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  1. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #1

    holy cow and so on

    I do hear a lot "holy cow", "holy sh*t", "Jesus Christ" and other exclamations. However I'm not sure whether they sound offensive.
    My questions are:

    1) What exclamations do you prefer?
    2) Can they sound offensive to somebody?

    I'm asking this because I don't want to get into awkward situations in the future.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

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    #2

    Re: holy cow and so on

    In the company of people you don't know well, or in writing, don't use obscenities ('shit' is offensive to many people and can easily be avoided).

    Avoid any reference to religious deities or figures in sacred texts.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 24-Jan-2016 at 13:51.

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    #3

    Re: holy cow and so on

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    2) Can they sound offensive to somebody?
    Different things offend different people. It's better to get to know someone first before you start using them. Try something very mild and see if they react.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: holy cow and so on

    "Holy cow" will be fine anywhere in America.
    I'm known for my child-appropriate exclamations. Dang it! Geez Louise! Holy guacamole! Those are safe.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: holy cow and so on

    There are hundreds if not thousands of these safe, faux-profanities.

    Here are a few I can think of, although I don't necessarily use them all myself, with a range of how far removed they are from their 'real' counterparts.

    'Son of a biscuit (eater)'
    'Dagnabbit' (fun but kind of old-fashioned)
    'Crabapple'
    'Holy moly'
    'holy schnikes'
    'Aw fudge'
    'fudge sickle'
    'popsickle sticks'
    'son of a motherless goat'
    'sufferin' succotash' (don't know if I've ever heard anybody other than Sylvester Cat say this one)


    I once had a new kitten slip out my front door as I was leaving my apartment, and just as I started to swear aloud at it, noticed several young kids watching me grab frantically for the young cat, so I altered my intended expression to "bean-head", which the youngsters found particularly amusing.

    Edit: When in doubt, just invent your own phrase from something you know is safe, kind of like I did with the cat situation.
    Last edited by Skrej; 25-Jan-2016 at 01:42.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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