Today In Mom News: Does Yo Momma Have a Potty Mouth?

The New York Times blog Motherlode has a post today from editor Vivian Manning-Schaffel who is trying her darndest not to curse in front of her children. We are reminded fondly of our mother’s potty mouth, and believe that a few four-letter words did not hurt us too badly as children. We were always taught that it wasn’t the word that was so bad, it was the intent: A cruel “shut up” directed towards a person is much worse than an expletive exclaimed when you stub your toe. What were your moms’ attitudes towards cursing? Did she curse like a sailor? Did she scrub your mouth out with soap when you said h-e-double-hockey-sticks? We want to hear about it in the comments!

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    • 1.  Lizzie

      My mom still makes it a goal to not drop the “f-bomb” at every family gathering but almost never makes it. Generally she has gotten better about it, I think last Thanksgiving she made it til we sat down to eat.
      But until we were about 17 or so, my sister and I knew those were “mommy’s words” and it wasn’t too scaring.

      April 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm

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    • 2.  JRG

      Mom hardly ever used any foul language, unless you really ticked her off, then you better watch out!! If she got the slightest notion that somebody was trying to take advantage of her cause she is a woman and maybe doesn’t know alot about some things, boy you better duck sucker, cause you will get a mouth full. Other than that she hardly said a bad word. Now dad on the other hand…………..

      April 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm

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    • 3.  Diana

      Mom didn’t even like it when we said “sucks” or “crap” We were NOT allowed to curse in front of her. Now that we’re adults, she occasionally drops the F-Bomb or an expletive, but she insists that potty language is almost never necessary.

      April 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm

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    • 4.  L

      My mom always said that cursing was the sign of a “limited vocabulary”. Well, I grew up having a great vocabulary, but I still curse at the drop of a hat.

      April 8, 2010 at 7:37 pm

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    • 5.  Kathleen

      My mother very rarely cursed – but she was famous for flipping people off in the car – she had severe road rage.

      April 8, 2010 at 8:49 pm

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    • 6.  Jennifer

      My mother used the general ones, D**m, H**l and B*tch. But NEVER the F-bomb. My father won’t use it either. Strangely enough I never caught on to cursing. Ever. They are both amazed by that and frankly so am I. I just don’t think it would ever sound right on me.

      April 8, 2010 at 9:37 pm

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    • 7.  Mayday

      My mom rarely swore, only the few instances where her anger towards the situation at hand would provoke her usually. Oddly enough myself and my two older brothers ended up being adults that swear up and down though her or my father never seem to mind. She says were not saying anything people haven’t said before, we just say things in a different way than her generation.

      April 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

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    • 8.  Denise

      My Mum never swore much beyond saying bloody hell, and on the one occasion my sister and I were playing at rhyming words and accidentally said the C word (8 yo me didn’t even know it was a word let alone a swear word back in 1972) she hauled us both up to the bathroom and washed our mouths out with soap and made both of us promise NEVER to use such a horrible word again.

      Even now hearing the word makes me shudder and brings with a faint aftertaste of Palmolive Gold in my mouth.

      April 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

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    • 9.  JRG

      For those of us who actually have had a bar of soap crammed in our mouths and had it drug across our teeth, are you glad they did not have the liquid hand soap like they do now? Can’t imagine getting a dose of that squirted in my mouth, at least the bar soap left little chunks you could spit out. LOL

      April 9, 2010 at 10:44 am

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    • 10.  Lori

      My mother used to wash out mouths out with soap for calling each other “jerk”. Or we had to brush our teeth with soap. Sweating was most definately NOT allowed. However, now that she is in her later 70′s she’s relaxed a bit, and almost made ME (truck driver mouth when I’m pissed) pass out when she dropped an “F” bomb one day! I had to call everyone I knew because it just floored me!

      April 9, 2010 at 11:14 am

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    • 11.  Lori

      That should be SWEARING was not allowed.

      April 9, 2010 at 11:15 am

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    • 12.  Terry

      I was in my teens the first time my mom swore. I laughed so hard, it made her even angrier. As a mom now, I swear like a coal miner, in profane stream-of-consciousness-hypenated-references, and my little boy just shakes his head and tells me, “Mama, you need to flush your potty mouth.”

