Swearing In French

I stopped swearing about four years. I can’t remember the exact date but I know that it literally happened overnight. Just like that I went from regularly dropping the ‘F Bomb’ and similar expletive hand grenades to nothing. Nada. Zilch. It was like someone had reprogrammed my brain. I like to think it was God but, whoever or whatever it was, I wasn’t complaining. It was a dirty habit and one I was glad to be rid of.

I literally could not get the words out. Whack my shin off a hard surface. No problem. I would grit my teeth, smile and give a cheery smile. Close down a Word document and forget to save four hours worth of work. Never worry. Life goes on and at least nobody died. I cringed in the presence of others who showered their conversations with cursing. It just felt so uncomfortable. No unnecessary. So wrong. It was part of my past; a past I had no intention of going back to.


I had many bad habits at the time and, in the greater scheme of things, swearing was probably near the lower end of the scale. But I was still proud of my achievement. I was not brought up in a house where cursing was allowed and, to this day, I have never sworn in front of my mother much as I have been tempted to at times. I became one of those annoying reformed alcoholic types. Frowning at those who swore in my company and chastising relatives and friends whose language did not meet my lofty standards. 

I was a massive hypocrite of course. Yes I had got to grips with what was coming out of my mouth. Unfortunately the same could not be said for what was going on inside my head. There were still plenty of impure thoughts rattling about which led to equally impure actions. I was akin to a footballer whose team had lost 12-1 but only wanted to talk about the goal he had scored and not the final score. Beneath my sparkling new exterior the creeping rot continued on its inexorable path.

Fast forward a few years and I feel I have finally come to grips with that rot. It is a daily struggle, and I have stumbled many times along the way. There are days I am still tempted. There are days I am ravaged by guilt and self pity but I get through them. My family inspire me. The support I get from the WordPress community is an incredible comfort. My faith, which ebbs and flows, is always there is some form or another. We are tentatively exploring a new church. I have plans. To run marathons and to write a book. There is hope and there is a future.

This blog has been a salvation; a means of expressing myself on social media in a positive and constructive format. But I can never become complacent. For disaster is only one poor decision away. It so easy to slip back to old ways. They can slip like wisps of smoke into your consciousness without you even realising it. An example?The other day I found myself in a stressful situation. Before I even knew it I swore….in French. ‘Merde’ I muttered under my breath. Nobody heard it and I chuckled at the silliness of my utterance. Swearing in French did not count I reasoned with the disapproving voice in my head.

Or did it? Momentary, insignificant lapse or the first step on a slippery slope back to where I started. Every landslide starts with a single rolling stone. That first sip of beer. That first click of a keyboard. That first text message. My French folly taught me an important lesson. I can never relax, never let down my defences. Every day is a battle and every day I must not let my standards lower. I can be proud of where I am and what I have achieved. But that must never become vanity and arrogance. The brink, the pit, the abyss. Call it what you will but I must never go back there.

Whatever the language….

Have you ‘F Bomb’ issues?

What are your worst habits?

How do you fare in the daily battle against temptation and bad habit?

40 thoughts on “Swearing In French

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  1. This has made me chuckle. My colleagues often drop the F-Bomb and occasionally the atomic C-Bomb (despite me voicing my disgust). It almost seems like punctuation to them!

    I too often swear in French, somehow it seems less offensive, and the French seem to have adopted our “F-Word™) for themselves when really angry, so ‘Merde!’ seems to be at the lowest end of the naughty scale, but a naughty word none the less!

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  2. I don’t think of language as dirty or clean. I don’t swear around people I don’t know, as they may be offended. If I know my friends are ok and fellow swearers, I feel free. It’s contextual, not bad or good in itself. And when alone, a stubbed toe demands the f word.

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  3. I honestly hate the F bomb . I have never said and don’t ever intend to. I myself don’t curse . My co-workers think it is hilarious and encourage me to say curse words but i don’t care what they think I am sort of fond of my G rated speech. So rock on . And continue with your crusade to never say those bad words again .

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  4. I actually thought I was going to be featured in this blog after receiving a text from a friend about it lol 😂 so thankfully can breath again 😂

    As I’ve said before my weaknesses are your strengths so hopefully one day our own personal weakness will strengthen and then we will be super humans 😂

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  5. I used to curse a lot. Then when I finally got serious about God, it stopped. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally slip up, because I do but I immediately feel guilty. I cannot stand the F bomb…..it just makes me cringe every time I hear it now.

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  6. I tend to morph the F-bomb to “frigging” and then it still has some impact and gets the point across. I think cursing has its place, when you really need it and nobody should feel ashamed over it.

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  7. So true! My experience with ‘coarse words on my lips’ mirrors yours. I had been saved a few years and found myself cursing like the rest of my fellow construction workers at a nuclear plant. Like you, God simply lifted it from me, much as he did with cigarettes, and my speech became a much clearer conduit for sharing the gospel. These days, when something slips out (in English, I don’t speak French!) it’s usually in the car as some fellow driver has irked me, showing me that I still have much growing up to do in the faith! Keep on writing, Brother, I look forward to reading your book!
    Chuck

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  8. Why yes I have used the f bomb, and there aren’t enough keys or words or memory space in your comments section to list all my worst habits, or temptations of mine. Flawed is my name :):) But I will say God helps, He is merciful and full of forgiveness. If I had to do a percentage, it use to be 1% winning, 99% bad habits…at least now I’d say 60% winning :):) On another note, I commented on, and then replied to your reply to me, it never showed up, then I commented on your post yesterday, it never showed up. I have been flagged as spam and tossed into many blogs spam folders. I have been working with askimet to resolve the issue but if you check your spam folder you will probably find the comments there my friend :):)

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  9. Hahahaha… Love that one. Thought about swearing last week watching Love Actually. The PM’s woman, she hilarious. It’s odd how I’ve never noticed that we don’t have a true swearing culture in my country. There’s nothing like the common F or C word (all Cs I know are a no go for me anyway). We have strong language and a lot of shit 😇😇😇, yes. but no flexible F words that fit in any sentence and after every word. I may be wrong about my own culture and only be surrounded by the boring folk. 🙉 in English I do have tendency to use D too. In thoughts and writing but never spoken I think.

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  10. That’s wonderful you stopped! God strengthens us to do these things. I totally agree that we shouldn’t get legalistic and hypocritical about His grace to us in allowing us to stop certain sins. I am definitely guilty of all kinds of verbal abuse, but we ARE going to be judged by our words–held accountable for everything we say–scary– so id advise to restrain from swearing 😂

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  11. Haha occasionally. It’s annoying tho cuz I tell myself I don’t do it anymore and when my hubby drops one it bugs me, but then I still slip! Hypocritical much!? But nobody’s perfect. My real bad habit is the nail biting. Wish I could just snap my childish looking fingers and it would be done 😪

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  12. I have become partial to saying “Goodness gracious” or “Seriously?” Those two cover a lot of bases for me – but there was a time, many moons ago – when I used to use more colorful language than I do now. It’s amazing how, once the Lord convicts you of that, you simply lose the desire to speak that way anymore.

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  13. I just don’t overly worry about it all much. I do swear. We did not swear when I was growing up. Is it a nasty habit? Don’t know. I suppose it depends on the when and where. Swearing in church is not very good. Swearing in from of my Mom or Sis won’t do at all. I try to respect those who have problems with it. But, having had a person tell me that my destination was Hell, and one reason was I had said “Oh my God” 3 times in our conversation, doesn’t sit well with me. I look for a balance and I think I have it.
    Scott

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