Once upon a time in Bedrock, Wilma apparently decided to drop the word ‘bollocks’.
In an episode of The Flintstones called ‘The Astra’ Nuts’, first aired on 3 March 1961, Fred and Barney accidentally join the army for three years after visiting a recruitment centre.
Having received the orders to leave their homes for duty, they bid goodbye to Wilma and Betty, who turn to each other and say:
How do they always manage to bollocks things up, Betty?
I don't know, Wilma. Practice I guess.
The clip has resurfaced after Ofcom rejected complaints made about Bruno Tonioli saying "bollocks" during a pre-watershed episode of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1.
It seems completely uncharacteristic of a Flintstones script. But did you know the Hanna-Barbera cartoon was originally written for adult audiences? The first two seasons were sponsored by Winston cigarettes - possibly why Wilma's B-bomb was permitted.
However, some people have pointed out that Wilma's curse could actually be 'bollix' - a slang term that, although derived from the original swear, evolved to have no relation to genitalia or profanity.
The term was used in 1960s America to describe the making of an error, and was not commonly considered a rude word and is currently defined in the US's Merriam-Webster's dictionary as:
to make mistakes in doing (something) : to upset or ruin (something)
All in all...
Watch the clip, below:
HT Adam Boult