13 Old-School Curse Words To Bring Back

Although there's no scientific evidence to back me up, I'm fairly certain that yelling out a string of swears after stubbing my toes makes me feel better. Aside from the typical round-up of four letter swears and colorful creations you come up with in the heat of the moment ("f*cking fart Fudgesicle on a stick," is a personal favorite), there are a number of old-school curse words we should bring back right now. In fact,because they're so retro, you may be able to get away with muttering these vintage comments without anyone around you understand what you're saying. Talk about a win-win.

When I was a kid, words like "butt" and "darn" were considered curse words. and taking the Lord's name in vain was a serious offense. Now, my husband and I drop so many f-bombs that our toddler son has begun incorporating these curse words into his everyday vernacular. In a way, I'm proud because he's using them in the correct context ("why won't this f***ing toy work?"), but perhaps I should teach him some more creative and less offensive language. Whether you have a kid or not, consider bringing these old-fashioned curse words back into style with your salty swears.


Bell, Book, And Candle

Said all together, to exclaim, "bell, book, and candle," was an old-fashioned curse word which referenced the ways the Church would scold an immoral person, according to Francis Grose's 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. People might just think you're naming three random objects instead.

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Add Rabbit

Much like when you were a child, you could get away with cursing simply by modifying a preexisting word. This applies to "add rabbit," which is a play on the condemnation, "God rod it," as the site for Jonathon Green's eponymous Green's Dictionary of Slang noted.

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Are you aiming your swear at a particular person? Look no further than, "smatchet," a person of great contempt, according to the official site for the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.


Dot And Go One

With old sea-faring roots, this term was originally used for cursing the uneven gait of a drunken pirate. But in the nineteenth century, "dot and go one," was a swear hurled at person doing an inferior job of something, as noted in the 1811 Dictionary.


More Power To Your Elbow

Typically, when someone says, "more power to you," it's an encouraging comment. But, according to Green's Dictionary, "more power to your elbow," was an offensive phrase yelled during a jab with an opponent.



Are you particularly upset while putting together a piece of IKEA furniture? Then "buffle-head," a swear said in frustration, perfectly captures your state of confusion and anger, according to the 1811 Dictionary.


Consarn It

At first, I thought this was misspelled. But, "consarn it," an old-fashioned curse word, is listed as a synonym for "damn it," according to Merriam-Webster.


Jiminy Cricket

Fans of the Disney character may be surprised to learn of this phrase's offensive origins. The same way people say "darn" instead of "damn," a substitute for "Jesus Christ" is "Jiminy Cricket," and is most certainly considered a swear, according to Timothy B. Jay's We Did What?! Offensive and Inappropriate Behavior in American History.

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People sure were creative back in the day. Coflumpux is a swear word made up of ker (an onomotopeia for an explosion), flummox (to make something messy), and thump, according to Green's Dictionary. Typically it was used as an exaggerated curse word to imply you were about to collapse. In a way, it's the original version of saying, "I can't even."



Most curse words are said out of anger or frustration, but this one is more about lamenting over an awful predicament. "Waesucks" is an old Scottish saying which roughly means "for woe's sakes."


Edge It

Surprisingly, this is fairly straightforward. "Edge it" means "shut up" in old Australian slang as Green's Dictionary noted, and there isn't really any backstory to it either. Those are the best kind of curse words, in my opinion.


Cloak Twitcher

Apparently, in the early nineteenth century, getting your cloak stolen right off your back by a thief in the night was a legitimate concern, according to the 1811 Dictionary. So, "cloak twitcher" became a swear you yelled if you were taken by surprise, much like someone who's afraid of having their cloak taken.



Quite simply, "mullock" means "rubbish" in old English, according to The English Dialect Society. It seems calling things trash has been in fashion for centuries.