generally meaning "stop it" or "run away," as a warning when an authority figure was coming near.
    • Futurama also has Leela using Band names as curses, such as "This Toads the Wet Sprocket!" and "This Wangs Chung!" "So musicians really Roger your Hammerstein, eh?"
    • One episode in which the gang thwarts Richard Nixon, Nixon shouts out the exact words, "Oh expletive deleted!" This refers to the phrase used to replace Nixon's swearing in transcripts of his recorded conversations with his staff. It became so widely known at the time that some protesters at the White House were even seen carrying signs saying, "IMPEACH THE (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!"
  • Also, in one episode, about Leela and her new boyfriend:

Have you ever, y'know, "Barry White"?

  • Recess used a fictional curse-word "whomp", which seemed to mean "suck" from context. This was lampshaded in an episode when the teachers banned the word, insisting that it must have some kind of hidden offensive meaning. The kids eventually ended up in court in their quest to prove that it was just a word they'd invented.
    • They intended to use that word for the name of One Saturday Morning's weekday afternoon counterpart, which they were originally naming Whomptastic. But perhaps because using a word that apparently meant "suck" didn't make much sense in that context, they replaced it with the more fitting name of One Too.
  • In Pepper Ann, "Fuzzy" (the name of a cartoon character within the show's world) was used as a catch-all euphemism ("What the Fuzzy?" "For the love of Fuzzy..." etc.)
  • Pirates of Dark Water used a set of fictional curse-words, such as "noi jitat" and "jungo-lungo", to bypass the censors, as well as to enrich the sense of an alternate universe. This allowed the characters to retain their foul-mouthed pirate personalities (though most of the protagonists weren't actually pirates) while keeping the show safe for children.
  • "Rassin-frassin" is used as a derogatory adjective in the Hanna-Barbera cartoons The Flintstones and The Jetsons, as well as by Yosemite Sam in various Looney Tunes shorts. Or maybe rassle-frassle.
    • Some modern animations, in search of a "clean" curse word, turn to the variation, "Rassafrass!"
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • Spongebob and his friend Patrick use "Tartar Sauce", "Fish Sticks", "Fish Paste", and "Barnacles" as their favored exclamations. One would guess that, to a fish, tartar sauce would be pretty shocking. "What the shell" and "What the halibut" crop up occasionally, too.
    • The word barnacles seems to be their equivalent of sh* t or bull sh* t as it's sometimes used like "this is a load of barnacles" and "you're full of barnacles", in another example Mr. Krabs had given on ever being able to do something and Spongebob says "Barnacles Mr. Krabs!" and Mr. Krabs says "Spongebob!" as if he said a very bad word and Spongebob says "Pardon the language". This euphemism is actually directly lampshaded by the song "Barnacles" in the music CD "Spongebob On The High Seas," in which Spongebob, Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Krabs, and Plankton flat-out state that it's a euphemism for curse words. This goes so far as to break the fourth wall and may even count as a Take That at censorship in general. However, the fact that it encourages censorship by use of this euphemism suggests otherwise. Still, I can't help but feel the chorus is poking fun at it.

Chorus:"Barnacles is the way we say what they say we can't say."

