Hebrew Language Tip 135: Turn your curse word into a casual remark

What You Need to Know About Me Before You Read My Tip

I like to curse. I think people who curse are cooler than people who don’t. I think people who don’t read blogs because the author uses curse words are over-sensitive. I used to have a blog called The Wellness Bitch. I like to scream, “Fuck,” really loudly when I stub my toe or drop something on it. When I say Fuck really loudly when I get hurt it makes me physically feel better. All my kids, ages 5 – 10, have said the F word out loud at least twice with my permission. (Two of them have a hard time differentiating between the F sound and the Th sound so at least one of them probably said THUCK. ) I have to hold back sometimes from saying to my kids, “Are you fucking kidding me?” because despite how much I like to emphasize my surprise, I know I don’t want them saying that phrase to their friends or teachers. All in all, I want to live in a world where people curse, but don’t want them cursing at me. For instance, I don’t want to ever be on the recipient end of “you are a f-ing …” well… anything.

Tip

If you like to curse, move to Israel where nobody gives a SHEET about cursing. Three year olds drop their pacifiers on the ground and say, SHEET!  10 year olds miss a goal on the soccer field, and they scream, SHEEEEEEET! Not to mention, every one and their 90 year old grandmother says “dafuk” which is basically a morphed Hebrew version of the F word.

That Said…

It should have been obvious (but it wasn’t) that curse words not in your native language lose their strength.  Which is why “shit” is something Israelis of all ages say by the way, without a second thought. (Including my own angelic little 7 year old.) Israelis don’t even consider “shit” a curse word. It doesn’t belong to them. It belongs to English speakers

But say “Lekh tezdayen!” to an Israeli and you might just make them flinch, or so I learned the other day when I said it a little too loud in my office coffee break room. Silly me, I thought I was being the cute immigrant. Turns out I was being foul.

Lesson

Words have strength … until we decide they don’t.

And that, my friends, is one to grown on.