How is a cuss word born?

If there is one thing summer is filled with on my street it is the laughter and shouts of children.  The neighborhood kids are doing what kids do in the summer – play from sun up to sun down.  Watching them reminds me of my childhood summers on the cul-de-sac I lived on.  Summer for kids is, at its best, a time for exploring, learning new things, and relaxing.  It is the part of childhood where many adults store their best memories.

Today while I was piddling around out in the garden, I heard one of the neighborhood boys call another boy some word that I couldn’t quite make out, but that was obviously intended to be (by the tone and forcefulness of the delivery) a cuss word of sorts.  From the part I heard it didn’t sound like a cuss word I recognize (and trust me I know quite a few), but the response of the other boys (gasps and a “I’m gonna’ tell!”) it appeared to carry the weight of some of the “F” word.

That little exchange between the boys got me to thinking – how is a cuss word born?  It must start somewhere with someone uttering it with ill intent and be designated vile by those who hear it…right?  A word that receives no such designation does not become a cuss word…right?  Eventually the vile word is said or heard enough that it officially becomes a cuss word…right?

It makes me wonder if I heard today a new, hot-off-the-presses cuss word.  It was designated as vile; and, something tells me that the word will be used again and again given the reaction it received.  I imagine it will have to catch on amongst the masses.  For it to truly become reviled by civilized society the adult population has to be ready to scream it in anger.

I wonder if it is possible under this framework to make up a cuss word myself.  A word that would, as soon as it is uttered, cause folks to gasp like the boys did.  A word that would trump all the other cuss words already out their – the best cuss word the world has ever used.

I think the best cuss words are easily remembered and allow for clean concise delivery.  They also must be against the sensibilities of regular folks in their definitional frame – if they are a slang term for a body part, an action, or an angry retort they must be a word you would never say to your parents or grandparents (not even in a whisper in their ear).  Really good cuss words should be multifunctional in that they can express different emotions and also be used with other cuss words.

So here is my cuss word – turn away fragile readers – KARMUCK.  Roughly translated it means – may your karma come back to you in the most heinous and painful way possible.

Possible usages:

KARMUCK YOU!

He is KARMUCKED!

It’s a KARMUCK waiting to happen!

My inspiration for my newly introduced cuss word is the neighbor who lives directly behind me – the super obnoxious one who gets drunk almost every night and yells at all his guests at the top of his lungs.   The whole neighborhood gets to hear almost every conversation he has.  He is the same guy who left his dog Buddy out in the sub-zero weather.   When I hear or see this neighbor being the dink he is, regular cuss words do not seem adequate. He really needs to be emphatically KARMUCKED.

I guess only time will tell if I have given birth to a new cuss word.  Even if I am the only one who ever says it, you will all now know my intent and can gasp at its utterance. ;-)

Day one thousand and ninety-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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3 Responses to How is a cuss word born?

  1. Barbara says:

    July 7 just went on my birthday calendar as Karmuck Day—lest I forget! I have a great number of wonderful people in my life who make the pages of my gratitude journal daily. BUT, as in every life, there are a few *^#*s in mine–most notably, a few young women who should have outgrown their adolescent Mean Girls antics some time ago. But they soldier on, building nasty little bees nests and then poking them to get their 15 minutes of attention, drama and excitement. They are karmucked! (Such a nice ring to that!)

  2. Avatar of jimlindlauf jimlindlauf says:

    So karmuck basically means that you hope a person gets what they deserve. I like it! I feel that way about some people fairly often. Now, is the accent on the Kar, or the Muck? Most good cuss words need to have the accent on the first syllable so it can really be spit out in anger.

  3. katherine says:

    Let us know if you find out what the boy said. I shall install karmuck in my portfolio. :)

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