50 Unfriendly F-Words You Can Say Instead

Updated on August 10, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor writes on moral integrity especially for women and promotes the significance of men in their lives.

Blessed are those who never even think of the word! However, many sensitive, old-fashioned, moral-minded people live in neighborhoods where the most offensive F-word is as common as a greeting.

What other word can fill the blank?

Image Credit: Jamie Montgomery
Image Credit: Jamie Montgomery | Source

They can turn off a movie or close a book to avoid the word, but it is not as easy to move out of the neighborhood. They are bombarded with foul language expressed by:

  • ex-spouses venting anger at each other in public,
  • beer buddies competing for the reputation of “baddest” cusser,
  • drunkards who should be swearing at themselves swearing at each other,
  • men and women simply being disrespectful,
  • children repeating the word they heard on television.

These are not neighborhoods where swearing supports Psychologist Timothy Jay’s claim1 of “higher verbal intelligence.” These residents have heard that word all their lives, and even if they consider not using it, they have no reference to any other.

Still, they are being unfair to the unwilling hearers, because an experiment done by another psychologist Don MacKay found that hearing the word “makes all of us vulnerable to a mental assault . . . as if we were strapped to a chair and could be given a punch or a shock at any time.2

May we suggest substitute, unfriendly words which can be appropriately used with similar contempt? Meanings are added for those who might be interested in learning something new. If just one person in the group can introduce a new word, and begin to use it just for fun, it may make a huge difference.

F-Word Dilemma

There is a story of a woman who never used the offensive F-word. In her old age, she began to lose control of her brain, and she claimed that the word was always on the tip of her tongue. It was a continual struggle for her not to say it.

Her counselor said that because she had heard it all her life, her hippocampus (memory indexer for the brain) had filed it away, and made it a part of her long term memory.

"Despite our everyday impressions of forgetting, it seems likely that long-term memory . . . can store a seemingly unlimited amount of information almost indefinitely."3

20 F-Words for Describing People

Number
F-Word
Meaning
1
facetious
not being serious about a serious subject
2
faltering
not decisive, walking unsteadily
3
fanatical
overly enthusiastic
4
fastidious
hard to please
5
fatalistic
believing that nothing will change
6
fiery
hot tempered
7
filthy
dirty, unpleasant
8
flabby
saggy, out of shape
9
flatulent
having gassy stomach and bowels
10
flighty
inconsistent, undependable
11
fractious
easily upset, often complaining
12
frantic
extremely emotional
13
fraudulent
dishonest
14
fresh (colloquial)
disrespectful, over-confident
15
fretful
fussy, irritable, touchy
16
frigid
unfriendly, forbidding
17
funky
having an offensive smell
18
furious
extremely angry
19
furtive
secretive, probably dishonest
20
fusty
old-fashioned in ideas and beliefs

Nobody wants this frumpy dog.

Photo by Devilal
Photo by Devilal | Source

10 F-Words for Describing Animals

Number
F-Word
Meaning
1
fatuous
foolish, stupid
2
fearsome
very frightening
3
ferocious
fierce, violent
4
fetid
having an offensive smell
5
fiendish
very cruel
6
foul
having an unpleasant smell
7
freakish
unusual in an unpleasant way
8
frenetic
wild, uncontrollable
9
frustrating
irritating
10
frumpy
old and unattractive

10 F-Words for Describing Things (from ideas to objects)

Number
F-Word
Meaning
1
faded
less bright, losing strength
2
fake
false, phony
3
fallacious
misleading, incorrect
4
faulty
not perfect
5
fishy
suspicious, probably not true
6
flaccid
deficient, not firm, not stiff
7
flavorless
bland, tasteless
8
flimsy
easy to break, not solid
9
foggy
not clear, confusing
10
fusty
dusty with unpleasant smell

"Forget you."

