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50 Unfriendly F-Words You Can Say Instead

Blessed are those who never even think of the word! However, many sensitive, old-fashioned, moral-minded people live in neighborhoods where the most offensive F-word is as common as a greeting.

What other word can fill the blank?

Image Credit: Jamie Montgomery
Image Credit: Jamie Montgomery | Source

They can turn off a movie or close a book to avoid the word, but it is not as easy to move out of the neighborhood. They are bombarded with foul language expressed by:

  • ex-spouses venting anger at each other in public,
  • beer buddies trying for the reputation of “baddest” cusser,
  • drunkards who should be swearing at themselves swearing at each other,
  • men and women simply being disrespectful,
  • children repeating the word they heard on television.

F-Word Dilemma

There is a story of a woman who never used the offensive F-word. In her old age, she began to lose control of her brain, and she claimed that the word was always on the tip of her tongue. It was a continual struggle for her not to say it.

Her counselor said that because she had heard it all her life, her hippocampus (memory indexer for the brain) had filed it away, and made it a part of her long term memory.

"Despite our everyday impressions of forgetting, it seems likely that long-term memory . . . can store a seemingly unlimited amount of information almost indefinitely."3

These are not neighborhoods where swearing supports Psychologist Timothy Jay’s claim1 of “higher verbal intelligence.” These residents have heard that word all their lives, and even if they consider not using it, they have no reference to any other.

Still, they are being unfair to the unwilling hearers, because an experiment done by another psychologist Don MacKay found that hearing the word “makes all of us vulnerable to a mental assault . . . as if we were strapped to a chair and could be given a punch or a shock at any time.2

May we suggest substitute, unfriendly words which can be appropriately used with similar contempt? Meanings are added for those who might be interested in learning something new. If just one person in the group can introduce a new word, and begin to use it just for fun, it may make a huge difference.


20 F-Words for Describing People

Number
F-Word
Meaning
1
facetious
not being serious about a serious subject
2
faltering
not decisive, walking unsteadily
3
fanatical
overly enthusiastic
4
fastidious
hard to please
5
fatalistic
believing that nothing will change
6
fiery
hot tempered
7
filthy
dirty, unpleasant
8
flabby
saggy, out of shape
9
flatulent
having gassy stomach and bowels
10
flighty
inconsistent, undependable
11
fractious
easily upset, often complaining
12
frantic
extremely emotional
13
fraudulent
dishonest
14
fresh (colloquial)
disrespectful, over-confident
15
fretful
fussy, irritable, touchy
16
frigid
unfriendly, forbidding
17
funky
having an offensive smell
18
furious
extremely angry
19
furtive
secretive, probably dishonest
20
fusty
old-fashioned in ideas and beliefs

Nobody wants this frumpy dog.

Photo by Devilal
Photo by Devilal | Source

10 F-Words for Describing Animals

Number
F-Word
Meaning
1
fatuous
foolish, stupid
2
fearsome
very frightening
3
ferocious
fierce, violent
4
fetid
having an offensive smell
5
fiendish
very cruel
6
foul
having an unpleasant smell
7
freakish
unusual in an unpleasant way
8
frenetic
wild, uncontrollable
9
frustrating
irritating
10
frumpy
old and unattractive

10 F-Words for Describing Things (from ideas to objects)

Number
F-Word
Meaning
1
faded
less bright, losing strength
2
fake
false, phony
3
fallacious
misleading, incorrect
4
faulty
not perfect
5
fishy
suspicious, probably not true
6
flaccid
deficient, not firm, not stiff
7
flavorless
bland, tasteless
8
flimsy
easy to break, not solid
9
foggy
not clear, confusing
10
fusty
dusty with unpleasant smell

"Forget you."

Photo by Peter Griffin
Photo by Peter Griffin | Source

10 F-Words for Use as Verbs

Number
F-Word
Meaning
1
faze (you)
stay upset
2
fire (you)
dismiss yourself, leave
3
flip . . . .
go berserk, lose your temper
4
floor . . . .
confound you
5
flounder . . . .
show how clumsy you are
6
foil . . . .
sabotage yourself
7
fold . . . .
collapse
8
forget . . . .
consider yourself worthless
9
fret . . . .
worry
10
fumble . . . .
go mess up, muddle up yourself

References

1. Hawkins, Tommy: Medical Daily, Bad Words (January 11, 2016).

2. Pinker, Steven: New Republic, What the F (October 8, 2007).

3. Mastin, Luke: The Human Memory, Long Term Memory (Copyright 2010).

Benefits of Using Another Word

  1. Any other contemptuous word is a more accurate expression than the general one.
  2. The user’s vocabulary improves.
  3. The user gets some brain exercise.
  4. The strange word may introduce some humor, enhance the mood and curb the disrespect.


