General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Are you still uncomfortable swearing in front of your parents?

Asked by SuperMouse (30842points) May 18th, 2009

I was talking to my father this evening about something I feel very passionately about and without even thinking I dropped an F-Bomb! There was an uncomfortable silence and I apologized profusely. I realized that although I am a grown woman I feel incredibly uncomfortable using curse-words around my dad. I pictured him pursing his lips and shaking his head, and imagined him coming through the phone to wrap me one.

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64 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

I have never done it and would not consider doing so. Why would anyone feel a need to show disrespect to their parents in this way? Swearing is something that only indicates a lack of erudition, there are many ways to express any emotion without coarse language.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

No, I’m not uncomfortable. I usually only do it when angry, though. The kind of casual swearing I do around my friends sounds weird in front of my parents and my mom would probably say I was being “tacky” or something along those lines…

But sometimes we joke and say stuff like that. My mom once said that something was “the shit” just like a teenager would say. I taught her that one…lol

EmpressPixie's avatar

Yes! And, despite being an adult who lives away from them, they would totally lecture me if I did. In a heartbeat.

YARNLADY's avatar

I never have and I never would. I don’t swear anytime, anywhere. Besides, they passed away 25 years ago.

justwannaknow's avatar

Hell yes, I would still get my ass kicked all over the place for swearing.

hug_of_war's avatar

I rarely swear even around my boyfriend and closest friends. Swearing is not allowed in my family, and my parents wouldn’t allow it no matter how old I get.

SuperMouse's avatar

@DarkScribe I tried very hard to get indignant about your response, but the fact of the matter is I agree with you 100%. I was horrified and embarrassed when that word came out of my mouth – especially with him! I still feel like a bad kid, a demon seed, a bad influence, every time I say so much as sh*t. But I guess there is that little part of me that likes to misbehave every now and then!

Dansedescygnes's avatar


So you’re saying that if anyone swears in front of their parents it’s disrespectful bar none? Despite the fact that my parents don’t throw a shit fit if I do it. Is this going to turn into one of those “one way is correct for all people” things? Because that seems to be where it’s heading with that comment of yours. There are far more potent ways of being disrespectful than saying “fuck” when you can’t find your cell phone.

SeventhSense's avatar

Nah fuck that.

Darwin's avatar

I don’t curse often and when I do it tends to be sh_t or Boy, Howdy! or sometimes even “well, gosh darn it and fooey to boot!”

In front of my parents I might use Boy, Howdy! but that is as far as I would go. The worst I have ever heard either of them say was when my mother was very angry about something and shouted Jeez, Louise! at my father. I have never heard my father curse.

My son, for some strange reason, has had a great need to curse ever since he was little and uses words neither my husband or I ever said. We used to say he was bilingual in English and Anglo-Saxon. However, even he is smart enough to not say these words in front of my father.

My daughter uses the term frickin’ quite often, and my husband uses something in Japanese – the only part I understand is the word that means stupid.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Dansedescygnes If the person needs to ask then it would seem that at least a possibility of offense exists. I would not swear in front of anyone who I cared for IF I knew that it would offend them. It is that simple.

DeanV's avatar

Of course! I’m 14.

justwannaknow's avatar

@DarkScribe I spent over twenty years in the army and another 20 working in the prison system, It is a part of the vocabulary for many people, right or wrong.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Well, of course. That’s why just because my African American friend calls me “nigga” and I call him that back doesn’t mean I can use that in front of everyone, since many people would find it offensive.

I’m just pointing out my example of people who would not be offended by swearing like that and thus I go with it. Because, in my house, it’s not a sign of disrespect. And of course, I’m not going to assume that everyone has those same feelings about it; clearly, they do not.

SeventhSense's avatar

Boy Howdy? You skate on the razor’s edge my friend….you are an outlaw.

Supacase's avatar

I do. Not like when I was younger and I know I won’t get “in trouble” for it, but there is still something of a parent/child dynamic that I think will always be there no matter how much we try to be friends or peers.

