One of the challenges of writing medieval romance is the difficulty I encounter in finding a good cuss word or two that have some meaning to a modern reader.
Folks of that period were pretty earthy and anything related to bodily functions was pretty much standard conversation. You wouldn't rebuke a child for telling you he needed to take a piss (you get the idea, here). The F-Bomb wasn’t around yet. The dreaded C-Word was around, but was more anatomically descriptive than a cuss word. Even bastard (which I have to confess I resorted to once or twice) was a description of someone’s birth and bitch described a female dog.
So, how does a writer get the point across to a modern reader that this person is really upset or is calling someone else a bad name?
A modern audience is pretty much desensitized at this stage and calling someone a Misbegotten Cur kind of lacks the punch I was looking for.
The answer? Anything with religious connotations was way, way, way shocking and completely off. Put God into it and you had a ready made swear word. God’s Wounds, was a good one.
So, here’s a little game I invented to create your own medieval swear words. Just take words from each column and combine them. Give it a go, I’m always open to cracker of a suggestion. Who knows? You may even find it in my next release.