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Foul Language

Alternatives to Cursing in Tennis 

Some of tennis’ biggest stars have been known to throw a tantrum from time to time (we’re looking at you, John McEnroe), and cursing during a televised match can come with a hefty fine.  

At Doubletake, we know you always play fair and mind your manners, but we put together a list of alternatives to curse words - just in case.  There’s no time like the present to clean up that potty mouth, even if you’re not at the US Open. Our friends shared a few of their favorite PG reactions to errors and bad calls, and we grouped them together by style.

How do you keep it clean on the court?

The Ned Flanders 

Nobody lets out a string of family friendly interjections quite like Homer Simpson’s pious neighbor, Ned Flanders. “Calm down, diddly, diddly, diddly. . .” Here are a few of the cleanest and cutest alternatives to cursing in tennis.



Oh Snap! 

Oh Glory! 




The Culinary Curse

Funny how food names can work as terms of endearment for Southern belles and your great aunt Ethel.  But add a little more emphasis, and the same sweet phrases pack a (slightly) harder punch.    


Sugar pie!

Sugar Jets!


Peanut Butter Pie!

Fudge Nuggets!

Oh Fudgesicles! 

Oh Pickles!



The Near Miss 


To the untrained ear, these clean curse words are getting closer to the real thing.  Just be prepared to defend yourself if your outburst sounds dirtier than it is. 

Mother Trucker! 







The Self Deprecator 

Woman hitting her head with the racquet
Source: Adobe


Nobody hates you as much as you do for missing an easy put away, so why not take the opportunity to work on your self deprecating shtick? Whether your outburst is sarcastic or sincere, we suggest taking yourself out for a drink afterward to make up.

Good Tennis!

Shut the Front Door! 

Moron (to self)


Yell (your own) name


The Name Caller 


Why use your own name when you can call out someone else’s?  You can express your frustration with a few of these suggestions from our friends. 

Mother Cabrini!

Jiminy Christmas!

Kelly Clarkson! 

For the love of Pete!


Help me, Oprah!


The Toddler 

Who needs to curse when a physical outburst and unintelligible blabber will work just as well?  Order up a tantrum and some made up words while you’re at it. Try these alternatives to cursing when the need strikes you.





"I've also been known to jump up and down in a mini-tantrum saying, "No, no, no!!!" 

Just a general scream/shout 

“My favorites are my friends who use words that sound like gibberish foreign language words and it's unclear what they mean or how bad they are, but they make me laugh.” 


The Mime 

Here’s how to show your displeasure with body language alone.  

Reenact a missed shot, or express some silent sarcasm. 

Just an air clap with one hand on the strings of one’s own racquet.

Stop and correctly redo the shot correctly, then turn and walk away.  

Note: The person who submitted this learned it from “The 16 second cure”. . Be sure and have a good laugh at the hair and clothing circa 1980!!

The Hopeless Case

Welp, you’re screwed.  Hope you have deep pockets (or an opponent with hearing problems).  Pros have to pony up when their cursing gets out of hand, and even kids know about the swear jar.  If you fall into this category, we feel for you. But only sort of.  

Well, those are a few alternatives to swearing our friends offered up.  What’s your favorite faux curse word?  

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