Vulgar words in Babbitt (Page 1)
This book at a glance
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He said "Damn!"
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He hunted through the medicine-cabinet for a packet of new razor-blades (reflecting, as invariably, "Be cheaper to buy one of these dinguses and strop your own blades,") and when he discovered the packet, behind the round box of bicarbonate of soda, he thought ill of his wife for putting it there and very well of himself for not saying "Damn."
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Ever since she got out of college she's been too rambunctious to live with--doesn't know what she wants--well, I know what she wants!--all she wants is to marry a millionaire, and live in Europe, and hold some preacher's hand, and simultaneously at the same time stay right here in Zenith and be some blooming kind of a socialist agitator or boss charity-worker or some damn thing!
~ ~ ~ Sentence 356 ~ ~ ~
I do think after a man's spent his lifetime trying to give his kids a chance and a decent education, it's pretty discouraging to hear them all the time scrapping like a bunch of hyenas and never--and never--Curious; here in the paper it says--Never silent for one mom--Seen the morning paper yet?"
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The Street Car Company don't care a damn what kind of a deal they give us.
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And go to Gunch's again to-night, and play poker, and cuss as much as I feel like, and drink a hundred and nine-thousand bottles of beer."
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She began to push right through it with her 'Sir, how dare you?' manner--Honestly, sometimes when I look at her and see how she's always so made up and stinking of perfume and looking for trouble and kind of always yelping, 'I tell yuh I'm a lady, damn yuh!'
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But there was a little squirt of a man there--probably been waiting half an hour--I kind of admired the little cuss--and he turns on Zilla and says, perfectly polite, 'Madam, why are you trying to push past me?'
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But honestly, I'd be tickled to death if she'd really go making love with somebody.
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Why couldn't you and I make some excuse--say business in New York--and get up to Maine four or five days before they do, and just loaf by ourselves and smoke and cuss and be natural?"
~ ~ ~ Sentence 1,159 ~ ~ ~
I got to--Oh, damn Noel Ryland!
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Damn Charley McKelvey!
~ ~ ~ Sentence 1,257 ~ ~ ~
I don't know how we all get to scrapping this way.
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Wear old pants, and loaf, and cuss."
~ ~ ~ Sentence 1,646 ~ ~ ~
IV At that moment In the city of Zenith, Horace Updike was making love to Lucile McKelvey in her mauve drawing-room on Royal Ridge, after their return from a lecture by an eminent English novelist.
~ ~ ~ Sentence 1,711 ~ ~ ~
Is anything more standardized than England, with every house that can afford it having the same muffins at the same tea-hour, and every retired general going to exactly the same evensong at the same gray stone church with a square tower, and every golfing prig in Harris tweeds saying 'Right you are!' to every other prosperous ass?
~ ~ ~ Sentence 1,772 ~ ~ ~
Besides, gosh, we got to have some boob for audience, when a bunch of hot-air artists like Frink and Littlefield get going."
~ ~ ~ Sentence 1,948 ~ ~ ~
Two hours before, Frink had completed a newspaper lyric beginning: "I sat alone and groused and thunk, and scratched my head and sighed and wunk, and groaned, There still are boobs, alack, who'd like the old-time gin-mill back; that den that makes a sage a loon, the vile and smelly old saloon!
~ ~ ~ Sentence 2,027 ~ ~ ~
But these small-town boobs, with nobody but each other to talk to, no wonder they get so sloppy and uncultured in their speech, and so balled-up in their thinking!"
~ ~ ~ Sentence 2,064 ~ ~ ~
Guess that's going some, all right--BUT just among ourselves, you better start a rapidwhiz system to keep tabs as to how fast you'll buzz from low smoke spirits to TIP-TOP-HIGH--once you line up behind a jimmy pipe that's all aglow with that peach-of-a-pal, Prince Albert.
~ ~ ~ Sentence 2,373 ~ ~ ~
Hasn't got the spunk!"
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The cautions of the broker were wiped from his face, and his voice was cruel: "I've had enough of all this damn nonsense!
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The old-fashioned coon was a fine old cuss--he knew his place--but these young dinges don't want to be porters or cotton-pickers.
