Words You Cannot Say

The alphabet is filling up. Some letters are already pulling double duty.
The list of words you cannot say, but must refer to by appending “word” to the first letter of the impugned term, is growing faster than I can (or am willing to) keep up. And, frankly, if I want to say the N-word, I just say it. It holds no power over me, and I refuse to bow before it by addressing it as if it were The Artist Formerly Known as Nigger.

In any case, I’ve decided to compile a list of words that are so heavy and powerful that huge numbers of people whisper their new forms like old Jewish women talk about disease: “Did you hear about Moses Lipshitz? He has cancer !”

I’m gonna need help with a few of them. Leave your suggestions in the comments.

A – Asshole is a candidate, but I don’t think it qualifies. Suggestions?

B – Bitch

C – Cunt.

D – Both douchebag and dickhead come to mind, but those are far too common to ever make anyone really angry. Got any D’s?

E – ?

F – The F-Word! Holy smokin’ fuck, he said the F-Word!

G – Can’t think of anything…


J – Of course Jew comes to mind, but that could just be a statement of fact: “I didn’t know you were a Jew,” as opposed to, “Dirty fucking Jew! Get on the train!” Still, if I heard someone say, “The J-word”, I’d have to ask them what the hell they were talking about.


L – Lesbian. I know this because there was a television show of the same name: The L-Word. This is the proper name for dykes.
It strikes me that the term “The L-word” might also be taken to mean Love, as in, “Last night when we were fucking, she said the L-word.”
It makes the category on form.

M – Motherfucker, though as George Carlin pointed out, this is merely a compound form of the F-Word. Despite being pretty common, it is also pretty repulsive when you stop and think about it. Still, never heard anyone actually say “The M-Word”.

N – Nigger.

O – Open to suggestions here.

P – Got nuthin’. Pisstank. Pussy. P-flap?

Q – I don’t think there’s even a candidate here. Lots of words, but none that elicit the sort of outrage to suffer being banned.

R – Retard. Retarded. Retardo. Retarderino. Your Retardedness, if you’re not into that whole brevity thing.

S – There MUST be an S-Word. I just can’t think of it.

T – Transgendered? Trannie? T-girl? Ice-T? Teabaggers? Help me out here! HAH! I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner! TARD! How sneaky, eh? Trying to slip an R-word past in the T’s!

U …
V …
W …
X …
Y …
Z …

UPDATE: Is there anything Wiki cannot do?
Here is a list of pejorative terms for people, sorted alphabetically with links.
And here is a list of ethnic slurs.

I’m reminded of the joke about Dirty Ernie, the little boy who loved to curse:

One day the teacher was having a spelling bee. For each letter of the alphabet, one student would have to give a word beginning with that letter, spell the word and use it in a sentence.
The teacher says, “A?” Dirty Ernie puts up his hand. Nothing doing – the teacher knows he’ll say ass. She picks Suzie. “Ant. A-N-T – There’s an ant crawling on the flower.”
B – Ernie’s hand goes up. She picks David. “Bat. B-A-T – Bats are flying mammals.”
C…D…E…Dirty Ernie raises his hand each time. Each time the teacher chooses another student. At the letter F Dirty Ernie almost has a stroke, but again he isn’t chosen.
Finally, the teacher comes to the letter R. Ernie again raises his hand, but the teacher can’t think of a single dirty word that begins with R.
“Okay, Ernie…go ahead,” she says, “You can do R.”
Ernie stands up. “Rat. R-A-T – A rat with a giant fucking cock THIS long!”


22 Responses

  1. I got your Z-word, but it’s purely American and a little inside-baseball. American cops, whose radio messages can be heard by anybody with a scanner, can’t say nigger anymore, so the code word is Zulu. As in, We got a bunch of drunk Zulus down here Sarge. Better send the paddy wagon.

  2. You mention Carlin but didn’t include all of his 7 Dirty Words you can’t say on TV?


    What’s really sad is that you could say some of the 7 Dirty Words, those on your list, and others on American TV for a while, but no longer. (Shit, piss and tits come to mind.)

    Janet Jackson whips out a tittie at a football game and it becomes a fucking Thought Crime to say words most Americans use every day.

    On NYPD Blue they not only said “dickhead” and “asshole” on a regular basis, they showed asses. Today, you can’t even say “ass” on daytime TV, but I think you can say “jackass”, which contains the word. “Dick” is usually bleeped, even on late night cable. (Of course, you can show carved up bodies spurting blood at any time of day or night.)

    The hilarious part is that I’ve tried and failed to find an official list of the words you can be fined hundreds of thousands per word for using. Apart from Carlin, here’s the closest I’ve come yet.


