For a family that never used swear words. There were an awful lot of “I swears.”
“I swear to goodness if that dog doesn’t stop barking.”
“I could have sworn I put that pipe wrench away.”
“Well, I swear, the Hamptons mowed their front lawn.”
“It’s true. I swear on a stack of Bibles.”
My parents didn’t like substitute or sound-alike swear words either. Darn its and dang its weren’t too bad. Goldarnits, were much worse.
Taking the Lord’s name in vain was an especially egregious infraction. Bad words heard on school playground were best not repeated at home. Sixth grade was where I first heard the “F” word.
“We never taught you those cuss words. Did you hear that from someone at school? Get your toothbrush and some Lava soap.” Lava soap was the worst tasting soap ever.
Some of the local farmers habitually used swear words. Their sentences were sprinkled liberally with epithets. I found it difficult in later life to work around rough-cut construction types without some of their speech rubbing off.
Nothing prepared me for the colorful expressions spewed from the mouths of military drill instructors. I was amazed by the variety of new usages for words banned at home.
“Get your xxxx together! You’re all ate up with the xxxxxxx! You could xxxx xx a junk yard!” Drill instructors more than made up for any possible swear word deprivation in my previous existence.