->'''Lou:''' Why do you always lose your keys, dag-nabbit?!
->'''Stu:''' Why do you always talk like a prospector when you're aggravated, "con-flabbit?"
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}''

In [[YeGoodeOldeDays the old days]], people [[NostalgiaFilter didn't swear like kids do today]]. Or [[HollywoodHistory so we are led to believe]], as elders caught in a rage will scream or mutter curses that can [[AntiquatedLinguistics best be described as antiquated]].

In television, and especially cartoons MiniatureSeniorCitizens will spew invective that's essentially an archaic form of UnusualEuphemism. "Damn it" becomes "con-sarn-it," "dang-blast-it" or something else LetsPlay/DeceasedCrab uses to filter his language while recording. Even relatively inoffensive phrases such as "Good lord" becomes "great-googly-moogly," "land sakes," and the like.

This trope is an exaggerated version of the Expressiveness Cycle, the linguistic explanation of how extreme language becomes less extreme over time. Can be prime {{Narm}} for modern viewers when played straight.

Related to GoshDangItToHeck and OhMyGods.

Many English swear words are actually very old words, mostly of Germanic provenance. But then, look up the etymology of "poppycock" some time.


[[folder: Advertisements]]
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrSECcj5V7w This]] 1990s PublicServiceAnnouncement by the Independent Television Commission, the former CensorshipBureau for British commercial television, on their regulation of swearing on TV. If you didn't click, the advert shows a spoof cop show action scene with tough cops and crooks talking to each other like Creator/EnidBlyton characters.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* [[Franchise/{{Superman}} "Great Caesar's ghost!"]]
* [[ComicBook/{{Tintin}} "Cripes!"]] ("sapristi!" in the original).
* ComicBook/TheMightyThor and ComicBook/TheIncredibleHercules of ComicBook/TheAvengers funnily enough have a predilection for euphemistic Christian curses, the former using "Od's blood!" (originally a corruption of "God's blood!", but here apparently taken as a shortening of "Odin's blood!"), the latter "Zounds!" ("God's" or "His wounds!").

* ''Film/TheMusicMan'', which takes place in a small Iowa town, 1912, has a character who keeps saying "Jeely Cly." For reasons not easily explained, the movie changed this to "Great Honk." - which the mayor still considers offensive speech.
** "Jeely Cly" is almost certainly a corruption of "Jesus Christ", which wasn't going to get a pass in an early 1960's Hollywood musical.
** Zaneeta keeps saying, "Ye gads!" which goes with her predilection for Shakespeare references.
* The original (stage) version of ''Room Service'' is about the production of a play called ''Godspeed'', and a RunningGag has every character's departure from the stage marked with "Godspeed!" But under the Hays Office, the word "God" could not be used except in a context of religious reverence; so for the 1938 Creator/MarxBrothers film version, the title (and the joke) was changed to ''Hail and Farewell''. Another character who routinely proclaims "God damn it" when he's frustrated says "Jumping butterballs" in the movie.
* Loki's notorious "mewling quim" insult to Black Widow in ''Film/TheAvengers2012''.
* Pretty much every sentence spoken by Roman Moroni in ''Film/JohnnyDangerously'':
--> You lousy cork-soakers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes... like yourselves.
** Lampshaded constantly. "The years hadn't softened Moronie. He continued to murder the English Language, and anyone who got in his way."
* The Old Man from ''Film/AChristmasStory'' mutters a stream of old-fashioned expletives whenever he's frustrated (although it's somewhat implied that the narrator is toning it down for the audience). Ralphie also accidentally blurts out a very modern profanity but the narrator retroactively changes it to "Fudge". His parents were horrified.

* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': "Blasted furnaces of Hell!"
* ''Literature/PeterPan'' had [[{{Pirate}} Captain Hook and his crew]] curse in this manner. "Odds bods, hammer and tongs!"
** "Odds bods" and similar curses are all over the place in Creator/WilliamShakespeare, Fielding, and others. "Odds bods" is a corruption from "God's Body", "S'blood" from "God's Blood" or "His Blood" ([[DidNotDoTheBloodyResearch "bloody"]] [[BrokenBase may or may not]] have a similar etymology), "Zounds" is "God's wounds" ([[http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=zounds see the Online Etymology Dictionary]]), "Gadzooks" is from "God's hooks" ([[http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gadzooks again see the OET]])--conceivably referring to the nails used to nail Jesus Christ to the cross, but more usually considered to be his hands, as in "meathooks"--and "odds bodkins" may be "God's Bodkins" (the crucifixion nails again) but is more likely "God's Bodykins", the latter actually used (Act II, scene ii) by Hamlet: body + diminutive / familiar suffix. Even "golly" is technically a curse, a variation of "God" ([[http://dictionary.reference.com/etymology/golly see Dictionary.com]])--NOT likely to be "God's Folly", even though St. Paul says that the latter is wiser than the wisdom of men. So is "gosh", a simple alteration of "God" (see any dictionary at all).
* Gil of ARM from Creator/LarryNiven 's ''[[Literature/KnownSpace Flatlanders]]'' stories occasionally used words like "Censored" and "Bleeping" for swear words. To him they were appropriately offensive, until another character explained that those words only began to be considered crude after they were used as stand-ins for the original seven words.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Mrs. Whitlow from Unseen University also says "Sugar!" instead of... you know.
--->'''Ridcully:''' She may ''say'' sugar, but what she means is [[CurseCutShort shi]]--
** Becomes a minor plot in ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'', when [[spoiler:Shufti]]'s use of this trope reveals her to be, well, [[SweetPollyOliver a her]].
** In ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'', Nanny Ogg is so shocked by the sight of Granny Weatherax all Duchessed up that none of her ample vocabulary of swearwords are sufficient, and she resorts to an ancient curse used by her grandmother: "I'll be ''mogadored.''"
* Cranley and a few other university classmates of Stephen's in Joyce's ''Literature/APortraitOfTheArtistAsAYoungMan'' use "sugar."
* In ''Literature/CatherineCalledBirdy'', Catherine constantly uses funny sounding oaths, which make fun reading for sixth grade English classes. God's bones, indeed. "God's thumbs" is her favorite, because thumbs are so useful.
* The title character of ''Literature/DoloresClaiborne'' would use "Cheese and crackers" as a minced oath. This carried over to the film.
* In ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'', one paragraph has Captain Phoebus de Chateaupers swearing quite enthusiastically, "By the blood of God! By the belly of God! Blood and thunder! By the body of God! By the navel of the devil! By the beard of the Pope! Hell and damnation!"
* In the world of Hyboria, from Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian stories, characters would often exclaim "By Crom's Beard!", "By Crom!", or simply "Crom!" which was the name of a particularly apathetic god.
** At least, ''Conan'' would, since Crom was the chief god of the Cimmerians. "His own gods were simple and understandable. Crom was their chief, and he lived on a great mountain, whence he sent forth dooms and death. It was useless to call on Crom. He was a gloomy, savage god, and he hated weaklings. But he gave a man courage at birth, and the will and might to kill his enemies. Which was all any god should be expected to do." For understandable reasons, non-Cimmerians don't seem to have adopted Crom's cult with much enthusiasm.
*** From Conan's prayer the movie: "...and if you do not listen, then to hell with you!"
** "Mitra!" seems to be most characters' equivalent to "Jesus Christ!"
*** Makes sense, since Mitra worshippers are the [[CrystalDragonJesus equivalent of Christians]] in Hyboria.
* If you're playing ''Literature/TheEyeOfArgon'' drinking game, you take a shot every time Grignr the Ecordian yells "by the surly beard of Mrifkr!"
* One of the '90s ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' novels has Tails coming out with the line "what the fugding [sic] heck is that?" He also used "sugaring flip". Tails using out-of-date slang (not just invective) was a constantly [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] RunningGag in the books.
* This is combined with DeliberateValuesDissonance as a RunningGag in ''Fever 1793''. The main character often says "Dash it all!" when irritated, and given the time period, everyone else treats her as horribly foulmouthed.
* Laura Ingalls Wilder's ''Farmer Boy'', one of the Literature/LittleHouseOnThePrairie series, has the nine-year-old hero's cry of "Gol ding it!" specifically described by the narrative voice as swearing.
** In ''By the Shores of Silver Lake'', Laura's cousin uses "Gosh!" and the shocked narrative voice observes how 'she used that wicked word boldly'.
* In Carol Ryrie Brink's 1936 ''Baby Island'', one of the two heroines describes the situation as "just one darn thing after another". Her older sister is so distracted she forgets to remind Jean that she must ''never'' say "darn".
* Lampshaded in ''Literature/AshASecretHistory'', where the [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis editor]] explains that he translated the cursing of the eponymous character (a female mercenary who grew up in the camp) as "fuck" and equivalent modern oaths, since "God's death" and the like would seem quaint rather than shocking to modern readers.
* The Literature/{{Sharpe}} series uses antiquated obscene language, but in ways that make it quite clear what the terms mean, and they're clearly ''not'' euphemisms. When Sharpe says something "hurt like buggery," for example, he's comparing it to anal rape.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov:
