In 1939, Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable, ended "Gone With The Wind" with the world's most famous dismissive zinger: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." At the time, it was a bit of a shocker, even though the expletive had been uttered a year earlier in "Pygmalion."
Today, swearing is a completely different animal. In Martin Scorsese’s recently released “The Wolf of Wall Street,” for example, the word "fuck" is used 506 times during the film's 180-minute running time, setting an all-time record for the use of the f-word.
When I was young, I felt sheepish the first time I said the word "sexy" around my parents. Today, research shows that children are learning to swear at very young ages.
We decided to ask our Facebook fans about the curse words of their youth. Jilly Chiappini Gonna said she didn't swear until she was at least 18. "If ma or pa used 'bloody' we knew we should retire to our rooms," she said, adding that "'bugger' meant all hell was about to break out!" Another fan, Joe Miano, said he was at least 18 before he heard an adult drop the f-bomb or say "shit."
So what words did they use decades ago when they wanted to blow off some steam? We asked our readers to name some of their favorite swear words from years past -- and here's what they had to say. Remember any others? Let us know in comments.
1) "Frazzlin, dadgummit," said Theresa Reed.
2) "Heavens to Betsy!" said Marti Gilley.
3) "Jumpin' Jahosafat!!!" said Vicky Merling Points.
4) "Yikes and I still say it," said Jackie Lamothe.
5) "Gadzooks!" said Jim Britt.
6) "Holy cow," said Michelle Ethridge.
7) "Shoot or sugar," said Lynn Robison DeRosa.
8) "Dagnabit!" said Charlene Holbook.
9) "Frickin', flippin', shoot," said Lori A. Doyle.
10) "Shoot and Gooollly!! Use the Gomer Pyle voice! LOL," said Jan Gloster.
11) "Geez Louise," said Nancye Hernsmith.
12) "Sugartit!" said Martha Ballantyne.
13) "Jeez oh man," said Penny Dennis Rone.
15) "Dagnammit," said Teena Gordon.
16) "Eat it ... RAW," said Mark Greenberg.
17) "Well Hellicopter, What the fudge, Hell's bells," said Kimberly Minton Freeman.
18) "Oh shoot, Jiminy Cricket, Bull Hockey, Great Caesar's Ghost," said Melinda L. Hayden.
19) "Jiminy Cricket in lieu of the other JC word," said Colleen F. Barany.
20) "Dang, darn, Holy Mary-Mother of Jesus, Oh Hell and Jesus Help Me Holy Ghost. The F-word was considered illiterate, trashy and low class. We were not allowed to use foul words because it was referred to as being poor bred and unladylike. Ha," said Jane Thompson.
21) "Oh fudge... blasted," said Linda Stanton Tuomi.