      April 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm

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    • 13.  Donna

      My mother never permitted swearing in our house and never used it herself. Even to this day I don’t think I’ve ever heard her swear. In my own house, I don’t permit swearing and when my kids friends came over, they were informed of the “house rules”.

      On the rare occasions that I do drop a four letter word, people are instantly aware that something is very, very wrong. Which is pretty much the point.

      April 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm

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    • 14.  Juno

      My mother is quite the prude and didn’t start swearing until later in life (“s***” frequently, NEVER “f***”). When I was maybe about 8, I copied something from a note a friend passed me. It involved the initials “P.O.” (literally–the words were not spelled out). My mother saw it–well, I’d made no attempt to hide it since I didn’t have the slightest idea there was anything ‘bad’ about it. She washed my mouth out with soap. (Why not my hands?? I wrote it–I didn’t say it!) I didn’t know what P.O. stood for until years later.

      April 9, 2010 at 3:50 pm

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    • 15.  Alaina

      To my knowledge, my mother won’t use foul language, never a “G.D.” or “b*tch” and certianly nothing worse than that. Cursing and name calling were strictly not allowed, so much that now as an adult I hesitated to use the word “Bastard” in apropriate context and she informed me she was an adult and knew what the word was supposed to mean, after all.
      My older brother was a notorious potty mouth and my mom employed everything she could think of to stop him. She tried making name calling cost the offender a quarter for each bad name so he tried to pay her in advance so he could go call me names. Also, as he didn’t mind the taste of bar soap it didn’t work effectively as a deterrent, so my mom tried Liquid Hand Soap (See JRG, it did happen). It wouldnt was out and his mouth foamed and bubbled for hours, she laughs now but felt horrible at the time.

      April 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm

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    • 16.  Sarah

      My mom taught me really inventive curse words and phrases. It’s really the order of the words and the way you can take a simple swear and turn it into an extended action or a comment on their mother that makes it worthy to yell out during traffic. Seriously, she makes my friends blush with the way she speaks when she’s irritated. My mom just warned us that all language has a use and a purpose so to be aware of that. Oh and that we couldn’t curse until we paid our own bills.

      April 10, 2010 at 5:27 am

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    • 17.  RH

      My mother rarely, if ever cursed, while my father was legendary in his tendency to string together a seamless delivery of epithets while watching sports on TV. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve heard my mom drop some curse words from time to time. I curse like mad in my head and I’m scared it’s going to pop out one day at work – and I’m a teacher!- so I’ve started wearing a rubber band on my wrist and when I curse silently, I snap the rubber band. I’ll either stop cursing or have a nasty scar by the end of the year.

      April 11, 2010 at 10:59 pm

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    • 18.  Christine

      I’ll admit I have a bit of a potty mouth, and whenever someone asks me “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” I always respond with, “Who do you think taught me that word!?” I learned more cuss words from watching my mom play tetris, than from any R-rated movie.

      My mother always *tries* not to curse, she’ll use words like Dang, shoot, etc, but if she continues to get worked up, the real words will always come out.

      April 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm

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    • 19.  Khristen

      My mother and father made it a point not to swear in front of me or my two younger brothers, though there were occasional, extremely colorful outbursts during times of stress. I distinctly remember being in a car with her and my brother … I was probably 12 and he was 8 and a car almost hit us. She lets out with, “F–k a duck!!” It was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s her go-to swear word and it is hilarious.

      April 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm

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    • 20.  Lola

      my mom never ever swore around me when i was young, and my stepdad is very intentional and careful with his words, i have not even heard one mild word out of his mouth. however, a funny moment that i still remember transformed my mother in my eyes was that when i was 14, she opened the front door late at night, and shouted at the very noisy neighbors, “SHUT THE F*** UP!!”

      April 29, 2010 at 3:15 am

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    • 21.  Jess

      My mom never really swore, instead she’d “half swear”: my oldest brother was a hooligan and she would say things like “stop being such a jack!” (jacka**). I always thought it was cute and ladylike that she didnt swear, but I havent been able to follow her example for my kids. Im a bit of a sailor and my efforts come out something like “jesus-mothering-POO!”

      August 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm

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Love, Mom