In Which the Girl Learns a Very Bad Word

Last weekend we went to visit the boy at Christopher Newport University. It was the first time for us to visit him  as a family since he’d been installed in his dorm room as a college freshman. He called before our visit and asked us to bring a few things: a sewing kit (for ripped clothes and missing buttons, apparently), some jeans and his girlfriend.

So the four of us, the husband, the girl, the allergist’s daughter and I headed out on Saturday morning and descended upon his dorm. We were appropriately aghast at the disgustingness of a suite shared by four teenage boys, but it was obvious there had been some effort to clean, so we didn’t mention it.

In the dorm room hall, on a bulletin board was a list of Abreves. that is, abbreviations for the inner language of the dorm or perhaps the college or perhaps kids of that age. Who knows? Words shortened like, “obvi” for obvious and “Space” for MySpace. We stood there, all five of us, reading the list, when the girl, scanning down the list obviously much faster than the rest of us asked, “What’s a ______?”

Now, I’m not a prude by any stretch, and have uttered my share of obscene words, but not in public, not outside of the company of very close adult friends and not as a habit. But the word she said is THE WORD I WILL NOT SAY. It is, in my opinion, one of the most obscene words in the English language. She was completely innocent and followed our stunned laughter and redirecting, “Never mind!” with, “But what does it MEAN?”

I said, “My EARS, they’re BURNING,” as we steered her away from the bulletin board, down the stairs and out of the building. No mother should have to hear that word coming out of her 12-year-old daughter’s mouth.

The boy was mortified and apologized on behalf of his entire generation, his college, his dorm and his floor.

The allergist’s daughter, a worldly college kid,  whisked the girl away and gave her this explanation: There are dirty words in this world, but there are LEVELS of dirty words. There’s the D word, which is bad, and then the S word which is a level worse, but THIS word is SEVERAL LEVELS worse. We do not say this word.

I’m hoping that her memory has already faded. I’m hoping that a new term does not become popular at her middle school. I’m hoping my ears stop burning and I’ll forget the whole incident.

About marijean

I'm a public relations professional, social media consultant and work-at-home-mom living and working in Charlottesville, Va. I'm Marijean Jaggers and this is my blog.
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10 Responses to In Which the Girl Learns a Very Bad Word

  1. Oh my. If it’s the word I think it is, I’m appalled too.

  2. Liz says:

    Was it the C word? That’s probably the only word I will not say, though I have THOUGHT it in fits of anger at certain people.

  3. I can’t think of many words that aren’t already popular in middle school.

  4. zuzu says:

    What was the word? “Conservative?”

    Sorry. I’ve just been waiting to use that one on you, and was running out of time!

  5. DaveNorris says:

    This reminds me of an incident about 5 years ago when I was driving around town with my son Eli (then about 7 years old) and his friend Jeremy, both of whom were in the backseat. The boys apparently decided that it would be fun to yell bad words out the window. Jeremy, who was a little older and lot more worldly than Eli, says, “Let’s start with the ‘D’ word.” So Jeremy puts his head out his window and starts yelling “D_ck! D_ck!” while Eli puts his head out and yells “Dumb! Dumb!”. Neither of them could hear what the other was yelling. Then they pulled their heads back in the car and Jeremy says, “Now let’s do the ‘S’ word.” So Jeremy starts yelling out “Sh_t! Sh_t!” while Eli yells out “Stupid! Stupid!” I finally had to cut them off with some appropriately stern words — while doing my best not to laugh. 🙂

  6. Big Sis says:

    This made me LOL:

    “The boy was mortified and apologized on behalf of his entire generation, his college, his dorm and his floor.”

    A surefire way to never curse again is to hear your kid doing it. Ugh! I’m sure the girl will recover and (hopefully) forget.

  7. abunslife says:

    I’m dying to know what word it was….I’m thinking it has to be the “C” word??

    BTW….I will be soooooo jealous that you will get to go to the inauguration! Talk about a party with NO stress or anxiety!!

  8. Mary Beth says:

    If it’s the word I’m thinking of, it’s better than the one McCain said (by accident – must’ve been one of those Freudian slips) in a recent video making its rounds on the Internet. Oops!

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