We are a non-swearing family. substitute wordIt dates back at least 40 years and the way both my husband and I were raised. Crap is as crazy as the adult language gets around here.   The kids are testing the waters as to what will be tolerated. I believe it is a child’s job to push the boundaries.   My kids seem to be very good at their job. Lately, Ryan(11) has been uttering substitute words when frustrated or mad.   In one way it is cute.   In another way it is disturbing.   He has run through a few favorites, but his most recent is… Mayonnaise. It is a little strange to hear Mayonnaise yelled randomly in the heat of a moment. So disturbing that the other day I spoke to him about it.   We had a serious conversation about swearing and what was appropriate language and what wasn’t appropriate language.   We talked about how he was using words as substitutes for swear words. No conversation with Ryan goes as expected.   I guess it goes back to his job to push limits, his propensity to argue, and his baseline level of ornery. He challenged my anti-swear substitution position. He declared that Mayonnaise meant Mayonnaise and nothing more… If Mayonnaise is a substitution for a swear word, what is that word? I could see the trap he was setting to get me to say something that wouldn’t normally cross my lips.   I couldn’t help but finish the set up with the response… Miracle Whip. The serious conversation turned a little silly and my point was never received.   In fact, my parental intervention made things worse. Now when things are slightly frustrating I still hear the utterance of Mayonnaise, but when things get a bit more tense there is an exclamation of Miracle Whip.

What did Holly Clean Today updated with 2Today Holly cleaned all the doorknobs in her house with Pledge ® Multi-Surface II Antibacterial Cleaner.

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  1. I remember visiting my cousins when we were all about 12-13 years old. We were all jumping on the bed when I smelled something BAD. I said, Who Farted?? MY cousin RUNS to the top of the stairs and yells down to her mom, ” Kate said the F-word Mom!!”…I had to run after her to clarify of course!

  2. Love the insight into parenting at the end – intervening made it worse. I grew up saying ‘toot’ instead of the other one. I say ‘fudgicles’ and ‘crapola’. So I guess you could say I’m in the same boat as you…

  3. I love this post. I’ve been really battling the boundary testing here as well. Lately, the kids (my 8 year old son especially) have been bleeping out their own curse words. So when he gets upset at something, he’ll say “What the bleeeeeeep”. It’s such a tough line to walk as a mom as to whether to punish stuff like “mayonnaise” or self bleeping.

  4. I have to say I have never heard Mayonnaise uttered as a swear word. haha.
    When my kids started k5, I heard new words popping out all over the place. Some were bad(real bad) and made we wonder what kind of parenting,or lack thereof these kids have at home. Others were funny. I say crap all the time. It’s the strongest thing I can say that takes stress along with it when it leaves my mouth, that is tame enough to say in front of the kids.

  5. “Boogers” is often heard around here. Though I think I may start working Mayonnaise in. some. That’s wonderful.

    My daughter & her friends say, “Wow, that’s fantastic!” instead of (WTF) which really is much more entertaining anyway. When things get intense, she’s been known to utter the phrase, “strong words,” to express her displeasure.

    These kids crack me up!

  6. You know where he got that right? Spongebob uses the swear word “Tartar Sauce” so I’m thinking Ryan is making this condiment swear word thing his own with “Mayonnaise”.

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