What in tarnation?!
This language of ours, she's always changing. At one point, if you really liked someone's eyebrows you'd say they were "neato"; now you can call those eyebrows "on fleek." How delightful is that?
Sure it's troublesome when benign words come to mean something else entirely or develop a connotation in which they may get a time-traveler punched in the face, cleverly shamed by the underemployed on social media. As fantastic and specific as modern English words are, there's something pretty wonderful about slipping in some olde timey jargon, particularly when it comes to swearing.
Here are 13 olde-timey curse words that the prospector, Shakespeare fanatic, or bowler hat-wearing nincompoop in all of us can enjoy.
1. Consarn (it): If you're a fan of The Simpsons, you may recognize this from an episode where Marge scolded Bart not to swear like a prospector. The word "consarn" is likely a shortened mispronunciation of "consternation," a word indicating vexation.
"Consarn it, Phillip, how many times do I have to ask you to put your plates in the dern dish washing machine?"
2. Crackpot: Think Doc Brown from Back To The Future. Rather, think public perception of Doc Brown. He's a wild-haired mad scientist type whose ideas are so crazy that they just might work ... or get us all killed.
"What kind of crackpot would come up with a 90-day rule?"
3. Flapdoodle (also see horse feathers, poppycock, flim flam): Bullsh*t. You're being lied to and everyone knows it.
"To Whom It May Concern: whiskey dick is utter flapdoodle. FIX IT."
4. Dadgummit (also see tarnation): A polite way of saying "goddammit." If you're a fan of southern college football, you've probably had your fair share of dadgummit. If you're going to throw down your visor after your team blows a 20-point lead, this is the word for you.
"Dadgummit, Vince, you promised you wouldn't forget my birthday again."
5. Trollop: (also see strumpet or bawd): Slut. Again, the key difference between an easy woman and a prostitute is that the latter charges money. You know what? Probably best to leave this one. I don't want you accused of trollop-shaming.
"That trollop gave the whole eastern seaboard crab-shaped pubic lice."
6. Inexpressibles: Pants. Not underpants — those are "unmentionables." But once upon a time a person's lower limbs were so verboten that the material covering them wasn't to be discussed.
"Are we gonna make a baby, or should I pop my inexpressibles back on?"
7. Schtup: Have sex. You've likely heard this Yiddish word a time or two but it's a keeper nonetheless. The slang "shoop" is likely a malapropism of this word.
"You know, I've thought about it and I think I'm gonna see if my husband might want to schtup real good tonight."
8. Lickspittle: A sycophant. While ingratiation is an art, no one likes a kiss-ass. You may have to brown-nose in life, but you surely don't have to lick any spittle.
"Phillip is such a lickspittle, he told his wife she was prettier than Beyonce."
9. Jackanapes: Braggart. In Shakespeare's time (or writing), being conceited wasn't a bad thing unless you crossed an unseen line into what we'd call today "extra." A jackanapes is likely not only proud of himself but proud beyond his accomplishments.
"That jackanapes boyfriend of yours said you guys boned on your first date. Is this accurate?"
10. Churl (also see coistril, varlet, nithing): Coward. Cowardice must have been a fairly common topic in the age of Shakespeare (fine, the Elizabethan age) for there to be many words to describe a practitioner of it.
"Those churls are too chicken to wear white pants, even after Memorial Day."
11. Cunny (also see quim): Vulva. This one is an obviously close cousin to the see-you-next-Tuesday word which makes most women want to spit fire. However, the need for euphemisms for the female baby-maker is never in short demand so feel free to hold onto this vulgarity for use in other than "polite company."
"Sara, I think my spin class teacher may have broken my cunny."
12. Todger (also see credentials): Penis. While we're never, EVER going to run out of clever words for the male sexual member, this one has a nice ring to it. Todger can also be used to describe a person acting like a real dick.
"Since I've packed on these 75 pounds, I'm only able to see my todger with the aid of a system of mirrors and pulleys."
13. Fustilarian: Stinky person. Again, in Shakespeare's time there was less in the way of masking our natural odor, and if you produced a strong musk you were stuck with this appellation.
"I really like Ethan, but that fustilarian always wants to fool around after he's been to the gym but before he's taken a shower."
That's it. Please use judiciously. Some people will think you're very clever while others will hate your too-cool, bespoke guts.