How should one learn the meaning of obscene words?

prettyndsweet12 asks: A lot of the kids at my school are older than me and use a lot of profanity and talk about mature things like sex terms. Most of the time I don’t know what there saying, but I’m too embarrassed to ask what they mean, and I’m too embarrassed to ask my mom. What should I do?

Hi prettyndsweet12 –

Well, I’m of three opinions here, and I can’t decide between them, so I’ll throw all of them at you and let you make your own mind up, okay?!

First – Relax.  You’ll learn what all those words mean soon enough.  In fact, you’ll eventually hear them so much that you’ll wish you didn’t know what they meant anymore!  People use bad words more than ever before – it’s not that the words are new; it’s just that people used to save them for specific times, and now they throw them around like adverbs and pronouns!  Frankly, most of them aren’t all that interesting.  So relax, and trust that, just as you once learned thousands of words just by listening to your family talk, you’ll pick up on these just fine soon.

Second – Trust your mom, and ask her.  She won’t particularly love telling you the meanings of the words (some are probably pretty embarrassing), but she’ll LOVE that you’re coming to her to ask about them.  In fact, it’s possible that this discussion might lead to her teaching you some things that you actually need to learn, about relationships or your body, that she’s just never gotten around to telling you.  So use her, even though she’ll blush!

Third – much as I hate to suggest it, you can always look up all those words on the internet, and see what they mean.  The first problem with that of course is that then your computer will show that you were looking up those words, and your mom might be more upset by that than by you asking her about them.  The second problem worries me more, though.  If you start looking up certain obscene words online, your search might connect you to some pornographic websites, or other things that you really don’t want to see or have on your computer at all.  So looking the words up is really only the very last resort.

In the end, though, I have to say, as a dog, obscenities are soooo overrated.  I cuss out the squirrels in my yard every morning, and they cuss me out from their tree branch too, and neither of us requires a single word, though we know exactly what each other is saying!  And similarly, if I’m barking at someone to tell them to get away from my yard, I don’t use any words that can’t be in a G-rated movie, but I scare them as much as any X-rated gangster rapper ever could!




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