    • Plankton has the habit of saying "What the Davy...?" since "Davy Jones's Locker" is portrayed as the series' equivalent of Hell.
    • Mr. Krabs is fond of saying "Mother of pearl!" Interestingly enough, he's the father of Pearl. Possibly Mrs. Krabs and Slag (see above) should form a support group for people who have become Unusual Euphemisms.
    • In "Wet Painters", Spongebob exclaimed "Flapping Flotsam!" when he saw that he and Patrick got a drop of permanent paint on Mr. Krabs's first dollar.
    • They also use "Captain's Quarters" to refer to butts on ocassion.
    • Spongebob's classic "Holy Krabby Patties!" Hilariously drawn out so you can imagine he's actually saying "holy crap" for as long as possible.
    • Brilliantly Lampshaded/parodied in the episode where Sponge Bob finds an apparently horrific obscenity written on a trash bin, but has no idea what it means. When he first uses the phrase, it is obscured by dolphin noiseswhich turn out to (a) be the actual obscenity, and (b) to be unimaginably offensive to all who hear it. This in itself is lampshaded later on when other offensive phrases get used and are covered up by different sound effects. Then it turns out that one of those sound effects, a car horn, was actually being made by a car. Which means that Old Man Jenkins drives around in a jalopy whose horn is a loud broadcast of a horrible obscenity.
    • There are also a lot of episodes where the characters say, "Oh, Neptune" or "Thank Neptune", as Neptune is the god that sea creatures worship.
  • In the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, the turtles often barked, "What the shell?!" (On at least one occasion, Donatello comes pretty close to the real thing: "Aw, sssshhhh-ell!") It's even in the Theme Song - It's a Shell of a town!
    • In one episode in the "Fast Forward" season, Splinter sees that Raphael entered into a professional wrestling match. When confronted, Raph says, "Aww fish-sicles!"
  • In Danny Phantom, Mr. Lancer constantly uses book titles as expletives of shock. Ex.: "Moby Dick!", "Gulliver's Travels, I'm losing my mind - and my pants!", and "Lord of the Flies! They're slipping right through my hands!" "War of the Worlds, creature, get away from my youthful charges!" "Chicken Soup for the Soul!" "Hunt for Red October!", when the faculty's steak dinners are stolen, "Paradise Lost!" and, beautifully, when locked in a closet, "Cask of Amontillado!"
    • And let's not forget the other bizarre expletive user, Vlad Masters. Unlike Mr. Lancer, however, Vlad uses food items such as "fudge buckets", "butter biscuits", "cheese logs", "butter brickle", etc. All of which practically mean Oh Crap.
  • The Angry Beavers make frequent use of the word "Spoot." In one episode, Scientist Number One actually shouts "Oh... expletive!" in shock.
    • "Dog" is occasionally used in place of God.
  • Warmonga, in Kim Possible, uses "frakkle", although she says it so casually it may be the equivalent of "darn" or "whoops" rather than anything else.
    • Mr. Barkin, also from Kim Possible, has several of these, including "cheese and crackers", from which it's not hard to deduce a prime suspect inspiration.
  • Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy once threatened to "open up a can of powerpuff" on Billy and Grim. Before they were a show, the Powerpuff Girls were called "The Whupass Girls".
  • There's a kind of variation in the 1970s British animated puppet show The Clangers. None of the title characters had any actual dialogue. They all "spoke" in echoing slide-whistle notes that had the cadence of English speech, so that it was often possible to work out what they were saying from the context of the story - for instance, "Whee-oo, woo-oo woo-oo" could be interpreted as "Hello, Tiny Clanger". On one occasion it was claimed that one of the character's whistles meant "Sod it! The bloody thing's stuck!" although this could never be proven.
    • As a matter of fact, the offending phrase was used in the voice-box for the Clanger toys, and is "Oh sod it! The bloody thing's stuck again".
  • In the latest version of the Care Bears franchise, Grumpy frequently uses "grumbly" expletives such as "Bumbling bittlebots!" and "Galloping gearbox!"
  • Tek Jansen, eponymous hero of the animated Show Within a Show on The Colbert Report, has a new curse every episode - usually space-themed puns ranging from "Venus Flytrap!" to "Space Mountain!" "Solar Plexus!" has been used repeatedly to the point where it's almost a Catch Phrase.
  • Fij Fij of Maryoku Yummy always says "Yappin' Yumblebum!" when something bad happens.
  • Justice League usually just cut off almost swears, but they also gave of this priceless line:

Green Lantern:Judas Priest!

    • Which is actually a really old euphemism for just what you thought.
    • It turns up in Sunset Boulevard, of all places.
    • Plus there's Hawkgirl telling the Flash that he wouldn't have a good chance with Fire because she's "Brazillian".
  • One The Berenstain Bears cartoon has an episode about how cursing is wrong. The curse word? Furball. It's apparently treated as an ethnic slur in Bear Country. Despite being a largely homogenous society.
    • In the original book, it is never stated what the word is. It is implied, however, that it is the F-word (and I don't mean "furball"). The TV writers couldn't find a way to hide the word, chickened out, and went with the Unusual Euphemism.
    • An episode of Arthur, dealing with the same subject matter, did have the guts to use a bleep, as in actually showing that, yes, D.W. was actually swearing.
  • On Rocky and Bullwinkle, Boris Badenov often shouts "Raskolnikov!", which is the name of the protagonist in Crime and Punishment. Bullwinkle has "Jumpin' G. Horstat!" and Rocky "Hokey smokes!"
    • Boris spouting words with good connotations in succession such as "Purity" and "Innocence" when enraged has also been treated as if he was spewing expletives in context.
  • Freakazoid! uses "Aw, nut bunnies!"
  • On The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Robotnik often calls his robots "nincombots" or "metal morons" when they fail him. In one Youtube video, this is parodied.
  • Butters, one of few South Park characters who rarely swear, often uses "Aw hamburgers" and "Son of biscuit!"
  • Inevitable Avatar: The Last Airbender example: Aang expresses frustration by exclaiming "monkey feathers!"
  • Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! character Daizy uses "lavender lollipops" as an expletive.
  • In Goodfeathers shorts of Animaniacs, pigeons use the word "Coo" in dirty ways, such as "Coo you" and "Coo off".
    • In one episode where one of their girlfriends leaves them for another Pesto I believe it was says to the new boyfriend says "have you been cooing my girl?"
  • Principal Skinner will use this on occasion, the most memorable being the exclamation "GM Chrysler!" Similarly, Mr Burns is fond of this: most apparent is '22 Short Films About Springfield' where he motivates a bee-stung and quickly-dying Smithers to continue powering their bicycle-built-for-two in completely accurate 19th century slang insults—calling him (among other things) a "stuporous funker." The Other Wiki has a breakdown here.
    • In the Treehouse of Horror segment "Starship Poopers" upon hearing Maggie's distress call Kang exclaims "Holy flerking schnidt!"
  • In the P.J. Sparkles pilot cartoon, after seeing that his evil plot has failed, the villain cries out "Oh, spit!"
  • The Brothers Flub and Dave the Barbarian both used "Bejabbers!".
  • Elisa in Gargoyles occasionally uses "Jalapeños!" as a general-purpose curse.
    • Actually, Goliath and Broadway started that trend (Goliath first shouted "Jalapeño!" appropriately enough, the first time he ever ate a jalepeño), and Eliza picked it up due to her hanging with the Gargoyles.
  • Family Guy needed an Unusual Euphemism to get past the network censors, so they invented the word "Clemen". They noted that it would soon gain some obscene meaning and they wouldn't be allowed to use it again.
    • Not quite, it was a spoof of tabloid journalism. Tom Tucker announced it on the newscast as the hot new swearword, and that viewers would have to wait until after the commercial break to find out what it means.
    • They also had an episode where they sung the song "Shipoopi" from the 1957 musical The Music Man. People wondered if it was some kind of Unusual Euphemism even though the song itself explains that it means "The girl who's hard to get".
    • In Blue Harvest, they use Phantom Menace as a swear. (In geek culture, that actually is an offensive term.)
    • Used in the form of a series of increasingly ridiculous gestures made by Peter to try to imply to Death that he might get lucky with a girl.
  • In Metalocalypse, the band orders Ofdensen to use the term Hamburger Time for death to make it sound more pleasant. As a reminder, the band is a death metal band.
  • Katy from Katy Caterpillar is fond of exclaiming "Whippety Pow!" when she's excited.
  • Halloween Is Grinch Night deserves special credit here: an outhouse is referred to as "the euphemism."
  • An episode of Home Movies has a veterinarian refer to euthanasia as "making cotton candy."
  • The Little Mermaid and an episode of The Backyardigans called "The Great Dolphin Race" both had "Jumping jellyfish!" as an euphemism. The latter also had "Leaping lobsters!" and "Holy cowfish!".
  • Phineas and Ferb has this exchange.

