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Minced Oath

What in tarnation is that?

What in tarnation is a minced oath?

In 2021, Netflix released a short documentary series called The History of Swear Words. And gee-willikers, friend, I learned a fascinating new term from watching it: minced oath. 

While a minced oath sounds like a cereal you should put on the shelf between the frosted wheat and the raisin bran, in actuality it’s something you probably use all the time. Unless you’re a potty mouth.

I live in Utah, where minced oaths are a cultural pastime. Why? Because the vast majority of pious Utahns don’t like to swear, and a minced oath is basically a polite expletive.

“Minced Oath”

A type of euphemism based on a profanity or blasphemy that has been altered to remove the objectionable characteristics of the original expression.

Have you heard any of these?

  • For Pete’s sake, don’t let the flipping dog out, gosh darn it!
  • Jeepers creepers, what the heck was that?

What’s extra fun is making up your own — which is exactly what I did while writing Champagne Fizz.

Meet Kendall

Kendall Hart is the curly-haired, yellow-suit-wearing leading lady of Champagne Fizz. She owns the company Weddings with Hart, and has been hired by Ned and Olivia to plan their wedding at Flambé.

However, Kendall doesn’t swear — ever. Whereas, the staff of Flambé tend to swear like it’s the second coming.

Kendall’s got got quite the challenge as she attempts to minced-oath her way into their hearts with her gosh-darn-sweet words. Unfortunately, that’s a little tricky when Flambe’s co-owner Simon is always getting her tongue-tied.

Of course, it’s more fun to hear it directly from my character …

Excerpt from Champagne Fizz

“Okay, yes!” I concede, as Simon spears me with his sexy boy-next-door eyes. “Your business partner, Arie, is a raging —”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Simon holds up his hands in defense. “That’s my best friend you’re about to call a word that rhymes with witch.”

“Actually, I was going to use the word witch,” I defend. “I’m not a brute.”

“She doesn’t say the B-word, huh?” His eyebrows raise. “Just like saying fuzzing instead of—”

“It’s called a minced oath,” I explain, tugging at the top button of my yellow suit coat. “It’s when you replace a swear word with—”

“Minced oats? Is that a cereal?”

“Oath!” I correct. “And yes, that’s what it’s called.”

“Of course, it is.” He mock nods. “Replacing swear words with ones that are perfectly cute and adorable, befitting a woman who wears canary yellow and has the last name Hart.”

“I was born with that last name.”

“Maybe,” Simon says, getting up and walking around his desk toward me. “But the fashionable suit” — he plucks my lapel — “and the punny wedding business name were a choice.”

“In the same way a witchy best friend is a choice?” I reply, stepping back so his hands aren’t so close to me.

He smiles at that. “Touché.”

And Jiminy Cricket, know what’s extra delightful? Even the title Champagne Fizz is a minced oath. 🥂😉

So if you’re up for some blimey-limey good fun, pre-order your copy of Champagne Fizz for only $2.99 (the book will go up to its normal price on release day).

Holy mackerel, you don’t want to miss this doggone, son-of-a-gun good deal!