Photo by Peter Griffin
Photo by Peter Griffin | Source

10 F-Words for Use as Verbs

Number
F-Word
Meaning
1
faze (you)
stay upset
2
fire (you)
dismiss yourself, leave
3
flip . . . .
go berserk, lose your temper
4
floor . . . .
confound you
5
flounder . . . .
show how clumsy you are
6
foil . . . .
sabotage yourself
7
fold . . . .
collapse
8
forget . . . .
consider yourself worthless
9
fret . . . .
worry
10
fumble . . . .
go mess up, muddle up yourself

Benefits of Using Another Word

  1. Any other contemptuous word is a more accurate expression than the general one.
  2. The user’s vocabulary improves.
  3. The user gets some brain exercise.
  4. The strange word may introduce some humor, enhance the mood and curb the disrespect.

References

1. Hawkins, Tommy: Medical Daily, Bad Words (January 11, 2016).
2. Pinker, Steven: New Republic, What the F (October 8, 2007).
3. Mastin, Luke: The Human Memory, Long Term Memory (Copyright 2010).

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Dora Weithers

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      • profile image

        Jessa 

        6 months ago

        Its ok to use some words like weird thumb sucker derp and garbage are nice ones It can avoid using bad words by saying some words is son of a swaggers and AMF means anyone with my friends My teacher said by Steve Austin's beer can and whats that freaky stuff are awesome

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 months ago from The Caribbean

        Isel, it seems that you have it all figured out concerning how to avoid the offensive word. Hope you will also learn to use some of the words in this list. Thanks for sharing.

      • profile image

        Isel 

        7 months ago

        Madam Dora I did saying names of Kpop artist some boy band and other group is better same as Wrestlers name and NBA teams and players I did say Matt Hardy Jeff Hardy instead of god damn it Lebron James instead of Jesus Christ I heard my family that i saying gawd darn it and gad dang it STFU means shush the fuss up and what in the prison and whats that funny and Oh My Glob even i use some funny and childish words instead of bad words

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Lisa for sharing about your caring, wise mom. She knows that cursing at you will make you feel bad; and that you do not deserve it. Best to you and your mom going forward.

      • profile image

        Lisa 

        7 months ago

        Why mom hates cursing because my mom does not like cursing at me

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        11 months ago from The Caribbean

        Rachel, you are very kind. I just think that it is right to let people know that I recognize their support; and I am encouraged by readers like you who let me know that my response is appreciated. Blessings on you, too.

      • profile image

        Rachel 

        11 months ago

        Ms. Weithers, This is a great list, and I cannot wait to see how I can apply some of these words in some of my writing. However, the real reason I came down to comment is because you are seriously the nicest person on the internet?? You're taking the time to thank every single commenter, and I just think that's the greatest thing I've seen. Bless.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        20 months ago from The Caribbean

        Peg, thanks for sharing from your own experience. It's frustrating to have a word that you hate pop up in your mind. It takes maturity and consideration for those who say it to refrain when in good company. I appreciate your input.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        20 months ago from Dallas, Texas

        That is so interesting about words staying in our memories. I worked around some people years ago whose use of the word was frequent and ferocious. With time, it became commonplace in my vocabulary as well, despite the fact that I was raised quite differently than to use strong language. I still battle the slip of the tongue that happens when sudden pain, or surprise or anger fills the moment. Thanks for these alternatives.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        22 months ago from The Caribbean

        Kyriaki, please be ready with the words you choose. Someone else might follow your lead. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • profile image

        Kyriaki Chatzi 

        22 months ago

        Well, that sure is a new perspective! :)

        I will try and keep those alternatives in mind next time someone pushes my buttons.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Teaches. There are just so many words which don't get uses, although they would be more effective.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        2 years ago

        This is such a nice way to suggest alternatives for those harsh metaphors and explicit language references. I learned a few new words today as well. Blessings, dear lady.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Devika, thanks for your feedback. We have to find a better way.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Judy, thanks for mentioning relationships. Most don't think about the positive effect of straightforward communication; and even less about how listening relatives are affected.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Faith, I didn't roll my eyes. I smiled. That's a good one. Thanks for sharing.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        A great thought here for this hub! You got me thinking and I see why! The F-word is tricky.

