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Office-Safe Fake Swear Words

Jennifer is a writer, editor, feminist, and Potterhead. She also loves her cat and studying cat behavior.

Have you ever let profanity slip while at work?

Have you ever let profanity slip while at work?

It Happens to the Best of Us

Have you ever let profanity slip while at work?


For most places, this is a major no-no. Many places of business use a swear box, in which you have to give a certain amount of money every time you let profanity slip. And in some cases? Using profanity can get you fired!

But here's the deal. We realize that not all of your words are that bad. We also realize that some habits are more difficult to break than others.

How to Break the Habit

The best way to break the habit is to substitute the bad habit with a good habit! Good luck on everything breaking those other bad habits you've got, but here is a list of safe (and highly creative!) alternatives for your swear words.

  • Full of horse apples
  • Fala fudge keys
  • Cotton-pickin' piece of . . . crap
  • Fudgesicles on a corn stick!
  • Where the shtickens is that cat?!
  • Shootdarn, I didn't mean to do that!
  • Mom and dad were doing the frick frack!

Creatively Altered

The easiest way to use profanity that isn't really profanity is to substitute it with something that still (at least slightly!) resembles it. Here are some examples:

  • Son of a Sea Cook!
  • I fardled that right up.
  • Shazbot
  • Holy carp!
  • Son of a pup!
  • Holy heck specks
  • Sugar honey iced tea!
  • Okey dokey, smokey!
  • Mother of Goodness
  • Oh, truck
  • Son of a booger butt
  • Where the fu-la la la la are my keys?

TV Shows

Does your favorite TV show have a couple of funny swear substitutions? I know a couple that have stuck in my head!

  • Sweet nibblits! (Almost everyone in Hannah Montana)
  • Crikey! (Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter)
  • Peas and rice! (instead of "Jesus Christ," in the TV censoring of Shaun of the Dead)
  • Oh, balls. (Bobby Singer, Supernatural)
  • We just saved the sodding world together (Crowley, Supernatural)
  • Dag nab it! (Elmer Fudd, Looney Tunes)
  • Sufferin' succotash! (Sylvester, Looney Tunes)

From Disney's Tinker Bell Series

  • Who gives a pile of pebbles?
  • Why, that's flitterific!
  • Splinters!
  • Teetering teapots!
  • By the second star!
  • Fly with you!


Scooby Dooby Doo

  • Holy wow!
  • Jeepers!
  • Jinkies!
  • Zoinks!
Blimey, Harry!

Blimey, Harry!

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Read More From Toughnickel

Harry Potter Swears

These types of swears, I have to admit, are always my favorite. They are simply so creative! Many of them are said by one Ronald Weasley.

  • Blimey!
  • Merlin's beard
  • Troll bogeys!
  • And what in the name of Merlin's most baggy Y Fronts was that about?

And, of course, because Ron is so creative about Merlin's body parts and clothing, it is the perfect encouragement to abuse the poor mystical man even more!

  • Merlin's pink tutu!
  • Why, Merlin's toe socks!
  • Ugh, even Merlin's toe fungus wouldn't smell like that!
  • That's why Merlin's beard is so big; it's full of secrets!

(Okay, so the last one is technically from Mean Girls. Still worth using!)

Non-Canon Wizard Swears

Ever watch the Potter Puppet Pals? They're hilarious! Watch the video for their skit, "Wizard Swears," below!

Miscellaneous Films

  • Feck off (Almost Famous)
  • Bocce balls (Splash)
  • The squid hath hitteth the fan . . . eth. (10 Things I Hate About You)
  • Dip-a-dee-doo-da! (Cinderella)
  • I'm a cotton-headed ninny muggins. (Elf)

Food Swears!

The sweet possibilities of overlapping references when it comes to food are inescapable! Want to reference your favorite movie AND a swear by using food? You've probably seen it often enough to know the foods that are most seen!

  • Flaming Whiskey, Harry! (Harry Potter, of course!)

