The Other Twenty-Three Words

I don’t, as a rule, cuss a whole lot – not because I’m particularly religious or good-natured or anything, but because I’ve taken to heart the whole adage about cussing being the refuge of those with small minds and smaller vocabularies.

It’s not that I don’t know the words, I just don’t use them… much.

In the interests of expanding the minds – and vocabularies! – of you, the readers, I was thinking about the strange fact that we have some words so ubiquitous and well-known that they’ve for whatever reason become the canonical slightly offensive (if only to some!) word associated with their beginning letter.

Consider “the N word”, for example, or “the F word”. Apparently there’s also “the L word”, as well… but what about the other twenty-three letters of the English alphabet? Or dipthongs?

The lack of a widely-understood, say, “H word” among English-speaking peoples seems like a shortcoming whose remediation is long overdue. I can think of a couple fairly obvious additions to the list of lettered-words, which I’ve presented below, in slightly enigmatic quasi-riddle format:

A: (something fat and/or smelly, depending on context)
B: (dog, female)
C: (rhymes with a type of boat that is rarely C-worthy)
D: (Dutch architecture, see also L)
F: (The most flexible four-letter word in the English language)
L: (Grecian islander; see also D)
N: (Rhymes with “bigger”)
Q: (“peculiar”; archaic)
S: (Execra)

Anyone have any additional nominations?

Published in: Geekiness, General | on September 21st, 2009| 5 Comments »

Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. On 9/21/2009 at 6:54 pm Watching Them, Watching Us Said:

    You should be able to find all that you need, and more, at Viz comic’s

    Roger’s Profanisaurus, which now has over 8000 “rude” words or phrases.

    Some of the euphemisms and puns are strange, but some are very, very funny:

  2. On 9/22/2009 at 1:22 pm Nemo Said:

    Spiffy, thanks; I’ve just ordered a copy through Amazon.

    The issue isn’t a lack of words, rude or otherwise – it’s the lack of widely understood and accepted works that can be represented by one letter…

  3. On 9/27/2009 at 8:29 am aoeu Said:

    w: rhymes with witch and has wheels

  4. On 9/30/2009 at 9:10 pm Nemo Said:

    Having now thumbed through my copy of the Profanisaurus, I still stand by my original belief that we’re lacking in, say, anything like a widely-recognized “E-word” or “J-word”, for example. Having looked through the book – and watched television shows like The Inbetweeners, I also have to wonder where the widespread stereotype of American males as sex-obsessed comes from, but that’s a pondering for another day…

  5. On 10/15/2009 at 8:45 am Antiquado Said:

    English was my first language, until the age of three and has not been so for about ten times that.
    I really have difficulty guessing the words you allude to 🙁

    Any change of … a more clear cut version?