Accidental Profanity

I swear like a trooper when in the pub. I like the emphasis and staccato a well placed f-word adds to a sentence, but my brain filters these words out when I am with my kids, my parents or just not in a suitable environment. (Although I probably owe lip readers in supermarkets an apology or two.)


However, as much as I can keep my own foul mouth in check, there are times when profanity punctures our rosy cheeked family life by accident. Take the other day when my boys, aged ten and three, were playing a game in which they were pretending to throw each other across the room.

My ten year old, had quite correctly when considering it’s literal meaning, opted to use the word toss to describe their actions. Which left me and the man half horrified and half hysterical with smothered laughter as they happily shouted ‘I am going to toss you’ at each other.

After ten minutes or so had passed I could no longer bear the incongruity of a childhood game and it’s wanky subtext, they had no idea how it sounded to adult ears and it was just so, so wrong. I told my ten year old that while his use of the word was absolutely correct, sadly it also has another meaning, a far more adult meaning and so could he use a different word.

He was mortified, he wouldn’t dream of using ‘naughty words’ and really I could have left them to it as the fault was with our grown up brains not their use of language, but the finalΒ straw had been when the three year old had innocently shouted ‘Look Mummy, me and Max are being tossers’

And then there are the rhyme books in our house. Syd loves having nursery rhymes and kids poetry books read to him, I am less enamoured because the ones we have always seem to have moments that make me cringe when reading allowed, be it the Owl and the Pussycat with its beautiful pussy, or this fine example from a poem about birds…..



It is very, very hard to say ‘I am a cock’ without being aware of it’s other context. Sometimes I slur the words to disguise them a bit, other times I declare my cock status with a tremor in my voice, tinged with the shame that comes with owning up to a truth. ‘I AM a cock’ declared with pride is another approach, after all, we are all a bit of a cock sometimes. Rarely do I manage it with any sense of bird in my delivery. Still, it makes bedtime stories slightly more entertaining I guess.

Of course swear words are just words, my children will grow up to use them, my eldest already does. She is eighteen, and I don’t always filter them out when speaking to her. She has started to let the odd milder one out when speaking to me too, which of course I tell her off for, just for kicks – ‘don’t use language like that to your Mother young lady’ ‘But YOU just said it’ ‘Well, do as I say and not as I do and all that’. Such fun.

Love Miss Cisco XXX



  1. September 1, 2014 / 9:03 am

    I am SO with you on this. I had a similar story with my son saying he was going to toss something off. I wasnt sure if should explain and have THAT conversation or if I should plead ignorance. I went for the latter in the end. All too mortifying.

  2. September 1, 2014 / 9:29 am

    We had a “cock” moment in our local pub. We were playing the rhyming game, trying to find as many words that rhymed with sock, rock ……

    My OH quickly said “well done sweetheart, a cockrel”
    (all while I was bright red and sniggering under the table)

  3. September 1, 2014 / 9:45 am

    When I was about nine we were on a beach with friends. My sister, aged five, and a few others and I were digging a large hole to make a home for these jumpy bug things that were hopping about on the sand. Except my mum said, in no uncertain terms, that we had to find a new name for it. Apparently our Cosy Buggery wasn’t acceptable…

  4. September 1, 2014 / 9:50 am

    Its so interesting what offends different people. I don’t swear at all, unless really, really cross, or drunk *ahem*. Its not that hearing other people swear offends me, I just think there are better ways to say most things. Saying all that, sometimes only a strong guttural ranty swear word will ever do!

  5. Liz Weston aka @TheLizWeston
    September 1, 2014 / 10:32 am

    I rarely drink, don’t smoke and eat far too much chocolate. So really, swearing is the only thing left that I can enjoy. Swear words are usually so onomatopoeic, that there’s no other word that will do. Well, in my mind there isn’t….

  6. September 1, 2014 / 11:59 am

    I shouldn’t really laugh. My boy dropped something the other day and said FFS (in full) !!
    I blame everyone except me (FFS !!)

  7. September 1, 2014 / 12:30 pm

    reading a ladybird boo a few weeks ago .. made me giggle and cringe

  8. September 1, 2014 / 12:53 pm

    Ha ha! We are trying not to swear as Baby picking things up so quickly but it is so hard! At the moment Baby says quack but it always comes out cock and we get some very funny looks in the supermarket πŸ™‚ x

  9. September 1, 2014 / 1:53 pm

    Amy swore once and that’s because she repeated me. We went out one morning and there had been a terrible storm over night that had taken our entire fence apart, so when I saw it, I dropped the F-bomb. She instantly repeated it and Ben couldn’t stop laugh about it, but I was absolutely mortified. Luckily, it hasn’t happened since…

  10. September 1, 2014 / 2:50 pm

    Oh I am forever dropping the f-bomb, sometimes it is the only suitable word I can think of x

  11. September 1, 2014 / 3:37 pm

    D said ‘cr*p’ this morning, when we were arguing about toilet brushes (of all things – don’t ask!). Austin promptly asked what it meant…..darn it, despite our best efforts he’s learnt the correct use of his first profanity. I blame the toilet brushes….

  12. September 1, 2014 / 3:58 pm

    Love this! I too love a swear word, but manage to filter them out when with small children. Your poor boy and the accidental use of the word ‘toss’. And as for the publishers of that book? They must have been having a right laugh when they wrote that one because NOBODY could read or write the words ‘I am a cock’ without giggling.

