Watch Your F*cking Language: How to swear effectively, explained in explicit detail and enhanced by numerous examples taken from by Sterling JohnsonWatch Your F*cking Language: How to swear effectively, explained in explicit detail and enhanced by numerous examples taken from by Sterling Johnson

Watch Your F*cking Language: How to swear effectively, explained in explicit detail and enhanced by…

bySterling JohnsonEditorTom L Dunne

Paperback | November 3, 2004

Pricing and Purchase Info

$12.55 online 
$12.99 list price
Earn 63 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Let the squeamish beware!

Watch Your F*cking Language takes a no-holds-barred approach to taboo words and expressions. It shows you how to use them to your advantage -- and have fun doing so. Building on the lessons learned in English as a Second F*cking Language, this book emphasizes traditional English swears as well as powerful (and hidden) expressions from other cultures and languages.

Through numerous examples, it puts the real language of real people into context:

FLOYD: I just heard a Dan Quayle speech. It was really f*cking confusing.
RUBY: I just got back from a Mongolian cluster f*ck. It was really confusing f*cking.

The name of the game is communication, and Watch Your F*cking Language shows readers how to hammer home their messages with confidence and gusto.

Among its features:

*Numerous examples of proper (and so-called improper) usage
*An Idioms section that emphasizes the niceties of swearing
*A "Need to Know, "Nice to Know," and "Forget It" system for identifying swear words
*A Final F*cking Exam

World-renowned for his innovative lectures and workshops, Professor Sterling Johnson has been teaching English as a second language for over twenty years. He now lives in Pacific Grove, California, where he enjoys a "nice f*cking day" as much as the next fellow.
Title:Watch Your F*cking Language: How to swear effectively, explained in explicit detail and enhanced by…Format:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 8.12 × 4.77 × 0.27 inPublished:November 3, 2004Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312318715

