Not so Offensive Alternatives to Bad Words in English (Video Lesson)

Are you scared of using swear words?

Unfortunately, most learners (and a lot of natives) don’t acquire the tools to use swear words in an appropriate manner. Instead, the general tendency is to either (A) completely ignore them (which is to miss this important part of the language), or (B) abuse them and use them in inappropriate situations.

If you haven’t learned about English swear words, I recommend you give this article a look, but if you’re already familiar with the colorful aspects of bad words in English, today you’re going to learn how to use unoffensive alternatives to communicate.

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Full Transcript

Hey guys, what’s up?

I’m Justin, welcome to another episode of RealLIfe TV. Today, I’m going to teach you about alternative ways to swear in English, so stay tuned.

@#&! (Written Alternative)

Ok, so, the first way that we actually use it, to write, is this symbol here. This symbol represents, when we say the words *bleep*, there’s a bleep. That’s bleep.

Fuck and WTF: the F word, fudge, frick, flippin’

So, then, we have the word fuck, which is also called the F word. So, the way we use this, if you get upset, and you have to yell “fuck!” you might say fudge, you might say frick, and, if you use this as an adverb, for example “I’m fucking tired,” you might say, like, “I’m frickin’ tired,” “I’m freakin’ tired,” “I’m effin’ tired,” “I’m flippin’ tired.”

And then, the final way that we use this is when we say, you might say, WTF, which you see on the internet all the time, that’s “what the fuck,” you might say “what the bleep.”

Learn More With Another RealLife Article (by Trevor): How to Use the Word FUCK

Shit: shoot, shiznit (crap, crud)

The next swear word that we are going to teach an alternative for is the word shit. So, you don’t have to say shit, you can say shoot, you can say shiznit, these are way less offensive.

*Note: I forgot to mention the words Crap and Crud as valid alternatives

Learn More With Another RealLife Article (by CHAD):  How to Really use the word SHIT 

Hell: heck

The next word is hell. We use the word heck, instead of hell. So, for example, instead of saying, like, hell yeah, you can say heck yeah. And, instead of saying “what the hell,” you can say “what the heck.”

Ass: arse, butt, bum

The next word is ass. Ass is a little bit offensive, but you don’t have to use it. You can say arse, you can say butt, you can say bum.

Learn More With Another RealLife Article (by Justin):  34 Ways to Use the Word ASS

Damn: darn, dang, doggon

The next curse word that we often use is damn. Damn! Like, that’s damn good. You can actually say darn. You can say dang, you can say doggon.

Bitch: biatch, son of a gun

The next word is bitch. So, you can use a couple of alternatives to bitch. First of all, it’s more of a gangster term, coined by Dr. Dre. This is not something you want to use in a normal situation, because, it’s something you want to play with, actually, but, biatch. Next one, you might say “son of a bitch,” is the bad word, but you can say “son of a gun,” that’s not offensive at all.

Learn More With Another RealLife Article (by Justin): Bitch Please! How to Really Use the Word Bitch

Religious Swearing-God, Jesus and Holy Shit: gosh, goodness, jeez, etc

Ok, now moving on to the religious swear words. So, God is actually not very good to use as a swear word. You don’t want to use this as, like, an exclamation. So, you might say gosh. Gosh, instead of God. My gosh! Or my goodness.

And then, sometimes people say, like, Jesus, when they’re really frustrated about something, or they’re amazed by something, but you can say jeez/geez.

And then, the final one, some people say holy shit. So, holy is obviously something that’s very, like, religious, very sacred. So, you can say holy cow.

So, that does it for today, alternatives to swear words. Remember, be careful using these, play around with them, pay attention in the media, I really, really recommend caution with these, because it’s still much more complicated than just using these words.

But I hope you enjoyed the lesson today. If you want to get more videos like this one, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, or you could subscribe to our mailing list, where you get a free copy of 101 Words You Won’t Learn at School.

Take care!

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  • Rawda Essam says:

    Dang!! This lesson is freakin’ killer, freakin’ useful… What a super duper teacher you’re!! thanks a bunch Mr Murray :3

    • Justin says:

      Yo Rawda, my sista from the other side of the planet, you’re hella frickin’ dope ya know!?!?! Thanks for the support!

