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50 Unfriendly F-Words You Can Say Instead

MsDora, writes on moral integrity, especially for women, and encourages appreciation for the men in their lives.

50 Unfriendly F-Words You Can Say Instead

50 Unfriendly F-Words You Can Say Instead

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.

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 was 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.

20 F-Words for Describing People




not being serious about a serious subject



not decisive, walking unsteadily



overly enthusiastic



hard to please



believing that nothing will change



hot tempered



dirty, unpleasant



saggy, out of shape



having gassy stomach and bowels



inconsistent, undependable



easily upset, often complaining



extremely emotional





fresh (colloquial)

disrespectful, over-confident



fussy, irritable, touchy



unfriendly, forbidding



having an offensive smell



extremely angry



secretive, probably dishonest



old-fashioned in ideas and beliefs

10 F-Words for Describing Animals




foolish, stupid



very frightening



fierce, violent



having an offensive smell



very cruel



having an unpleasant smell



unusual in an unpleasant way



wild, uncontrollable






old and unattractive

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 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

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




less bright, losing strength



false, phony



misleading, incorrect



not perfect



suspicious, probably not true



deficient, not firm, not stiff



bland, tasteless



easy to break, not solid



not clear, confusing



dusty with unpleasant smell

Frustrating Foggy Morning

Frustrating Foggy Morning

10 F-Words for Use as Verbs



faze (you)

stay upset


fire (you)

dismiss yourself, leave


flip . . .

go berserk, lose your temper


floor . . .

confound you


flounder . . .

show how clumsy you are


foil . . .

sabotage yourself


fold . . .



forget . . .

consider yourself worthless


fret . . .



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.


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).

© 2016 Dora Weithers


Jessa on February 23, 2018:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 15, 2018:

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.

Isel on February 14, 2018:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 11, 2018:

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.

Lisa on February 11, 2018:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 08, 2017:

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.

Rachel on October 08, 2017:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 10, 2017:

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.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on January 09, 2017:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 19, 2016:

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

Kyriaki Chatzi on November 19, 2016:

Well, that sure is a new perspective! :)

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 21, 2016:

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

Dianna Mendez on September 20, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 17, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 17, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 17, 2016:

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

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 14, 2016:

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

Judy Specht from California on September 14, 2016:

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 from southern USA on September 13, 2016:

How creative and useful, MsDora! I can't stand to hear that F-word. It just seems to lower their IQ least in my mind. What's popular now in online writing is to use the letters W T F I will respond, What the Faith. 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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 13, 2016:

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

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on September 13, 2016:

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!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 13, 2016:

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

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on September 13, 2016:

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!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 13, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 13, 2016:

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

peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 12, 2016:

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

peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 12, 2016:

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

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 12, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 12, 2016:

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

manatita44 from london on September 12, 2016:

Praise Him indeed!!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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 from london on September 12, 2016:

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)

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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.

Jill Spencer from United States on September 12, 2016:

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

manatita44 from london on September 12, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 12, 2016:

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

Thanks for an interesting read!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 12, 2016:

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.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 12, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 12, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 12, 2016:

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

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on September 12, 2016:

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.

Lori Colbo from United States on September 12, 2016:

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.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on September 11, 2016:


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!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2016:

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

Shannon Henry from Texas on September 11, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 11, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 11, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 11, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 11, 2016:

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.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 11, 2016:

Word, thanks for your feedback. Glad you approve.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 11, 2016:

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!

Shannon Henry from Texas on September 11, 2016:

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 from USA on September 11, 2016:

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.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 11, 2016:

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.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on September 11, 2016:

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