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Since bitch is the new black and black is the clothing colour of universal appropriateness then is using bitch as a term of endearment just as timeless and universal as a cocktail dress?

I once had to sit through a lecture at the middle school where I taught about how it wasn’t amusing or endearing to call each other bitch or whore (by “each other,” I mean the students. The teachers were not calling each other whores. Though wouldn’t that have made for an interesting school day?).

Except that it is amusing and endearing. I get great glee when Flicka calls me Snatch in an email. I wish everyone would call me Snatch (for $75 and a trip to the Social Security office, I could formally make that my name). And though it may make my mother wince to know this (my mother has such a good, ladylike mouth. Her daughters, alas, do not), I call people I like by obscenities ranging from the standard bitch and some saucier fare that probably shouldn’t be documented on a blog to the more mild dirty old curtain twitcher.

Curtain twitcher.

Doesn’t that sound dirty?

Do you know we need more of? We need more obscenity-like words or phrases to use as a term of endearment. Please suggest some if you have them.

I like being called obscenities lovingly. It creates a strange, reverse coding. We’re taught not to say these words around people we don’t know well, but then we use them precisely to create an intimacy that we are comfortable enough with each other to tease. I’m, of course, talking about saying them in a loving way, like “hey, Bitch, when are you going to haul open the doors of the Lushary because I need a drink” and not, “Melissa, you are a complete bitch.”

Sometimes, after I hit send on an email where I have called someone bitch, I have a moment of regret wondering if they will see this as the loving term that it is. And so I ask, if you are called bitch lovingly, is it classic–the new black–like being handed a blue, Tiffanys box or is it more like being hit in the head with the blunt end of an empty Mike’s Hard Lemonade bottle? Are you a fan of the Lovingly-Spoken Obscenity (LSOs) or are you offended to the core when I call you whore, my sweets?


1 Mel { 04.08.08 at 2:15 pm }

Big fan of the B word over here, too.
Others terms of endearment I abuse are hooker, skank and my personal fave “sausage wallet.”
Nothing says “I love you, dear friend” like referring to them as a common street whore!

2 JJ { 04.08.08 at 2:15 pm }

I quite enjoy the LSO’s–it does add a bit of familiarity with someone when you know you are giving these words “lovingly” or in a playing manner.
Would you all call the cops if I told you Mook regularly calls me, whore?
All in love, of course…

3 Jen { 04.08.08 at 2:18 pm }

Totally depends on who says it. You can call me anything you’d like. 🙂

Overall, though, I take after my mother and her ladylike mouth. (We aren’t allowed to say suck up, although that started a huge dinner debate in which my dad and I agreed that brown-noser was far worse.)

4 loribeth { 04.08.08 at 2:26 pm }

Why does the episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” where Ray calls Debra “Smellytramp” pop into my head??

I guess it would all depend on who was doing the calling, & in what tone of voice. ; ) I must admit, I don’t get called those things very often, even in fun/affection, so it would be a shocker to the system. I tend to lean more to the “offensive” side, but then I always was a bit of a prude. ; )

5 Tammy's Thought Pattern { 04.08.08 at 2:28 pm }

Well, let’s see… DH and I are always teasing each other with LSO. Here is a typlical convo…

DH: Wench

Me: Bitch

DH: Slut

Me: Whore

DH: Cum Dumpster

That is alway where it ends as we laugh our butts off. I have no retort that is worse. If anyone can give me one, I will love you forever… :o)

6 Lori { 04.08.08 at 2:30 pm }

I forgot my very clever comment as soon as I read Tammy’s!

7 Stephanie { 04.08.08 at 2:37 pm }

Tammy, that was a thing of beauty! I don’t think I can top that one. Oh, and I think it’s great fun to use LSO’s, you can call me a bitch anytime.

8 Jess { 04.08.08 at 2:39 pm }

I’m cool with LSO’s…But the husb and I are trying to cut back. The children, and all.

We also have fondness we’re trying to break with the “f” word. Not used as a verb, but in almost any other way.

We are big fans of douschebag here. I once saw my husband slapped by his (gay) brother after calling him a “cum guzzling queen” though now they are much closer and it would have been funny. At the time, notsomuch.

Uhm…Fucknut, newbface (warcraft), banana muncher…slutbucket or slutbasket…

It’s like calling the playpen the “baby cage” or saying “Mommy’s going to shake the baby” even though, of course, it’s a PLAYPEN and we don’t even SPANK the kids.