** In the ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series, one character substitutes some soul-soothing cussing with the word "unprintable". The same character had a tendency to shout "Galaxy!" when irritated, but it's left unclear whether that's considered a strong oath in that setting or not.
** The short story "C-Chute" has this as well, with the simple note that the character's reply "was unprintable."
** In the novel of ''Film/FantasticVoyage'' the hero speculates that CMDF, the insigne of the paramilitary organization, might stand for "Consolidated Martian Dimwits and Fools", and adds, "I've got a better one than that but it's unprintable".
* In David Gerrold and Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/TheFlyingSorcerers'', we get to hear the traveller's translator-recorder's version of what he is really saying when he discovers the locals have sabotaged his spaceship.
* In Creator/LRonHubbard's ''Literature/MissionEarth'' series, a "translation convention" replaces all swearwords with (Bleep). It gets ''really'' tiresome after a while.
* In Stanislaw Lem's ''[[Literature/TheCyberiad Cyberiad]]'', Klapaucius says "Great Gauss!"
* Averted in ''Jo's Boys'', the last book in the ''Literature/LittleWomen'' series. Speaking of the plight of his friends the Montana Indians, Dan exclaims "I call that a damned shame!" The word is written out in full. After a moment's shocked silence, the speaker says that it ''is'' a damned shame -- using the word again -- and he won't apologize.
* In ''Blind Descent'', Literature/AnnaPigeon complains about wanting to swear but being too uncomfortable to do so in a group of people she does not know well. One of the other rangers introduces her to the joys of what he calls 'cowboy swearing'; letting loose yells of things like "Goddang it!" or "Consarn it!". Anna tries it and finds it a great way of letting out frustration.
* In the ''[[Literature/AncillaryJustice Imperial Radch]]'' series, Seivarden -- who spent a millennium as a HumanPopsicle and has some very antiquated mannerisms -- uses "[[OhMyGods Varden]]'s suppurating cuticles" in a moment of stress, gets a laugh for using language [[LampshadeHanging straight out of a historical drama]], and is quite scandalized to hear that such appalling language is used lightly in modern-day theatre.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* On ''Series/TheTonightShow'', Johnny Carson's "Carnac the Magnificent" would issue humorous curses of the form "May a (noun) (verb) your (noun)."
** One variant: "May a weird holy man present you with a rubber novelty in the shape of your mother." Which isn't so bad until you consider that, at the time, "novelty" meant, fairly exclusively, "sex toy". They were (and in some places still are) sold as "novelties" to get round regulations on selling sex toys.
* Cloris Leachman was known to say bleepable words when she scored low (which happened often) on ''Series/DancingWithTheStars''.
* James May and to a lesser extent Jeremy Clarkson on ''Series/TopGear'' use antiquated profanity like "S'truth!" and "Bloody Nora."
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': A good example would be [[AffablyEvil The Mayor]], a centuries-old evil politician aspiring to "ascend" into demon form and slaughter hundreds of people, who talks like this regularly, in addition to being genuinely concerned about manners, punctuality, good personal hygiene, and so forth. In fact, after having taken his demon form - an enormous snake - he is led into a room full of explosives which the Scoobies have planted in the hopes of annihilating him once and for all; his response (delivered in a deep, electronic version of the Mayor's usual voice): "Well, ''gosh''!" Yes, it is as funny as it sounds.
* Averted by ''Series/{{Deadwood}}''. Apparently the writers tried period swearing, but everyone sounded like Yosemite Sam, so they [[TranslationConvention used words that would be perceived by a modern audience the way the actual language would have been perceived at the time]] instead.
** Similar methods were used in ''Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand''.
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'''s Grumpy Old Man wants everyone to know that back in HIS day, they didn't have these modern curse words. They said things like "Flibityfloo!" and they LIKED it.
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'': in ''Film/TheFinalSacrifice'', Mike comes down with Grizzled Old Prospector Syndrome (because he's immune to Hockey Hair (long story)), which causes him to use words like "con-sarn it," "dagnabbit," and to call the bots "varmints."
** This is inspired by a character in the movie who looks and sounds like Alberta's answer to Yosemite Sam - but he ''doesn't'' use Curse of the Ancients. In many of their jokes about him Mike and the bots lay it on thick, though.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{MASH}}'', during a staff poker game, Klinger, before looking at his hand, prays, "May he who brings the water to the parched deserts grant me a small pair of aces!" When he looks at his hand he immediately folds, muttering, "May the mother of your camel spit in your yogurt."
** Colonel Potter had [[RunningGag lots of these]] when he was angry, like "Horse hockey!" and "Buffalo bagels!"
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', Ace was a [[{{Badbutt}} tough teenage delinquent]] who wasn't allowed to swear (her most virulent insult was "toerag"). On more than one occasion she used "Gordon Bennett" as an oath, probably the '''only''' person born in the 1970s to do so unironically in fiction or real life. Of course, if Donna's use of 'frickin' is anything to go by, the TARDIS translation matrix may include a swear filter...
** In "The Five Doctors", the Pertwee Doctor starts tossing out old-fashioned expostulations like "Jehoshaphat!" that one guide book said made him sound like Rhett Butler.
---> '''Third Doctor''' ''(alarmed on seeing the revolving timescoop heading for him out of the sky)'': "Great balls of fire!!"
* Not a curse, but an insult is used by Sheldon Cooper in ''Series/TheBigBangTheory''. Specifically, Sheldon once referred to another character as an "Indian giver." The insult being in reference to the original miss-understanding of of the lack by many Native American societies of the concept of "mine" and "yours." This insult [[ValuesDissonance was used more frequently in the past]] when referring to someone who would refuse to do or give anything as a favor unless they were given or had something done for them in return, and were also [[UngratefulBastard ungrateful when they were given, or had something done for them.]]
* In an episode of MightyMorphinPowerRangers, Kimberly traveled back in time to the 1800's and met [[IdenticalGrandson the ancestors of the other Rangers.]] Usually Billy's [[ExpospeakGag vocabulary was incomprehensible]] to the other Rangers, but this time the situation was [[InvertedTrope inverted.]] When Billy's ancestor used the word "hornswoggle," Kimberly was the only one there who didn't know the word.