Just want to use food? Have at it! Mention below any food swears that always remind YOU of your favorite pop culture reference!

I am so done with this banana bread world!

I am so done with this banana bread world!

  • Powdered sugar brownies!
  • Have we even looked at the sugar-soaked quiz yet?
  • I am so done with this banana bread world!
  • Eat my chocolate swirl shake!
  • Donut holes!
  • Oh, shiitake mushrooms on a stick!
  • Where the fig newtons am I?
  • Someone, please take me away from this shortcake place!

Smart Kids' Substitutions

Kids will always and forever find words to use when they're trying to sound badass. Want to sound like an "adult"? Swear! Apparently, children still think this makes them look or seem older. The ones who aren't brave enough or just don't care to use the real words are the ones who get super creative.


  • Heck and double heck!
  • H-E-Double hockey sticks!
  • Tottering tadpoles!
  • Oh, bark!
  • Glory!
  • Crud
  • Geez
  • Gosh darn it
  • Shucks
  • Fudge buckets!
  • Shut the front door
  • Go blow it out your ear
  • Funky nuggets
  • Lickety-split
  • Oh, sheep.
  • Oh, ship!
  • Galloping gremlins!
  • Sugar
  • Rats
Buy your toy DeLorean here!

Buy your toy DeLorean here!


Want to use more than just a nonsensical word? I've heard people suggest using car names as substitutions for profanity!

  • Mercedes Benz it, I wanted to catch the train!
  • Ford it all!
  • Sports Coup de Ville, but that doesn't look right.
  • Chevy Tracker, you all.
  • That is so DeLorean!
  • Trans Am it all!
  • Ford Crown Victoria in a sweater at Christmas!
  • Mustang Sally!
Johnny Depp!

Johnny Depp!

Stubbing Your Toe

Stub your toe? Work at a daycare? Yell these words instead of letting profanity slip! The parents will have funny stories in the future for when their kids yell these words, and you'll know you're still being professional.

  • Natalie Portman!
  • Tyler Posey!
  • Alan Rickman!
  • Johnny Depp!
  • Charlize Theron! (Try saying her name when you actually stub your toe, see what comes out instead!)
  • Ron Swanson!
  • Scarlet Johansson!
  • Matthew Broderick!

Celebrities as Swears

It's a scandal if a celebrity accidentally drops an F-Bomb on live TV. And there are videos and videos of celebrities swearing.

I remember I watched a Youtube video about using celebrities' names as swears, instead of sexual body parts and activities. It was so interesting. Unfortunately, it's just too explicit to post it here.

In the meantime, here are some that are mentioned in the video and some that are not.

  • Judas Priest! (My 8th-grade keyboarding teacher used this a lot)
  • Katy Perry, you too, man!
  • Kanye it all, I hate Wednesdays!
  • Ah, Nickelback! I dropped my pen!
  • 30 Seconds to Mars and Back!

Historical People as Swears

I've just started doing this! I don't know how I got the idea; I'm sure I heard someone else do it first. Just real historical people's names as your swear. Say it loud! If someone asks what the commotion is all about, simply say that you figured out the answer to a history problem. Enjoy below some great suggestions!

Something I've discovered? The longer the name, the cooler the swear.

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

Longer Names

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • John Warren Butterfield
  • Henry Weston Smith
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Robert Edmund Strahorn
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Shorter Names

  • Calamity Jane
  • Julius Caesar
  • Mark Twain
  • Wyatt Erp
  • Charles Dickens
  • Richard Nixon

Electronic Swears

My friend Pierre just gave me the best idea! He said, "Text you!" And oh, do we have a lot of examples of technological things we can use in place of swears.

  • Keyboard!
  • This is a portable mouse. It never works!
  • Mousepad!
  • "Text you!"
  • Oh, it's indestructible? Definitely not the titanic. It's a Nokia!
  • Yeah, but this one always breaks. It might as well be a Verizon enV3.
  • Oh, microphone it and put it away.
  • Do not speakerphone your voice at me!


