13 Jan 2021
It has come to my attention that one of the words I used yesterday is not familiar to everyone.
I have had three people query the word ‘hellion’. It’s a word that is very familiar to me so I assumed it’s one in common usage, so I apologise if I had you running for the dictionary (who am I kidding? Google, of course!).
The reason it is familiar to me is possibly because I recall my mother using it. Most likely to my sister, but possibly to me as well. I can’t imagine why, but it’s possible.
But to put this into context – my Mum does not swear. The very worst swear word I have ever heard out of her mouth, and I don’t recall the incident that provoked it but it must have been on the scale of an armed robbery or the loss of a limb, is bugger. Nothing worse will ever cross her lips. She may think it though, and as a kid the lightning bolts emanating from her eye balls suggested she was using much worse words in her mind. But verbally – nothing but the most polite rebuke.
Hence words like hellion. It means a rowdy or mischievous person, especially a child, and would be the word mum muttered under her breath as my sister did something untoward like bringing a stray animal home, or breaking the baby of the family’s arm. (She still insists I fell and broke that arm on my own, by the way, and she was nowhere near the scene of the crime. Gosh she was a hellion.)
I spent some time trying to recall other polite insults my sweet mother would have sent my way, but the push out of a tree that my sister was nowhere near, obviously has left me with some brain damage. Or I’m getting old – one or the other.
So of course I went to a trusted source (the internet) to find other ways you could insult someone if your worst swear word was bugger, and you really needed a bit more vocabulary to get your message across.
“Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you” (Groucho Marx)
“I desire that we be better strangers” (Shakespeare)
“Don’t be so humble – you are not that great” (Golda Meir)
“Stop worrying about growing old, and think about growing up” (Philip Roth)
“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it” (Groucho Marx)
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go” (Oscar Wilde)
“Your wit never ceases to underwhelm me” (A. E. Kirk)
“I never saw anybody take so long to dress, and with such little result” (Oscar Wilde)
“You’re a conversation starter. Not when you are around, but once you leave” (Anon)
“I envy the people who haven’t met you” (Anon)
“You’re impossible to underestimate” (Anon)
“If common sense is common why are you without it?” (Anon)
“You sound better with your mouth closed” (Anon)
Have you got any good no-swearing insults for me? I can pass them on to my Mum, just in case there’s an armed robbery at the nursing home.