© 2016 Dora Isaac Weithers

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Comments 56 comments

word55 profile image

word55 2 months ago from Chicago

Hi Dora, this was extra interesting reading. Thank you for sharing the alternative F- words to use. Very cleverful.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I have much fun in this area. I got this fun degree from university. Linguistic Philosophy. Part of the study was that we are really what words we use. We think in words. What is our thinking -- cussing?

And. My mom and Dad took off to New York for a lover's getaway and a convention. Mom brought in a disturbed Preacher man - her cousin to watch over us kids. I used "darn". He said it was a polite cuss word. He actually beat me and washed my mouth out with soap and made me stand in a cold shower to cleanse me.

Hi hi hi my dad did the same to him when he got home. My dad was a Jesuit.

Thanks for bringing this up. We can do better.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA

Fantastic! I love the creativity and the challenge to be better people when it comes to language and manners. I used to know someone who would say, "Shut the front door!" Instead of the f version of hush up.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 months ago from Texas

A couple of other slang words come to mind: flippin' and freakin'. I used to tell people I didn't give a flying fig about something if I was irritated and didn't care. I still do something times. You made me think of a video I used in one of my hubs about "Christian cuss words" by a Christian comedian. He asked his fans to submit their substitute words just to see. Actually, I thought at first you had maybe quoted him because I saw the Tommy Hawkins reference. The comedian's name is Tim Hawkins.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

This is great, what a horrible word the F-word is and as much as I have tried to tell myself in life it is just a word...still! I hope many take your advice because I sure would love the day I never hear it again!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Word, thanks for your feedback. Glad you approve.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Eric, I bet that area of study is interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience with that "Polite cuss word." Sorry about the cleansing but it made me giggle.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Flourish, that version must have caused some laughs even while it worked. So you see, the need to do or say something different makes some people creative.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Shanmarie, I like your words and may even use them myself. What a coincidence between the names of those two men. Wonder if I can find Tim on YouTube. Thanks for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Jackie, I'm also tired of hearing that word. I'm hoping that some teacher, big brother, mentor or someone who feels like we do will actually suggest my list to his or her group.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 months ago from Texas

You should be able to find him on YouTube and that video I was talking about too. Just search for "Christian curse words" and it will probably come up just by that, but you can also search using his name.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

My darling Dora -- it is wonderful to grow up. I hear there are folk that don't like it. Heaven help me.


sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 months ago from Norfolk

MsDora

It seems to me that people have replaced the b-word with the f-word and it has become the norm. It assaults all of my senses and it still amazes me that people actually use it in public, young or old and yet I can still remember how shocked I was when I first heard it. You provide some wonderful alternatives but wouldn't it be nice if people took heed of the 'fresh' alternatives you provide here. Call me old fashioned!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

I have two neighbors, one on both sides of me who us ever filthy word in the book, with expertise in the f-bomb and it prompted me to write a hub on it. I love your lists.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

MsDora, thank you for sharing these alternative "F" words. If I have to use anything ... I tend to say "fish eggs"..pretty silly but it works.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Shanmarie. Searched for and found Christian curse words. Yea, a new, interesting vocabulary altogether.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Eric, I'm with you. We are always the best age there is.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Sally, you're too young to be old-fashioned. You're just sensible and responsible. Thanks for your feedback.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

What a clever approach to this topic. Nicely done, Dora. Now I have some options. LOL


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Lori, thanks for your endorsement. I know the horror of having neighbors who offend like this. You have to drown them out with music sometimes.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Jodah, you already have your word, and it's great that it works for you. Yours may be funny, but much more acceptable than a word that is offensive. Thanks for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Bill, thanks for your feedback. I'm smiling too.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 months ago from Central Florida

Dora, I love the title and theme of this hub. These words should be embedded in the "automatic pilot" part of our brains as alternatives to what is spoken far too easily.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

My dear friend, this hub is far-out and funny. My feedback: this is just the sort of fascinating word-focused article that my grammatically fine-tuned friends have been waiting to find. I will forward it widely and freely.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 months ago from New Delhi, India

This is so interesting and I will keep in mind the alternatives! Never thought about it this way.