Candace: *screams* There's squirrels in my pants!
Rapper: Wow! That girl's got some serious squirrels in her pants!

    • The way the expression comes off is a bit confusing, it's implied that they think she's dancing and the song that she sings follows that logic. Though, at the exact moment the line is spoken, Candace is bending over with her hands on her butt and begins to shake her hips.
      • It does look like dancing, especially when you consider that they are supposed to be breakdancers/rappers.
  • When Naveen crashes the Charlotte's wedding in The Princess and the Frog, she exclaims, "Cheese and crackers!"
  • Beetlejuice once had a horde of video zombies "scare the living carp" out of him. Indeed, there was a live carp flopping around.
  • Kick Buttowski: "Oh, biscuits!"
  • 1973-74 Superfriends episodes.
    • "The Mysterious Moles". When the title villains are confronted by the Superfriends, a dismayed Minimus Mole says "Oh ding ding blathering blithers!"
    • "The Shamon U". When Wendy is disappointed that Batman and Robin don't take them along on an investigation, she says "Oh pistachios!" (i.e. the nut).
  • Adventure Time features such phrases as "What the cabbage?" and "Let's get the math out of here."
  • Megas XLR: The Glorft leader uses "I'll have your Jorblachs!" to chew his lackies out. Jorblachs most likely being the Glorft word for ass.
  • In The Problem Solverz, "oh my dog" is used occasionally. In one episode, a character says, "What the funny face?"
  • Regular Show uses the euphemism "Lady Pecs". Guess.
  • ReBoot used ASCII for, well, just pronounce it.
  • Rocko of Rocko's Modern Life used a few, including "For the love of cake!" and "What the nut?", in addition to some stereotypical Australian phrases like "Blimey!" and "Bonzer!"
  • Batman Beyond set some 40 years into the future has young Gothamite youthes using slang like, "Shway" and "Twip" in place of words like, "cool" and "twerp", they still totally say 'totally'.
  • Lion-O is usually good for a cool, calm, and collected 'Whiskers.' in ThunderCats (2011) whenever he is in deep trouble.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic apparently has some in-universe euphemisms like "Horse Apples" and "Horse Feathers", still these words aren't very common and only said by the most tomboyish characters.
    • In "Putting Your Hoof Down", Fluttershy doesn't give a "flying feather".
    • The periphary demographic has a few as well. For instance, "Plot" refers to pony... rear.
  • Clone High uses "Dinger!" where one would usually use a stronger word to mean Oh Crap.
  • Ben10 Kevin starts explaining to a 10 year old Ben where baby aliens come from. He gets cut off, and says "What? I had to learn astrophysics on the street." Astrophysics indeed.
  • Rocket J. Squirrel used "Hoboken, New Jersey" and "Holyoke, Massachusetts"