  13. stacey kirkbride
    September 1, 2014 / 6:27 pm

    i will admit i do find myself occasionally swearing in front of my kids and i always feel so bad about it. i would hate for them to pick up bad language from me whilst they’re so young πŸ™

  14. September 1, 2014 / 6:51 pm

    So funny. I have accidentally sworn a few times in front of my kids but they give me a stern telling off.

  15. September 1, 2014 / 7:32 pm

    lol… I have to work hard not to swear around the girls!!! they do tend to pick up on it dont’ htey!

  16. September 1, 2014 / 7:36 pm

    Head in hands here at the tossers bit πŸ˜‰ I am a total fishwife with my language when the kids are in bed but an actual real life saint on my blog and in front of them. Totally expecting an MBE for my efforts!

  17. September 1, 2014 / 7:44 pm

    We try our best to filter them all out but no matter how much we try kids bring them back from school or other activities and then ask about the meaning… it is hard sometimes to explain why they shouldn’t use them.
    Twisted meanings are always funny πŸ™‚

  18. September 1, 2014 / 8:16 pm

    We try not to swear around the children but sometimes things slip out! I remember dropping a bowl full of cake mix on the floor and let the word “shit” slip out! My then 2 year old twins were in ear shot but it wasn’t until the next day when one dropped his cereal did I hear he come out of his mouth! UH OH!

  19. September 1, 2014 / 8:30 pm

    Such a funny post – had me chuckling! It certainly cannot be helped. I do have a potty mouth and I am lucky L doesn’t pick up on most – when totally outraged I will swear in a different language. Unfortunately I live in a county where ‘cock’ is a term of endearment!

  20. September 1, 2014 / 8:46 pm

    Ah the innocence of childhood! I have to say I’ve never sworn in front of my parents *polishes halo* but my brother more than makes up for me!

  21. September 1, 2014 / 8:52 pm

    Is it just be or do the words cock and pussy seem to crop up in a lot of children’s books! Completely innocently of course.

  22. September 1, 2014 / 9:05 pm

    ha ha sniggers! I am terrible for swearing and I’m lucky the kids don’t repeat!

  23. September 1, 2014 / 9:17 pm

    Ha ha, we had something like this recently and I can’t remember now….it’ll come back to me πŸ™‚

  24. September 1, 2014 / 9:45 pm

    it’s amazing how we see different meanings in things as we grow up? Something so innocent becomes the complete opposite

  25. September 2, 2014 / 4:21 am

    I actually love a good kid swear. Ramona and her mates, when they are having a cool time yell cheerfully “This is fucking awesome!!”

  26. September 2, 2014 / 10:45 am

    We have had similar instances and now I have a 13 year old who hears all sorts at high school it is becoming even more difficult to over look these instances. He picks them up and i have had to explain that they don’t know or really need to know at their age.

  27. September 2, 2014 / 12:55 pm

    Ohhhhh SWEARING, something my mouth does mid sentence without consulting my brain, that even I am shocked at. I seem to have no filter but I do try. I swear and then apologise and then do it in the apology. I can’t help it.


    I need a fix. I might try Hypnotherapy.

    I love nursery rhymes etc like this because it gives me some entertainment whilst innocent ears only hear what is intended. Makes bedtime a little less boring πŸ™‚

  28. September 2, 2014 / 3:46 pm

    Great post. I think I would have let the tossing go undiscussed, but have recently heard my three-year-old say ‘bloody hell’. Gulp. I think I’m less good at filtering my swear words when I’m with a friend.

  29. September 2, 2014 / 4:12 pm

    Never forget the time I had to explain to my daughters that the word ‘pussy’ also has an entirely different meaning! Still tell my daughters off for swearing and they’re almost 20!
    Fabulous post as always x

  30. September 2, 2014 / 6:09 pm

    I will comment once I have stopped laughing! You really cannot blame the kids. It is us grown-ups that have got it all muddled. So much that good old Uncle Dick and Aunt Fanny had to get their names changed πŸ˜€

  31. September 3, 2014 / 1:07 pm

    Ha ha, we are being tossers made me laugh out loud!! So funny

  32. September 3, 2014 / 10:33 pm

    There is no way on this earth that the OH and I could read that book without collapsing into laughter. Quite sweet when they are little to have this ‘grown up’ joke between the two of you. Sadly my eldest two know more swear words than we do, I’m sure! “Tossers” *snigger*.

  33. September 4, 2014 / 12:26 pm

    Don’t you just love it when that happens? I often feel like I’m the kid and not the adult when that happens.Bugger often slips from my mouth but nothing else.I haven’t had incidents since Kieran was small trying to say clock and it came out as cock.Caitlin used to say big shit instead of biscuit.

  34. September 6, 2014 / 9:33 pm

    It’s interesting how words change their meaning through the times. That children’s poem must have been totally innocent at the time when it was written. Very much unlike it’s now, lol

  35. Family Affairs
    September 11, 2014 / 4:27 pm

    Ha ha to all – my mother’s school used to be called “Fanny Road Primary School” which has changed names funnily enough….

    And lucky you having one more year with your daughter – mine is about to leave!


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