[[folder:Radio Drama]]
* Played with in the AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho audio drama ''The Settling''. Companion Hex almost gets executed for blasphemy after casually saying "Oh my God" in front of Oliver Cromwell.
* In the episode of "Mark Time" heard on the Creator/TheFiresignTheatre's ''Dear Friends'' recording, Dr. Technical says "Dad ding blast it to blazes! ... If I could just get this dad blame water pump to turn over."

* Pey'j of ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' is prone to these--"Consarnit!" "Dangblastit!" "You idjit!" et cetera. Oddly, his favorite epithet seems to be the decidedly less-ancient "Sweet Jesus!"
* In ''VideoGame/{{God of War|Series}}'', Ancient Grecian SociopathicHero Kratos often uses the term "By the Gods!" as an exclamation. Given that he ''is'' ancient, it's highly appropriate for his setting.
* The English language ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' games are fond of using "dastard" as a stand-in for "bastard", as well as many, many other such expressions ranging from simply dated to really archaic; while not all of them are necessarily swears, they're not uncommonly used as insults. Like the ''God of War'' example, it's meant to reflect the less-than-modern setting - all Fire Emblem games take place in [[MedievalEuropeanFantasy medieval fantasy worlds]], wherein [[MedievalStasis neither the language nor the technology seems to be capable of becoming any more modern no matter how much time passes]]. This often leads to the somewhat strange sight of teenagers and people in their 20s calling someone a "Craven cur!" or "Mooncalf".
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': The Engineer used to use nothing but minced oaths, but he gained much more aggressive voice responses after the Engineer update (possibly as a nod to the effects of [[{{Unobtanium}} Australium]])

* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** Colonel Sassacre:
--> [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003816 "Land sakes alive, we are cooking with petrol now!"]]
** Played with by Jake English, who amusingly talks in a mixture of old-timey swearing and [[SophisticatedAsHell swearing]].
* In ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'', [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000615c Dr. Light started out this way.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Madame Foster of ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' will occasionally resort to venting in this manner.
* Grampa Simpson on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'';
--> "In my day, TV stars weren't allowed to say 'booby', 'tushy', 'burp', 'fanny-burp', 'water closet', 'underpants', 'dingle-dangle', 'Boston marriage'[[note]]A 19th century term for two women cohabiting, with the implication of lesbian relationship.[[/note]], '[[UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson LBJ]]', 'Titicaca', 'hot dog', ''or'' 'frontlumps'!"
** Bart Simpson even used it before:
--->'''Bart:''' Barbershop? That ain't been popular since aught-six, dagnabbit.
--->'''Homer:''' Bart, what did I tell you?
--->'''Bart:''' No talking like a grizzled 1890s prospector, consarn it.
** Sideshow Bob brings us a sterling delivery of "By Lucifer's beard!"
* Grandpa Lou Pickles from ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', as lampshaded in the above quote.
* DonaldDuck is rather well versed in the Curse of the Ancients. He often lets off a few of them before he goes into his characteristic unintelligible ranting. He ''did'' debut in the 1930s, though, back when some words and phases couldn't be used in respectable films.
* Likewise so is Yosemite Sam of WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes. "That rassen-fressen[[note]]An actual Yiddish curse meaning "rat-chewing"[[/note]] consarn idget rabbit bit my nose!"
** Granny, in the Sylvester/Tweety shorts, would express her frustration with the likes of "Ohh, flibbertygibbet!"
** Other characters tend to use {{Angrish}} instead.
* The appropriately named Fowlmouth from ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures,'' after Buster trains him out of his regular bleeped-out swearing.
* Ron Stoppable from ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' is chastened when at a field trip to an Amish-like town for using modern-day words of frustration, and must resort to "Consarn it!"
* Granny Smith, matriarch of the Apple family in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', talks like this sometimes. Applejack does too when excited, often as obvious censors of common curses.
* Old Man [=McGucket=] from ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' is prone to talking like this. "Aw, banjo polish!"
** While attending an Pioneer Day festival, Grunkle Stan tells Dipper and Mabel not to use the old-timey speech the townfolk are using, leading to:
--> '''Dipper:''' There's a carpet-bagger in the turnip cellar!
--> '''Mabel:''' Well hornswoggle my haversack!

[[folder:Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/JoeBiden's use of "bunch of malarkey" counts--when was the last time you heard anyone under the age of, well, Joe Biden call anything "malarkey" ''except'' as a Joe Biden reference? (To clarify: "malarkey" is still pretty common to hear in America; it's just that everyone who uses it tends to be older, and a younger person would not usually think to use it.) Also counts as GoshDangItToHeck, since the contemporary way to say that would be "a load of bull(shit)".
* Legendary retired American college football coach, SouthernGentleman minus the vices, and devout evangelical Christian Bobby Bowden is also famous for using "dad-gum" as his ultimate expression of frustration.
* The WebVideo/GameGrumps are fond of calling people "clods" when upset. Not that their old, but Arin heard it once and liked how it sounded, and now it's one of their go-to words. They even lampshade how odd it sounds nowadays.
* A "dotard" is an archaic term for a senile, old man which has largely fallen out of common parlance... at least until Kim Jong-un's response to U.S. President Donald Trump's fiery UN General Assembly speech in 2017 made use of a phrase most commonly translated as this word, leading to a large number of people searching on Google to figure out what it meant.
** Considering how North Korean Korean is apparently [[AntiquatedLinguistics a lot more dated]] than Southern Korean Korean, the use of such a word is rather understandable.