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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I've had lots of therapy in the past. but I've never asked,

Customer Question

I've had lots of therapy in the past.
but I've never asked, but always wondered about this. when i was 4 years old, I was with my family going to see a person my father knew and HAD PREVIOUSLY WORKED for, standing in the car on the back hump hanging onto the front seats for balance, I said, Oh, we're going to see someone who is "swell." My father shouted, Don't you ever use that word,"swell" again or i'll knock your teeth out and shove my fist right down your throat. Of course, I could feel tangiby
all that he said, his fist going all the way down to my stomach and through to the hump I was standing on. But the reason i'm writing is that I didn't know I was saying anything bad, and now I wonder what was so bad about the word, "swell" in 1940, when
i was four? Can you tell me what was so very bad about it that it would cause such a terrible reaction from him? It was just something I heard my older brothers and sisters say, and I thought it meaNT SOMETHING GOOD.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

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.