Why aren't there more of these? I can only think of three at the moment. Have some in mind? Tell me about them below!

  • I'll pineapple-slap your ascot. (Orbit gum)
  • Kiss my Madagascar fanny pack (Orbit gum)
  • You're a dill-headed winker toss, you know that? (Norton 360)

That's All, Folks!

This is only the beginning. I'm sure of it! I'm sure you all have adopted many sayings and words from pop culture (and maybe even from not-so-popular culture!) to use in substitution of profanity.

Have a favorite? Know what you use a lot or will now be using at work, at play, and in front of the kids and parents? Share below!

© 2011 Jennifer Kessner


baby Yoda on March 13, 2020:

What the juice?

Anon on February 13, 2020:

"Sweet Cheesesticks."

-potoobrigham on Tumblr

Stephanie on November 02, 2019:

How about KELLY CLARKSON!!! When you stub your toe like in 40 year old virgin

The One Who Doesn't Disclose His Name on March 07, 2019:

The Bobby Singer and Crowley ones are probably not acceptable in the UK.

Kelly Ruddy on December 18, 2018:

Mine will be slipgymnastics

Name on October 21, 2018:

Instead of dropping an F bomb, I yell "Fluffernutter!"

N on June 18, 2018:

I substitute the words for songs. Here's an example-

Daaaashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh

Thunder on March 23, 2018:

I use swear words from a kids book series called Warriors or Warrior Cats. It uses stuff like:


Rabbit droppings!

You're a mouse-brain!

You're a foxheart, etc. on November 11, 2017:

Those suck like your massive up front ass that I'd like plunge daily to keep the ass goblins down!

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on December 16, 2016:

Awww that's adorable!

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on December 16, 2016:

Lint Licker! XD Love it!

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on December 16, 2016:

Hahaha that's a great one! Thanks! =)

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on December 16, 2016:

Good points! Thanks so much. I guess I also had kids in mind when thinking of the article. Some occupations have you in close proximity. =)

hicks on September 28, 2016:

my teacher loved to say fart monkeys when she was trying not to cuss in front of us.

Isabel on June 23, 2016:

You Lint Licker

jamesbrowntx on February 19, 2016:

They forgot Superman's editor Perry White's famous, "Great Caesar's ghost!"

UptownFunker on August 03, 2015:

I really wouldn't consider hell, damn or crap "expletives," though some people might find them offensive. I actually say "damn it!" every day whenever there's autocorrect erasing my things.

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on March 15, 2014:

Hey, thanks! Oh yeah, sometimes you just need to let slip SOMETHING, even it's "fake" profanity. Hope I gave you some more ideas! =P

Linda Chechar from Arizona on March 15, 2014:

Loved this Hub! "Shut the front door" and "Son of a biscuit" are favorites of mine. I work in retail and cursing on the job is definitely grounds for dismissal! Voted up, funny and useful! :)

DMVmimay on September 04, 2012:

you did a funny hub Jen, very terrific.. keep hubbing, you rock! lols

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on August 19, 2012:

@DRG: Yep, that one's on there! =) Thanks!

@Vicki: Aww how precious! XD I used to babysit 6, 8, and 10 year-old brothers and sister, and for some reason it was always the oldest one who acted like the youngest and was always tattling. Well, once he came up to me and said, "Jen! Courtney said the 's' word!" I was super surprised. Courtney can be a brat, but she's a little goody-two-shoes! So I said, "What?! What did you say, Courtney?" And she whispered really softly, "I said shut up." XD I was relieved that was all it was, but of course I let her know that's not nice and that she knows her mom's rules about it. Love kids! =)

Vicki on August 17, 2012:

I work around autistic children, and once, one little guy says to me "Miss Vicki! Joseph said the "f" word!" I of course am shocked and turn around with a "Joseph said WHAT?!". The little boy repeats himself a little differently "Joseph said the "f" word that stinks". I'm secretly relieved, but I of course had to get my serious face on and tell Joseph that we don't say fart.