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • A request from the commissioner of an independent wrestling promotion requested that foul language be avoided. This spawned chants of (literally) "HOLY BEEP".
  • English slander laws make it unwise to describe someone as "drunk" unless you've got medical evidence of an elevated blood-alcohol level to back it up. Hence the euphemism "tired and emotional". This is doubtless the source of the "tired" for "drunk" references elsewhere.
    • Probable origin of the phrase: the official explanation for the behaviour of this gentleman.
    • In Yes Minister the title character is caught drunk in public after a champagne reception. He's pleased that one newspaper only describes him as "overwrought" until he learns that the full description was "overwrought as a newt." The phrase "tired as a newt" is in use as well.
    • A similar one is "unwell", from the note "Jeffery Bernard is unwell". It appeared in The Spectator whenever he was too drunk to write his column in that magazine, and was later used as the title for a play about Bernard's life.
      • Though arguably if someone's drinking is affecting their commitments to this extent, they might be an alcoholic, which is regarded less as a moral failing and more as an illness nowadays. The point of Bernard's column was that he was a drunk (in fact, a barely Functional Alcoholic) in the ancient tradition of British boozer cultural critics (the column was called "a Suicide Note in weekly instalments").
      • And then one day, when the magazine printed the notorious line "Jeffrey Bernard Has Had His Leg Off," everyone assumed it was another euphemism. In fact, his leg had been amputated, and he never forgave the editor in question for treating it so casually.
  • Likewise, rather than directly accuse people of having sex while on official duty (which, again, could net them a libel suit if they don't have proof-positive), the satirical magazine Private Eye coined the term "Ugandan discussions", after a journalist who had had a "meaningful confrontation" with a former Ugandan Cabinet minister at a London party claimed she was merely "discussing Uganda with him".
    • John Major's campaign for "family values" used the slogan "Back to Basics," so naturally when a number of his ministers were caught having affairs, "Back to Basics" became a fashionable alternative to "discussing Uganda."
    • The recent disappearance of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has led a number of people to push "hiking the Appalachian Trail" as a similar euphemism.
  • Rounding out the Private Eye-fest, the magazine also uses "the reply given to the plaintiff in the case Arkell v. Pressdram" instead of "fuck off", after the magazine famously responded to a libel allegation by Mr Arkell with the response "We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: Fuck off".
  • The US military uses the term blue falcon, or the phonetic bravo foxtrot as polite versions of the epithet "Buddy F-cker".
    • Also Charlie Foxtrot for Cluster F-ck and "Foxtrot Oscar". The phonetic alphabet also gives us Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (WTF).
      • And "Foxtrot Uniform" (which is the title of a level of Half Life: Opposing Force, in which some HECU soldiers find out just how badly their own side wants them dead).
      • (From The Odd Couple)

Oscar (to Felix): You leave me little notes on my pillow. I told you a hundred-and-sixty-eight times I can't... stand... little notes on my pillow! "We are all out of Corn Flakes. -F.U." It took me three hours to figure out that "F.U." was Felix Ungar!

    • During the Vietnam War, "Viet Cong" quickly got abbreviated to "V.C.". Which, in Military Alphabet, is "Victor Charlie". Since that's longer than the original (let alone the abbreviation), it quickly got shortened to "Charlie", a name that's probably more well-known to most Americans than any of the others.
    • One more, usually considered a rude farewell, was "Alpha Mike Foxtrot" (Adios, Mother F—).
  • The name of the famed Japanese store "Violence Jack Off" was supposedly intended to be an anti-violence slogan on the mistaken basis that "jack off" was a euphemism for other "off" phrases.
  • Swearing in Quebecois French has elements of this. The vast majority of curses are the names of religious items. Suffice it to say, unless you are actually in a church, if someone is talking about hostie (Communion wafers), calice (chalice), or tabernac (tabernacle), they are not in a good mood.
    • But...is it still like wiping your arse with silk?
    • And there are unusual euphemistic versions of those same words, used more publically when one doesn't wish to offend; these are based on the original words, but with serious alterations to make them into nonsensical words: Calvace or Calvaire for Calice, taboire or tabaslak, and so on. Calvaire might be the only exception, since it's also the french word for Ordeal.
    • Interestingly, this contrasts with French (the country) or English (the language) curses, where most swear words are related to sex, the f-bomb being the most obvious english example.
      • Nothing special about it. Swearing in any language will fit one of these 4 categories: Scatologic (Shit), Sexual (Fuck), Parental (Bastard, Son of a Bitch) or Religious (Holy Christ). The French use more of the first two, while the Quebecois use a lot - a LOT - of Religious words: furniture, sacramental events and important figures.
        • What about Japanese? Although they have "shit" ("kuso", somewhat milder in impact than the English equivalent), most Japanese vulgarity is based on altered word forms or synonyms with no difference of literal meaning (don't use "temee" for "you" in polite company!), and the most common terms of abuse mean "fool" ("baka") and "beast" ("chikushou", also used as an exclamation).
          • The Japanese have very little actual profanity. Due to the highly complex nature of courtesy encoded in the language, with multiple levels of politeness and propriety depending on the context the usage, insults and expletives are most often accomplished by varying the usage of words and phrases to something other than what would normally be appropriate for the context. The farther outside of normal usage, the more serious the language. Metaphor and comparisons are also common. For example, referring to someone as a "tiger" means that he's a drunkard. Modifying that to "little tiger" or "great tiger" alters the severity of the insult (the former being more of a playful jab; the latter a scathing insult). Even more commonly used terms of profanity also depend greatly on context. "Baka", for example, can be used to refer to someone as "silly" in an affection manner, or as the equivalent of "fucktard", depending on the situation and how it's used. And there are plenty of regional variants, with those typical of the Kansai province the most well-known.
  • Some from an earlier generation: my father used many euphemisms for 'I'm going out to take a pee', some of which still turn up in comedy shows. Examples include: 'I'm going to see a man about a dog', 'I'm going to wet the tiles', and my favourite, 'I'm going to turn my bike around.'
    • Or 'water the roses', which is probably even older and a bit more explicit.
  • Rik Mayall, after fluffing a line as Alan B'Stard: "Oh - bum - buttocks! Oh, big hairy testicles... OF DOOM!"
  • Some of the more hardcore Twilight fans say "OME" (Oh my Edward!) instead of "OMG". Head, meet desk. (Also, "OMC" for "Oh my Carlisle!/Cullen!" I am ashamed.)
    • Similar thinking led to "Oh my Stephen!"
    • At least a few years ago, parts of Lord of the Rings fandom used "OMV" (Oh my Valar).
  • The blog Go Fug Yourself has many euphemisms for what might be seen if a celebrity's dress is too skimpy: ladyparts, the world is your gynecologist, assets, the girls, puppies...
    • A review of Basic Instinct once remarked on the scene where Sharon Stone displayed her acting ability.
  • The whole unusual euphemism trope is played with in this highly entertaining video about Star Trek: Voyager. It has to be watched to be believed...
  • I want to stick my long-necked Giraffe up your fluffy white bunny.
  • One of the more humorous things about Madlibs is the unusual euphemisms you infer from common words when put into an unusual context.
  • Mormonism is famous for the level to which practitioners avoid swearing, which has led to a bunch of perfectly straight playing of this trope. Maybe it violates the spirit of the thing, but swearing is not completely disallowed so much as generally discouraged.
  • Personal anecdote? Take it to Troper Tales, you fusking clothpunker.
  • The fandom of Heroes frequently uses "Italian" as a euphemism for "incestuous", after some fans tried to argue that the suspicious touchy-feeliness between Nathan and Peter Petrelli was perfectly normal and non-sexual among Italian-Americans (real Italian-Americans then protested that while they did hug their siblings more often than WASPs, they didn't do it that way).
  • In China the phrase "hitting airplanes" refers to... self-pleasure.
    • Chinese press coverage of this incident must have been interesting.
  • A Seattle-area couple once tried to set a world record for having sex. Rather than say "having sex" on air, a local conservative news program substituted "visiting Tukwila", a nearby town which probably didn't appreciate the Unfortunate Implications about their community.
  • On QI, Stephen Fry related the following entry from an eighteenth-century wager book:

