#39 First time

Do you remember when was the first time you swear?

Growing up, my brother and I watched a lot of TV. Not only that, we would record movies on VHS and rewatch them over and over. The Back to the Future I was part of that rotation. Not too bad if I learned my first swear words there?

I might be somewhere between 8 to 10 years old. At the dinner table,

Me: I learned a new English phrase today.

My dad: Yeah? What is it?

Me: Holy Shit! That’s what Marty said in Back to the Future.

I don’t remember how my dad responded. He might have just not responded and saved it for me to find out in the future. I didn’t know English back then, and I was misguided by the Chinese subtitles: 該死, which literally means “should die”. Nothing positive here, but at least not curse words?

And that’ my first bad English word…

I picked up my first bad Chinese words from Chow Yun Fat. I was (again) somewhere between 8 to 10 (maybe even 7?), and the TV was showing a series from early 80s (could be late 70s though) that starred Chow. In the show, Chow was talking to two gangster-type characters. I don’t remember what he said exactly, but I remember he called those guys 木嘴 . Of course I didn’t know what it meant. It just sounded cool.

Fast forward a few days, I was at a park playing with other kids. Suddenly, I called one of the kids 木嘴. I wasn’t particularly angey, nor I wanted to scare him. His mom heard what I said, looked surprised, and took her kid away without saying a single word. My mom noticed something was odd and asked what happened.

I have not been saying that much since then, as I realized that is such a dated term!

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