Lexicon Valley

Clusterboinks and Clusterfornications

This post originally appeared on Strong Language, a sweary blog about swearing.

I love the word clusterfuck. It’s a perfect word for, as Jesse Sheidlower defines it in The F-Word“a bungled or confused undertaking or situation.” That sums up approximately 91.3 percent of life.

Much as I dig the original, I’m also a fan of variations. Here are some rare cluster-alternatives I’ve spotted over the years: the children of clusterfuck. Like a lot of children, most are less offensive than the parental unit. But they’re all signs of verbal creativity—and the omnipresence of clusterfuckery.


“Here’s an update to the House Ethics Committee investigation of Tom DeLay, which is fast approaching the deadline they set for themselves when they chose to defer the matter in July. Unfortunately, it looks like this may wind up a total partisan clusterboink, in which all other considerations are subservient to protecting ones’ flanks.” —Off the Kuff


“Decided to post this stuff here since there’s a clusterbunch of topics and don’t really want to add to that currently.” Playtonic Games

cluster coitus

“Border militia plot evaporates into ‘cluster coitus’ as doubts arise over ‘commander’ ” —Raw Story


“I see total fail on all aspects of this toy. Bad gimmick, bad design. Yup, it’s a total clustercrap.” —CollectionDX


“I think the technical term is a: ‘clusterfornication’ ” —Investors Hub


“The Senate immigration bill has morphed into a monster of grotesque characteristics. It is a clusterfrak.” —Flopping Aces

cluster molestation

“Chaos Emeralds now instead of being in a nausea migraine epileptic inducing eye cluster molestation like they are on the MD are now hidden throughout the levels them selves.” —IGN

cluster-naughty word

“Speaking of Collins, what’s up with Jeff Fisher basically calling Billy Volek a liar yesterday? I still haven’t figured out the whole Titans cluster-naughty word when it comes to how they went from Steve McNair to Billy Volek to Volek/Vince Young to Collins/Young.” —Hurst’s Fantasy Blog


“The playoff structure has changed from the championship going to the team with the best record, then to a game with just the two division winners (with play-in games for ties), and all the way up to our current 12-team 11-game formula, not even mentioning the cluster-nookie that was the 1982 strike season.” —Football Outsiders


“So, what are some other massive clustersmurfs?” —Freakin’ Awesome Network