Telling Dad is F-Bomb Free

fbombsLet me say right off the bat that I’m not a prude.
I swear. Double entendre intended.

If I’m caught up in the heat of the moment, talking loosely amongst friends, or I drop a wood splitter on my pinky toe, then I’m not afraid to let the expletives fly. But I never really understood the need to strafe one’s blog with F-bombs in the quest to be funny.

For some inexplicable reason, audible cursing is less offensive to me than when read in the written word. Perhaps it’s because cursing while speaking offers the luxury of inflection, accentuated syllables, and animated gestures. Benefits you just can’t get from staring at a computer monitor.

I’m of the belief that you don’t need to litter posts with F-bombs and juvenile scat jokes to make a point or to make people laugh. There are many writers out there who use curse words with great precision and they actually do a solid job of boosting the quality of their post (see The Bloggess). But for the most part, and I say this knowing I’m just begging for F-laced comments, I see bloggers using vulgarity with reckless abandon and with no real respect for their message.

If I want to offend you, I won’t need curse words to do it, and I feel that using profanity just to close out a thought is akin to a short-cut. My grandfather used to say that people swear when they can’t think of anything intelligent to say. I tend to agree. Granted, this is the same man who told me that Scotch is God’s nectar, but I do echo his thoughts on cursing.

If I feel that a sentence or thought could REALLY use an F-bomb to drive home the message then you’ll see me drop such words as “freaking”, F&@%, or my favorite replacement, “Fuzzle”. You simply cannot be offended by the word Fuzzle or any of its offspring. Seriously. Would you care if someone called you a Mother Fuzzer?

Understand that I have no agenda outside this blog and I’m not out to change the blogosphere. I simply wanted to state my peace. That profanity CAN be funny, but sometimes it just needs to be left to the experts. I’m not one of them, so you can expect a PG approach to the nonsense I write and an F-Bomb Free experience. I’ll work hard to use cerebral humor and not profane short-cuts to get my point across.

Oh, and profanity in comments are automatically edited so don’t be offended if I embed a few asterisks in your cuss words.

Personally, I think this approach will be well received. And if it isn’t? I don’t give a fuzzle.

{ 3 trackbacks }

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Daddy Scratches | Oh, good: I’m not the only wanna-be-Internet-famous Daddy Blogger wallowing in obscurity while sucking down a tall glass of dashed hopes mixed with a paralyzing fear of failure
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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Clarissa Nassar July 20, 2009 at 2:27 pm

You crack me up without cursing…it works! and I like fuzzle–I think I will use that one! :)


Stacey @ Tree, Root, July 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Well, I *am* a bit of a prude, so I applaud this blog policy. ;) By the way, my favorite non-swear swear(ish) word is Womps, courtesy of the fabulous cartoon series "Recess." [Example of use: It really womps when bloggers feel compelled to drop the F-bomb.]


Crystal Turner September 2, 2011 at 6:29 am

“Womps” is my family’s word, too. Glad to see we’re not the only ones. :)

Julie_the_Great October 24, 2011 at 11:40 am

Yay! I like “womps” and I think it will be our new word too!

Shannon July 21, 2009 at 4:41 am

That is great to know. I think I have a bit of prude in me too as I shudder at all the cursing online. Sometimes people will have a wonderful, well thought out post and ruin it with an out of place, unnecessary f-bomb.


Shallyse July 21, 2009 at 9:28 am

Well, I'm a bit of a prude, too. At least when it comes to language (not to say I haven't dropped the occasional expletive in the heat of the moment, but I try…).

I love the commitment to good, funny blogging without feeling the need to drop an f-bomb into every other sentence.

And I'm totally stealing the word "fuzzle." Do you ever make buttons to share with other bloggers? I love the "F-Bomb free" button on your blog! :)


Shan @Last Shreds Of July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am

Well, FUZZLE!!


