While reminiscing about my childhood days, I was reminded of another silly belief that I held close to my heart — the origin of the cuss word.
I remember hearing people cuss and then wondering who decided what words would be cuss words. Could “Dort” be a cuss word? Could “Mooka” be another? Who would make such grand decisions? My fevered young brain devised a theory — someone in California decides what the cuss words are. It had to be California. California, at least in my tiny mind, has been the source of everything cool and trendy.
This is where it gets weird. Not only did I believe that cuss words came from California, but for some unknown reason, I also believed that these words were created by a Black man. In my mind, he looked like an African American Leon Redbone. He wore a white suit, white hat, white shoes, shaded glasses and most importantly — carried a cane with a large diamond at the top. There would be a huge party — dancing and such — and at the end of the evening, the man in the white suit would sit down in his designated chair. All of his admirers would sit at his feet and wait — wait for the latest cuss word. He would slowly begin to form a word with his lips as the crowd waited in anticipation. Then he would say it. He would say the word. The newest cuss word. The party goers would explode in celebration, each of them trying out the new word on one another with great satisfaction. Then, the cuss word would sweep the nation. In my mad little mind, I also believed that because I lived in Ohio, it took about 4 years for the newest word to get to me. I figure now that I am in South Carolina, we are probably 5 years behind. I can’t wait until 2014.