top of page
  • Niamh

I Now Understand Why My Granny Swore Like A Sailor...

'Mummy, granny said a lot of ERS’S today didn’t she?’

I can remember saying this phrase sometimes when I was small and we’d be coming home from seeing my granny on a Sunday.

My dad’s mum, was a real character. She raised four absolute wilding boys and one girl while my granda was out working all day, all in a small three bedroom house on a modest single income. It was, I’ve no doubt, the norm in those days, in fact, many mums had double the broods and even less means to content with, but to me, especially now that I’m a mum, I look at what she did and I’m in absolute awe.

I struggle with one wildling toddler who has boundless energy and runs, jumps and leaps his way through every day with a peppering of meltdowns and mayhem… how she did it with four of them and one girl, in a small house and no mod cons (they didn’t even have a fridge when my dad was young) is so far beyond my comprehension I don’t know where to start... I freak out when the Wi-Fi goes down for God’s sake!

Ah but they were different times…

Yes, they were. I’m pretty sure she would have had lots of help from her mum and her ‘village’ and times were different. Kids played outside all day and amused themselves much more, the world seemed that bit quieter and safer and washing the sheets was an all-day affair, but despite that, I still admire the hell out of her.

Anyway, needless to say she was a tough customer and when I was small I can remember her swearing… a lot.

It would be ‘jaysus’ this and ‘arse’ that and yes, even 'fuck' was dropped occasionally. To my small ears, it all sounded like ‘ERS’s’ and that’s what I called it when she swore. I’d laugh and say granny said an ‘ERS!’ I knew they were bad words, which I wasn’t supposed to say, but I also remember getting a secret thrill out of hearing them too.

Fast forward to today, and I now understand why she swore like a sailor. It was a coping mechanism, a way to let off steam, a form of catharsis and I really and truly understand how sometimes you just have to let a huge ‘for fucks sake!’ out of your mouth!! I’m not saying you do it in front of your kids, but honestly… run out the back garden and try it some day and see how much better you feel!

Anyway, I often find myself thinking she’d be laughing at me now because I too am fond of swearing… so much so, you might remember I instituted a swear jar in my house, which at one point served as a great weekly wine fund… yes I spent the swear jar money on chardonnay!

Sorry, not sorry.

Anyway, as much as I love to swear, as the little dude has become more loquacious, I’ve really made a massive effort not to swear during the day when I’m around him. It’s been hard, but my lexicon now include regular bellowing’s of -

Oh blast’

‘Oh dear’

‘Woops a daisy do’

‘Look at that silly billy,’ and so on…

When I’m in the car though, all bets are off and I find that’s the place I really have to watch my mouth.

And so far it’s worked… he hasn’t repeated any bad words, as he just hasn’t heard them escape my mouth… and if they do, it tends to be under my breath!

But when he goes to bed, I mean the literal second my husband comes down from his room, the flood gates open and the air turns blue… well it takes me a few minutes to remember, yes I can swear and then I release multiple f-bombs as though I was reading a Roddy Doyle novel aloud!

And fuck does it feel good!

bottom of page