Thursday, October 15


"Don't think that just because I'm quiet, I don't know how to scold bad words or understand them!Remember that I speak 3 languages and 2 Chinese dialects," I warned them.
Ah, it seemed to be a growing culture in certain schools. Some mothers take great pains to shield their children from using bad words, only to hear them from the little angles' mouth after a week in preschool or Year 1. And the children seem to enjoy uttering them, noting the look of horror and disgust in their parents' faces when they say them
BW. Bad words. Swear words. Vulgar words. Mencarut. Smelly words.
We know that they're bad but why do some people utter them daily?

I grew up in a Hokkien environment in Kedah and there are certain words that children as young as 3 know that they're not suppose to say. Adults use them to curse and scold. Even those from other races understand them, and would be angry when they're scolded with those BW.
One of my Malay friends told me,"My Chinese neighbours taught me to speak Hokkien but they started the lesson with bad words, hahaha.. so now I know what those words mean."
And I still remember that as a young girl, I found out that in order to make an enemy very angry was to call him or her a 'babi hutan' although I had never seen a real one. Oh we children learnt fast just by keeping our ears open!

Those in Chinese medium schools are the worse of the lot; they're exposed to all sorts of swear words in every Chinese dialects spoken. And the more you try to stop them, the more they'll use them. Thankfully, I was spared because I was sent to a missionary all-girls school. But that doesn't mean that I don't know many words because almost everyone at home knows a bad word or more. Watching Malay, English and Chinese shows on TV exposes me to more 'vocabulary'. Of course, I don't necessary understand the meaning of all those words but I know a curse when I hear one :P I'm not an angel, I do have my store of swear words and curses but alhamdulilah, I've locked them up somewhere and haven't used them since reverting to Islam. And may it remain that way.

However, the scenario is getting worse. Kids nowadays have no qualms about swearing and cursing in public. In the school. In the classroom. At home. At the shops. There's no shame. It's like,'I know more swear words than you, so what?' And they are good at using words to describe lewdness, which sometimes made my skin crawl when I overheard them. Chinese version. Malay version. Euuuwww! Thank God I don't understand Tamil.

As Muslims, we know that we shouldn't say them. Or use them. Or even show them in sign language. But often, we do hear them spoken when people, Muslims included, are angry and are quarrelling. How ugly. And our children see, hear, learn and emulate. Sigh!

Language is a sign of civilization. What would you think of somebody who uses swear words and curses every few hours, or each time he's at a driver's seat? So let's remember to always guard our tongues, check our body language and project a good Muslim image to the world, insyaAllah.


  1. Assalamualaikum kak.
    At home we were frantic when we heard our little angels start saying those BW. In Kelantan there are many BW that were never spoken in our family but we know them.
    My nieces pick those words at their preschool. Although we always told them that it's not good saying those words, they keep repeating with a smiling face! Provoking our temper.
    They have calm down now after my sister homeschool them until the end of this year.
    And at the Library where I work, teenagers use the BW as their regular vocabs. Advice and pep talk never work.
    What else can we do? Muslim shouldn't be talking like that.

  2. Waalaikumussalam kakchik,
    I remember reading that in the old days, Malay mothers would threaten to rub hot chillies on their children's lips if the use any BW. Wonder if they still do it now :P
    We can't always protect children from BW, so the only way is to educate them from young, that it's bad, those who speak them will become ugly before Allah and make the mouth smelly :P
    Once they grow up to be teenagers, it's a Herculean task to change their habits. I usually stop my students by teasing that their mouths are getting smellier, hahahaa