"Lord Cholmondely has given two guineas to Lord Derby, to receive 500 guineas whenever his lordship 'plays hospitals' with a woman in a balloon 1,000 yards from the Earth." For "plays hospitals with" I think you can insert your own-- word."

  • Boom! Welfare check.
  • Here's an interesting one in a letter opposing the celibacy rule for Catholic priests (admittedly this has been translated from Italian to English):"The priest, like every human being, needs to live with his kindred, to experience feelings, to love and be loved, and also to conform deeply with another..."
  • A lot of fansites for the Toronto Maple Leafs substitute "God" with "Wendel", in tribute to legendary forward Wendel Clark. On at least two of those, "Jesus" is also replaced with "Luke", for defenseman Luke Schenn.
  • Back in 2008 in the UK, a few secret documents were leaked from a Government department. One of the arrested politicians was accused by the police of "grooming" a mole. Made fun out of by The Now Show.
  • Comedienne Monica Piper coined the term “splazoinkas” to make fun of men’s tendency to make up random terms to refer to women’s breasts.
  • Thanks to a sex scandal where anti-gay crusader George Rekkers was caught hiring a male prostitute the phrase lift my luggage has come to be a euphemism for gay sex.
  • After LeBron James' controversial move to Miami, he made a press conference in which he said he was "taking his talents to South Beach". ESPN sports columnist Bill Simmons has started to use "taking my talents to South Beach" as a reference to taking a #2.
    • "Taking the Browns to the superbowl" is also a reference to defecation.
  • Rocky Colavito was a star for the Cleveland Indians in the 50's. He was traded away by a man named Frank Lane. Several years later he returned to Cleveland, only to fall out with Lane's replacement, a man named Gabe Paul. Some 40 years later, Colavito told reporters that when he still said he "took a Frank Lane" when urinating and "took a Gabe Paul" when...doing the other bathroom thing.
  • EM Forster used the phrase 'parting with Respectability' to refer to losing his virginity in letters to a friend. Later, he noted that 'R. has been parted with'. Possibly a case of Getting Crap Past the Radar given his letters were being censored and homosexuality was still very much illegal in England.
  • George Carlin had a bit about the euphemisms that airlines like to use. Such as:
    • "A sudden loss in cabin pressure." = Roof flies off!
    • "Water landing." = Crashing into the ocean!
    • "Change in equipment." = Broken plane!
  • In many places in the American South, a euphemism for an Ambiguously Gay man is "sugar in his tank" or "sweet", as in "I think Bob has a little sugar in his tank" or "I think Bob is a little sweet".
  • In many UNIX newsgroups/mailing lists is common to self-censor profanities or expletives using shell variables (e.g.: $GENERIC_EXPLETIVE , dear $DEITY_OF_CHOICE), or commands, e.g.: fsck(8)![2] Sometimes going as far as writing faux code (e.g.: SELECT * FROM users WHERE clue > 0),[3] or devising obscure acronyms to insult users with (e.g.: PEBKAC[4], and ID10T). Some of this stuff eventually makes its way into other tech-savvy circles.
  • Many police departments radio codes (and security departments who subsequently adopt the same codes) have "enhanced" them. For example, Las Vegas Metro uses 421A to refer to someone with a mental illness, and 421AAA (Four-twenty-one-triple-A) to refer to someone who is nucking futs. And while 469 is officially a "bar/perimeter check" the term is used for prostitutes.
  • In Mexico using the name of almost everything, including fruits, especially fruits, in the wrong place in the wrong moment will make everyone laugh. This is because Mexican people love the albur.
  • Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw described the controversy over the "dodgy dossier" on nuclear weapons in Iraq as "a complete Horlicks".
  • In Canadian politics in the early 1970s, the Prime Minister was said to have said "Fuddle Duddle" in Question Period. The term became a common Unusual Euphemism for a few years.
  • One euphemism which is unusual in it's point blank candor is, "Demand satisfaction" for a challenge to a duel. Everyone knows it won't tell who was right and who was wrong and really that is not even the point. What the challenger is saying is, "I am mad at you and I desire to injure you severely in a reasonably fair fight and I demand that you satisfy that desire.

