Almost, but not quite!
The words you are referring to, juicy strong words like fuck, shit, cock, and cunt, are actually Anglo-Saxon (or Old English) in origin. The Anglo-Saxons were the main citizens of Britain from the 6th to the 11th century, until they were invaded by the Normans (the French) in 1066.
We have many words surviving from Old English, and yes, they are all considered uncouth in connotation because they were spoken by the plebes. You'll notice it, for instance, with food. We use the Anglo-Saxon word for when we're raising the meat, and the Norman word for when we're cooking or eating it.
We raise cows, but we eat beef.
We raise pigs, but we eat pork.
This is totally OT, but thanks! This is one of those things that has come up many times in conversations with my kids, but never when I can look it up (eg. when we're driving somewhere). I never think to look it up when I could look it up, so it remained a mystery until now. Fascinating stuff.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
But I never said men are unable to manage their behavior; I *meant* I think they benefit from the guidance of women, especially mothers, and without that figure represented, are just animals. Fortunately most men have had more than this and are NOT anything like the uglier stereotypes I allude to. I think women benefit from the protection of good men.
Wow. I just found my way back to this thread thinking, what of interest to me could have possibly been added to this thread regarding swearing in front of kids that wasn't said already the last time I checked in? What a surprise I had!
So I got sucked in and read along, quite content with the responses of so many rockin' feminists who said everything I would have wanted to say. And then I got to this quote. I really can only imagine that the reason no one addressed it before is because they were so exhausted after going so many rounds on this topic and realized that for their own sanity they had to walk away. So, before I go take a shower to rinse off how dirty I feel after reading the text above, I'll leave you with this, demeter:
Your clarification of what you "*meant*" to say about men is so much more abhorrent than what you said the first time. I'm truly disgusted. There are single fathers and gay fathers out there raising young boys with no female role models in their lives doing a fantastic job and shame on you for passing judgment on them and calling their children animals.
And about women. I think women benefit from the protection of a good society that respects the independence of women. That raises their girls to enter into partnerships equally and without feeling a necessity for the protection of a man. I think all men and women both benefit from a culture that doesn't place the responsibility of "protecting" on men, as it gives boys and men an inappropriate feeling of authority and power, and places women and girls in an instant position of submission.
Just popping in to make sure you all saw our Mothers Day Contest. In addition to three Boba baby carriers we're giving a $300 dinner/spa package for one lucky mom. Contest ends in three days! Get the entry info here: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1382508/let-mothering-and-boba-pamper-you-this-mothers-day/0_100
As for me, i dont make a big deal out of cussing. I and DH do it a few times a day, but when our kids are in school or playing with friends i'll be sure to educate them about the inappropriateness of the words. They're okay to do at home but not with mixed company--basically the same as what a lot of other posters have said. I dont understand eliminating words like "hate" or "bad"--those words represent very important feelings and opinions that shouldnt be disallowed simply because theyre uncomfy. I hate pedophiles. I hate racist people. I hate abuse. These are legitimate statements that are true and very real. It just wouldnt be the same to say, "i dislike pedophiles or i dont really like racist people." No, it just wouldnt work. And i think teaching our kids that and allowing them to express hatred is healthy. Now, overusing hate is a different story. Saying i hate broccoli or i hate commercials is going too far--its much more appropriate to say i dislike broccoli and i dont like commercials very much. And whats wrong with saying i feel bad? Or, this cheese tastes bad? Or, i dont like bad weather? None of these seem bad to me lol.
Im not as of yet a mom so this is probably a lil premature but Yes i have a sailor mouth and was raised by a mom ( who i got it from) would probably never change that, i do have a neice who is 12 and i have a sailor mouth around her but it doesnt seem to affect her at all. although if it did i dont think it would matter much as i a was cussing at her age!
Before I had DS I knew two mamas-to-be who took totally different approaches to this. One found out she was pregnant and started coming up with alternative words, the other admitted that her foul mouth was "bigger than her" and she accepted it. I made no decision one way or the other, and was shocked when, shortly after the birth of DS, I dropped something on my foot and heard myself say, "fudgesickles!" Fudgesickles? Really? I've never said that. Never. But now it has become a regular part of my vocabulary. Which doesn't mean that I haven't accidentally taught my ds some other words. One of his early favs was "darn, darn, darn" which came about after I dropped something, said, damn, and then caught myself and said, "I mean darn. Darn, darn, darn." DS found the repetition quite amusing. More recently I was trying to fix a plumbing problem and though I knew he was around, I didn't realize how close he was, and I said Damn. Ds, who turned out to be right behind me said, "why did you say damn?" In a moment of panic I said, "no, I said darn." He looked confused for a minute, then asked, "did you say damn and then say darn?" He obviously knew what he had heard and my attempt to fib just confused him, so I ended up telling him, "you're right. I said damn. And I shouldn't have. And I shouldn't have told you that I didn't say it. Mommy is working hard and I got confused and frustrated. I'm sorry." That resolved the issue, and he went back to talking to the imaginary monsters (nice ones) who were also watching me wrestle with the plumbing.
So, I guess the answer is that I do swear in front of him, but I try not to. I apologize when I do. And having learned my lesson, I don't lie about it when I slip. That ended up being more embarrassing than the swearing.
I try not to but it happens and when it does it's NBD. Our kids know all those charming words (from us and others) and we're not making it a big secret or having kittens over it. DH and I told them they can say them as much as they want at home, but that because some other people are sensitive and feel that out of 450,000 words in the English language, these few somehow hold magical powers and are "bad," that it might not be a good idea to say them around others. They get it for the most part. So far no one's taken us up on the offer to use them casually at home, they just don't hold power since they don't shock us and it doesn't get attention.
The only words I really reinforce them not to say or use EVER are racial and sexual (homophobic, anti-woman) slurs. I could hear a little kid spouting off the "f" word a lot easier than I could listen to them say, "that's gay," in terms of something they find stupid.
Peaceful, homeschooling, UC/HBing, select vaxing, breastfeeding, intactivist mama to a bunch of small people.
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