Oxen, “Donkeys” and other 4 letter words

She jumped into our SUV in the school pickup line with an easy-breezy sigh.

“I got the solo! But it’s all good because Mr. Grizzard asked me to sing the first verse and not the second.

So I don’t have to worry about all the ox and donkey stuff!”

I laughed!

THIS will explain THAT:

There were several students who were auditioning for a solo in the Christmas concert.

“But” she told the other kids, “I need to ask my mom if I can audition, because our family doesn’t say that word.”

She auditioned anyway. There was no time to “ask mom”.

“I’ll just tell my mom I said the word.”

So THEY laughed.

And THIS explains THAT:

Our family doesn’t say ass, when spoken as a description for a persons’ plump and cheeky anatomy used to cushion a fall on their backside.  And if you do use it to describe a persons’ plump and cheeky anatomy used to cushion a persons’ fall on their backside, then that’s ok…let’s just still be friends. OK?  Alrighty then!!

And besides, in my opinion, the term donkey as opposed to ass, works just splendidly for the typical farmhand…or for us…except when you’re auditioning for a solo in the

Christmas concert, which includes lyrics with phrases such as: “where ox and ass are feeding”.

Or something like that.

Of course we sing the lyrics correctly.

Who in their right mind would sing, “Where ox and donkey are feeding”?

We raised our kids to not use ass as slang. AND that’s the way my mother raised me.

“OH my goodness gracious”, she would say, “don’t say THAT!”

And so I didn’t.

Well I don’t ever remember trying anyway.

She had no tolerance for 4 letter words.

(ass is a 4 letter word isn’t it??)

She didn’t want us using 4 letter words

like ain’t (must say: am not or is not or are not)

and can’t (must say: I will try)

and butt (must say: bottom)

and fart (do not mention it and please quietly leave the room)

and crud (Rachel!! do not say crud)

OR crap (uh! oh!…that is definitely an out)

and burp (DO NOT BURP outloud!)

I think that about spans the scope of 4 letter words.

Doesn’t it????


I know! Right?

Not even close. NOT.EVEN!

Four letter words and slang are just a part of American culture.

They are used for emphasis and humor…and actually for no reason at all, it seems.

But seriously, my mother knew that our words (and actions) had power.

My mother knew that we could appear


or low class, in her opinion,

if the words that came from our mouth were not selected with great care.

She wanted us to be kind.

To speak well.

If we didn’t have something nice to say…don’t say it.

She wisely knew that the power of life and death were right between our teeth on our little bitty tongue.

She knew that even truth, if spoken unkindly, wasn’t really necessary.

Well, she put a rosy and positive spin on just about everything.

Even as she lay dying she asked for a pen and paper and with her left hand so weak she could hardly write,

she wrote, “This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad!”

I’m not really sure the challenges you are facing.

You may not feel like rejoicing or being glad.

But maybe…

just a tiny bit of maybe…

start changing the can’t words-to I will try words.

And just take little tiny baby steps

toward using your words to speak with life giving power

over yourself and your situations.

I am having to do these very things right now…

in my life…

I will not accept despair and defeat.

There is more…oh so much more…

It’s all baby steps…it doesn’t happen immediately…sometimes we aren’t even aware.

And even though, you may think I’m silly…

I’m not even going to apologize one tiny little bit for the fact that my daughter paused to think about the words to the lyrics of the song she auditioned for.

BUT I might have to apologize to the mom of the girl singing the 2nd verse. You know the second verse where the “ox and ass are feeding”?

We’ll see!

So just rejoice and be glad.

And I know you will  put the extra in an ordinary day!

I’ll go first!


Thank you for touching my life in immense ways by liking and sharing and subscribing to this post and blog.  You guys are the best and I want to be surrounded with people just like you.  Have a awesome day peeps!

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  1. That is so good and funny. You are such a good writer.
    Ass, as referring to an animal, is used in many scripture in both the Old and New Testament.
    Have a wonderful day.

    1. OH, thank you so much Donnie. Yes, I know that ass is an animal. It generally isn’t used in that manner and that is what Mother didn’t like for us to say! haha. Thank you for leaving a comment. Hugs

  2. Very entertaining writing, and you make several good points! Keep writing, and avoiding those words. One of the members of my Sr Adult Choir has a list of the words not to use, and her adult children know what is on that list – so to annoy her on Thanksgiving, they were using about every word on the list, and she finally caught on to what they were doing! There is a verse about it, because sometimes we get hung up with just not using the Lord’s name in vain, but there is more. I was trying to remember what it was when my friend was talking about it – here it is – Eph 4:29:
    KJ21 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to use in edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
    ASV Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear.
    AMP Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].
    AMPC Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.

    1. Oh MY GOODNESS!! That is SO funny that they were using THE words to annoy their mom! HAHAHA! That sounds like something my kids would do. I will say, “Stop that! We haven’t raised you in a barn!” And they say, “Mmooooo”.

      Oh the things we humans do and say.
      Thank you for sharing the scriptures you found. I appreciate you including those.

  3. I smiled right through this piece…… Light and airy writing but making a point about how crude popular speech has become. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your family.

    1. Oh Rhonda, I’m glad it made you smile! Yes, I wasn’t finding fault with those who use words that I don’t. Just reminding MYSELF that it’s quite ok to not talk that way!! Thank you for your friendship!!

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