The current occupant of the White House excepted, just about everyone these days acknowledges that protective masks—or “face masks,” as they’re sometimes called, as though we might confuse them with elbow masks—are here to stay for as long as COVID-19 is uncontained, or maybe forever. (In California, where I live, they’re required attire outside the home when physical distancing isn’t possible.)
Rather than see masks as an annoyance, why not regard them as an opportunity for self-expression? Fortunately, many crafty merchants appear to know exactly the sort of self-expression we Strong Languagers prefer.
If you want to ease gradually into sweary-mask style, here’s a discreet statement that allows safely distanced viewers to draw their own conclusions.
“Fuckity-fuck” is such a sprightly expletive, and this shade of coral is so appealing, that you’re practically guaranteed immunity from pesky viruses.* For more on fuckity, see Ben Zimmer’s 2015 post, The Road from Blankety-Blank to Fuckity-Fuck.
A holographic F*CK OFF mask is just the thing for raves and festivals, according to the vendor’s product copy. Because we all can’t wait to get up close and sweaty with 30,000 strangers at a festival, right? (Hat tip: Jordie Welles)
Here’s a highly specific sport mask for baseball fans who give zero fucks about rival pastimes.
Etsy vendor SewGeekStudios posts a caveat on their Etsy store: “Do not swipe if you are easily offended by rude language or cartoon images of male genitals.” Duly noted! Each of these perky designs—I’m a Ray of Fucking Sunshine, Fresh Out of Fucks, and Zero Fucks Given—will set you back $14. Also available: Bitch Please I’m a Unicorn and the forewarned male genitalia.
The Grawlix Podcast discusses comic books, TV, and films and includes a definition of grawlix on the home page: “A string of typographical symbols (such as %@$&*!) used in place of an obscenity, especially in comic strips.” Logo-adorned swag includes pillows, mugs, T-shirts, notebooks, and, of course, reusable masks.
This multifunctional accessory is an all-in-one mask, neck gaiter, bandanna, and headband. The word cloud includes some inventive swears: fucktrumpet, cockcheese, and wankbox, to name a few.
The text says BACK THE FUCK OFF, but in the sweetest possible manner. You can also buy the fabric by the yard for sewing your own masks, curtains, quilts—you name it. (Speaking of naming it, Scurrility—the noun form of scurrilous, “given to using coarse language”—is pretty swell.)
If your friends can read this mask, they’re standing too close. The collage includes some mild epithets—heck, blimey, prat, jerk—as well as asswipe, fuckface, and pissfart.
Are you wearing a memorable sweary mask? Leave a comment with a photo or link!
* You are not guaranteed immunity.