It sucks, though, when you accdentally say that crap in public. Or be cool like me and say “baby cage” at the pediatrician and get THE LOOK.

“Uhm….PLAYPEN, PLAYPEN.” She stares at me so I continue with the alarmingly smooth, “Well, the state of Ohio says we’re chill.”

9 Heidi { 04.08.08 at 2:39 pm }

My wife and I often “fight”

Who ever gets to snatch first wins.

10 Susan { 04.08.08 at 2:40 pm }

If it’s in good healthy fun–I enjoy it. At work (us servers can be quite crass) they are said during our shifts–we use them as affectionate terms towards one another. I they’re quite funny actually.

11 BethH6703 { 04.08.08 at 2:53 pm }

Love LSOs! The Grumps & I often call each other “F&%ktard” (I dont even remember why, but it’s fun, nonetheless)… Bitch is always used among my girlfriends.

I agree that it brings a certain playful intimacy to a relationship. I will say that in any mode of e-convo, it seems easier to know your audience, or your speaker, before tossing such things around… It’s hard to convey a smirk or eye-twinkle in the e-written word.

So, Bitchy VonSnatch, where’s the Lushary? (wink)

And Tammy, you have me laughing out loud here, but I can’t come up with anything to top “cum dumpster”.

12 Shelby { 04.08.08 at 3:00 pm }

I am a huge fan of LSO’s! I see them as terms of endearment. Too bad my husband has a clean mouth. I curse like a sailor though!

13 MsPrufrock { 04.08.08 at 3:02 pm }

I am all about LSOs, in case you couldn’t tell. One of my favourite things to say is, “Bitch please”, because I am so street it hurts. I certainly take no offense, so you are welcome to call me anything from bitch to your personal favourite of the moment, dirty old curtain twitcher. You can even call me worse. If I know something is said in jest from someone I’m familiar with, it’s all good!

14 merseydotes { 04.08.08 at 3:03 pm }

One of my dearest friends always greets me with obscenities when I answer the phone, usually “hooker,” “whore,” “slut” or “skank.” It makes me smile every time.

15 Allison { 04.08.08 at 3:20 pm }

My sister calls me all sorts of nasty things and it cracks me up every time. She is somehow way more creative than I am in that category.

DH and I usually call each other Mo Fo. Not sure where that started…

16 SarahSews { 04.08.08 at 3:21 pm }

You can call me anything you want. 🙂 I think using dirty words in a loving way is fun. DH, not so much. We are only ever lovley to each other or his feelings might get hurt. But with my IRL girl friends, sometimes we can’t resist. And before DH, in my old DC days, I had a serious sailor’s mouth. Terrible! Men used to comment in bars about it. LOL.

17 chicklet { 04.08.08 at 3:24 pm }

Whore, bitch – I love it all! Would you expect anything less from me?

18 Katie B. { 04.08.08 at 3:59 pm }

I agree, context is key.

The term of endearment in my marriage is “bitches.” We each call the other bitches… like, “Bitches… I’m home!” or “Love you, Bitches” yadda yadda.

I have a suggestion for Tammy – last night, we discovered this new (to us) word: Twatflap. Use it and see who wins! 🙂

19 beagle { 04.08.08 at 4:02 pm }

Every since I married Ward Cleaver, I’ve had to clean up my act.

But if it’s said with love, call me what you like!

(These days I’d be inclined to think bitch actually meant, well, bitch, since I am quite bitchy most of the time. My father called me moody recently and I almost flipped. He should have called me snatch instead. At least that would have made me laugh if I didn’t faint first.)

20 Waiting Amy { 04.08.08 at 4:24 pm }

Honey, you can call me B*tch any time. Or Wh*re for that matter. Or anything else you can creatively think of. Except the c-word. I just don’t see where using that on one another is empowering.

My DH and I went through a recent expletives endearments phase. I, of course was b*tch; he the a-hole.

21 Spicy Sister { 04.08.08 at 4:32 pm }

Love the B word here! My term of endearment for my sister is “Hooker” – I love it, and so does she. I have one other friend who I can sometimes get away with calling a f*cker. Often I find myself wishing I had more people in my life who would let me lovingly refer to them as whores and bitches. I helped with a wedding recently where I referred to myself as one of the bride’s bitches. I was all, “Hey! We’re your bitches today – we have to do whatever you want!”

