Is What the Hell a Bad Word?
A reader asks, Is the word ”what the hell rude? I feel like it’s rough. I don’t say it all the time, but sometimes I do say it when I’mI’s surprised or something. Is that rude? Should I stop saying it, or is it okay to keep saying it?
What are curse words??
The word curse is derived from an old Anglo-Saxon word that means to swear. For many centuries, the Bible was thought to be written in some secret language that only priests and scholars knew about. One priest has studied for many years to learn this language, called Hebrew.
When I was a little girl growing up, we used to joke around in school by saying things like, I take thee as my lawful wedded wife or stuff like that. Most kids’ favorite phrase seems to be flipping each other off and yelling, What are you looking at?
Why Would “What the Hell” Be Thought a Bad Word?
What the hell can be used as an expletive or even an intense inquiry, sometimes angering someone with its meaning. It can be used when one does not know what to do in a difficult situation and is frustrated. What the hell may also be said when something goes wrong that is hard to understand, such as someone being on his phone while driving? The word itself is not intrinsically bad or good, but its usage depends on context and tone. A sentence using what the hell in different contexts:
- What the hell are you doing? said Alex angrily after hearing of Bob’s conduct at work.
- What the hell? He was heading to have joy tonight anyway! He took another sip of wine before resuming talking with Adam about his life goals.
- Aagh! What the hell was this piece of chocolate cake for? It looked so tasty…
Who Decides What a “Bad Word” Is?
Is what the hell a bad word, though? Surprisingly, this is not a comfortable query to answer. If you have seen enough of those quote-under-a-quote text messages in your life, you know that people can be wildly different about how they feel about other words. We might say these words are bad for them because they trigger painful memories or imply judgemental attitudes. On the other hand, you could make a similar argument that certain words are bad because they prevent us from recognizing or communicating with each other in our diversity of experiences and perspectives.
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