Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to Curse Properly, Part 2


There are actually two versions of this expletive: Northern and Southern. Though I prefer the Southern variation (Florida, y'all) I will instruct you in both techniques.

Northern Style:

This is essentially a prolonged stutter, expressing bewilderment or appreciation. It needs to be uttered in one long exhalation. It is the profane equivalent of a long, low whistle.

1. The "ddddddd" sound at the beginning is made as if you're talking through chattering teeth. Under no circumstances should the individual d's be pronounced, but neither should you slur them together. Instead, it should be a barely audible "duhduhduhduhduhduhduh", as if you were imitating an idling motorcycle. Jaw movement should be minimal, with the majority of work performed by the tip of the tongue against the back of the top front teeth.

2. Open your mouth as wide as possible as you approach the "a" sound, but keep your jaw in the same basic position as before. Your cheeks should be high and tight, as if you were forcing a particularly vapid smile. The "a" itself needs to be short, but extend its pronunciation as long as possible. When you feel you are running out of breath, move on to step 3.

3. Close your lips while maintaining the "a" sound; convert to a humming "mmm" once you have achieved full closure. Let yourself run out of air on this last bit and fade the word into silence.

Southern Style:

Southern Style pronunciation is like a Sine Wave: up, then down. Its use is more of a catcall or wolf whistle, and is generally complimentary, albeit in an incredulous manner.

1. Open your jaw as far as it will go in one explosive motion. The "DAY" should literally pop from your mouth, and it's difficult (though not impossible) to say it too loudly. If you feel like a barnyard animal while performing this maneuver, you're doing it properly.

2. Quickly close your mouth, as if you were attempting to swallow your previous statement. The "um" sound should be performed behind sealed lips, as if you were enjoying a delicious bite of food. The noise level of this step needs to be much, much lower than the first. Again, think of a sine wave, or a heartbeat.


  1. Damn. Thanks for the lesson. I've been doing it all wrong.

  2. I can hardly wait for day three!
    I was happy to see that I have been using damn correctly all along, I subscribe to the Southern version as well, and was only slightly off in pronouncing crap. Especially since crap is not a highly used member of my vocabulary.


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