I am more uncomfortable swearing in front of my stepdad that my mom. She can take most swear words (and give a few herself now & then) but she does not like it when I drop the f-bomb.

The really funny thing is that my grandmother, who looks like and is the sweetest woman ever, will blurt out a curse word every once in a while. Never fails to send the three of us (her, mom and me) into giggles.

justwannaknow's avatar

dverhey shouldn’t you be doing your homework? LOL

SuperMouse's avatar

@DarkScribe I am honestly not sure if my father was offended or not. I know I was uncomfortable though. In this case, because my father is not one to swear much, I was embarrassed by my own behavior.

DarkScribe's avatar

@justwannaknow I am ex-Navy and I understand what you are saying, but it is is still something that you can control. Would you use such language on a first date, or when meeting a prospective employer? If the answer is no, then you have control when you need it. The decision not to exercise such control when appropriate shows a lack of respect.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I swear more often than I should but never swear around my folks even though they will swear.

Darwin's avatar

@SeventhSense – An outlaw? Nah, just an old fashioned kind of girl and a Texan.

justwannaknow's avatar

@DarkScribe To quote you “Swearing is something that only indicates a lack of erudition” I stated fact that it is considered part of normal language for some groups of people but if you looked at my earlier answer you would have seen that I DO NOT swear in front of my parents and it is not due to the fact that I am afraid to get my back side kicked by a couple 90 year olds. It is because I respect them. How I talk depends upon the people I am with.

seekingwolf's avatar

I’ve sworn in front of my parents…never AT them, but I might use profanity in a conversation, usually when I’m passionate about something. My parents do it too. It’s very occasional and it’s not like every word that comes out is “F***”.

Really, the only people I swear in front of are my parents and peers when I’m angry. If I EVER actually sweared AT my parents, I would be in big trouble for disrespect. However, I have a bad habit of swearing at peers when they screw something of mine up…chemistry lab? Oh, watch out. I made a girl cry once when she got acid on me. :/ I’m not proud of it and I need to work on it!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

My parents swear, they always have but not horribly. I didn’t swear around them until long after I left home and I try not to but it happens, I’m not ashamed to be honest.

Since010501's avatar

I have only grown more comfortable over the last year or so—though that particular word is one I really try to avoid around them.
Truthfully I almost feel worse using the word “freakin” because I remember my dad yelling at me for using it when I was 15, saying it was just as bad as the other word. So I still have flashbacks to that moment.

DarkScribe's avatar

@justwannaknow Hmmm. Are you suggesting that people who resort to profanity when needing to express themselves are erudite? Why would someone who was erudite not select a more suitable descriptor? In a roundabout way, you seem to agree with me – certainly inasmuch as showing respect when appropriate. As for being considered a part of normal language, I really doubt that even the most roughly spoken stevedore would truly believe that his use of profanity was normal in that it was acceptable in any situation. They are aware that they are using profane language.

knitfroggy's avatar

I curse in front of my parents. My dad curses but not in front of mom too much. My mom does when she is really mad. I don’t think anything of it. My grandma, who is the funniest older person in the world gets mad while playing poker online and yells ”FUCKERS” at people sometimes. I’ve never been able to hold in the laughter.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Something tells me most of you guys don’t have parents like the grandpa on Little Miss Sunshine…

SeventhSense's avatar

Funniest thing I’ve ever heard is an old lady who was telling me about her young nosy neighbor the other day. I asked her if he was a cop. She said, “No he’s just a dick”. I laughed my ass off!

cak's avatar

Right after my father died, I broke down crying and ranting. I was so angry that my dad had to experience what he experienced. He deserved better. Mid-rant, I said, loudly, “Fuckin’ hell! Can’t anyone in this family catch a damn break?!?” My mother was in the room and I never swear in front of her, never. She started cracking up. She swears, my dad did, my sister does and my husband does. I will, at times, but it’s not my first choice in vocabulary. I said more in that one sentence than I ever had, before, in front of my mother. She thought it was so funny. Here we had been crying so hard, so upset, now she was laughing.

