Growing up in the Midwest, four-letter words were forbidden in my household, at least by kids. My mom warned that if I said them, she’d wash my mouth out with soap. I believed her, because she did it one time, not for uttering a four-letter word, but as punishment for “talking back.”
Four-letter words get a bad rap. Here’s how the American Heritage Dictionary defines them:
four-let·ter word (fôr ˈletər wərd)
n. Any of several short
as vulgar or obscene.
Sure, there are some nasty ones that I wouldn’t mind having washed away:
hate rape pain rude liar feud
fake jail hurt sick fear kill.
And some are even more obscene with just three letters:
There’s a simplicity and honesty about short words, though, that I value. Here are a few that I plan to keep in my vocabulary:
read book sing song noun verb cook fork food bake cake feed note
card foot toes moon rain (well, maybe not after weeks of it in the winter) sail
pail hike bike toot vote coat look like love seed dirt wool silk dock
sock work soon tune bowl hair care fair pear milk kilt cove need help
fire bird sari pair tool word work grin talk walk duck bead plum chum
soap hope boot hoot goat boat deer dear head play pray.
What four-letter words are you happy to use?