Alas, Mr. Spicy does not appreciate my constant need to use expletives and poop references as terms of endearment. He really hates it that I want to call him “poopface” and “stinky butt” all the time – he would prefer “sexy man stud” or something of the like.

22 Rachel { 04.08.08 at 4:34 pm }

My husband and I call each other stinky all the time.

My favorite non-swear swear is to tell someone to go suck and egg.

We also call one of our cats a very un-PC Fucktard.

23 Michell { 04.08.08 at 5:31 pm }

Oh yes. Like the B word. And most of the rest of the words I was taught were naughty. I’ve wondered how all that will go when I have kids and if their first word will be something less than appropriate.

24 Rebecca { 04.08.08 at 5:33 pm }

LOVE LOVE LOVE the LSO’s!!! At my old job I just left, we were quite fond of using “bitches” to describe our close knit group.

I often refer to DH as “Fuckstick” and he calls me a “Trifling Whore”. Context is key, though. We’re usually laughing when we say it.

I also get called “Big Ass” by my husband…such as “get your big ass in the kitchen and make me a sammich”…all in good fun of course, because he knows if he ever said that and really meant it, he’d get my cast iron skillet up the side of his Fuckstick head. LOL

25 Meghan { 04.08.08 at 5:47 pm }

Big fan of the LSO’s. In fact, I pretty much only call my husband asshat..

26 katd { 04.08.08 at 6:39 pm }

I loooove it:) Especially because I consider myself a bit of a goody two shoes, so throwing around the occasional obscenity as a term of endearment not only lets me feel close to someone but also a bit naughty:) My best friend and I regularly call each other common street trash.

I also LOVE Jess’s baby cage. She did once tell me to cage Lily. 🙂

27 Ally { 04.08.08 at 7:14 pm }

I enjoy the LSO, especially when certain people use them with me. My best friend since 8th grade and I have a whole host of LSOs we use with each other and we just giggle like 12 year olds by the time we’re done. It has even devolved into secret nicknames for the LSOs so we can use them in polite company.

28 Vacant Uterus { 04.08.08 at 8:11 pm }

Love the LSO’s, Snatch! But then you knew that already. 🙂

29 Leah { 04.08.08 at 8:39 pm }

I’m a huge fan of the abusive language. Perhaps it’s because my family is the type of folk who do crazy shit like… the meaner they are to you, the more they like you. If they are polite to you, they surely hate your guts. For many years I thought both of my brother’s names were “asshole” because everyone called them that so much (not parents, at least not to their faces).

One of my dearest friends Dennis gave me my favorite nickname. At the time (this was marriage #1), my name was Leah O’Hara. He insisted on calling me Lay-a O’Whore-a. They Lay-a part was funny enough, but the O’Whore-a bit got me in stitches every time.

I beam with pride every time I think about the fact that I have a friend (you) who enjoys being called Snatch. I didn’t know that it was possible I could like you more than I already did, but there you go. 🙂

30 Denise { 04.08.08 at 9:18 pm }

I love this game!

I have a coworker who uses the term “ratbag” as a term of endearment. It is lovely.

My husband always called our dear departed dog “chickenbutt.” I have no idea where that one came from.

31 Natalie { 04.09.08 at 1:06 am }

Hubby and I are big fans of LSOs. Sometimes I forget who we’re with and call him that in public. Not such a good idea, as other people don’t always get our sense of humor.

I grew up with LSOs, actually. My dad, brother and I would frequently trade insults, only to bust up laughing and continue on our way. My mother was plainly horrified.

32 Helen { 04.09.08 at 3:52 am }

Big fan of any of the terms, including the “C” one, as long as they come from friends. Call me a whore all you like, dearest. I think that term in particular is hilarious. I am a swearer. Our builders were worried they would offend me, but I can make them blush (I do watch my language around the twins, though). One of my favorites is “Fuckshit”, which came from a Swedish friend of ours. Also I use “Muppet” a lot, which isn’t naughty but is a lot of fun.

33 m { 04.09.08 at 4:25 am }

Do love the LSO’s, fuckwit being a personal fave….

34 Caro { 04.09.08 at 5:19 am }

Oh someone already used wench. Strumpet is another good one though.

35 sara { 04.09.08 at 5:52 am }

THat’s funny because my sister and I started calling each other the b word when we were in college out of love.