Janice (5 Minutes fo July 28, 2009 at 5:02 pm

You are a riot! I am right there with you. In person, but not around my children, I have been known to curse. But not in the written word. (Wait do IMs count???)


Shannon (The Mommy-F July 29, 2009 at 5:38 am

Well put! I totally agree with you about not cursing in the written word. I've been known to let a few words slip (like when someone cuts me off or drop something heavy on my foot), but make every attempt to not do so on my blog :)

Thanks for sharing –


Preston July 29, 2009 at 6:46 am

Totally digging your blog here. Glad to see someone taking a stand on the F-Bomb. Besides, Fuzzle is growing on me. It's so versatile:

What the Fuzzle?

Fuzzle Me!

Fuzzle You, You Fuzzler!

I could do this all day…


Telling Dad July 29, 2009 at 6:52 am

LOL! See? Fuzzle can be addicting. You'll make your point, feel better, and people won't be offended. What better way to insult people if they can't help but laugh. Fuzzle offers a wealth of derivations as you're discovering, lol!

Tiffany July 29, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Totally NOT a fan of cursing. Just don't really get it I guess. I like Fuzzle. Sounds….fuzzy.


Lisa September 16, 2009 at 12:14 pm

There is one site where I think the f-bombs are appropriate, and that's at http://www, Hilarious!

But I have to admit, I do like fuzzle.


erin October 11, 2009 at 10:58 am

LMAO! Fuzzle! I need to adopt that. And although I do drop an F-Bomb here and there in person … when driving often … as do my passengers – lol- I don't often write it? I do like the good ol' cartoony #@$%*% when mad. But I might steal Fuzzle for driving. The kids are starting to repeat some of my poorly chosen words.


joel October 15, 2009 at 3:42 am

i cant say i dont drop f-bombs all over the place, but i will respect your blog and not drop one here. rather, i will say "frankenheimer" is a good word to substitute, as is "frans defrens"


Janis @ SneakPeek October 18, 2009 at 3:37 am

Well fuzzle that!

I agree Greg good humor can be F-bomb free. I think I have managed that (so far). Although I think I may have used a WTF? (does that count?)


Kristine October 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm

I love this.

I am certain that the best humor is (at least mostly) profanity-free.

Which is why I do not have a book deal. (Okay, there's probably other reasons there, too.)

No self control, this one.


What-I-Found October 30, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I was a pediatric nurse for years and simply couldn't swear. So I used "sugar" as in "Oh, sugar! I dropped a brick on my foot".

Now I am not nursing anymore, I am cursing more, but I'm OK with that. ;-)

Also when my children were little we, of course, had a no bad words rule, but that rule was later modified to "No bad words unless you're driving."

Sometimes you just have to do what you gotta do.


Susan (5 Minutes for March 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Yes, I leave the online cursing to The Bloggess.

In real life, I am guilty of swearing, but I've never been able to write or type curse words. Although as my twin Janice said, I have said a few little bad words in IM's to very, very close friends. Even then, it feels a little weird.


Sunday Stilwell March 21, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Amen! I cringe when I read the swearing in most blogs.


Jenny May 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

I can't do it. I have to curse in my posts or else it just doesn't sound right to me. But I don't do it ALL THE TIME. Just … every now and then if I think it needs it ;)


Mimi May 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

My friend says "Shoot the moon" instead of another "S" word. I like Spongebob when he says Tartar Sauce. For some reason, I would never in a million years swear on my blog. Maybe because it'll be there forever unless I delete it? Wish I could do that with my mouth sometimes.

It's always kind of a shock when I'm reading along and BAM! There's the f-bomb! I tend to immediately shut down on that post and wonder what the point was. It usually lands flat and adds nothing to what they were trying to get across. Even some of the lesser naughty words just don't make sense to me.

I agree that it's a rare person online that's going to make good use of a swear word. It's just like a movie or a book. If it doesn't add to the plot, then what's the point? Throwing it in for the WOW factor? Eh, I've just tuned you out and left your site.

