Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Slang Words

Until a few days ago, I guess I thought folks like me were a dying breed.

Thanks to good ol' Facebook, a post from a friend {& lots of comments that followed}, I found that I was in good company.
How refreshing that people not only feel the same as I do, but they were willing to speak out about it.

 Here's what the FB status said:
"Really think to use phrases like 'that sucks' ~ 'dang it' ~ 'heck yea' and others
are a poor choice from a champion believer!"

I found myself saying 'AMEN' ... & after pondering about this for a day or so,
I decided to blog on the topic.

What's with Christians using words/phrases like 'What the frick'   &   'H to the no'?
'Freakin' this & freakin' that'....yes, another overly-used phrase.
These words make the FB post that inspired this blog look pretty kindergarten, huh?!
Not words that I'd deem as the best choice for a believer.

I'll call them 'slang' words.
That's how I heard them referenced when I was growing up.
You know, words that aren't curse words, but are as close as you can get.
Words that almost sound like the curse word ... or start with the same letter as the curse word ... or rhyme with the curse word.
You know those words.

The dictionary defines 'slang' as 'language at its most informal, using expressions that many would consider to be grammatically imperfect and sometimes rude.'

How my MOM defined slang as we were growing up was finding a 'word' to say {that you could possibly get by with saying} that's realllly close to a word that you knew you'd never be allowed to say!

So, in essence, you weren't saying a bad word, but everyone knew what you were insinuating.

Well, my mom was a stickler on this!
We had a very few 'acceptable' slang words we could use {like rats, phooey, oh my word ... those were alright}.
She worked very hard to teach us the importance of being God-honoring with our speech.
She wanted us to be diligent in guarding our mouths & conscious of the words that we used.
I've often heard her quote this scripture:

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  Matt. 12-36

The word 'idle' here {translated from the Greek} is speaking of words that are not good to the use of edifying nor are they words that 'minister grace unto the hearer' {Eph. 4:29}.

Shouldn't we as believers & followers of Christ be good examples in this area?

Seems today, in many areas of life, people desire to emulate the world, balancing precariously on that fine line of getting as close as possible, without going all the way.

I vividly remember a Sunday School lesson on this very subject when I was a young girl, taught by my pastor's wife.
Her convictions on this were just as strong as my parents' were.
She taught from Exodus 20:7.
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain."

Only she didn't stop there ... & it was the rest of the lesson that impacted me the most.
As children, we are often told not to do something because it's bad or not nice, without a
thoroughly explanation of why.
In her lesson, she had a list of 'slang' words with the breakdown of what they meant
& from where they derived.
Every single word was derived from or was a euphemism for either God or a curse word.
It was surprising & very enlightening.

I decided right then & there that those words would never become a part of my vocabulary.
Not only did I adopt this as a personal principle when I was young, I have trained my children this same way.

Here are additional scriptures that elaborate on this subject:

Eph. 4:29  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Eph. 5:4   Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Col. 3:8-10  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Scripture says we are in the world but we aren't to be of the world.
We aren't to look like them, act like them, or talk like them.
There should be a distinguishing difference ... a 'city on a hill, light of the world'
kind of difference.

Psalms 19:14 says it best & is one of my favorite scriptures.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

I am so thankful for the Godly training I had in this area.
I want to daily be acceptable in the sight of the Lord.
I want to be a good representative for Him in my speech, my words, my actions,
& attitudes.
And as my FB friend wonderfully put it, I want to be an example of a champion believer!
What's a champion believer?
It's a believer who keeps getting back up!
Are any of us perfect & without fault?
No, not one.

Now, with all this being said, please do not think that I am looking down on you, frowning with shame, if some of these words are a part of your regular vocabulary.
That couldn't be further from the truth.
I am not your judge on this matter ... & the thoughts shared on this blog are my opinions.

My hope is that this may challenge you today to think about the words you use
& to examine them in light of the words of scripture.
May the ways in which we live our lives always uplift & magnify the name of the Lord!


  1. I posted a comment on here a little bit ago and for some reason it locked up the computer....I didn't even use a slang word when that happened;-). I enjoyed the post...you should not hestitate to post these types of things...even if people don't agree with you they will respect you for your convictions--if they don't then their opinions didn't matter anyways and perhaps you're planting a seed that someone else will water later. --Jessica Brown

  2. Totally agree. We must be careful and weigh our words and be God pleasing with them.

  3. I enjoyed your comment on my blog, and had to visit. I agree wholeheartedly! What bothers me a lot is the "omg" I see everywhere. I hesitate to even write it, because it is using the Lord's name in vain. I have noticed a few of my friends will write omgoodness, which is better. I don't think most people even realize that what they are doing.
    Thanks for a great post.
    Love in Christ,

    *I subscribed to your emails

  4. Thanks everyone! Comments are always encouraging.

    Angie: I am one of those who writes 'omgoodness' ... I don't say the words 'Oh my God' unless I'm in prayer, so I don't use the abbreviation either. I agree in that many slang words have become so common that most have never taken the time to even think about it.

    I didn't spend much time in the blog about using God's name in vain because to me that is such as obvious 'NO NO!' but many have fallen into using that as a slang term, as well. I hate to hear that most of all. Simple rule, only say GOD if praying or praising!

    I subscribed to your blog, as well. I tried to be a 'follower', but couldn't find that option.

  5. I am a stickler with my kids - it is hard when so many adults use objectionable slang - even teachers. Thanks for writing on the subject!

  6. Good stuff! I am as guilty as can be of this one! I've thought some recently about being more careful in this area. The bigger conviction for me is if one of my children say these things it sounds so vulgar. (They are 7 and under.) Soooo, Hello? If it sounds vulgar coming from a child why is it ok for me to say it!? Thank you for blogging about what few would without condemnation!