      • tirelesstraveler profile image

        Judy Specht 

        2 years ago from California

        Fabulouse use of "F" words. Love this hub. If more people actually said what they meant instead of grunting F-bombs we would all have better relationships.

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        2 years ago from southern USA

        How creative and useful, MsDora! I can't stand to hear that F-word. It just seems to lower their IQ ...at least in my mind. What's popular now in online writing is to use the letters W T F ...so I will respond, What the Faith. ...is going on. I'm sure they are rolling their eyes at me, but that's ok.

        I hope everyone takes your advice and increases their vocabulary!

        Good for you.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Denise, thanks for sharing that substitutes can and do work! I can imagine the fun it is in a family setting.

      • denise.w.anderson profile image

        Denise W Anderson 

        2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

        Our family tried this in our home. We substituted words such as "Sugar" or "Salt" for swear words. At first, it just made us laugh, but in the end, we all benefited from the vocabulary change!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Pastor Bill, thanks for your commendation. Good to hear from you.

      • lifegate profile image

        William Kovacic 

        2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

        I think you covered the bases on this one. I especially liked how you wrapped it up with Benefits of Using Another Word. Another job, well done, Dora!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        PeachPurple, there's always another word to learn. Thanks for your feedback.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Alicia. Hope others will find them useful too.

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        thanks for sharing, so many F words i had learn today

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        oh there are so many F words that are not in my list, let alone using them, thanks for sharing

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        You thought of a great idea for an article, MsDora. I love your collections of F-Words. They are interesting and potentially very useful!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Heidi. Of course, your word is helpful. Sometimes the offenders even those their word to describe something good. Thanks for sharing.

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 

        2 years ago from Chicago Area

        Well, this is fantastically (hey, that's an "F" word!) helpful. :) Sharing.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        2 years ago from london

        Praise Him indeed!!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Manatita, you amuse me. Thanks for the smile. I know that there were female smokers, but they did not allow the children to see them smoking. With regard to such things, I think that you and I turned out pretty well. Thank God!

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        2 years ago from london

        Yes, Dear. I miss that one. A big mistake. I won't like others to think this of us. So many West Indians in my day did not follow this Path! Buy yes, some liked rum, after all we produce cane, and strong spicy foods. Few were smokers and I don't think I saw a female smoking until I travelled.

        You mean like a 'fusty' old woman, or a 'fusty' old .... you see, I just don't do swear (smile)

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Jill, you read me correctly. Glad my upset shows. Thanks for your feedback.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Manitata, some Caribbean do all three (emphasis on some); we don't want others to expect that from all of us. Anyway, some of us (including you) were brought up by responsibly.

        About that word, some people wonder where it came from, or like you, how it came out. Thanks for affirming that it stays in the memory. It can happen to the best of us.

        Did you notice that "fusty" can be used for people and things with a slightly different shade of meaning?

        Thanks as always for your encouragement. Haven't seen the Awards yet.

      • The Dirt Farmer profile image

        Jill Spencer 

        2 years ago from United States

        Wow, I didn't see this article coming from you, MsDora. Sounds like you're FED UP! Shared.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        2 years ago from london

        For some reason, I just did not grow up that way. Not smoking, not drinking, not eating pepper ... I include this because Caribbean people do all three.

        I used the F word not so long ago. I was under severe stress but I still do not know how it came out. Probably my first time in 64 years! This supports your theory that it stays in the memory.

        A very nice choice of words. I know them all except for 'fusty.' A bit like some that stand next to us on trains, eh? (chuckle) Nice Hub.

        Did I see your name in the Awards? In fact I'm sure I did. Congrats, Sis.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Chitrangada, happy to present something new to think about. Thanks for your feedback.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Cynthia, so glad that you find the article worthy of sharing. Thanks to you and your friends.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Shauna. Your suggestion is noteworthy. It may take some effort, but it is worth the try, for long-term satisfaction.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        2 years ago from New Delhi, India

        This is so interesting and I will keep in mind the alternatives! Never thought about it this way.

        Thanks for an interesting read!

