The Faker gives mad props to her dear old dad for, among many other things, raising two children well into adulthood before either heard him utter a swear word. The Faker's own children will not give her the same mad props.
Despite the occasional canned-good-on-the-toe-inspired expletive, the Faker tries to pride herself on a certain level of decorum. Which is why fake swearing is crucial. Colonel Potter did it on "Mash." ("Horse hockey! Pony pucks!") "The Simpsons' " Ned Flanders picked up where the colonel left off. ("Son of a diddly!")
And now it's your turn. Here's how to pull it off—without relying on the endless and beyond-tired variations of freaking and fricking:
• Play fast and loose with spelling. Two recent titles have caught the Faker's eye for their creative use of the "f" word: "Fathermucker" (Harper, $13.99), a novel about stay-at-home-dadhood by Greg Olear, and "What The F**k Should I Make For Dinner?" (Running Press, $15), a 50-recipe cookbook by Zach Golden. (He means "fork," right? Not sure.) The point is, you switch around/sub out a couple letters and one of the seven words you can't say on television is suddenly staring at you from a bookshelf in Barnes & Noble.
• Listen for key sounds. F's are nice. As are "sh" sounds. "As a kid the two I used most often were 'fudge' and 'sugar," says children's book writer Susan Taylor Brown, who put a call out on her blog for non-swear words that she could have one of her characters utter. "I liked 'Holy buckets' because in a novel, I could see the use of that adding to the characterization. I also liked 'Mother biscuit!' and 'Spanish Meatballs!'"
• Sully a perfectly innocent word. "I have a friend who tells a story about when she was growing up with her many siblings and her mom told them there were some words you just couldn't say in public," says Taylor Brown. "They were very bad words and she'd wash their mouth out with soap if she heard them say them. Two of the words were 'Leprechaun' and 'chimney sweep.' Of course, the kids all waited until they had company over and someone started a fight and one of the kids screamed at the top of his voice that the other kid was just a Leprechaun. The kids were aghast but the company was unfazed." (And don't you just know that Leprechaun-screaming kid felt the same sense of exhilaration that a well-timed expletive elicits?)
• Be emphatic. A friend of the Faker spews all kinds of anger behind the wheel. Her kids, though, are usually strapped in the backseat, so she makes sure her name-calling is eminently repeatable. "You brilliant genius!" said in a fit of rage does the trick. As does "Son of your mother!" Truer words were never spoken.