In Defense of Butts

profanity1This week we were playing around giggling with Landon where we often fall down the toilet humor bandwagon. He is a 5 yr old boy. Boogers, farts, poop…it’s all comedy gold. He calls arm pit farts “chicken farts” and it’s pretty much the funniest thing ever when he tries. Smelling his own stinky feet is a special kind of cackle. I have accepted this. It’s really harmless. We try to make sure he isn’t being rude with his words and roll with the rest.

Until yesterday when I jokingly said “stop scratching your butt”, he said “mommy, butt is a potty word and we don’t say that”. Ummmmm since when? You told me “mom I’m going to put my butt on you” at bedtime last night, I’m pretty sure. He never mentioned it again and I am pretty sure he said it later but it kinda pissed me off.

Butt is not a “bad word”. I am open to everyone’s thoughts on these kinds of parenting dilemmas but really? Butt? It is a shortened form of the ACTUAL THING. Why is this a thing? I’ve been at the park to hear the parent say “well SOME people let their kids say it”.  Yup. That would be me. Ruining America…one butt at time.

They are just words. As the adults, we have decided words have bad connotations. This isn’t calling someone an asshole or dropping C bombs on people. Once again, we don’t want rude words (no matter curse words or not) to make a person feel bad but my kid saying “I fell and hit my butt”? Yeah I don’t see it.

The grown ups have to make their own stance. I get it. Some curse (HAND IN THE AIR) and some don’t. I don’t in front of the kids and I’ve never heard either of them say one mistakenly (that’s right, all you commenters giving me shit about all my cursing…I keep it in check :P). But even with that, I often ponder “why do we decide words are bad?” My kid says “rats” compared to “damn”. Why do I really care? what is the ultimate difference besides society has dubbed it a “bad” word.

What are your thoughts on “bad words” and will this change in the future (new words added, getting comfortable with old)?



  1. Growing up, I remember saying “butt” at a birthday party – I think the context was “don’t sit down there, you’ll get cake on your butt” as there was a piece of cake on a chair . . . but I still remember the looks of concern from those kids who “knew better than to say such things.”

    Right now, CJ’s favorite thing to do is to grab my hands and flip himself — he uses my legs to gain leverage, as he doesn’t quite have the strength/confidence to do it all by himself. Well, as he gains the strength & confidence, he jumps and then presses his feet against my legs . . . the rule is “be careful to not hit daddy’s knees or penis.” Though, I’ll admit, I sometimes even crack up when he audibly repeats the rule.

    Anyway, I do swear, and while I like to think that I’m conscious about WHEN I swear, I believe I have sworn in front of my kids . . . I know my daughter has repeated “Damn” to me a time or two. Ultimately, I don’t think swearing is a great sin — for now, though, until the kids really know “what is appropriate, when” though, I try to keep them from knowing curse words.

    But, the proper word for a body part? Never, ever a swear word.

  2. If butt was a bad word in our house then Rose would be in time out all the time. The poop/pee/butt jokes are going strong in our house. ha! Seriously, I have no idea who defines which words are “bad” and which are not. I’m just going with what seems to be the norm around here. Butt, Poop, Pee, Darn, Gosh are ok. Damn, Hell, Shit (and the “others”) are bad. We had also been trying to get her to say Oh My Gosh instead of Oh My God mostly because there may be some more religious/sensitive kids out there.

    Well, at least until Junior High when all the language restriction get thrown out the window when we aren’t around. 🙂

  3. I agree that the word itself is fine and that it is a losing battle to keep the 3-5 set from the potty humor (even girls). I wouldn’t let my daughter call her sister a butt, but that is context, not the actual word. So I agree with you. Not a bad word. Teach kids to be nice. The end.

  4. “They are just words. As the adults, we have decided words have bad connotations.” THIS. My husband and I do mildly curse occasionally, and never at anyone (to me, that is the difference between a just an expressive word and disrespect). And little dude has picked up on it, our most common is dammit. He knows how to say it in proper context. Not exactly proud of that but it doesn’t freak me out. I tell him we save those words for when we are home. He does say butt. And also pockets, bum and bottom. As well as penis, testicles, and vulva. He does not say fart though – but that isn’t because of us. A long time ago he farted and yelled out, “I burped from my butt!” It was too cute to correct at the time so we let it slide. And now that’s what we call farting in our house.

  5. It’s funny because I DO swear in front of my kid (because I just do, and I was brought up that was and I”m just fucking fine) and she doesn’t ever do it. She knows it’s bad. I’m not proud of it, I don’t think it’s awesome but, it happens and I’m not going to beat myself up for it (cause I do that enough already).

    We are similar to you in that, we don’t use words that are rude or can make people feel badly. If she says “my butt is itchy” well then, ew but also whatever. If she says “you’re a butt” then that’s not ok. It’s not the word, it’s the context.

    And this plays into a lot of things. Words are just words. And they are only bad if we make them that way. My child freely uses the word vagina to describe, well her vagina. I know it makes some other parents uncomfortable when she says vagina, because they would rather their kid call it a hoo-ha or their flower or whatever other bullshit but, I’m keen on using the actual word for things.

    There is enough stuff to fear and stress over that we don’t need to add butt to the list.

  6. I have talked over and over again with my grandmother and mother about "bad" words. How did they become bad and what makes one worse than the other? I say Dammit but is Darn it better? I don't like bathroom humor in large doses but it's part of all kids upbringing. We say "booty" in our house and I'm pretty sure there are people out there that don't much care for that either. Oh well, to each his own. As long as the words aren't being used in a rude or mean tone, I don't see much harm. Of course, I also tell my kids that they can't use certain words at school or church.

  7. As my kids have grown our definitions of “bad words” have changed. When my kids were little the S word (stupid) was not acceptable. Now in reference to inanimate objects it is fine but we don’t call people names. Retard/retarded will NEVER be acceptable in our house. Butts, farts and burps are ALWAYS hilarious!

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