I’m sure you’ve heard it all, right? And all the variations of “it all.”

Ever wondered what was up with all the alternatives? Of course you haven’t…that is something only I would sit and ponder. Just the same, I thought I would lay it out as I see it.

Y’know…just because I thought it might somehow enrich your life. At the very least, the next time you use an F-Word Alternative you will think long and hard about your choice of variations…and know that I was right about you based on nothing but that. Cause I’m good like that.


Eff/Effing- This one is the lazy guy’s alternative. Or the alternative you use when you want to use the real thing, but might be in polite company (or amongst in-laws). This one is the most generic of F-Word Alternatives.

Ex. “What the eff was that!?”  …as a meteor crashes down into a nearby lake, causing an epic fountain that rains on your parade.


Freaking– The most commonly accepted form of the word, most often used by women and conservative men. This form is usually used in humorous situations and/or to show disbelief.

Ex. “No freaking way!! She wore her ‘Zero to Bitch’ t-shirt to church!?!?!?”


Frickin’– The teeny-bopper (or very immature female) version of freaking. This one is usually punctuated by giggles, except when used in anger, when it is seeped in righteous indignation and usually spat out venomously.

Ex. “Can you believe he dumped me for Little Miss Frickin‘ Perfect??” …from the 12 year old cheerleader in the blue eyeliner.


Friggin’– The good ole boys’ version of frickin’, although not usually used in an angry context. For the most part, the male species doesn’t find use for curse-word-alternatives when angry. They use the real thing. Friggin’ is usually used in descriptive phrases, and most often in discussions that have the sole purpose of establishing superiority over another male and/or his possessions.

Also heard most often in Texas…for some reason.

Ex. “You shoulda seen the size o’ that friggin’ boar!”…usually spoken too loudly and from a vantage point of at least the height of the tailgate of a Chevy.


Fudge– Used almost exclusively by parents, this one is the most widely accepted form of the F-Word to be used in the company of children. Variations of this one are many and seem to be regional, and include: flak, frak, flake, flip/flipping, etc.

Ex. “OW, FUDGE” …as you knock a thumbnail off trying to hammer in one of those impossibly small nails that seem to come with any child-geared wall-hanging.


And there you have it…don’t you feel enlightened? 🙂

  1. Having children totally changes your cursing.

    I loved your breakdown.

    When in the presence of my children (and while mommy blogging), I use “frak”, because I don’t mind instilling the love of sci-fi into my children early (all hail Battlestar Galactica). It also carries much more punch than the above alternatives. Fudge just makes me want to eat chocolate.

    I still revert to the original word if my children are not around or for writing fiction.

    • Sparky says:

      Ohhh it really does, lol.

      Yep, there is really no satisfying alternative, is there? I have to revert to the original at times, too. And “fudge” just makes me think of the kiddo in the Christmas Story.

  2. I love this post! My almost 10-year-old thinks if he abbreviates or spells it, it doesn’t really count. So this morning, I overhear him saying to his 3-year-old brother, “You’re a fing idiot.” Lovely. He then gets mad at me when I discipline him, “Well I didn’t really SAY it!” Hmmm …

    Last week I hear him saying, “A S S” in my little guy’s face. This is just SO wrong, on SO many levels.

    As for me, I try not to curse in front of them, but every now and then, the LA traffic gets the better of me and the almost car wreck has me yelling out: S H I P!

    • Sparky says:

      Aww man…I am probably in for it when mine reach ten! Traffic gets my mouth in trouble too, lol. Didn’t think of “ship”…maybe I should do a …uh… shippy blog post next! 🙂

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