    Complete fucking joke! How can you avoid using “obscenities” if nobody ever tells you what they are?
    The most specific they get is vague descriptions of language regarding body parts, sexual activity and body functions that offend “contemporary community standards”. That might as well involve pinning words to a spinning wheel and throwing darts at them.

    Then they enforce these vague rules selectively, fining certain uses but not others. Verbs, but not adjectives. Words said by tall people, but not short ones.

    Does anybody know what words you “can’t say” anymore?

  3. they took zulu out of the NATO callsign think and made it zebra, so as not to offend zulus.

    we call it the k-word in south africa … for kaffir – an intensely offensive way to refer to a black person here; originally the arabic for unbeliever.

    • South African history features a period known as The Kaffir Wars, if I’m not mistaken.
      Being a Canuck, I’m not sure how I came to be aware of places like the Transvaal and Orange Free State; the Boer War and various other Safrican things. I read too much as a child and had a tendency to wander about the stacks of the local library while the other tots were taking in story time.
      I live in Taiwan now, and have friends from JBurg, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontaine (sp?), as well as pretend SAfricans from Zimbabwe.
      You might enjoy this post about South African sport – an exchange I had with a friend of a friend – J. Van der Naat: https://cousinavi.wordpress.com/2007/11/16/a-conversation-with-an-african-about-contact-sport/

      Nice blog. Please email the password to cousinavi at gmail dot com.

  4. Avi- as a Jew you know there’s a K word- kike! dirty garlic stinking kike!

    and while we’re on the subject the ‘W’ word could be ‘Wop’, your ‘S’ word could be ‘Slope’- and don’t forget ‘P’ is for Poof! This is fun!

    • I know kike, wop, dago, coon, slope, chink, slant, wetback, redskin, jap (both the Asian and Miami versions)…
      But if you heard someone say, “He called him The K-Word!” would you KNOW they meant Kike? I guess context is important, but ‘can the majority of people immediately translate the substitution?’ is, I think, the criteria.
      And “garlic stinkin'”? I thought that referred to the French.
      Cheese eating surrender monkey
      Unwashed Gitane smoking street pisser
      Why would kikes smell like garlic?

  5. “Update: Is there anything Wiki can’t do? -Cousinavi

    Wiki can not prevent a person from becoming a loser by spending all his time looking up useless bullshit on the Internet…and arguing with other losers about what should be included in Wikipedia’s entries.

  6. HAHAHA!!!!! Nice one Sedate Me!

  7. password sent, it’ll prob land up in yer spam folder. add dyke to the d words btw… lotta people still see that as derogatory – not me though.

    • Do you think if someone said, “They called her ‘the D-word’!” that a significant chunk of folks would understand the reference?
      I don’t think any word is derogatory. It’s a word. Words are tools, like a hammer or a knife. Whether a tool is harmful depends on what’s done with it.
      Whether a word is harmful depends on who says it and why. I think the sooner people stop getting their guts in a knot over the words themselves, the better. The frequency with which people employ such terms – how they use them and why; in what context they are used – are excellent indicators of the sort of person with whom you confronted.
      This comes up every time someone goes out for the Klan in a bed sheet. Those aren’t the ones that worry me – they’re running around in bed sheets. I can see them. The ones that worry me are the bastards who never wear sheets, never say the letter-words, but won’t hire or rent to niggers, dykes, chinks, kikes or wetbacks.

  8. yeh you’re right. here, the d word would be doos, i guess … which is a word orig meaning box, which has long since become an afrikaans word for cunt. hrmm … p would be poes – an even ruder way of saying the same thing. but that’s no good to you. i’m thinking i’m thinking 😀

  9. s – spastic? spazz?

  10. h – ho?

    eh, ima stop thinking for a bit.

    • Jumped back into this thread just to mention…
      A new post on in which dykes are featured.
      Not about dykes….or gender, per se (at least in my opinion)…but thought I ought to let you know. Frankly, you’re my only certain reference point.
      Hmmm. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. I should have more than one token lesbian around here.

  11. Sometimes simply embracing a slur, as gays did with “queer,” can remove its power entirely. My own surname – Anderson – is Scottish. Know any good ethnic slurs for Scots? Mostly people just make fun of the weird shit we eat. And that telephone pole-tossing “sport.”

  12. C is for cookie. That’s good enough for me.

  13. Mac!

  14. I’ve always thought of you as a rootless cosmopolitan Cuz, but I never knew how to put it into words…thank you wikipedia

    • A rootless cosmopolitan.
      I like it…except for that faggy drink those Sarah Jessica Parker whores suck down like air.
      Still…accuracy and style.

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