TV Tropes[edit | hide]

  • After someone used it on their "Fetish Fuel: Doctor Who" page, the phrase "squiggly feelings" became popular on TV Tropes.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Repo Man, a cult movie which was broadcast on network TV with the expression "motherfucker" repeatedly dubbed as "melon farmer." The voices are done by the original cast members, and the choice of words was made by the director as a humorous commentary on censorship.
  • The Big Lebowski contains a scene where an enraged John Goodman smashes up a car and repeatedly yells "Do you see what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass?" On TV, it becomes "Do you see what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps?" and "...When you feed a stoner scrambled eggs?" This is quite funny, because it makes absolutely no sense story-wise, and leaves one wondering why they didn't simply bleep the offending words out.
    • That's because the Coens themselves apparently wrote the new lines for Goodman to read.
    • One that isn't added later on is when The Dude calls The Big Lebowski for a "human paraquat".
  • The UK's ITV network was pretty infamous for this in the early 1990s. Probably the worst example was their dub of RoboCop, though the film was shown late at night. Clarence threatens to shove a cocaine operation "so far up [the drug lord's] nose that he'll be sneezing snow for a week." It'd help if the two dubbed words sounded remotely like the original actor (or if cocaine wasn't supposed to go up one's nose to begin with). The immortal line near the end that "Dick Jones is wanted for murder" became "Dick Jones is an imposter"—this author had no idea of this until receiving the DVDs several years ago.
    • There's a scene where Robo interrupts an armed robbery in a mom-and-pop store. The robber watches as his bullets bounce off and backs away, exclaiming "Why me? Why me?" which seems to work better, and be funnier, than the original version.
  • The Eddie Murphy remake of The Nutty Professor is a strong example of this, including numerous instances of "face" replacing "ass".
  • There is the infamous Die Hard censorship of John McClane's immortal line "yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker".
    • And Samuel L. Jackson calling him a "racist melon farmer" in Die Hard With a Vengeance.
    • Variations include the popular "yippee-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon," which makes very little sense, and "yippee-ki-yay, Kimosabe".
    • Thank goodness in Italian it still came off as "yippee-ki-yay, piece of shit".
  • Ghostbusters: At the end of the Onionhead sequence, Venkman's "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass" inexplicably becomes "What a knockabout of pure fun that was!".
    • Feeling quite proud that in Italian that was if possible made more grating by having Venkman state triumphantly: "We came, we saw, we totally raped its ass!"
    • According to the commentary, that scene and others were ad-libbed several times in a row until they came up with something they liked. The replacements may be alternative takes.
    • And one in all versions that's either an overdub or a Last-Second Word Swap, to avoid a higher rating -- "Mother pusbucket!"
      • This is lampshaded in the audio commentary. But I believe it was in the script to begin with.
    • Also, in the scene where Stantz refers to Obstructive Bureaucrat Walter Peck as "Dickless" and Venkman follows it up with "It's true, your honor... this man has no dick", the lines were changed to "that weasel" and "It's true, your honor... this man is some kind of rodent," respectively.
      • Another dub of the same scene turns "Dickless" into "Wally Wick." Unusual to say the least. "It's true," cuts off there without a punchline.
      • In the Italian dub Stantz doesn't call Peck 'dickless' so Venkman's following remark ("this man has no balls") comes off as another instance of his offbeat humour.
    • According to commentary and other sources (IMDB), they actually shot some scenes twice just in case they needed to be toned down for re-rating or whatnot. So they aren't re-dubs, they're alternate takes.
  • The Mask: "Margaret! You son of a bitch!" (during the scene where Kellaway and Doyle search The Mask and find weird objects, one of which is a picture of Kellaway's wife in lingerie with the words "Call me, lover" written at the bottom) becomes "Margaret! You son of a pig!" or "Margaret! You son of a witch!" Other edited versions just cut off after Kellaway shouts, "Margaret!"
    • Even without any Bowdlerization, The Mask is full of Unusual Euphemisms, especially in the park scene with The Mask trying to seduce Tina as a French lover.

The Mask: "Kiss me, my dear, and I will reveal my croissant. I will spread your pâté. I will dip my ladle in your vichyssoise."

