I heard the word “fricking” one time too many today (ah the joys of half days of school) so I made a certain daughter recite the Jabberwocky poem out loud.

I told her I dislike the repeated use of this word, not because it closely resembles the F word, but because it indicates a lack of imagination. This poem would show her that there are far better made up words out there than “fricking.”

When I was in fourth grade my class had to memorize and recite this poem. I did this with far more relish than I did my recitation of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in college.

Of course my daughter loved reciting it. I intend to require recitations of it again if there are other “fricking” violations.

Here’s the poem, which is by Lewis Carroll:

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree.
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came wiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Frumious” and “uffish” would make for great substitutes for “fricking,” methinks.

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