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Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the term "swell," back in the 1940's or today since it was and still is considered a slag term to suggest something positive. Most likely your father did not react negatively to that specific word, but was taking out his anger on you for some other reason...this is called displacement. You did not say anything wrong with the term "swell," and no one would have had a problem with it back in the 1940's as it is a positive slang word that was popular at the time. I was not there, so I do not know why your father reacted in this way, but you did not say anything bad, that I can tell you with 100 percent accuracy.