1. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Non-blasphemous, non-expletive exclamations

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Tenderiser, Sep 20, 2015.

    One of my characters blurts out "Jesus!" when he's surprised or alarmed. I've just realised he shouldn't be doing that because his father was a priest and he would have grown up with a big aversion to blasphemy. I could cheat and say he overcame his aversion once he was an adult, but I feel like it would be pretty ingrained.

    For similar reasons I don't want him shouting "fuck!" or "damn!" I don't think any swearing would have been allowed in their house and he would only swear when he was really angry or stressed, not just because he's surprised.

    It's not like a catchphrase - he says it approximately once every 10,000 words - but I do need a word to replace Jesus with (sorry, Jesus).

    Any suggestions for other words I can use to fulfil this role? Personally I have no aversion to blasphemy or cursing, so I either say "Jesus" or "fuck me." :p

    Edit: I just thought of "Whoa!" Not sure I like it, but maybe that's because it's not something I say or hear. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  2. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    :rofl:

    Would his upbringing have him use a 'sanitised version'? Like 'Jeepers!' (or 'Geez!', although that might be considered non-sanitised). There's a term for these, but it escapes me right now.

    I would also just swear or blaspheme, but I think I've taken to 'Yikes!' when it's not appropriate. It's a bit dicky... so it fits me perfectly.

    ETA: Only just saw your 'Whoa!' suggestion. It works for me! Think I sometimes use it myself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
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  3. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Got it: Minced oaths, if that helps your research.

    Sorry for the double post.
     
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  4. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Man alive!"

    "What the..."

    "Whaaat!"

    There's not many without resorting to swear words, is there? :meh:
     
  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There are some amazing suggestions there. :D

    "Bloomin' heck!"
    "By God's bodkins!"
    "Zounds!"
    "Gadzooks!"

    I can't picture him using any of them, but I may have to start doing it...

    Nope! "What the..." could work. I can think of one instance when it just doesn't fit but I could always change that piece of dialogue to remove the need for an exclamation.
     
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  6. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Blimey!"

    "Crikey!"

    "Dang!"
     
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  7. Bookster
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    Bookster Banned

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    "Judas Priest".
     
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  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I essentially never curse, probably because... well, that's long and not all that relevant. The main summary was that I don't, but I also don't see it as Wrong.

    My exclamations include:

    Whoah!
    Hey!
    Yikes!
    Yeeeow!
    What the?
    What the bleep?
    Oh, for bleepity bleeping bleep.
    Dangit!
     
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  9. Adhulari
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    Adhulari Member

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    I always liked Elliot Reid's expression in Scrubs :D
    "Frick! Double frick! Fricky-frick-frick!'

    But yes, none of these words have quite the same feel to them as "Jesus!". I'd probably go with "What the..." or something. Lets the reader know he's serious, but still mindful of his words.
     
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  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    "Merlin's hairy arsecrack..."
    "MERLIN!"
    "For the love of Merlin..."

    How are those? :D
     
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  11. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Problem solved!
     
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  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    There was an American football coach once with an aversion to swearing who, in moments of extreme stress or vexation would revert to "Oh, my side and body!"
     
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  13. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Whoa!" Reminds me of Joey Lawrence and Blossom and THAT is not a good thing. Other then being a Horrible catch phrase on a bad show I think it's a god way to go.
     
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  14. Acidveins
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    Acidveins Member

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    I'd go with:

    "Crap!"
    "Dang!"
     
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  15. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I've been known to sanitize my language at work, and use phrases like:
    Mittens!
    Cat's basket!
    Hammer of Thor!
    What the what?!
    Criminy!
    Jeez-o-Pete! (Though this might be cutting it close.)
    Man alive!
    Sweet mother of Snoopy!
     
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  16. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I say, "Geeze Louise!" all the time lol
     
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  17. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    "Cheese and Rice!" is another fav.
     
  18. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    I was always more of a 'Cheeses sliced!' person :)
     
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  19. Samson Michael
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    Samson Michael Member

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    If you haven't found your answer already:

    "Holy guacamole!"
    "Jeezum crow!" (If your character is from the east coast of the United States.)
    "For crying out loud!"
    "Dagnabbit!"
    "Oh lord!"
    "For Pete's sake!"
    "For goodness sake!"
     
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  20. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    Can't he just say "shit". Its not that bad. I mean, shit is shit, innit!

    Or, I suppose if it needs to cleaned up from that, perhaps "sugar" (not very laddish though) or "shine a light" is my fave :)

    Personally though, I think even growing up with a father that's a priest you're still gonna swear, unless he's actually in the room with his dad?
     
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  21. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    I once worked (volunteered) for a woman who would say Jeepers Criminey. o_O
     
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  22. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Flip
    Flippin 'eck
    Shoot
    My word
    My days
    Oh man
    For ducks cake. (Admittedly I've only ever heard myself use this last one, but one day it might catch on.)
     
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  23. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know anybody who was bought up in a really religious household so I have no idea. Maybe I'm worrying about nothing?

    I have a hang-up about 'shit'. It makes me picture shit and... ugh. Could be the answer though.
     
  24. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    I don't either actually, and I only know your characters from the snippets you've put in the workshop, but I just imagine, especially in this day and age, that minor swear words wouldn't be frowned upon so much as they might have years ago. I think it would come down to more what his dad is like as a person and how he raised his children, rather than just the fact that he's a priest. Some priests would be very modern and some very old fashioned. The same could be said of any parent though, religious or not. I say shit all the time, but if my son said it in my presence i'd slap him round the ear.
     
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  25. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    My experience with very religious upbringings leads to two possibilities: it either sticks like glue, no matter how hard the kid tries to pull away, OR the kid goes Miley Cyrus nutso, completely rejecting everything they were taught, even common sense teaching, like wearing a seatbelt.
     
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