We all have a story that our parents love to re-tell at any given opportunity. For me? It’s the first time that I swore. My Dad swore all the time, it’s no exaggeration to say that every other word he said was ‘fuck’. I’m not ashamed to say that I learnt it from him. In fact, my whole family swears… a lot!
When I was around 3 years-old, I dropped some toys on the floor as I tried carrying them into the kitchen. My sister offered to help me pick them up but without hesitation, I pointed my finger and said, “You can piss off and fuck off an all”. My family were sat around the table and froze in shock. But not because they were disgusted – simply because it as my first time swearing and it came out like that. After the initial surprise, they all laughed it off and saw it for what it was. Non-malicious.
In our family, swearing isn’t inherently rude unless you intend it that way. For us, it doesn’t have any negative connotations unless we explicitly intend it to be used in that way. In that situation, of course I was being rude… but certainly not because of the swearing!
I’m a firm believer that almost every swear word has no set meaning, rather one that we put on it ourselves. Swearing can be just as positive as it can be nasty. Why do I swear? The same reason anyone else in my family does. Just to express how I’m feeling.
Whether you agree with it or not, we call our eldest son a twat, titty, and idiot almost daily. Joshua absolutely doesn’t mind! He takes it for what it is and laughs about it and that’s exactly how it should be. Joshua understands that we mean no harm and joins in. In a weird way, we use swear words as an endearing way of expressing our affection. I don’t expect anyone to ‘get it’!
Joshua has sworn since he was little, which we have never told him off for – why would I? Actually, to backtrack on that a tad, the only time I have asked him not to swear is in school. But not because I think it’s wrong, rather I don’t want him to be upset if he gets told off for it. We’ve taught him that swearing is fine at home but when he is at school he needs to follow their rules – regardless if he agrees with them or not. Joshua is happy to follow their rules and despite calling them “silly” he understands why it’s important.
Simply, swear words are just words that have almost no meaning at all. So why should we not use them how we wish?