Thanks for this flippin' grand post. =)


pamela June 9, 2010 at 8:45 am

Fuzzle should be added to the dictionary and thesaurus!


Christopher L. Jorge June 20, 2010 at 11:01 am

Well, I forget who said it, but swear words can also be used as punctuation. Just drop them in instead of commas and periods and you are set. I also agree with your grandfather…Scotch is God’s nectar.


begin with a Sunny O June 27, 2010 at 4:57 am

Thank you for being an upstanding and honorable man. You are a wonderful role model for your children.

If I'm visiting a blog and discover offensive language, they've lost me as a reader. There are plenty of bloggers that can make me LOL and they do it with their wit and talent – like tellingdad!


Amanda July 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm

I find that people use more curse words these days and less actual message it is rather obnoxious I understand the need to stress a point but when you're writing to people it doesn't necessarily need to be the effing point


Kimberly Kinrade November 19, 2010 at 7:59 am

Love the policy. I'm not offended either way. I have a thing with my kids, where they know words aren't bad or good, they are amoral. But there are appropriate and inappropriate times and ways in which to use them. And certainly you are funny without them. Funnier, I think.

I don't think I've ever used the Fuzzle's angry brother in any of my blogs. No, I'm sure I haven't. I've said WTF? But that was about that Amazon book, and honestly, that was my mild reaction. I'm pretty PG in my language because I don't feel I need those words to make my point, or to be funny or intelligent.

Some people are offended by profanity. Most people aren't going to be offended if you DON'T use it. So, What the fuzzle!? Why not just try to use the billions of other words available to get your point across? Or just make some up. Always works for me!


Samantha February 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm

We're big fans of frak here, when it comes up.


Jill @ Liv'nGood Jewelry September 2, 2011 at 9:56 am

After a weekend-long Battlestar Galactica marathon (yes, I’m a nerd) “frak” permanently replaced the other f-k word in my vocabulary. Glad I’m not alone.

Shane May 30, 2011 at 9:18 am

I think it’s great that you’ve decided to blog f-bomb free. I really do. However, I don’t see that this is different from any other daddy blogger.
I also disagree with your analysis of The Bloggess. Some people curse out loud and in their writing, using their profanity as spicy flavoring for a legitimate message — NOT because there is nothing around the profanity that is funny to say. I believe Lenny Bruce broke the whole scene in with the swearing vs. non-swearing thing.
I use frequent profanity in my blog, and I like to think that my message is fine as it is — full of substance, and funny. Could I do it without swearing? Most definitely. Which is an indication to me that the message is there, with or without the profanity. Why do I use profanity, then? Because I like to. And because I’m writing about things that are not for “prudes” -yours and others’ words, not mine-I want people to know from the get-go that they’re setting out to read something that might just make them uncomfortable.
And to be honest, if you’re going to use the word “fuzzle” or “F%&/”, then you might as well use the real thing. Otherwise, I would just drop those fake words.
Again, this is not some kind of rant criticizing what you’ve said. I think it’s great if people have convictions and are consistent in following them.


Birdman July 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

You are my hero. When I read this comment to my wife, she asked “Is this your comment?”
It is exactly my stance on my inappropriate blog. Like it or not, it will make you laugh, or cry, or maybe even think. Great comment, and I look forward to checking out your blog.

Telling Dad May 30, 2011 at 9:51 am

Hey there, thanks for the comment and opinion! Like I said in my post, some do it with pinpoint accuracy…such as yourself. Others, and you have to admit this, toss in a few gratuitous swear words to emulate what they think is proper delivery.

It also comes down to audience. Yours probably loves and has come to expect your no-holds-barred delivery. For my readership, and for where I want my blog to go, profanity just doesn’t fit. The “fake words” aren’t so much an attempt to mask what I’m really trying to say, but rather a way to add levity.

