taboo vocabulary

Paul Johnson paulzjoh at MTNHOME.COM
Sat Jun 10 10:14:17 UTC 2006

Ah, so that's why they say it in debates in congress!

Wilson Gray wrote:

> 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.]
> -Wilson
> On 6/6/06, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> 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 -
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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