11 Old-Timey Curse Words That Make You Sound Like Yosemite Sam

At the very least they might increase your ‘Scrabble’ score
11 Old-Timey Curse Words That Make You Sound Like Yosemite Sam

Even in my lifetime, the social acceptability of full-on sailor-mouth has become much more accepted. George Carlin routines that would have been struck from common consumption years ago are now easily viewable by any 11-year old with an iPad and motor skills. 

I would have been hesitant to let loose a “damnit” around my parents in days of yore, but now I wouldnt be too surprised to hear it from a child losing at Connect Four. Go back even further, though, and youll find a whole armory of swears that sound more like the name of a stuffed animal than anything that would cause any pearls to be clutched.

To that end, here are 11 delightfully arcane old bits of filth…



A twist on the aforementioned classic “damn.” Thunderation was in the vein of damnation, I assume as one of a Christian gods preferred methods of smiting.


If fopdoodle sounds a bit to you like a botched pig-latin translation of “fool,” youre on the right track. Its a combination of words for dandy and simpleton, so it meant a fancy little idiot. Credit where credits due, it fits the vibe perfectly.


You know a curse word has lost its power when it ends up as the name of a mall stalwart. A name that feels much grimmer once you realize that gadzooks is a bastardization of “Gods Hooks,” referring to the nails used to crucify Jesus. If any mall store should have been called Gadzooks, it should have been Claires, given that they handled piercings.



The crucifixion had a seeming stranglehold on the curse words of a certain era. The seemingly non-sequitur exclamation “Snails!” was a cut-and-sew combination of the word's “God's Nails.” Another thing you really dont want to step on.


Well move here from the church pews to the bedroom, another site where many a swear was born. One of the ones youre likely at least vaguely aware of is “trollop,” a fancier way to imply someone is easy to get into bed. Basically, the word “slut” with a bow on it.



This may sound like a failed Shark Tank pitch, but its in the same realm as trollop. If you happened to be a trollop, but were particularly fond of bedding people already in committed relationships, you might earn the moniker of a “bedswerver.” Weve got the Bard himself to thank for this one.


At first glance, youd assume rantallion was a relative of “rapscallion,” but youd be plum wrong. Its a penis, but not just any penis: It’s a penis that's specifically shorter than the scrotum. An ancient neighbor of the chode, if you will.


Quim is an antiquated synonym of a modern curse word, though its one that, at least in America, still gets you kicked out of a Panera Bread posthaste. Ill give you a hint: It rhymes with hunt.



Youd think this would be an awesome and perfectly acceptable name for a brave dwarf of legend. But in actuality, a beardsplitter was a penis in Victorian slang. Whether its a reference to pubic hair or male-male fellatio is a decision Ill leave in your now unhappy brain.


Bescumber, like beardsplitter, sounds like something out of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. The kind of thing a rat would do down a rickety ladder. In fact, to “bescumber” something was to liberally spray it with literal shit. Which, depending on the rats diet, I guess still applies.


Okay, I'll admit, this isnt a swear, but it is a delightfully antiquated word that everyone deserves to know. Defenestrating someone isnt as gory as it sounds, but it is as violent: It means you threw them out a window.

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