  • Who's The Man? had a TV Edit where Ed Lover calls someone a "Lousy motherLIAR!".
    • And another character utters the immortal, "Motherfunny please, motherfunny please."
  • The DVD releases of Shaun of the Dead and its follow-up Hot Fuzz have among their special features a compilation of clips where they were forced to replace words—the replacements are mostly nonsense, and very much played for laughs, especially when Lampshaded by being brought together. They range from simple letter substitution (What the funk?) to the downright bizarre (You stupid barstool). And the outright hilarious (peas and rice!).
    • The related "bar-steward" is a common humorous euphemism for bastard in the UK.
    • On the Hot Fuzz commentary, director Edgar Wright expresses his surprise that Timothy Dalton, even at sixty, can still cause "ladyquakes."
    • Another Hot Fuzz commentary has Edward Woodward talking about using "Baskets!" on a show he used to work on back in the day, and then continuing to use it through the rest of the commentary.
  • Used with great success in the "Edited For TV" short by Loading Ready Run. It featured the characters' swear words blatantly dubbed over by the narrator.

Ash: [GOSHDARNIT], I can't believe you guys are still arguing over that [BLOODY] piece of [POO] jacket!
Morgan: This [MELON FARMER] thinks it's his [FRUITY] jacket! I had it way before [FREAKIN'] he did!

  • Seen in the TV broadcast of The Matrix, where Neo's cry of "Jesus CHRIST, that thing's real?!" is toned down to the rather more comical "Jeepers creepers, that thing's real?!".
    • Alternatively, "Judas Priest, that thing's real?!".
    • Or how about when he offers to give Smith "the flipper"? Cutting out the gesture itself is understandable, but their renaming of it is... confusing.
    • And the security guard's reaction to seeing Neo armed to the teeth becomes "Holy smokes!"
  • A TV broadcast of The Usual Suspects included the immortal line "Hand me the keys, you fairy godmother."
  • The for-all-ages trailer of Being John Malkovich, which can be found on the DVD, has a fairly glaring example of changing a seemingly innocuous word into something that makes the context weird. In the trailer, Maxine says to Craig -

And fifty other lines to get into a girl's hands.

  • The TV broadcast of Liar Liar cleaned one of Fletcher's rants quite adeptly by avoiding unusual euphemisms:

Fletcher: ...so what I'm gonna do is [piss becomes whine] and moan like an impotent jerk, and then bend over and [take it up the tailpipe becomes take it like a grown man].

    • Earlier on, twice even, "Son of a BITCH!" becomes "I'm such a SNOT!", which sorta cancels out the well-handled rant.
  • In the censored version of The Faculty, every use of the word fuck is replaced by "fooey." The hilarity of Elijah Wood and Josh Hartnett hopping up and down over aliens with the stream of dialogue "Fooey fooey fooey! What the fooey just happened? Fooey you!" had me in fits.
  • One of the funniest is the censorship of network broadcasts of Scarface, the two best being "This city is like a big pussy waiting to be fucked" changed to "This city is like a big chicken waiting to be plucked", and "Where'd you get that scar? Eating pussy?" to "Where'd you get that scar? Eating pineapple?" Also "I only tell you once. Don't fuck me, Tony. Don't you ever try to fuck me" to "I only tell you once. Don't fool me, Tony. Don't you ever try to fool me."
  • In Forrest Gump, the scene where he invents "shit happens" is edited in an unintentionally funny way ("Whoa, whoa, you just ran through a big dogpile right there!" "It happens" "What? It!") The bumper sticker gets censored too.
  • The VH-1 broadcast of Ferris Buellers Day Off changes the line "Pardon my French, but you're an asshole!" to "Pardon my French, but you're an idiot!" (Since when was "idiot" a cuss word? It can be taken as rude and insulting since it denotes lack of intelligence, but it's not a curse word!) Likewise, in the AMC version it cuts to the next scene before Cameron can finish his sentence.
  • An NBC broadcast of The 40-Year-Old Virgin dubbed over the term "fuck buddy" with "sex buddy" (which isn't much of an improvement, but whatever...) though the character's lips made it obvious she originally said "fuck buddy." Most other profanity not suitable for over-the-air broadcasts was simply muted.
  • "Did you shampoo my wife?" as heard on Saturday Night Live's "The Joe Pesci Show."
  • "I've had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-Friday plane!"
  • "What do you say I take you home and we watch I Love Lucy ?"
  • Scorcese's Casino gets a great many of these. See any line of Joe Pesci's dialogue, and this great one from Sharon Stone: "Oh, freak you! Freak you, Sam Rothstein, Freeeak youuuu!"
  • When Fast Times at Ridgemont High is broadcast, a cashier at a fast-food restaurant is mad at the customer who has become somewhat demanding because the meal is supposed to be "100% guaranteed", so he says, "If you don't shut up I'm going to kick 100% of your ass!" When the film is broadcast, it's changed to "100% of your face," and the customer complains because of his comments. Later his boss asks him "Did you use profanity or threaten this customer?" Since he didn't use profanity, they should have deleted that line from the manager's comments.
    • No, the key word in the question is "or". He DID threaten the customer, so the question is valid.
  • When aired on ABC Family, Better Off Dead gets an edit that results in making no sense at all. In the scene where French-speaker Monique says "testicles" when she means "tentacles," the offending "testicles" is overdubbed with "tentacles." So it's very strange that she says, "tentacles," and Lane corrects her, "No, you mean 'tentacles.'"
  • The DVD version of Crank has a "Family Friendly Audio" feature that replaces all the spoken swears (even minor ones like "damn") with tame versions. However, the full unedited video is still present, so the movie starts by showing a DVD with the words "FUCK YOU" written on it, in which the villain talks about how he "just freakin' killed you" with "synthetic Chinese stuff".
  • In Kill Bill Vol. 1 the 'Pussy Wagon' was turned into the 'Party Wagon' for the edited-for-TV version with the word pussy digitally altered to read party on the back of the truck.
    • Which became even funnier in Vol. 2 when Esteban brings up why The Bride isn't driving the 'Party Wagon.' When she explains that the truck broke down, Esteban utters, "The Party died."
  • In a TV edit, one of the best lines from Back to The Future was edited with... very poor enunciation. Poor Doc Brown goes from "excited" to "hyperactive teenage girl".