I don’t feel that I write for prudes, nor do I remember saying that, but I do understand what you mean. There’s no right or wrong way, and I’m certainly not taking some stance, or trying to encourage others to revel around me in my mission. I don’t even have a mission, lol. I wouldn’t even go so far as to say that “F-Bomb Free” is a ‘conviction’. It’s just the nature of my blog, audience, and interest that supresses profanity.

I’m not saying it’s right. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I was just stating why I deliver a more vanilla approach. Oh, and I don’t consider myself a daddy blogger per say. I’m a dad, I’m a blogger, but I don’t think the two intertwine enough to have a classification.

Anyhow, I do appreciate your comment and it makes a lot of sense. But again, I’m not trying to change the world or anyone’s technique. There is no platform, no soap box, and no controversy. Truthfully, the entire thing is rooted in humor.


Shane May 30, 2011 at 10:02 am

Right you are about the prude thing. That came from others’ comments. My bad.
And I was just thinking about the audience thing as well-we are definitely writing for different groups of people. I’m putting together another blog for kids, and obviously I can’t even use “frigging” there.
Thanks for being open-minded!

Telling Dad May 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

Thanks for the reply! I apologize for the css disaster on comment replies. That’s what I get for messing with it. :) I tried to email you direct but it got kicked back.

As you definitely know, the audience is only half the equation, as our own interests, passions, and delivery make up the rest. But you’re right, lol, you can’t use TOO much profanity with a kids blog.


heartlightdg July 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I wrote a blog post about this not too long ago so this was very familiar territory for to read what you wrote. And it’s all a matter of choice and preference anyhow. I choose not write or talk like that (ok on occasion it has slipped out but dang, then the grown kids know I mean business!! LOL) but there are deeper reasons behind that choice. I love reading the Bloggess, I have rolled on the floor laughing at some of her writings (Knock-knock has become a password for me and my 31 year old daughter) but in general, that word is not for me.
In my post Beyond the Written Meanings, I commented on the two versions of CeeLo Green’s Forget You. I absolutely prefer the “clean” version, it flows better and the other just makes me cringe, it feels so harsh. And no, not a prude, just know what I like.
So thanks for being F-bomb free! LOL


Marie August 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Well, I was kinda enjoying your work until I saw this post. It’s a word. It’s just a word. It only has power if you assign power to it. And I agree with Shane about using faux-cursing or cursing lite. If your (you-general your to cursing wimps everywhere) audience knows what word you are not saying, and you know what word you are not saying, you have still implicitly said it. Why not own that?

The number of pearl clutchers so horrified and harmed by (GASP) *Bad Language* is sadly hilarious. Quick! Someone rush in an order of fainting couches.


Telling Dad August 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I appreciate the comment and totally get what you’re saying. My kids read my work as do many of our friends. I choose not to use the words, which wouldn’t just be words to them, and if you don’t like what I write as a result, that’s totally okay.

It’s not derived from prudeness. It’s just a thing…a preference. I don’t think I’ve lost any readers by not using profanity, until now perhaps, but I know for a fact that I’d lose readers if I did.


Amanda August 9, 2011 at 9:25 pm

The greatest part about this post to me was that, the whole time you were writing it I was thinking, “But I LIKE it when the Bloggess curses because it’s the curse that’s funny.” Then you mentioned her as an exception to the non-cursing rule….. so I guess I’m down with an f-bomb free blog if I have to be (andI do find you fuzzing funny regardless!)


Telling Dad August 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Amanda, thank you for the visit and for taking the time to comment! I agree that Jenny’s profanity is half the delivery. Believe me, there are MANY times where I KNOW a curse word would make a punchline of mine pop better. It’s not that I don’t curse, I do, but I have to consider the younger readers that I have, especially those in my own household.