Felix J Hernandez from All over the USA on August 15, 2012:

Funny. Nicely thought out. What about? Shut the front door!

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on August 12, 2012:

Lol no problem! Hope they are put to good use. =D

Lovelovemeloveme from Cindee's Land on August 03, 2012:

HAHA! nice! thanks for collecting so many. now i have a mini (non)swear words

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on July 15, 2012:

Thanks so much! =)

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on June 29, 2012:

Haha we're like that with my Mom, who is also my supervisor. xD She's adorable and goes all red when she says something that embarrasses her! Good luck with the rest of the training!

SoCurious from Northern Virginia USA on June 29, 2012:

So funny! I laugh for two reasons. My staff would PAY me to use a swear word. They tried so hard to teach me how to swear and used to count the number of times I'd say "gosh" and "gee" in meetings. I'm embarrassed for the opposite reasons. P.S. I think all their training is finally paying off, $3@#*^^*(RDUI it!

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on May 29, 2012:

Thanks! =D Glad you enjoyed it.

Didge from Southern England on May 29, 2012:

What a great hub: Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on January 18, 2012:

Thanks so much for both the comment and the link, Patty! =) Glad you like the swears haha. You're right that it does sometimes help to ease tension in the workplace. Thanks again!

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 18, 2012:

I linked to this Hub from one of mine on name calling and profane language in the workplace. Thanks!

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 18, 2012:

Hilarious, hilarious and funny. I've heard a few of these in offices when people become angry and everyone starts laughing instead. Thanks a million for this Hub that I have bookmarked.

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on January 02, 2012:

Eek. I'm sorry to hear that. Cheese and rice isn't close enough for me to even have figured that out on my own if I hadn't heard it before. XD Hopefully more creativity will help. I've found that sometimes, you just need to say something, whether it's a real swear word or not.

DougBerry from Abilene, TX on January 01, 2012:

One of my coworkers used, "Cheese and Rice," but was told by our district manager that it was too close to the real thing...Some of us are in very tiny boxes.

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on November 18, 2011:

LOL! Omg that's just precious! XD My sister used to sing that one country song "on my front porch sitting," and it talked about eating chicken or something? I don't know; I don't listen to country. But when she was younger, she would say, "On the front porch sh**ting" instead! XD Cracked us all up. I love kids' view of the world.

Sherry Evans (Zimmerman) from Troy, Ohio on November 18, 2011:

One of my all time favorite "Things Kids Say" moments was when my son, at the time very young, informed his grandmother and I that he wanted to watch "Get your @%# kicked park"... I felt awful when I realized what he was actually saying was Jurassic Park, and the poor little guy couldn't understand why Mommy was so upset when all he wanted to do was see the dinosaurs!

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on November 17, 2011:

@Kitty: Yes! XD It's pretty much the worst insult, isn't it? Who would do that?!

Kitty Fields from Summerland on November 17, 2011:

I also like "you lint licker!" :)

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on November 17, 2011:

@Homesateadbound: I'm glad you caught it! =D Yes, it took a good while to gather these. xD I'd been thinking of writing the article for weeks and would gather one swear here or there, and then when I sat down and actually researched for more, it was hours before I was finished! Thanks for the feedback!

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on November 17, 2011:

@JustATeacher: It's so easy to forget how new words can be to children! XD I had to rethink my language the other night while babysitting. "Crap" is a no-no word as well. Thanks for sharing!

@Frank Atanacia: Ah ha, that's the spirit! =D

@SweetSusieG: Horse Feathers! XD Love it. Thanks for sharing!

@Lambservant: That's a good one! "son of a" swears are always silly and perfect. =)

@Sherry: Oooo, I completely forgot about the Burger King one! Thanks so much!

@Phil: XD Indeed. Sounds enough like the real thing to make any bystanders worry! (And that's what's so appealing about it!)

