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Those Words (1982)

by Frank Etherington

This book, kindly located & donated by Babsomatic for The Second Coming project, really cried out for excerptation here. I'd been looking for this book for a long time, but knew nothing about it. I thought it was about linguistics or etymology or something. Turned out to be a book for the kiddies. About swear words...

  • Just before breakfast Jeopy's dad was watering the cucumbers with a garden hose when he first heard... those words.

  • [Mrs. Milly] heard those words shouted through the fence. Words that sounded like "pitty pithead."

  • "Jeopy's saying those words again," said Jacob.

  • Jeopy's dad said he didn't like swear words. "Most people get upset about those words.

  • Jeopy sat on the washroom floor watching his sister. He told her the lipstick looked very pretty. Then he held up one of his hands and swore with his fingers.
    Janin looked at Jeopy in the mirror. She was so suprised she smeared a blob of lipstick on her nose. "You're not smart, Jeopy," she said. "You're using two fingers instead of one. You've got it all wrong, and if you don't stop, I'll tell Mom." Jeopy tried to bend one of his fingers down, so that only one stuck up in the air. "Mom," shrieked Janin, "Jeopy's saying bad words with his fingers."

  • Jeopy looked up, smiled and said hi to Jacob's teacher. Then he said words that sounded like "grugger off."... Jacob grabbed the handlebars of his brother's bike and dragged him toward the house. "Jeopy just said those words to Mrs. Kowalski," he complained to his mom.

  • ...Jeopy put down his soup spoon. He looked across the table and said the word that sounded like "pithead."

  • Jeopy listened and then looked down at his food and said the word that sounded like "pitty."

  • Jeopy had played with his alphabet soup to try and spell a word that sounded like "bam" around the edge of his dish, but, as he talked to his parents, he mixed the letters together and scooped them into his mouth.... But the part he liked best was whe his dad knocked over the milk jug, jumped up and said the word that sounded like "pit."
What swear word would have "sounded like `bam?'" Cram? Spam? Maybe things are different in Canada, where they apparently name boy children "Jeopy."

Ah, damn. It's that obscure Canadian swear word damn.