  • Savitri says:

    How do you know that they’re the most tremendous word we like to play with, Justin? 😉 Gosh, you’re great as always! 😀

  • Janet Abedi says:

    wow ! what an expanded vocabulary for bad words….!!! thanks a lot for teaching them !!!

    • Justin says:

      Hey Janet, These are actually replacements for bad words, so you I would recommend using them all the frickin’ time! :0) Thanks for reading!

  • kako77sub says:

    “Jeez Laweez” and “What the heck”. I remember of Star Fox 64’s game. Great old times!

    • Emma says:

      I remember this.

      My favorite saying is “Mother of pearls”

      • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

        It definitely sounds better 🙂

  • Justin says:

    Sei you’re awesome! Thanks for reading!

  • Maha says:

    Thank you very much Justin it is very useful article

  • Nero says:

    Thatts dope, thank youu !

  • Dina says:

    thank you Justin

  • Rihab Habash says:

    Very useful!! Thank you

  • disqus_ZDXDODCdDv says:

    In the UK, “arse” is far more vulgar than “ass”

    • Justin says:

      Thanks for your feedback!

    • fred says:

      Arse is the original Anglo Saxon. Ass is the stupid American euphemism.

  • Anonymous says:

    Is there a replacement for “what the hell” that is a little stronger than heck but not as bad as hell? I’m writing a story and I don’t think a murderous villain would say heck.

    • Justin says:

      I’d say “what the hell” is the intermediate one you’re looking for. “What the fuck” (WTF) is stronger.

  • Cam says:

    Still the similar words are almost just as bad and people still take the same offence, as it is the same meaning as before. These words just should not be said and in replacement you just should have silence.

  • Mom of 3 girls says:

    My adult daughter always says ” Fudge sickles” I was very happy when she cleaned her language up.

    • Justin says:

      hahah that’s a good one!

    • Anonymous says:

      Haaa nice one!

    • User08 says:

      Yeah, Fudge is a substitute for F***.

  • A says:

    That some darn! ways to say a freaking bad words.

  • Anonymous says:

    I mean.. how.. How are you comfortable saying the words like the f one and sh- i’m not going to comment it but how are you comfortable with saying it and the g.. goodness one no no.. I.. no i’m just going to say goodness and thanks for all this, used to say maybe fudge or shoot but
    now I have better alternatives, Thanks!

  • Sophia Unicorni says:

    Will use on my sister that is a son of a gun :I

  • Molly says:

    i love this i am talking to my ex much better now

  • Susan says:

    Ass is not offensive it means a donkey and is a non offensive substitute itself. Arse is offensive, not really strong, but you got this the wrong way round.

    • Justin says:

      Well I’m American, and in the US it sure is offensive!

  • Anon says:

    Crap is technically a swear word. I wouldn’t consider it a “clean” alternative if the dictionary classifies it as vulgar. It’s likely on par with hell and damn.

  • User08 says:

    Dang, You Have Pretty Darn Good Substitutes for the page. Holy Shoot!

  • User08 says:

    Crap is barely on the end of not being a swear word. Ar*e is A swear too. Besides that, it is fine.

  • User08 says:

    The only swear I actually swore was in 4th grade. I said Oh, my A**! My A**! Repeatedly.

  • Kelly Wilson says:

    This is so helpful for my Christian son <3

  • pp says:

    an alterative word that might be good for the word fxck could be flipper head and stinky dodo fudger

  • Malcolm says:

    Why isn’t the term “euphamism” used in this discussion or any of those like it? Wierd.. After all that’s what they are.

  • katecat says:

    ty lol bc i swear 2 much tehe

  • paul says:

    Is there an alternative for the c word

  • paul says:

    I swear non stop,i have just started using flip and dogs bits and bottom hole,if people don’t understand them it makes them even better.

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      What a smart tip!

  • hdgtnjgd says:

    Hell, this shiznit is flippin amazin

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      Great that you liked it 😉

  • hi says:

    For Flip’s sake. Gosh, darn it that arse-hole mother Fricker is licking my cat in the flipping street again. Like jeez, leave my doggone cat alone man. get your own darn hecking cat to lick. For Flip’s sake.

    • Agnieszka from RealLife English says:

      I see we gave you a lot of inspiration 😉