How to Know if You’re Actually Cussing

The term “cussing” has become very broad and not broad enough all at once.

For the purposes of this topic, some uncomfortable things for some will be addressed rather bluntly. To be considerate, I’ll use asterisks 🙂 For some of you, the bluntness will just be a laugh.

The word “cussing” is slang for “cursing” and usually covers about 7-8 words depending on who you’re talking to. Let’s have a refresher with adult conversation, shall we.








There you have it.

I’m here to tell you that not all of these are always cuss words.


Since “cussing” means “cursing” and “cursing” means “a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one” (Merriam-Webster) the secret is in how one uses them.

If you say something like, “You’re an a**, son of a b****, a b****, a f***, or a b****** [with exception to using this as an adjective explaining someone is an illegitimate child; in our culture, there’s really no need to say this word without causing offense.],” then you are obviously cursing. You are telling someone they are something very negative in a derogatory way, and there are surely power in words.

Saying, “P*** off,” “Go to h***,” “D*** it,” or “D*** you,” are all cussing for the same reasons listed above.


S*** means feces and is therefore the same as saying, “Crap!” or “Oh, poop!” This is not cursing; it is vulgar or vulgarity. Vulgar comes from the Latin word meaning common. It is up to you what you decide of these three is acceptable, but you can’t get a heart attack from someone saying one when you say the other with the same meaning in your heart.

P*** means urine or urinating. Many cultures of the southern U.S.A. only use it for this meaning and is not considered offensive. It’s most popular use is probably meaning it the same as saying, “I’m ticked off.” Many in America, including some personal friends of mine, don’t consider this offensive or explicit at all. Although, if you think about it’s actual meaning, it is fairly vulgar.

A** obviously means buttocks or a donkey. “Ass” is the more vulgar term and can be used as cursing which is why it is labeled as explicit language.

Ladies, calling your girlfriends b**** or hoe or slut is all pointless, derogatory, and unlady-like.

D*** can often be used in a non-cursing and non-vulgar way. It is a word that means someone is cursed. For example, it is common for one to read in the Bible or hear in church that we were all damned to hell were it not for the salvation of Jesus. This is not always a cuss word because the word itself means “curse” and is often simply used to explain a fact.

H*** – see above explanation for “damn”.

How to Know if You're Actually Cussing

The F-bomb

I saved the best for last. I hate this word most of all. It’s correct definition is intercourse. Technically this might mean it is not a cuss word or even vulgar when used in its actual meaning.

I am vehemently opposed to this rationale. Let me take a moment to explain:

Intercourse is a sacred gift given from God. However, that’s not why I’m so vehemently opposed to this word. More than just a holy gift, intercourse is designed specifically to be the example to the world of salvation and the sacred, deeply intimate relationship that can be had between Christ and his Church. To profane it (to make common that which is holy), even to profane or make vulgar the word by giving it a hideous name, is to profane God Himself and skew the example to the world how God loves and longs for us.

To do this is to sin against God. To do this is to lie about who God is.

My Conclusions

If you’re still under your parents’ authority, what they say goes (commandment for children to obey parents).

If you’re hoping to honor the biblical charge to adult children to honor parents even when you’re out from under they’re authority, you’ll take that into consideration when choosing words in certain scenarios.

Most of these words tend to show a lack of vocabulary on the behalf of the one using them.

I personally choose not to say any, especially around certain people, because I know it can be offensive (2 Corinthians 6:3).

For the Christian, we are not to let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is uplifting (Ephesians 4:29). If we took this as seriously as we should (and we should), there would be many words and phrases we wouldn’t be saying.

“But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.” (1 Corinthians 8:9)


7 thoughts on “How to Know if You’re Actually Cussing

  1. David says:

    The english language has other appropriate words for all of the above stated terms. I do understand that not all may be defined as cursing, they are poor choices of words in communication. I am concerned about the Christians that use the terms that they have deemed a replacement for the above terms but mean the same. Wrong is wrong no matter how you spell or pronounce the words or terms. I may be old school but I still believe the scripture when it says, “Old things have passed away and all things have become new.” That means to me even our language, even if the majority votes that it doesn’t!

    • annasadlerblog says:

      I agree with what you’re saying. The part I think we think differently on is that I believe not all of these words are always actually used as cursing. Vulgarity and profanity, for sure! And I don’t believe that just because a word is used as vulgarity rather than cursing makes it right either. I believe anything unwholesome needs to be checked at the lips before exiting. I totally agree that that verse includes our language! Thanks for bringing that verse up!

  2. Kevin Campbell says:

    You misses one of my favorites: Luke 6:45
    “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

    We need to remember that what we say reflects what is truly in our hearts.

  3. J. Gary Ellison says:

    Another verse to add to your good list: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8 ESV).

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