Mar 18 2009

Is ‘skanks’ a bad word?

There are some questions that you are prepared for when you walk into a room. Furthermore, there are especially some questions you aren’t prepared for when you walk into a room at church.

The asker  of the aformentioned question was a boy about eight years old who was cleaning up the room with a couple of the girls.

“I don’t think so,” I told him, “But it is very rude, so it would probably be best not to use it.”

That answer seemed to satisfy him, and I appreciated him asking first instead of just using it.

At any rate, its not really a word I use, so I looked it up. The word dates to the early 1970s, but its etymology is unknown, with the best guess being that it is a portmanteau of skeevy and rank. While it may not technically fall into the profanity category, the word’s connotation is quite offensive, and its use should probably be avoided.

Something that didn’t occur to me at the time (I guess because I was caught off guard) was to refer him to this verse:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” –Ephesians 4:29, NIV

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