So, no real stance or mission, just a preference. There are PG-rated comedians out there and R-rated comedians. I think there are plenty of stages for each…as well as audiences. :)


Daddy Scratches August 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm

You’ve just given me ANOTHER reason to keep my kids away from my blog … for now anyway.
I can certainly respect your decision to not drop F-bombs on your blog … and, hopefully, you can respect my decision to wield them with wild abandon.
And, yes, Jenny does it best.


Mommica August 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm

What if the cursing is not gratuitous? What if the post is about your three-year-old kid dropping an F-bomb that reverberates off the grocery store walls, and the hilarity that ensues? I try not to curse on my blog just for the sake of cursing. But when it comes to discussing a three-year-old, it’s impossible to avoid completely. Am I right?


Delfin Joaquin Paris III August 31, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Bill approves of this policy.

I do the same thing – however, I recently wrote two stories about seeing my father’s genitals by mistake at age 35. That was not good. But I kept away from the f-word. Although it did call for it.



Laura from Fargo September 5, 2011 at 12:49 am

The older I get, the more I question my need to use what my shrink calls, “course language”.

I just might give fuzzle a whirl.


Jody September 28, 2011 at 5:18 pm

TD, just my two cent as a new reader… I personally don’t care either way and in full disclosure I curse like roid enraged drunken sailor on shore leave in The Philippines on New Year’s Eve… okay, you get the point. But I recently had a conversation with my 14 year old daughter after she got mad at her brother and said something along the lines of “you jerk larkhole, barkhole, sharkhole…” something like that. The meaning was the same regardless of the word she used (and she only used the gentle variation because she knew her mother and I were within ear shot). It wasn’t any less offensive and I guess that’s the rub. Words are powerful and simple changing a syllable here and there doesn’t change intent or meaning.

Keep on trucking, brother. Real good stuff, with or without la f-bomba!


Jessica October 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Hi TD, I just started reading your blog, funny stuff!! I absolutely respect your no f-bomb policy. While I must admit to using it on rare occasions (the last time was when I broke my toe), I appreciate a clever replacement that adds hilarity and levity to an otherwise non-funny situation. A friend of mine once suggested “Haferflocken” as a substitute, which despite its gruff sound, actually means “oatmeal” in German. Though I must admit, I think I may add “fuzzle” to my list…. Thanks for a great blog!


Terri October 21, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Kudos, you. Ima gonna follow you now.


Kari November 9, 2011 at 8:44 am

I found this post incredibly interesting reading. I am a bit of a potty-mouth myself, especially when I am really angry or outraged about something, and I have found that nothing releases the anger better than cursing. I really don’t understand why that is, but it does seem to be true, and it also seems to have more power when spoken then when written. I generally try to avoid using curse words in my writing, but sometimes they come out accidentally, and depending on the situation I may leave them in there.

As far as substitute curse words, I agree to a certain extent with Marie and Shane. A word is just a word; however, children learn their language by copying their parents. I remember my husband once told our kids that any word is a curse word depending on how you use it, and it’s the intent that makes it so. I have actually found substitute curse words to be a good tension-breaker. We’re big fans of those commercials where people eat the gum or cookie or whatever and then silly phrases come out of their mouths instead (eg, lint-licker, shut the front door, Franklin Delano…). When my 13-year-old son and I are really at odds, sometimes appropriate placement of a ridiculous non-curse word can set us both into a fit of the giggles and make us forget that we were arguing.


WilyGuy December 27, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I love the policy. I am also a new fan of fuzzle.

I adopted “shut the front door” from a friend.


Cassandra December 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

Thank you! Even if I find a blog funny and continue reading it, I just don’t get the swearing. I so appreciate you keeping it out!
(Although when the novocaine wore off after my recent wisdom-tooth extraction I did text “F-in’ OW!” to a few friends.)
I’m around cursing a lot, because of work, but it just seems like there are often better words to use. I have somehow morphed into using “sugar-muffin” – I don’t know how. …and to replace the F-bomb I really like Dr. Venkman’s use (in Ghostbusters) of “Mother Puss-bucket!” You’re right, the spoken word has the benefit of inflection and timbre to intensify meaning.