She even made fun of how it sounded coming from me!

I’m back to not swearing in front of my mother, again. She’ll just make fun of me! ;~)

justwannaknow's avatar

@DarkScribe Your words not mine. As for profanity being a part of acceptable language, work ten hours a day in a prison and you will find that in fact it is a part of the language even if some in society disagree.

knitfroggy's avatar

@SeventhSense That’s funny! My grandma was flipping channels one day and saw a football player being helped off the field after hurting himself. Grandma says real mean like “I hope he broke his dick!” Dunno what she had against the guy…

SeventhSense's avatar

Obviously a fan of the other team

knitfroggy's avatar

@SeventhSense You’re probably right…I hadn’t thought of that! Lmao!

seekingwolf's avatar


Haha, actually, I think my dad is going to be like him when he gets older.
(minus the crack smoking bit)...he’s foul-minded as it is now, I can’t imagine him when he’s retired, too senile to work anymore, and bored out of his mind. :( he’s going to be a devil.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I swear all the time, and I do try to control it around strangers, and people who might be offended by it, but it is a part of my vocabulary. Call me stupid all you like, but swearing creatively is a talent that I am quite proud of. It’s not my problem if some people just suck at it.

Swear around my parents? Well, not usually, but since my Dad is dead, I’m not sure if it matters, and my Mom really doesn’t care one way or the other.

Facade's avatar

I might say “hell”. might. come to think of it, maybe I should start cursing in front of them. It might make them realize I’m an adult. bad idea, I know

bright_eyes00's avatar

For me it depends on which parent i’m talking to. Grew up in a broken home so i wasnt raised by my dad. Our relationship is a lot more relaxed then mine with my mom. She was really hard on me when i was growin up. (she’s a former marine DI you can imagine what kind of childhood that encouraged lol) My dad and i swear in front of each other and sometimes i will let one slip with my mom but i try harder with her because she’s uber religious.

i feel completely ashamed when i accidentally swear when talking to my grandparents though. Not even a “crap” will escape my lips. its all “darn” and “shoot” and “my goodness” and my favorite “good heavens!”

Likeradar's avatar

Sure, pretty regularly. It’s always been allowed at home. My parents knew that I know the difference between talking to them, within our close relationship, and talking to other people.

That being said, things like “Oh, that’s shitty luck” are ok. “Mom’s being a shit” is not.

ahimsa16's avatar

Time, place and circumstance I guess, though I agree with @DarkScribe that too much swearing is sad. As for prisons, it may be common vernacular in there—doesn’t make it ok. Epithets, trigger words——all signs of poor communication skills. For some, it’s normal to beat your kids——doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest way to vent.


Dansedescygnes's avatar


Yeah, forgive me for venting, but comparing swearing to beating your kids is absurd. Beating your kids causes lasting emotional damage. Saying “ass” does not.

Some people really need to get over themselves. This “swearing hysteria” really doesn’t do much for our society; I question the validity of the whole thing, really. But then again, I question just about everything.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Dansedescygnes Why is swearing such a great thing? I don’t, no one in my family does. What, exactly is the attraction to swear words? There are many swear words I have never, ever said, and I don’t feel any big loss.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


No one said it’s a “great thing”, but I don’t want to be thought of as some trashy reject just because I say certain words that others elect not to say, especially if I say them within the privacy of my own home with people who don’t mind it. Like I said, swearing in public or in front of people you don’t know that well is different. Pretty much everyone in my family says them from time to time; I don’t consider that a loss. Go ahead and don’t say them, no one is judging you. But I don’t think a person is a saint for not saying them and it’s completely invalid to compare bad words to child abuse.

My own personal opinion comes in more when I explain that I just happen to think the whole concept of it is stupid; the fact that there are certain words you “can’t say”. Most swear words are things people say in anger and most of them started out that way even if they are used differently, they were originally used to emphasize anger.