ISBN - 13:9780312318710


Read from the Book

Watch Your F*cking LanguageShort Stuff  If we piss as we walk, must we next shit as we run?--MONTAIGNE (UPON OBSERVING A MAN WHO PISSED AS HE STROLLED THE CHAMPS ÉLYSÉES.)Acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms are among the more annoying time-saving inventions. Still, time is money, and we might as well profit from the truncated swears so common today.An acronym is a pronounceable word formed from the first letter or letters of a phrase. For example, the ZIP of the postal code stands for Zoning Improvement Plan. FUBARFucked up beyond all recognition. Pronounceable, thus an acronym. RTFMYou'd usually write this out. If you speak it, pronounce each letter. Try to pronounce it as a word and you're begging for a Heimlich maneuver. It stands for read the fucking manual, sound advice for men whodon't know what to do when their computers fuck up and the office nerd is (see here) in the supply closet. BSThis stands for bullshit and is both noun and verb. Pronounce the letters "bee-ess." SOLThis stands for shit out of luck, which means totally unlucky. It looks like an acronym but it isn't. It's an initialism. Pronounce the letters "ess-oh-el." SOBThis stands for son of a bitch. Pronounce the letters "ess-oh-bee." example: FYFor years FYI has meant for your information. Only with the advent of e-mail has FY enjoyed popularity as a stand-in for fuck you. Consider this e-mail exchange between a boss and an underling. example: DFPronounced: "dee-ef," this stands for dog fucker and is generally used metaphorically. Its uses are many. For instance, when addressing some arrogant prick with multiple academic degrees, you needn't acknowledge them all. Simply use DF. example: On occasion, the DF in question may be an actual fucker of dogs. example: CYACover your ass. This is the motto of bureaucrats everywhere. It means that no matter what goes wrong, make sure you're not held responsible. Each letter is pronounced: "cee-wye-a." example: WAGThis is an acronym for wild ass guess. Making a WAG is the very essence of creative brain-storming, and also of coming up with dumb answers. Engineers tend to make SWAGs, scientific wild ass guesses. Although "wild" can mean extraordinary, as used here it means reckless, visionary, or unlikely. The ass is an intensifier, as in a "big-ass truck." (See About the Size of It section) example: BFDPronounced "bee-ef-dee," it means big fucking deal and should only be used in e-mail correspondence. McFuckFrom the world of no-frills fast food we get the name for a no-frills fast fuck, also called a quickie.In Great Britain, where the McFuck is done standing up, it's called a knee trembler.In the United States the position is shunned by Southern Baptists, because it could lead to dancing. P.O. 'dShort for pissed off, meaning angered. Each letter is pronounced "pee-oh'd." But why bother? This initialism is both unnecessary and confusing. example: Piss off!When you anger someone, you piss off that person; however, the command Piss off! is British usage and means go away, get lost. example: FAQThis is pronounced "fak" and is not a swear. It is Internet shorthand for a Frequently Asked Question. Donot confuse it with tricky variations of fuck, such as fug, which Norman Mailer used in his 1948 novel The Naked and the Dead. He fooled no one. More than a half-century later, neither will you. As a former First Lady observed, "Just say fuck!" MOFOYou'd think this corrupted shortening of mother fucker would be MOFU, but it isn't. It's a jovial term, usually used between friends. example: SNAFUThe acronym means situation normal: all fucked up. It is occasionally rendered as situation normal: all fouled up. This is witless and wrong. The descriptive phrase is also used as a noun. example: SMANot an acronym, it stands for suck my ass. When spoken, each letter is pronounced: "ess-em-a." It is occasionally used as a postscript to a letter. It has greater impact than kiss my ass, but the meaning is essentially the same. example: CFThis is a military term and--following the military fashion of making things more complicated than necessary--it is pronounced "Charley Foxtrot."1 The initials refer to a cluster fuck, which is an aggravated SNAFU. example: MFMother fucker, clear and simple. Best written, although acceptable when spoken "em-ef." J.O.Pronounced "jay-oh," this stands for jerk off, the verb. As a noun, a jerk-off is a useless sort of person. The noun form should not be abbreviated. example: The F-wordThis is a poor substitute for fuck. For instance, it's jarring to the ears to hear, "Who the F-word knows?" A1. This means ass, but it is best used in compounds. Occasionally one hears, "He's a pain in the A." This is foolish. Say pain in the ass.2. In the expression fucking-A, A doesn't mean ass. It is an affirmation, perhaps related to the word "aye" used by sailors, or perhaps related to the letter A used in A-1, indicating something of first-quality.example: A-holeA barely acceptable abbreviation for asshole. example: BJPronounced "bee-jay" it stands for blow job. Appropriate in spoken or written form. MFWICPronounced mifwick, this is sort of an acronym. It is used at IBM and other high-tech companies and means mother fucker what's in charge. (Note: it is "what's," not "who's.") A MFWIC is a person who actually runs the show, not a figurehead. example: On occasion you may see ESFL (English as a Second F*cking Language) and WYFL (Watch Your F*cking Language). ESFL is simply a grouping of initial letters, impossible to pronounce as a single word by anyone not fluent in the Basque tongue. WYFL is an acronym, and should be pronounced "wiffle."We recommend you use the full titles. Need to Know ESFLWYFL Nice to Know A BJ BS CF CYA FAQ FUBAR J.O. MOFO RTFM SMA SNAFU SOB SOL SWAG WAG Forget It A-hole BFD The F-word P.O.'dFucking-FThe term F-word is displeasing. It suggests that for fuck you should say eff. Rubbish! Eff lacks the satisfying hard "ck" sound of fuck. It and its derivatives should only be used in a pinch. example:During a codfish drought in Boston, a restaurant owner grew weary of telling a lady that the fish wasn't available. Finally he put a picture of a codfish in his window and wrote "COFD" across it. On her next visit the problem was resolved.WATCH YOUR F*CKING LANGUAGE. Copyright © 2004 by Sterling Johnson. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10010.

Editorial Reviews

"One of those rare smart and funny books." -Penn Jillette