taboo vocabulary

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 10 00:47:15 UTC 2006

That reminds me of the use of "my friend" as a joking replacement for
                       "motherfucker" in St. Louis in the '50's.
Indeed, any two words whose initial letters were "m" and "f," e.g.
"mighty fine" could be so used. Apparently, this practice was once
quite widespread. I vaguely remember seeing it mentioned, with no
reference to St. Louis, in an article in a collection on black culture
published by the University of Illinois Press(?) some time in the
'70's. Hm. [There should be some better way of expressing the
foregoing. I quite clearly remember the mention. It's author, article
title, collection title, editor(s), publisher, and date of publication
of which I have only the vaguest recollection.]


On 6/6/06, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      taboo vocabulary
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> update on Language Log about taboo words in the press, with much
> mention of ADS-L and ADS-Lers:
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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