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pro•fan•i•ty(prəˈfæn ɪ ti, proʊ-)
n., pl. -ties.
air one’s lungs To curse or swear. American cowboy slang.
billingsgate Vulgar or obscene language. The reference is to the coarse language commonly heard at Billingsgate, a London fishmarket. The term was in use as early as the 17th century.
blankety-blank A euphemism for profane or four-letter words. This expression, in use since at least 1854, derived from the former practice of leaving dashes or blank spaces to represent unprintable, vulgar words, as h—for hell or d—for damned. M. Diver used the phrase in The Great Amulet (1908):
Colonel Stanham Buckley … inquired picturesquely of a passing official when the blank this blankety blank train was supposed to start.
dickens A euphemistic word for the devil or Satan, common in such exclamations as why the dickens and what the dickens. The derivation of this slang term is not known although it has been in use since the time of Shakespeare. Dickens is also used in mild imprecations such as the dickens take you, raise the dickens, and go to the dickens. To play the dickens means to be mischievous, or to instigate or stir up trouble and confusion.
dip into the blue To tell an off-color story; to speak of the erotic or obscene. Blue ‘lewd, obscene, indelicate, offensive’ has been in use since at least as early as the mid-19th century. Dip into the blue is a picturesque but rarely heard euphemism.
locker-room talk Vulgar ribaldry; obscene, scurrilous, or vile language; also, bathroom talk. This expression derives from the lewd conversations that males purportedly indulge in when in the confines of a locker-room or bathroom.
swear like a trooper To use extremely profane language. This simile, dating from the late 18th century, derives from the language reputedly used by British soldiers. It has become almost a cliché that the language of men in exclusively male company, e.g., soldiers and athletes, is riddled with profanities.
Women got drunk and swore like troopers. (William Cobbett, A Year’s Residence in the United States of America, 1819)
Today the expression like a trooper is often used with other verbs to indicate forcefulness, intensity, enthusiasm, etc. One can “sing like a trooper,” “dance like a trooper,” “play like a trooper,” and so on.
Sweet Fanny Adams See ABSENCE.
talk the bark off a tree To express one-self in strong, usually profane, language. This informal Americanism dates from the 19th century.
The tracker will be led, perhaps, for mile after mile through just the sort of cover that tempts one to halt and “talk the bark off a tree” now and then. (Outing, November, 1891)
|Noun||1.||profanity - vulgar or irreverent speech or action|
blasphemy - blasphemous language (expressing disrespect for God or for something sacred)