      • techygran profile image

        Cynthia 

        2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        My dear friend, this hub is far-out and funny. My feedback: this is just the sort of fascinating word-focused article that my grammatically fine-tuned friends have been waiting to find. I will forward it widely and freely.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        2 years ago from Central Florida

        Dora, I love the title and theme of this hub. These words should be embedded in the "automatic pilot" part of our brains as alternatives to what is spoken far too easily.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Bill, thanks for your feedback. I'm smiling too.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Jodah, you already have your word, and it's great that it works for you. Yours may be funny, but much more acceptable than a word that is offensive. Thanks for sharing.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Lori, thanks for your endorsement. I know the horror of having neighbors who offend like this. You have to drown them out with music sometimes.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 years ago from Olympia, WA

        What a clever approach to this topic. Nicely done, Dora. Now I have some options. LOL

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Sally, you're too young to be old-fashioned. You're just sensible and responsible. Thanks for your feedback.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Eric, I'm with you. We are always the best age there is.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Shanmarie. Searched for and found Christian curse words. Yea, a new, interesting vocabulary altogether.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        2 years ago from Queensland Australia

        MsDora, thank you for sharing these alternative "F" words. If I have to use anything ... I tend to say "fish eggs"..pretty silly but it works.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        I have two neighbors, one on both sides of me who us ever filthy word in the book, with expertise in the f-bomb and it prompted me to write a hub on it. I love your lists.

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        2 years ago from Norfolk

        MsDora

        It seems to me that people have replaced the b-word with the f-word and it has become the norm. It assaults all of my senses and it still amazes me that people actually use it in public, young or old and yet I can still remember how shocked I was when I first heard it. You provide some wonderful alternatives but wouldn't it be nice if people took heed of the 'fresh' alternatives you provide here. Call me old fashioned!

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        My darling Dora -- it is wonderful to grow up. I hear there are folk that don't like it. Heaven help me.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        2 years ago from Texas

        You should be able to find him on YouTube and that video I was talking about too. Just search for "Christian curse words" and it will probably come up just by that, but you can also search using his name.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Jackie, I'm also tired of hearing that word. I'm hoping that some teacher, big brother, mentor or someone who feels like we do will actually suggest my list to his or her group.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Shanmarie, I like your words and may even use them myself. What a coincidence between the names of those two men. Wonder if I can find Tim on YouTube. Thanks for sharing.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Flourish, that version must have caused some laughs even while it worked. So you see, the need to do or say something different makes some people creative.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Eric, I bet that area of study is interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience with that "Polite cuss word." Sorry about the cleansing but it made me giggle.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Word, thanks for your feedback. Glad you approve.

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        2 years ago from The Beautiful South

        This is great, what a horrible word the F-word is and as much as I have tried to tell myself in life it is just a word...still! I hope many take your advice because I sure would love the day I never hear it again!

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        2 years ago from Texas

        A couple of other slang words come to mind: flippin' and freakin'. I used to tell people I didn't give a flying fig about something if I was irritated and didn't care. I still do something times. You made me think of a video I used in one of my hubs about "Christian cuss words" by a Christian comedian. He asked his fans to submit their substitute words just to see. Actually, I thought at first you had maybe quoted him because I saw the Tommy Hawkins reference. The comedian's name is Tim Hawkins.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        Fantastic! I love the creativity and the challenge to be better people when it comes to language and manners. I used to know someone who would say, "Shut the front door!" Instead of the f version of hush up.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I have much fun in this area. I got this fun degree from university. Linguistic Philosophy. Part of the study was that we are really what words we use. We think in words. What is our thinking -- cussing?

        And. My mom and Dad took off to New York for a lover's getaway and a convention. Mom brought in a disturbed Preacher man - her cousin to watch over us kids. I used "darn". He said it was a polite cuss word. He actually beat me and washed my mouth out with soap and made me stand in a cold shower to cleanse me.

        Hi hi hi my dad did the same to him when he got home. My dad was a Jesuit.

        Thanks for bringing this up. We can do better.

      • word55 profile image

        Word 

        2 years ago from Chicago

        Hi Dora, this was extra interesting reading. Thank you for sharing the alternative F- words to use. Very cleverful.

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