@revybaby: The first time I'd ever heard that was watching the commercial! XD When my nieces started saying it, I couldn't help but crack up.

@Molometer: I agree with you there. There are some movies that use profanity so much that I wonder if they're just using it as a substitute for nudity just to get more people to watch it. Thanks so much for sharing and for voting!

@PeanutButerWine: Always glad to help out with a laugh! =) The Potter Puppet Pals have tons more videos if you're interested. Just search on YouTube. Thanks for reading!

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on November 17, 2011:

This one was really cute. I had not heard of all of these. I'm so glad I saw this one going by on the feed. Great job!. I bet it took you a while to gather all these together. Enjoyed it immensely!

PeanutButterWine from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada on November 17, 2011:

ahahah this was funny! Thanks for the laugh.. I had to facebook share this one. pfft.. hilarious (loved the video of the puppets too)!

Micheal from United Kingdom on November 17, 2011:

Some great substitutes here. Well written and useful.

I have been surprised at the increase in expletives on British TV in recent years.

It's not big and it's not clever. In many cases it is going for the cheap laugh.

I listen to swearing all day from school children (I am a teacher) but as soon as a teacher lets out a 'Sheesh' or similar the kids act as if you just dropped an F bomb. Talk about double standards.

Voted up

revybaby from On the Road on November 17, 2011:

It doesn't seem like it, but "Shut the Front Door" can really sound bad when it is said. I heard someone say it and had to do a double take before I burst out laughing.

Phil on November 17, 2011:

Mother Trucker!

Sherry Evans (Zimmerman) from Troy, Ohio on November 17, 2011:

lol Fun read. In the commercial category there was the Burger King Big Buckin Chicken...

Lori Colbo from United States on November 17, 2011:

My dad used to say son of a buscuit

Sweetsusieg from Michigan on November 17, 2011:

Very funny stuff!! I'm sharing this with my nutty friends on Facebook!! BTW - My favorite non-swear word is... "Horse feathers!!"

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on November 17, 2011:

I have to freaken admit it I love it!

LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on November 17, 2011:

As a teacher, I am one that could potentially be fired for using bad language. My students are funny sometimes - one student told me "She said the "S" word" after telling him that he could tell me what the word was without getting in trouble I found out the "S" word he was referring to was "stupid!"

I also got a huge gasp from the entire class when I had finally had enough of the talking and actually said "Shut Up!!" in class - it was a mistake and I haven't done it since - but it sure got their attention and they did shut up!

Some of the words I use: schizzle sticks....fudge cookies and applesauce...stinky doo doo...and farblenidgits...don't know where they came from except in the heat of the moment in a class full of kids!

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on November 16, 2011:

Baha I understand! I'm the same way. My sister actually calls it "road sarcasm" instead. XD It really helps to say SOMETHING, even if it's just, "Oh, yeah that's okay. Just pull out in front of me and go 20 mph. Whatever." XD Her sarcasm gets hilarious. Thanks for stopping by; glad I could offer a laugh! =)

Shane Reed from Wilts, UK on November 16, 2011:

What a blast. Thanks for the giggle. I do try, largely unsuccessfully, to limit my swearing to when I'm in the car with the windows up. I don't see that I need anger management - it's a stress relief when on the road

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on November 15, 2011:

I love "Son of a sea cook"!!!!!

Jennifer Kessner (author) from Pennsylvania on November 15, 2011:

I've heard a bunch of them, I watch many of the shows and movies I listed, and I asked around. xD You'd be amazed all the funny ones I've heard at my different temp jobs! "Son of a sea cook" is from one of the women I worked with at the hospital a couple months ago. It always makes me cackle.

Thanks for bookmarking! I'll definitely remember Franklin Delano for next time.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on November 15, 2011:

Where did you find all those? Those are so cool! The same commercial that I've seen say, "Shut the front door!" also has "Well, Franklin Delano!" Funny stuff. I must bookmark this one!

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