Viki January 2, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Love all of this. The whole parenting part of it enamors me currently….as just tonight, my 6yo girl was fake-scrapping with her big – 13yo – brother, and she says out loud to the rest of us: “Hey ! I just kicked him in the junk!” I thought, too much TV on this school vacation….. Thank you so much for being f-bomb free. So appreciated. There are so many great substitutes that work so well. I loved hearing so many new ones! My nephew – with 4 kids all under 6 – gets frustrated with them from second to second (got ya there), and instead of walking into a just cleaned room, turning around to the ransacked-in-the-blink-of-an-eye mess instantly created, will say – arms in the air with great frustration – “WHAT THE HAM SANDWICHES!!?!” And I leave the room buckled over with snot shooting out my nose. Fuzzing funny.


sheriji January 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm

You mean scotch isn’t God’s nectar?


Robin O'Bryant January 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Crazy. I have the exact same approach. I love a good cuss word in real life but you have to be so careful when writing b/c in my lil opinion if you cuss too much in writing you just come off as angry and bitter. Some people can get away with it but not everyone.

That said, my substitution of choice is fishbone. It works well in almost any context as you can also say “fishboning” or “fishboner.” And that’s just funny.


Tonja January 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

You’re hilarious!!!!


Beth February 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I like “fuzzle”… But my substitute for this particular epithet is “ferret”- derived after my iPhone autocorrected one heck of a text tirade with this benign word, thereby breaking the foul mood and making me laugh!!
Fuzzle, ferret or $&@!- like the fact you want to make the use of the original word reserved for truly emphatic declarations!!!


Kaitlyn February 23, 2012 at 6:09 am

I’m not a prude at all but I totally agree with this. I write my blog to inspire and motivate people. I believe my message has more impact when it’s written well and can be shared widely. I don’t want to use profanity to emphasize a point.

Can I steal your F-Bomb free image for my own blog? Because I think that would be the bees knees!


Chrissi March 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Use “fax”… works great! i.e. “What the fax??”, “Fax you”, “Fax off”, “Go fax yourself”. You get the open vowel sound AND that cutting consanant. Perfection! Plus, the fax just doesn’t get enough love anymore.


dianna March 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Bill Cosby is our family’s favorite commedian and he never? (very rarely) used curses to spice up his delivery. You have to be smart to be funny and smart people typically have exceptional vocabularies. So glad you’re using creative language because i love to share posts on FB… Many of my ‘friends’ are kiddos and i’m sure they get enough F-bombs at school.


Whit March 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I love profanity. It gets me through the tough times. That’s not to say I use it on my blog very often, but if it fits in the flow of what I’m writing then I’ll put it in. I’ve always been of the school that (with a few very derogatory exceptions) there is no such thing as a bad word, and freaking is exactly the same as what it replaces — it’s the context and intent that make the word what it is, otherwise it’s just a bunch of letters.


sara ellen awesome March 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm

my blog is curseword free as well! Mostly because my family reads it, though and my mama taught me better than that!


Guest March 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I think you mean “piece,” not “peace.” Profanity doesn’t offend me if used sparingly and deliberately, and if non-profanity is your style I think it’s silly for people to be offended by your word choice. For the grammar nerd, what does offend is when the words you choose to use don’t make sense ;)


Joy June 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Ha! I realized since becoming a parent, I spell curse words when I want to say them (my three year old can’t spell yet so I’m safe with that for a while longer), I still say them in my head when I’m talking to myself, and I censor them completely when I’m reading (who knows?). Thanks for your clean AND hilarious AND awesome blog! :)


Tara June 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I totally get this. Ask anyone, I swear like a trucker. But when it comes to FB or my writing it just feels . . . wrong. So very glad you feel the same. Plus, your writing communicates all those things without the words – totally awesome.


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