In the course of your daily activities, navigating the slings and arrows of the modern world… there undoubtedly comes a time when the use of curse words seem appropriate. For example, if you are pursuing the noble craft of carpentry, and end up smashing your thumb, while driving a nail with a hammer… naturally, a long string of colorful, if not eloquent expletives may ensue.
However, these colorful curses once held deeper and darker meaning, the farther you go, back in time. In the dark ages, or further back, to the biblical era, such curses were taken more seriously, often associated with magick, witchcraft and the dark arts. Back then, to curse something or someone was serious business, not to be entered upon lightly.
The following short list depicts a few of the more common curse words, used more innocently, perhaps, in modern times. As we shall see, there are two, broad categories for these occultic, or esoteric expletives… benign, and malign.
Curses! (verb) the most benign verb on our list, Curses! Was popularized as an expletive of disappointment, by such cartoon villains as the moustache-twirling: Snidely Whiplash… archvillain and rival of Dudley Do-Right. The longer form example: Curses! Foiled again!
Damn! (verb) Definition: to condemn to a punishment or fate, especially : to condemn to hell. A more potent form of Curses!, this expletive carried much more weight in antiquity. Within modern context, Damn can either be benign or malign, depending on the adjective or adverb being used in conjunction with it.
Benign Example: Damn! is typically a benign descriptor, accentuating a positive emotion, ie: Damn! …that lasagna was great! Variations include… Hot Damn!, Hot Diggity Damn!, etc.
Malign Example: God Damn! While this might rarely be used in a benign context, God Damn! usually denotes extreme displeasure, ie: God Damn it! (as subject hits thumb with hammer). Variations include… Damn it all!, Damn it to Hell!, Damn you! and, of course: God mutherf#@kin Damn it!
Hell! (noun?) Most commonly used to describe the mythical, Xtian abode of damnation, use of the word Hell also is used benignly to express shock or bewilderment. Examples: What the Hell?, Hell’s Bells!, etc. In the context of use with the word Damn (see above) ie: Damn it to Hell! this curse word is a derivative, spell-casting expletive.
Jesus! (noun/verb) Most typically used as a noun, depicting the first century, CE Jewish Rabbi and religious leader… Jesus! Most often depicts awe or (irreverent) reverence. Variations include: Sweet Jesus!, or Sweet Baby Jesus!
Christ! (noun/verb) Commonly used as a Xtian title, signifying a messianic figure… Christ! is also used as a verb, alternatively signifying amazement, or disappointment.
Jesus Christ! (noun/verb) Also most typically used to depict the first century Jewish Rabbi… Jesus Christ! carries the same verbal connotation as Christ! (see above)… only it carries more authority and is typically more offensive to Xtian populations.
This short list reminds us of the darker pedigree of simple cures words. In recognizing this darker past, perhaps we should put a little more thought into our daily descriptors. Use of the word: Damn is especially suspect, as it carries a spell-casting connotation. At the end of the day, the use of foul language is unimaginative. After all, profanity is evidence of an immature mind, trying to express itself. So with that said… be more creative, think good thoughts and have a wonderful, mutherf#@kin day!
- J ♥
Editor's Note: For a more in-depth article on the more magical ramifications of cursing... see the following article: Cursing 101: How To Identify, Use, & Avoid The Most Common Magic Curses.