(Closed) Do You Think There Are "Off Limits" Cuss Words In A Work Environment?

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 3
90 posts
Worker bee

I’d let most of it go and when they say the one word that makes you cringe, just reply with “I don’t really mind the poor language, but somehow that one word always seems to irk me…” and then just continue your conversation.  Don’t dwell on it.  Don’t lose friends over.  Just get your point across and keep the conversation moving…

Post # 4
1293 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I have a close knit team too, but we don’t swear at work. If I’m out to lunch with colleagues (and they are more *friends* as I’m spending my free time with them), we talk a bit more openly. In the office though? Never. I guess it depends what industry you’re in, but language like you describe would be highly inappropriate in my field.

Having said that, Fiance and I swear like sailors at home. I am able to turn it off at work, but I don’t even try to at home. Words don’t actually mean anything, we place value on them. There’s nothing inherent about it. My guy friends will call each other pussies too, and it really doesn’t bother me. At work, I would find it very unprofessional but I wouldn’t be offended (unless someone swore at me, in which case I’d say something).

I grew up with 3 brothers and a sister. My sister and I learned to put the boys – and their friends – in their places very quickly. Do or die environment 😉

Post # 5
9544 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Maybe just let your cringe show when you hear it and they’ll get the hint?

Post # 7
488 posts
Helper bee

@Mrs_Amanda:  I would probably mention that I hate that word at some point in conversation, but I think mentioning flacid penises at work probably makes these guys think you are cool with them talking in that way.  I understand your point, but I think the message that the guys got was probably actually opposite of what you wanted. 


I would probably let it go. Mentioning it to HR could create tension in the office, especially if it would be easy to find out it was your complaint. 

Post # 9
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I know exactly what you mean haha, I worked on a paving crew for a while and the language can be atrocious! haha At one point I just said to them, “Gosh, I can’t believe your language today! If only your wife X could hear your thoughts on that!”  And we all laughed it off, but I think it worked because I rarely heard “cunt” for the rest of the season.  Just remember how macho they think they are and they think they need to prove it every chance they get.  Boys will be boys.

Post # 10
1357 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Mrs_Amanda:  Today when someone said it, I responded with ‘yeah man, you’re such a small,  flaccid penis'” Hahahahaha….

Yes, I think cursing is usually something to keep under wraps at work, though it depends. My boss is…er…a bit crass. I try not to follow his example because it’s different being the boss and being someone’s employee. That being said, my office is still more lax than a lot of other professional settings, and I sometimes use the less offensive of the curse words out there.

In your case, I would probably either let it be or say something directly to them one time so they know it bugs you and then let it drop.

Post # 11
11231 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I can relate–I work in an office that’s all men. It’s hilarious to listen to my favorite salesman call people names on the phone. I think the worst I’ve heard has been variations of the word “fuck,” but it’s not too bad around here. Just tell them to knock it the fuck off because there are ladies in the office, lmao.

Post # 12
7553 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I would say something about it in a half joking way. For example “Ick! I hate that word!” and shudder and laugh. It will at least make them think about what they’re saying.

Post # 13
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I think ALL cuss words are completely inappropriate in a work setting, mostly because they are bound to make someone uncomfortable. I have worked at organizations where cuss words flew all over the place and I feel it contributed to a overall bad culture of disrespect.

I don’t even take the Lord’s name in vain in front of mixed company, knowing how that can make some peoples’ ears burn. 

Post # 14
1416 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I don’t know, I love to curse like a sailor, and think that word is pretty tame and use it often, lol. But it definitely depends on the office environment, every office is different. If you are the only person at that office who has a problem with the language, I’m sorry but I don’t forsee it changing if every other person including the manager is okay with it. I’d maybe say something nicely to them directly if you are really that tight knit, but if nothing changes you either have to learn to live with it or change jobs. Honestly there are much worse things to have to deal w/ from co-workers (oh the horror stories from friends I could tell you…Devil Wears Prada type abuse of power and such)

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