Not to mention the fact that words constantly change how offensive they are. Some words that no one would dream of saying on TV 40 years ago can now be said, which leads to my hypothesis that eventually all current swear words will lose their power either to be replaced by new ones or to be replaced by nothing.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Dansedescygnes Swearing is certainly nothing near child beating, but schools still punish students for swearing inappropriately, so they are doing their children a dissservice. My two year old grandson said some words at the family dinner, and all the teens said “Did he say what I thought he said”. I told them it’s to be expected because his Mom (who wasn’t there)is a potty mouth. I think the word got back to her, because she went out of her way this week to tell me she’s got to try to clean up her language now because of the boy.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Well, of course the social stigma attached to swearing should mean that most parents would prevent their child from swearing because of the offensiveness it carries. When I was younger, my parents didn’t want me swearing. But as I got older, I became able to determine that there are inappropriate times and places and people to use the words with and there are times and places and people with whom it would be fine. And I adhere to that.

sccrowell's avatar

I have cursed in front of my mother. Not the f word. Perhaps the D word out of frustration. I would never curse in front of wtf’s parents. But I have to tell you, Kaden, my African grey still thinks his name ya little f%@ker & Bailey my Dashshund comes to little bastard. So there you have it….

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Not because I’d be in trouble, because I wouldn’t (I’m 26). But I do not do it out of respect for them.

OpryLeigh's avatar

No, my parents are happy for me and my brother to swear around them as long as it isn’t aimed at them and likewise they swear around us. I would never swear in front of my Grandparents but when it comes to mum and dad it has never been an issue.

Kenyan's avatar

@Dawrin….what is Boy Howdy. Do you consider that a curse word?

Jack79's avatar

Not really, depends on the context. I’m old enough to speak openly, and especially my father now uses a full spectrum of vocabulary now in front of me (but he only started doing so after I was 34 or something).

Aethelwine's avatar

I would never curse at them but I have cursed with them. It doesn’t happen all the time but I think it’s kind of cute coming from my mom (she’s 73). I think my mom gets more uncomfortable than anyone else. She’ll quickly cover her mouth and apologize, then we all have a good laugh.

ubersiren's avatar

Sometimes I let a few minor ones slip out, but usually just around my mom. I feel like my dad would be highly disappointed, even though he wouldn’t say a word. I would never swear at them——that was over in high school.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Heh, my father was in the Navy for 12 years. As hard as I try, I can’t even come close to his level, but he taught me every fuckin’ thing I know about it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I believe mom curses more than I do

Darwin's avatar

@Kenyan – “Boy, Howdy” tends to be a Texanism. Most other Americans don’t say it. It isn’t precisely a curse word because it has no real meaning, but it is a term used to express frustration in the same way that many curses are often used.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Darwin, I love unique euphemisms, and hear plenty during my work day. Some of my favorites are Canadian or Australian in origin. The British types just seem to swear more creatively than us Yanks.

Swearing is like eating seafood, it is not like beating your kids. Some people like it, some people don’t, and some people have no idea what the thrill is for it and have strong misgivings about what other people choose as healthy or fun or tasty. Life is about choices, your results may vary.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex I’m from a military background (mostly Navy too) and I know what you mean :D

casheroo's avatar

I’m not uncomfortable with it at all. They have never punished me for it, but I always knew there was a time and a place for it.
Curse words are a part of my every day vocabulary, I don’t curse at work though and I don’t curse when talking to strangers.
My husband and I don’t hide how we talk in front of our son, we’re still discussing on how we want to go about that.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I have no problem cussing in front of my parents. That said, I grew up hearing them cuss, so it’s not really such a big deal.

SeventhSense's avatar

Don’t front..umm. I guess it’s hard not to with that name
Boy Howdy is like motherfucker in puppet. :)

Allie's avatar

I used to be and then one day I was telling my mom a story and “fuck” just came out. She didn’t say anything about it. Now I feel fine saying curse words around her. That doesn’t mean I say them all the time though.

Kenyan's avatar

I almost said Fuck while i was talking to my mom but i caught myself before i said the whole word

SeventhSense's avatar

Just say Boy Howdy. :)

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