What if you’re writing a book for children, but you want a character to swear profusely?
In my upcoming middle grade chapter book, Pumpkin Goblins, I have a goblin character fond of “swearing.” Like so:
“Right, right.” Hobkit clapped him on the shoulder. “I’ll join you. Could use a break from all this chaos and malarkey, batdarnit.”
Hobkit has a bigger role in the revision than he did in the rough draft, and the more he speaks, the more time I spend trying to think up creative new phrases…
“Dagnabbit. Of all the bat-plagued, magic-cursed rotten timing!”
…because using “bat” and “pumpkin” repeatedly was getting tiring. I wanted to come up with a bunch of options at once. So, inspired by The Terribleminds Profanity Generator, I made my own word lists to generate Halloweeny, child-safe invectives. Actually, I drew a lot of my own words from his lists, but I needed a certain number of Halloween words thrown in there also.
So get out your d20 (or your Online Dice Roller, for those that don’t have twenty-sided dice on them at the moment) and join me in some long-form, clean profanity. Which can be easily dirtied!
Noun list one:
Noun list two:
Using the formula (Noun list 1) + (Verb, -ing), (Noun list 2) + (Verb, -ed) I got:
Elf plaguing, twig-smacked
Turnip gumming, jelly-haunted
My goblin character tends to curse in adjective form, already having specific things in mind to rant about. Things like other goblins, wizards, elves, and pumpkin cars.
“You turnip gumming, jelly-haunted wizard! Are you trying to destroy Halloween?”
I could also do something like:
(Noun from either list) + (Verb, -ed) – ed
To create the compound expletive wizardspackle.
“Wizardspackle! Are you trying to kill us all?”
On the one hand, I’ve now saved time on curse creation.
On the other hand, I’m now likely to waste revision time by doing this. Gourdrustle!