Doc Brown: When this baby hits 88 miles an hour, you're gonna see some serious STUFF!!

    • In some TV runs, Biff's line "You cost 300 bucks damage to my car, you son of a bitch" is changed to "...you son of a butthead."
    • Marty's numerous uses of the word "asshole" are frequently changed to "idiot" - resulting in a full-on Hong Kong Dub effect - for TV runs.
  • In The Ninth Gate, a woman who just slept with Johnny Depp's character tells him "don't fuck with me," to which he responds, "I thought I just did." The TV Edit changes "fuck" to "mess" making Johnny Depp's response unintentionally bizarre.
  • When the Hallmark Channel aired The Breakfast Club, Bender's line "Eat my shorts" was inexplicably changed to "Eat my socks". One wonders how the channel would handle Bart Simpson. Any "Fuck you!"s were replaced with "Forget you!"
    • Another network's version had them dubbed with "Thank you!"
  • The network TV airings of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?? contain several instances of this. Most notably, when one of the weasels reaches down Jessica Rabbit's dress and gets his arm caught in a bear trap, Eddie Valiant's line "Nice booby trap" was re-dubbed as "Nice going, Jess".
  • Tv broadcasts of Smokey and the Bandit replace the sherrif's memorable "sumbitch" to "scum bum". That almost fits the lips, too.
    • According to many fans of the films, "scum bum" actually fits the character's persona better.
  • In a TV broadcast of Up in the Air, when Alex tells Ryan, "Just think of me as you, only with a vagina" into "Think of me as you, only with a miffler." Uh-huh. Weird.
  • One of Sam Jackson's earlier roles with a gun was also for language edited on the BBC. In Coming to America, Mr Jackson is heard to say "Why me, why me!" as he rushed out of an aborted robbery. However, you don't have to be a versed lip reader to tell exactly what he said instead of "why".
  • In a rather amusing TV edit of Adam Sandler's movie Mr. Deeds, every instance of "shit" or "bullshit" was dubbed over with "spit" or "bullspit", resptively. It's rather amusing when a raging football player screams that he wants to renegotiate his "bullspit contract", and Adam Sandler's character immediately tells him to watch his language in the presence of ladies.
    • Unfortunately, one of the most hilarious lines in the movie, where Sandler exclaims "Buh-buh-buh-BULLSHIT!!!", was changed to "Buh-buh-buh-bullspit". It wouldn't have been so bad had the dubbing over not toned down the intensity at which Sandler had said the final word. Originally he was nearly screaming the last word in rage, but in the edit it seemed like he was just using the word dismissively.
  • In Caddyshack the famous final line by Rodney Dangerfield was "Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid." In television it's changed to, "Hey everybody, let's all take a shower," which doesn't sound like ANYTHING Czervik would say.
  • The on the Quotes page from The Lonely Guy is a subversion in which Steve Martin's character is writing a romance novel. It's supposed to illustrate how awkward he is at romance in general.
  • In A Christmas Story, when Ralphie's father is fighting with the furnace, or about anything else, he utters a string of jibberish which could sound like curses. Evidently, they listened to those bits over and over, slowed down and speeded up, to make sure there weren't any dirty words sounded out by mistake or otherwise.
  • In The Tinkerbell Series much strange fairy slang is used. Including, but not limited to: "Who gives a pile of pebbles?", "Flitterific!", "Splinters!", "Teetering Teapots!", "By the second star!". And from the book: "Fly with you", "I'd fly backwards if I could" and the popular slur for humans: "Clumsies."
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You:

Kat: Well, now that I've shown you The Plan, I'm gonna go and show The Plan to someone else.

    • When asked later by Patrick how she distracted the teacher, she replies that she dazzled him with her "Wits".
    • There's also the brilliant TV-edited "the squid hath hitteth the fan."
  • In one edited-for-TV version of Pulp Fiction, Jules's line "English, motherfucker! Do you speak it?!" is changed to "English, little sucker! Do you speak it?!"
  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall: "asshole" is changed to rascal
  • They felt the need to do this to Carmen's infamous "Oh, Shiiiiiiitake mushrooms!" quote for the TV broadcast. They muted out the first syllable, completely ruining the joke by turning the line into "Oh, --take mushrooms!" instead.
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