holy cow and so on

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Boris Tatarenko

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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. :-D
 

Rover_KE

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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.
 
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Tdol

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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.
 

Barb_D

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"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.
 

Skrej

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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.
 
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