Bible Question:

The words like: damn, darn, doom, drat, hell... Which of these are “curse words”? When are they appropriate for Christians to use in speech, if they are? What does the Bible say about such words?

Bible Answer:

God has given us a high standard that should govern our lives. A previous question and answer has addressed some of the principles in your question. It is titled, “One of my weaknesses right now is my mouth. What can I do?

. . . and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (NASB) Ephesians 5:4

In this verse we discover that we are to avoid “filthiness,” “silly talk,” and “coarse jesting.” The Greek word that is translated as “filthiness” is aiochrotes. It refers to a “shameful, indecent, or obscene speech.” This word refers to any speech that is “disgraceful.”

The Greek word that is translated as “silly talk” is morologia. It refers to speech that is “dull, stupid,and foolish.” This type of speech is characteristic of a drunkard or ancient pirate.

It is sometimes referred to as low obscenity, foolish talk that comes from the drunk or the gutter mouth. It has no point except to give an air of dirty worldliness. [1]

The Greek word that is translated as “coarse jesting” is eutrapelia. It refers to suggestive, crude or obscene language. This type of speech usually occurs on talk shows, and comedy programs.” It includes sinful humor and “refined sin.”

The sense of the word here is polished and witty speech as the instrument of sin. [2]

The words that you mention are not fitting words for a Christian. All of them are considered to be curse or cuss words. We can express ourselves using normal English words. Why use such language when the English language has enough words to communicate our thoughts? Such words are usually avoided in the business world, among professionals, and in churches. Unfortunately, we are hearing them more frequently in the media. They are more common in the late comedy programs, movies containing sex and violence, and the world of fiction.


I will end with a passage that I have attempted to follow. It reminds us how we should speak.

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person. (NASB) Colossians 4:6

Our speech should be seasoned with grace and have the fragrance of Jesus Christ.


1. John MacArthur. Ephesians. The Mac Arthur New Testament Commentary. Moody Press. 1986, cp. 201.
2. Kenneth West. Ephesians and Colossi. West.’s Word Studies. Germans Publishing Co. 1973, cp. 121.

Suggested Links:

One of my weaknesses right now is my mouth. What can I do?
What is the meaning of “coarse jesting” or “jesting” in Ephesians 5:4?
One of my weaknesses right now is my mouth. What can I do?
How To Be Filled With The Spirit