36 LJ { 04.09.08 at 6:19 am }

Dearest Whore,

Maybe your lame as should make some plan with me, and then we’ll see what kind of names we can call each other.

Your favorite slut

37 Io { 04.09.08 at 7:32 am }

Please bitch, you know I love LSOs. I even have gentle ones for my fur babies – my cat Thomas is butt-butt.

38 littleangelkisses { 04.09.08 at 9:26 am }

I don’t know…if I had CLOSE girlfriends, I’d be okay with it. But since I don’t (the social outcast that I am) it would not be a good thing to hear.

I’m the odd man out huh?

39 Dianne/Flutter { 04.09.08 at 9:33 am }

I don’t mind at all. As long as it is said with a smile and a wink.

40 waitinginline { 04.09.08 at 11:24 am }

One of my favorite LOSs is “Hussy”. In general, it’s how every conversation is started with my best friend. “Hey hussy!”


41 kate { 04.09.08 at 11:42 am }

I call my longtime friend Douchie, short for douchebag. And he sometimes calls me toilet pig.

I, too, am a big fan of the potty-mouth, though. Nothing like a well-turned “forbidden” phrase, in my opinion.

And obviously, context is everything, but when someone doesn’t “get it”, I feel like maybe that person and I probably just wouldn’t “get” each other in general. If I call you “whore” and you get super offended, you and I probably won’t make it much further than a handshake, you know?

42 Sarah Motes Ashley { 04.09.08 at 11:53 am }

For some reason, coming from women it feels OK and fun – from men, not so much. But thats just me. I’m a big fan of the eighth-grade type of slurs like “dickweed” and “douchebag” that we thought were so cool then… but now Im’ like “what exactly did we think we meant?” LOL

43 noswimmers { 04.09.08 at 12:07 pm }

I LOVE LSO’s…nothing says “I love you” like calling my hubby a whore.

44 AnotherDreamer { 04.09.08 at 1:20 pm }

I cuss.. a lot… but my friends and I do not call each other obscenities or anything anymore. I was verbally abused as a child, and it gets to me… even if I know my friends say it in an offhand manner. My mind still wanders back to my father calling me a little bitch, and my mothers calling me a lazy ass good for nothing. So… I don’t care, if that’s your thing… I just don’t do it.

45 hope548 { 04.09.08 at 3:32 pm }

I tend to use “stinky whore” myself. I am a fan of the LSO!

46 Rho { 04.09.08 at 3:49 pm }

I do enjoy LSOs as well. I am often greeted with “good evening my bitches” (to me and our female dog on the couch) when DH gets home.

47 HeidiM { 04.09.08 at 3:53 pm }

Some loving terms I use on my husband, and some suggestions for Tammy —
Pin Dick
Butt Muncher
Rump Ranger
Pickle Smuggler
Stupid Head … I’m running out fast.

48 JamieD { 04.09.08 at 4:49 pm }

Thank you so much for this post and the comments! I am crying again, but not because of mood swings this time!

I am one of those people who just think cussing is funny, so I am all about LSO. I’m glad my cats can’t repeat the things they hear.

We try to mix it up a little, so lately Hubby & I’s favorites are Jacktard, Nimrod and Window-licker.

I like Snatch, it has a nice ring to it. Cum Dumpster had me in stitches!!

49 Zee { 04.09.08 at 5:18 pm }

In college, the girls I hung out with–several of whom I still see– began calling ourselves “the H0s” (this was in the late 80s, so it was a little more out there than it is now.) Since most of us were not exactly…errr…blushing flowers, the point was to claim the worst name anyone could call us–and make it our own. So if someone were to say, “You’re a slut!” or “You’re a whore!” the response could then be, “No, actually I’m a H0.” And that would be that. In conversation, we’d often address each other as ” you H0″. In fact, we still do. I’ll call up my old roommate (now a partner in a law firm) and say, “Hey H0, what’s up?” It definitely created a bond between us that has lasted for…well, for more years than we’d been alive when we first met. YIKES!

50 ms. c { 04.09.08 at 6:05 pm }

Wow, this could very well be my favoritest post that you have ever written.
MAJOR fan of LSOs. My girlfriends and I are constant users, so much so that we make heads turn in public (maybe not a such a good thing!) We make contests out of who can call each other the most inappropriate thing… it’s just fun and light, and it IS about taking back the words from being “dirty”.
Ahhh… I’m glad I’m in good company here. We are a bitchin’ community.

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