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And another thing we got to do," said the man with the velour hat (whose name was Koplinsky), "is to keep these damn foreigners out of the country.
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Or Rone and Ted scrapping.
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And then old Major Silas Satan, a brainy cuss who's always waitin', he gives his tail a lively quirk, and gets in quick his dirty work.
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Whole damn bunch lean on me.
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All of 'em depending on me and picking on me and not a damn one of 'em grateful!
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Probably I've told one or two fairy stories in my time, when the occasion called for it--you know: sometimes you have to lay things on thick, to impress boneheads.
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Babbitt, old dear, you're crooked in the first place and a damn skinflint in the second.
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Zilla (oh, damn Zilla!
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"I suppose he was trying to make love to some hotel waitress or manicure girl or somebody."
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Here you love Paul, and yet you plague him and cuss him out as if you hated him.
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"Damn soft hands--like a woman's.
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He accepted Frink with vast apathy; he grunted, "Poor boob!" and straightway forgot him.
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He exploded, "Oh, spring it, spring it, you boneheads!
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Ida was complaisant; her bare shoulders showed it only too clearly; but he'd be hanged if he'd make love to her merely because she expected it.
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I want to put you wise about this scrapping with your head-barber all the time.
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Now that Paul's out of it, I don't want to see any of those damn people again!
~ ~ ~ Sentence 5,702 ~ ~ ~
But just to show you how liberal I am, I'm going to send a check for ten bucks to this Beecher Ingram, because a lot of fellows are saying the poor cuss preaches sedition and free love, and they're trying to run him out of town."
~ ~ ~ Sentence 5,735 ~ ~ ~
Just because he's sympathetic with the aims of Labor, a lot of chumps that lack liberality and broad-mindedness think he's a crank, but let me tell you there's mighty few of 'em that rake in the fees he does, and he's a friend of some of the strongest; most conservative men in the world--like Lord Wycombe, this, uh, this big English nobleman that's so well known.
~ ~ ~ Sentence 5,777 ~ ~ ~
But I certainly am criticizing the systems in which the free and fluid motivation of independent labor is to be replaced by cooked-up wage-scales and minimum salaries and government commissions and labor federations and all that poppycock.
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He hated them, because they were poor, because they made him feel insecure "Damn loafers!
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I'm a fool, but I'm not such a bad cuss, get to know me.
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"A boob like Verg Gunch would try to get funny about seeing her bedroom, but I take it casually."
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They argued windily with him, and he was cocky, and enjoyed the spectacle of his interesting martyrdom.
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Once he had timorously tried to make love to her.
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Now he did not try; he merely made love; and Louetta dropped her head on his shoulder, told him what a nagger Eddie was, and accepted Babbitt as a decent and well-trained libertine.
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You're one of these enthusiastic chumps that always overdo things.
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He perceived that, since he was making love to every woman possible, Tanis was no longer his one pure star, and he wondered whether she had ever been anything more to him than A Woman.
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She's a fine girl, but I've given her just as much as she has me... Oh, damn these women and the way they get you all tied up in complications!"
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You been doing a hell of a lot of insinuating and hinting around lately, as if I were leading a double life or something, and I'm damn sick of it, and I don't want to hear anything more about it!"
~ ~ ~ Sentence 6,840 ~ ~ ~
She was younger in years than himself, yet it was sickening to have her yearning up at him with rolling great eyes--as if, he shuddered, his own aunt were making love to him.
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You don't suppose these Big Guns will stand your bucking them and springing all this 'liberal' poppycock you been getting off lately, do you?"
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But no, damn it, I don't care how much it costs!"
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Why, that damn radiator is hot as--it's hot as--it's hotter 'n the hinges of Hades!
~ ~ ~ Sentence 7,442 ~ ~ ~
A crackling shower of phrases filled the room: "At their age--" "Ought to be annulled--" "Never heard of such a thing in--" "Fault of both of them and--" "Keep it out of the papers--" "Ought to be packed off to school--" "Do something about it at once, and what I say is--" "Damn good old-fashioned spanking--" Worst of them all was Verona.