Thanks for an interesting read!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Shauna. Your suggestion is noteworthy. It may take some effort, but it is worth the try, for long-term satisfaction.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Cynthia, so glad that you find the article worthy of sharing. Thanks to you and your friends.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Chitrangada, happy to present something new to think about. Thanks for your feedback.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 months ago from london

For some reason, I just did not grow up that way. Not smoking, not drinking, not eating pepper ... I include this because Caribbean people do all three.

I used the F word not so long ago. I was under severe stress but I still do not know how it came out. Probably my first time in 64 years! This supports your theory that it stays in the memory.

A very nice choice of words. I know them all except for 'fusty.' A bit like some that stand next to us on trains, eh? (chuckle) Nice Hub.

Did I see your name in the Awards? In fact I'm sure I did. Congrats, Sis.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 2 months ago from United States

Wow, I didn't see this article coming from you, MsDora. Sounds like you're FED UP! Shared.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Manitata, some Caribbean do all three (emphasis on some); we don't want others to expect that from all of us. Anyway, some of us (including you) were brought up by responsibly.

About that word, some people wonder where it came from, or like you, how it came out. Thanks for affirming that it stays in the memory. It can happen to the best of us.

Did you notice that "fusty" can be used for people and things with a slightly different shade of meaning?

Thanks as always for your encouragement. Haven't seen the Awards yet.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Jill, you read me correctly. Glad my upset shows. Thanks for your feedback.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 months ago from london

Yes, Dear. I miss that one. A big mistake. I won't like others to think this of us. So many West Indians in my day did not follow this Path! Buy yes, some liked rum, after all we produce cane, and strong spicy foods. Few were smokers and I don't think I saw a female smoking until I travelled.

You mean like a 'fusty' old woman, or a 'fusty' old .... you see, I just don't do swear (smile)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Manatita, you amuse me. Thanks for the smile. I know that there were female smokers, but they did not allow the children to see them smoking. With regard to such things, I think that you and I turned out pretty well. Thank God!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 months ago from london

Praise Him indeed!!


heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 2 months ago from Chicago Area

Well, this is fantastically (hey, that's an "F" word!) helpful. :) Sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Heidi. Of course, your word is helpful. Sometimes the offenders even those their word to describe something good. Thanks for sharing.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

You thought of a great idea for an article, MsDora. I love your collections of F-Words. They are interesting and potentially very useful!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 2 months ago from Home Sweet Home

oh there are so many F words that are not in my list, let alone using them, thanks for sharing


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 2 months ago from Home Sweet Home

thanks for sharing, so many F words i had learn today


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Alicia. Hope others will find them useful too.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

PeachPurple, there's always another word to learn. Thanks for your feedback.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

I think you covered the bases on this one. I especially liked how you wrapped it up with Benefits of Using Another Word. Another job, well done, Dora!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Pastor Bill, thanks for your commendation. Good to hear from you.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

Our family tried this in our home. We substituted words such as "Sugar" or "Salt" for swear words. At first, it just made us laugh, but in the end, we all benefited from the vocabulary change!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Denise, thanks for sharing that substitutes can and do work! I can imagine the fun it is in a family setting.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 months ago from southern USA

How creative and useful, MsDora! I can't stand to hear that F-word. It just seems to lower their IQ ...at least in my mind. What's popular now in online writing is to use the letters W T F ...so I will respond, What the Faith. ...is going on. I'm sure they are rolling their eyes at me, but that's ok.

I hope everyone takes your advice and increases their vocabulary!

Good for you.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 months ago from California

Fabulouse use of "F" words. Love this hub. If more people actually said what they meant instead of grunting F-bombs we would all have better relationships.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A great thought here for this hub! You got me thinking and I see why! The F-word is tricky.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Faith, I didn't roll my eyes. I smiled. That's a good one. Thanks for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Judy, thanks for mentioning relationships. Most don't think about the positive effect of straightforward communication; and even less about how listening relatives are affected.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Devika, thanks for your feedback. We have to find a better way.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago

This is such a nice way to suggest alternatives for those harsh metaphors and explicit language references. I learned a few new words today as well. Blessings, dear lady.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Teaches. There are just so many words which don't get uses, although they would be more effective.


Kyriaki Chatzi 2 weeks ago

Well, that sure is a new perspective! :)

I will try and keep those alternatives in mind next time someone pushes my buttons.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 weeks ago from The Caribbean Author

Kyriaki, please be ready with the words you choose. Someone else might follow your lead. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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    Dora Isaac Weithers (MsDora)946 Followers
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    MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor initiated the Purity Circle to guide and empower individuals desiring to pursue the purity lifestyle.



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