Fake Etymologies

Interesting is better than true.

cuss, v. /kʌs/

From the word “percussion.” Despite English’s being primarily an even mixture of Romance and Teutonic language families, the vast majority of its swears, oaths, epithets, maledictions, and profanity comes from the latter. The effect of dropping these words into the middle of sentences (or even other words; see “tmesis”) introduces a striking, drum-like rhythm to speech. Phrases such as “Stop your percussion” relaxed into “Stop yer cussin’ ” over time.