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Biscuits! - An innocent alternative to swearing.

During a recent visit to some friends of ours for the weekend, I was lucky enough to be entertained by their delightful children aged 6 and 2. We explored the toy box, went digging for bugs, and played with Lego. At one point, the 6 year old, a boy, tripped on the rug and tumbled with his lego box into a heap on the floor. The Lego spilled all across the living room. He wasn't hurt. In this moment, as he flew, I was surprised to hear the seemingly random word 'biscuits' blurt from his mouth. It was immediately clear that this had been used in place of a swear word. I was a bit surprised, but mostly amused.


Swearing is a common form of expression for many adults. It can be used to emphasize a point, express frustration or anger, or simply to add a little extra spice to a conversation. However, it's not something that is generally considered appropriate for children.


Apparently, after a former incident whereby he had repeated a word he may not have been supposed to know, his parents had offered him an alternative. For parents who want to encourage their kids to express themselves in a similar way, but without resorting to profanity, this is an interesting concept of using non-offensive words in place of swear word which I find rather genius.


The idea behind this concept is great - that children can still express their emotions and feelings using a non-offensive word or phrase, while avoiding the use of actual profanity. Instead of saying one particular word, my own mother used to say sh.. sugar. I could give a list of examples here, but I won't, and I think you get my meaning. In this particular case, this concept is to use a word or phrase that is similar enough to the swear word in question, but without the offensive connotations. It can even be used when the first part of the swear word has already been uttered.


There are a number of potential benefits to this approach. For one thing, it allows children to express themselves in a way that is similar to how adults do, which can help them feel more empowered and validated. It also allows them to vent their frustrations and emotions in a healthy way, rather than keeping them inside.


Furthermore, using non-offensive words can help children develop a sense of self-control and emotional intelligence. By using a word that is not offensive, they are forced to think more carefully about how they express themselves and how they want to be perceived by others. This can help them develop a greater awareness of their own emotions and how to communicate them effectively.


Of course, there are some potential downsides to this approach as well. For one thing, it could be argued that it simply reinforces the idea that swear words are inherently bad, rather than challenging that assumption. Certainly, from a linguistic point of view, it is often argued that swear word do hold an important place in language. It could also be argued that it simply replaces one form of language with another, rather than encouraging children to think critically about the words they use and why they use them.


Another concern is that children may simply use non-offensive words as a way to get around the rules, without really understanding the underlying principles behind them. A child might use their alternative word instead of a more adult one simply because they know it's what they're supposed to do, rather than because they understand why swearing might be considered inappropriate in certain contexts.


Overall, the concept of using non-offensive words in place of swear words is an interesting one to me. It can certainly seems be a useful tool for parents who want to encourage their children to express themselves in a healthy way, but what do you think?


2 Comments


Guest
May 24

Randomly came across this… Was the kid in question a fan of Bluey? 😄

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Guest
Feb 05

I don't like "biscuits" as an alternative to a swear word. Swearing is not inherently rude and needs to be interpreted in context. It is attitudes and behaviours that are impolite. I think it is a stupid word and ultimately I believe that for a teenager to use biscuits as a swear word is setting them up to be mocked at by peers

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