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What the Dickens?

This morning, while getting out of the shower, I tossed a plastic bottle (Neutrogena face cleaner, if you must know) through the door and into the recycling bin, causing a mighty crash.

Dumb Cat happened to be nearby, and so she fled in sheer terror.

"I'm sorry," I called after her, because I am one of those crazy ladies who talks to her cats as if they understand her. "I didn't mean to scare the dickens out of you."

And then I paused. Because I had almost said, "I didn't mean to scare the hell out of you," but, you know, the cats are only 12 years old or something, so I try to watch my language in front of the kids.

I paused.
"scare the dickens out of you"
"scare the hell out of you"
OMG! My entire undergraduate experience as an English major was suddenly legitimized, verified, and otherwise proven. Our very idiom supports my own personal opinion that Dickens is Hell!



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 12th, 2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
I am so relieved to hear that you take care to shield the little kitties from swearwords, although if they are smart cats they already know that Dickens is hell.
Mar. 12th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
Mar. 13th, 2005 02:59 am (UTC)
Here in the south we say, "scare the fool out of you." My yankee friends all thought I was trying not to cuss in front of them. But while I cuss like a sailor, I always say, "scare the fool out of".
Mar. 13th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
When I graduated from college, I never swore. Absolutely never. My mother always said, "You'll learn to cuss when you learn to drive."

But the problem is, see, that I never learned to drive. Still haven't. I'm a non-drivin' weirdo. So I never learned to cuss, you might say.

Aha! But I got a job working with COMPUTERS, straight out of college. Everyone there chuckled at me when I loudly shouted, "Gosh darn it!" when something bad happened.

Sure enough, after about a year working with computers, I was swearing up a storm. The things I exclaimed in the heat of the computer-malfunctioning moment would make little old ladies faint on the streets.

I usually try to tailor my language to the company I'm in (I don't use certain words in front of my mother, for example, but "bitch" is fine, especially when referring to her eldest sister), but on LJ I pretty much let loose and just use the language that's in my head. I can be a foul-mouthed little bitch, too.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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