My hubby was on a message board the other day where someone was telling him that when an atheist says “Goddammit,” it implies at least some vague belief in God.I find that notion somewhat nutty, and perhaps a bit self-contradictory. Truth is, though, that a good hearty G/D is sometimes the most effective way, on the spur of the moment, to express one's true feelings. She offers some alternatives to the old standards, of which the following are my favorites:
“Holy Curie’s Isotopes!”One commenter recommends dropping into another language (vaffanculo!), which can be both effective and amusingly confusing to your listener. I will admit to dropping some ordinary German and Russian exclamations (Scheisse! Жаль.), but my favorite came from a Spanish-speaking friend back in college. Just try saying it:
“Mother of Galileo!”
“Great Merciful Hawking!”
¡Hijo de la fregada!Babelfish translates it as "Son of the mopped one," but I've also been told it means "Son of that which bothers me." What it shows, though, is that in this crazy, technological, postmodern world, there are more than enough cursewords to go around, in just about any language. Try using a completely innocuous, yet reasonably uncommon, foreign word as a swear, and see how soon it starts to sound a little inappropriate in polite company. Imagine you just swung a hammer straight into your thumb, and then recite the following words:
ShishkebabSee what I mean?
In closing, I have to note that the Wikipedia entry on the cumbersomely-named Hawaiian fish above states that its name is one of the longest words in the English language. Do I really need to point out that it's not in the English language?