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Getty Images / iStock

16 Expletives We Should Definitely Bring Back

Getty Images / iStock
Getty Images / iStock

Some words are just perfect for shouting out in exasperation. These oldies will make you feel better the moment they pass your lips.

1. ZOONTERS!

This one got a little play in the 18th century as a minced oath—a swear that was modified to avoid being offensive. It’s a further mincing of zounds, which was itself a mincing of “his wounds,” as in Christ’s. Keep it handy in case you stub your toe in church.

2. OONS!

If zoonters is pushing it too close to the edge of blasphemy, just cut it down by a few more sounds. Oons was another minced oath formed off zounds.

3. DODGAST!

Much in the way that familiar forms like dagnabbit and doggone are ways to avoid saying God damn it! and God damned!, dodgast takes on the burden of God blast it! and makes it safe for children.

4. ADOD!

Yet another obsolete way to get the satisfaction of a swear without the taking of the Lord’s name in vain, this minced oath from the 17th century stands in for oh God. Its sibling egad! survived longer.

5. CRIVENS!

This one is a creative mashup of Christ! and heavens! It’s put to good use in this line from the 1935 book Shipbuilders: “Holy crivens, I nearly broke my flakin’ back.”

6. I SNORE!

Once you go a little bit out of your way to avoid some blasphemy, no reason not to keep going even further. The exclamation I snore! was an early American way to avoid even saying the word swear. In 1790, the Massachusetts Spy reported that “in one village you will hear the phrase ‘I snore,’—in another, ‘I swowgar.’”

7. BY SNUM!

If snore or swowgar isn’t far enough from offensive for you, there’s also snum. Snum came from vum, which itself came from vow

8. BYR’LADY!

Not to be confused with beer lady!, this one was formed from “by our lady.”

9. RABBIT!

You’ve probably heard of drat! And rats! They started as God rot!, but before that, it was rendered as rabbit—as in “Rabbit the fellow!” from Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews.

10. WHAT THE RATTLE!?

There’s only one citation for this one in the Oxford English Dictionary, but it’s a good one, from 1790: “But what the rattle makes you look so tarnation glum?”

11. BONES OF ME!

This 16th century exclamation could show up as bones of me! or bones of you! The bones are the part of the body with the most staying power after death, so the expression has a force akin to “over my dead body” without the “don’t you dare” part.

12. GOOD LACK!

In addition to good God! And good heavens! There was good lack! Related to alack! and a sense of lack meaning fault or moral failing. It was used to express dismay at a state of affairs.

13. LOVANENTY!

An exclamation of shock and surprise, it’s probably from the phrase Lord defend thee. It also showed up as lockanties, lockintee, and lokins in Scotland.

14. MEGSTIE ME!

Another expression of surprise, it might be related to mighty. Other forms were megsty, maiginty, and megginstie, or meggins for short.

15. STAP MY VITALS!

This one probably started with Lord Foppington, a character in the 1697 comedy Relapse, who had a problem with pronouncing o as a.

16. SUPERNACULUM!

An obsolete exhortation to drink, this was a jokey combination of Latin and German. There was a German phrase auf den Nagel trinken or “drink to the nail,” meaning “drain your glass to the last drop.” Naculum was a play on what Nagel would sound like in Latin. Add super- or “over” to it and you’ve got supernaculum, which you can cry out as you turn your glass over to show you’ve chugged it all.

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Here's the Right Way to Pronounce Kitchenware Brand Le Creuset

If you were never quite sure how to pronounce the name of beloved French kitchenware brand Le Creuset, don't fret: For the longest time, southern chef, author, and PBS personality Vivian Howard wasn't sure either.

In this video from Le Creuset, shared by Food & Wine, Howard prepares to sear some meat in her bright orange Le Creuset pot and explains, "For the longest time I had such a crush on them but I could never verbalize it because I didn’t know how to say it and I was so afraid of sounding like a big old redneck." Listen closely as she demonstrates the official, Le Creuset-endorsed pronunciation at 0:51.

Le Creuset is known for its colorful, cast-iron cookware, which is revered by pro chefs and home cooks everywhere. The company first introduced their durable pots to the world in 1925. Especially popular are their Dutch ovens, which are thick cast-iron pots that have been around since the 18th century and are used for slow-cooking dishes like roasts, stews, and casseroles.

[h/t Food & Wine]

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25 Great Insults From 18th Century British Slang
Francis Grose
Francis Grose
Wikimedia Commons// Public Domain

For history buffs with a personal score to settle, "You jerk" just doesn't have the same ring as "You unlicked cub," an insult from Georgian England. And there's more where that came from if you browse through English lexicographer Francis Grose's A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, first published in 1785 and recently spotted by the Public Domain Review. The anthology is filled with slang words and terms of the kind dictionary scribe Samuel Johnson had previously deemed unfit for his influential A Dictionary of the English Language (1755). Below are some of the tome's most hilarious, vivid, and archaic insults, arranged in alphabetical order for your put-down pleasure. (And if you need more inspiration, here's some Victorian slang for good measure.)

1. ADDLE PATE

"An inconsiderate foolish fellow."

2. BEARD SPLITTER

“A man much given to wenching,” or consorting with prostitutes.

3. A BLOWSE, OR BLOWSABELLA

An unkempt woman. "A woman whose hair is dishevelled, and hanging about her face; a slattern."

4. BLUNDERBUSS

“A stupid, blundering fellow.”

5. BOB TAIL

“A lewd woman, or one that plays with her tail; also an impotent man, or an eunich.”

6. BULL CALF

"A great hulkey or clumsy fellow."

7. CORNY-FACED

"A very red pimpled face."

8. DEATH'S HEAD UPON A MOP-STICK

“A poor, miserable, emaciated fellow."

9. DUKE OF LIMBS

“A tall, awkward, ill-made fellow.”

10. FUSSOCK

"A lazy fat woman … a frowzy old woman."

11. GOLLUMPUS

"A large, clumsy fellow."

12. GUNDIGUTS

"A fat, pursy fellow."

13. HANG IN CHAINS

"A vile, desperate fellow.”

14. HEDGE WHORE

An itinerant prostitute, "who bilks the bagnios and bawdy houses, by disposing of her favours on the way side, under a hedge; a low beggarly prostitute.”

15. JACKANAPES

"An ape; a pert, ugly, little fellow."

16. JUST-ASS

"A punning appellation for a justice," or a punny name for a judge.

17. LOBCOCK

“A large relaxed penis, also a dull inanimate fellow.”

18. PUFF GUTS

"A fat man."

19. SCRUB

"A low mean fellow, employed in all sorts of dirty work."

20. SHABBAROON

"An ill-dressed shabby fellow; also a mean-spirited person."

21. SHAG-BAG

"A poor sneaking fellow, a man of no spirit."

22. SQUIRE OF ALSATIA

"A weak profligate spendthrift."

23. TATTERDEMALLION

“A ragged fellow, whose clothes hang all in tatters.”

24. THINGUMBOB

"A vulgar address or nomination to any person whose name is unknown ... Thingum-bobs, testicles."

25. UNLICKED CUB

“A rude uncouth young fellow.”

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