• The Advertising Standards Authority considered whether "fricking painless" is a phrase appropriate for children to hear on the radio.
  • It has previously held that "effing fast" is not suitable for kids – because they could get in trouble for saying it.
  • But "fricking" is okay, the ASA decided.


The word "fricking", also pronounced "frigging", is okay to use on the radio, because kids will probably not get into trouble for using it, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.

It has previously held that "effing" is not a suitable word for children, because it is a euphemism for "fucking", and "a child would most likely get into trouble at school if they used this phrase".

But on Wednesday the ASA directorate unanimously ruled that "the word 'fricking' coming from a child would cause considerably less consternation and possible trouble than the word 'effing'."

So "fricking" is not harmful to children, at least in the context of the radio advertisement it was considering, the ASA said.

The ad it considered is a radio commercial for second-hand car trader We Buy Cars, that includes the dialogue:

First character: "You even come to me?”
Second character: "And even do all paper work with immediate payment”
First character: "Really?”
Second character: "Yes. We buy cars” 
First character: "Wow. That’s fricking painless”

A consumer said that was an unnecessary and crass euphemism for "fucking".

"Fricking", though, is its own adjective, the ASA said.

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