F’ing and blinding

Last night I was out with a few friends and we got on the topic of to swear or not to swear. I pointed out that I kinda got over that when I realised that swearing is more to do with culture than anything else.

Here in the middle of farming country the word ‘shit’ is like the word ‘poop’ in other parts of the world. My 85-year-old grandmother called someone a ‘shitass’ the other day as they stole her parking space. (Needless to say my brothers found this hilarious and about pee’d their pants laughing. She had no idea what was so funny!)

To tell someone to ‘shut up’ in the UK is like saying be quiet. Everyone says it…lots. Here in the US it is quite offensive.

Then I was thinking about all the different ways to flip someone off. I’ve been searching for images but can’t find all the ones I know exist!

The American ‘Bird’
The British ‘peace’ sign
My dad always joked about the Russian ‘Eagle’ being 5x more powerful than the American bird 😉
Then I forget what country it was but the missionary who went around pretending to ‘steal’ kiddios noses only to be met with horrified looks. Someone later told him he was flipping them all off!

So many things we define as right and wrong are the definitions given to us by our culture. Thing is we often don’t know that until we leave our that home culture. For Christians the same is often discovered about what we consider ‘Biblical Truths’. More often than not they are ‘cultural truths’ not Biblical. (That’s probably a separate blog post, so I’d better stop there!!)

Please leave me a comment of your favorite story of something you said or did and later found out it was swearing or rude! It’s happened to the best of us!


About Angela

Coffee lover, foodie, PW, TCK, wine taster, MOPS mentor mom, Pampered Chef, wife, mom, auntie, sister, daughter...I have many labels, but the only one I let stick is Child of the King!
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12 Responses to F’ing and blinding

  1. Timothy Aho says:

    One of the funniest stories we have is of an American friend who was visiting an English family and as a 50 year old man was trying to give a ‘wet willy’ to their 5 year old daughter. American context: wet thumb in the girl’s ear. English context: his male anatomy. When we told him what a ‘willy’ was, he gave a startled look and said, “I did a very bad thing!” and then told us the story.

    Then there was the time after being just a few days in the country (England) and saying to a young 14 year old girl while playing American football that I was going to ‘toss it off to her’ (meaning the football on a play I was quarterbacking). When she and the others laughed, I said it again, whereupon they all fell on the floor (ground) laughing. In English lingo, I had just said I would do something with my private parts for her. How very embarrassing!


  2. Funny, Tim, I thought of you several times while writing this post 🙂 Didn’t know you read this! thank you.


  3. justbarefoot says:

    This makes me nervous!!! What’s the British “peace sign?” Anything else I need to know??


  4. The ‘peace’ sign is the same as ‘the bird’ but is the ‘peace sign’ with the back of the hand toward the person. Usually ‘thrown up’ and waved back and forth ;0)


  5. Debbie Foust says:

    If I remember correctly, “I got your nose” was the story told by Mick Smith. It happened when he was living in Ethiopia.


  6. Jonathan says:

    I once worked in Llanelli, in south Wales, at the World Horizons missions centre.

    We were eating our lunch with some newly arrived US missionaries who were commenting that the hall we were eating in “would be a great space to shag in”. A moment of horror and confusion, followed by much laughter on our part, and embarrassment on theirs.

    Love from all of us,
    J, S, N & H


  7. Pingback: Comments | livingoverseasandlovingit

  8. Alley says:

    While I was speaking with a Korean woman in England, she wanted to learn more slang words in English. We were talking about different words, and somehow we got on different words for a person’s backside. I said “fanny” is another word for buttocks, and the English folks started to crack up. I then learned that it means a different part of the anatomy, and it can be a quite offensive term there. Opps.


  9. Larry Gibson says:

    Well Angela, until Austin Powers, we would “shag”, which meant to leave; or as my favorite uncle Richard would say, “scratch gravel”, or “head out”. I also worked with a millwright in the 60’s whose nickname was “Shag”. It didn’t mean anything – it was just a name. (and I thought it was a cool one) His brothers all had unusual nicknames too. So, what did the people mean who thought it would be a good place to “shag”. Was it a dance? (a dance called the shag sounds vaguely familiar).


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