We need to put together a dictionary of phrases that express our meanings without invoking god. My reason for doing this is that i don't want people to think I'm religious, so I don't want to say things like "Thank god!" or "I'll pray for you."

So I have a few, but PLEASE add your own -- maybe we can make a document or page about it. Mine are:

(Of Jewish origin) saying BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era) instead of BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini = in the year of our Lord -- he ain't MY lord, that's for sure!)

Saying "I'll keep you in my thoughts" instead of "I'll pray for you" because I won't. Even the Quaker "I'll hold you in the light" is better than promising to pray for someone. When I hear that someone is gravely ill, I say "I hope for the best possible outcome" which doesn't specify what that outcome is -- sometimes it's recovery, but sometimes, it's the deliverance of that person from their suffering.

"For goodness' sake!" instead of "For god's sake"

"By all that is in me" instead of "By god!" Because all I have to offer is what is in me and what I have to give.

"I am grateful" rather than "I am blessed" because maybe it's only the uncaring universe that I have to be grateful to, but gratitude is a very human emotion.Even "Thanks to the luck", because luck is a human, but not a deistic concept.

"Gezundheit" (which means "Health!") or just "To your health" instead of "god bless you" when someone sneezes. Or be like the Japanese and say nothing at all -- a sneeze isn't very meaningful in these modern days!

I dunno -- I may think up more, but I'd be VERY interested to see what other people come up with -- I KNOW there are a lot of fertile minds out there! :-)


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Yeah, I've used those two as well, but not as often. Shouting "frack!" is just more satisfying to me than the other two. But I do like to mix it up sometimes and use frell (which hasn't caught on yet in my circle of aquaintances, but I'm working on it).


And yeah, I want Joss to continue Firefly in comic book form like he's done with Buffy. I don't think the Serenity movie or comic mini-series' did justice to the original show.

Fracking (hydraulic fracturing, associated with deep natural gas drilling) perhaps IS worthy of becoming an expletive!
Seriously! Check out the film Gasland if you haven't seen it! 
Oh for Pete's sake is one of my favorites.

hi guys -

just to let you know, the Pete in for pete's sake is St. Peter at the pearly gates. another religious one - LOL.


": : : : : : How did the saying "For Pete's Sake" come from?
: : : : : Biblical origins. Think of St Peter. Think of the omnipresent medieval church and think of hitting your thumb with a hammer. You can't swear, else the local priests will have you up before the Bishop and the Lord alone knows what the outcome of that will be, so you exclaim, in appropriate tone of voice, "For Saint Peter's sake" and carry on erecting the shelves. This phrase was amended to "For Pete's Sake" in later, less religiously oppressive, times."


Can always go with the Irish "For Fook's sake!"
When someone sneezes, I say, "I hope you didn't catch a bug! Is there something going around?"
Instead of saying "I've been blessed.", I say "I've been fortunate".
Instead of saying "Holy Cow!" (or other things) I say "Wholly unbelievable!"
When someone says that they'll pray for me, I say "Oh, I'm an atheist, but go ahead if you'd like." This is either a conversation starter or ender. :P

I'll often replace one religious idea with one from a nonchristian religion often to comic effect. For example, instead of "God bless you" I'll say "Kokopelli the humpbacked fertility god bless you." (If they're Christian this makes them feel strange since they seemingly just made me violate the commandment against praying to other gods, which is tantamount to them sinning and their unnecessary guilt is humor to me.). Instead of "I'll pray for you" I sometimes say something like "I'll sacrifice a child for you, that's probably what God will demand for this." This often makes people uncomfortable or at least inquisitive and I've succesfully made a common phrase awkward to the point they won't use it around me anymore...or, more likely, hang out with me anymore.


Of course the above is just for off-hand remarks. If there's been a death in the family and someone says they'll pray for me I won't say anything like that and have even been known to say "that's considerate" or "maybe buy flowers for [surviving family member] instead." Since they're only saying they'll pray because they genuinely want to help and feel powerless to do so.

Or in my daughter's terminolgy BC=before cable (cable?  what's cable?), and AD= after digital (when our old stand-alone antenna t.v went kaput forever).

  I regularly use "For goodness' sake!", myself-mainly for the secular sentiment it reflects, but also for the novelty value (nobody in this neck of the woods says stuff like that anymore). 

For best wishes: "Mazel tov", "I wish you the best","You are in my thoughts (as opposed to prayers)" "My heart goes out to you" "Yia sou" (Gk.- "(To) Your health."), "Salud". 

 To express surprise or dispair: "My goodness!"

  In parting: "Stay in touch!" reflects an actual course of action that would be advantageous for continuing a friendship as opposed to "Go with God/Via con Dios!" which simply makes no sense (isn't "going with God" tantamount to dying?).  Or who can find fault with "Drive carefully!" (a REAL imperative if your looking to have a longer friendship.). "It was nice seeing you again.",etc.

 I guess other than simple conventional catch-phrases, the best and most meaningful dialogue probably takes place before the parting sentiments.

Good idea to start using them more though.  I have heard it said (I believe from either the Polish or Hungarians) that bad thoughts scamper past our feet un-noticed, everytime we open a door, and rumor is waiting to fly from our mouths, at the first careless utterrance of a falsehood.

  Such also applies to religion, which seems to spread via the unintentional, invisible usage of supernatural concepts.  And yet, try as we might to educate others, frequently we utter references to the Great Floating Lie (heaven) or the Sky-Ghost (Zeus/Dios).

Incidentally I caught a friend of mine off guard one night when we were talking about the fact that the ERA still, to this day awaits passage.  "Heaven forbid!" he replied.  "Yes, that seems to be the problem." I retorted-usually I never think that fast on my feet. Indeed it seems all "God" or "Heaven" seem to exist for is to forbid alot of things that don't hurt anyone.

Note about BC and AD (in their USUAL usages!) -- I use BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era). That allows you to use customary dates without referring to Jesus, let alone god. Sorry, there's my Jewish heritage popping its ugly head up again, LOL!!
Arrrgghhhhh!   That Jewish heritage AGAIN!!  Even the little guy who turns out my refrigerator light is named after a violinist whose mom named him Yehudi just to let the world know he was Jewish!  Where does it end....??????!!! 
I think we should ALL be Jewish, and then we can all go out and celebrate Tu B'shvat, the New Year of the Trees. That should keep everyone happy, except for those that don't know what a tree is. Just as good as celebrating St. Patrick's Day or Cinco de Mayo, when we're all Irish or Mexican!!! :-)




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