The Mystery is Solved!

March 18, 2004 | 10 comments

Gordon, given your long interest in BYU sports and your recent interest in cussing, I thought you’d appreciate this explanation of the word Yewt.

Over at they use ‘Yewt’ both to refer to the Utes and as an all-purpose profanity substitute. Phrases like, “We’ll kick your yewts, you sons of yewting yewts” are not uncommon. In fact, ‘yewt’ gets used so much that one often forgets that it is a substitute at all and one is often at a loss to think what particular profane word a poster had in mind, if any. I have sometimes wondered about it.

Anyway, a poster yesterday monikered Taco Salad gave the official explanation:

Way back in the dawn of the Internet Age, there was a little old listserv called Cougar-Net (it’s still around in a legacy format, but it is almost gone now).

Around 1996, we were discussing how it was an insult to the Native American Ute tribe to have to be linked with the Keystone Kops football team that was the Utah Utes.

Instead, to help guard the honor of the REAL Utes, it was suggested that we refer to them as the ewets (with the understanding that they play like female lambs).

Over time, it morphed into “yewts”. However, it didn’t really take off until El Jefe, our honored leader of CougarBoard, developed his profanity filter, which replaces profanity with the term “yewt”.


10 Responses to The Mystery is Solved!

  1. cooper on March 18, 2004 at 11:53 am

    Major sleuthing Adam! Good to know cuss word originations!

  2. Kim Siever on March 18, 2004 at 11:56 am

    Ahhh…good ol’ Utah. I’m glad I served my mision there before this phenomenon started. That is one habit I can do without.

  3. Gordon Smith on March 18, 2004 at 12:40 pm

    Yewt! I was going to post this! ;-)

  4. Ady Hahn on March 18, 2004 at 8:37 pm

    “Around 1996, we were discussing how it was an insult to the Native American Ute tribe to have to be linked with the Keystone Kops football team that was the Utah Utes.”

    Is this the same team that kicked BYU’s butt a number of times around 1996? 34-31 anyone? Sour grapes.

    Nobody messes with my Utes, including my Cougar-loving husband.

    But when basketball season comes around, he inevitably comes to his senses and supports the Utes.

  5. paul on March 18, 2004 at 11:52 pm

    How many national championships do your Utes have? Heisman trophy winners? WAC conference championships? NFL players? As far as basketball goes, it’s getting back to the way it used to be…especially with that abusive coach gone. I’ll admit he has done great things for the conference though, and I always root for your Utes when they’re playing outside the MWC.

    Here’s a story that sums it all up for the Utes. Today, while watching the BYU game at a restaurant in South Bend, Indiana I noticed a Utah fan a few tables away rooting against BYU. WHY? It’s ONLY good for Utah if BYU wins. That is true jealousy if you ask me, and typical of Utah fans.

  6. Kaimi on March 19, 2004 at 12:20 am


    Come on, there’s no need to make anything more than what it is. BYU-Utah is a standard college rivalry, just like dozens or others across the country. As with all such rivalries, neither side has any particular claim to any moral high ground. Any attempt to claim such high ground just makes the claimant look silly. You root for your team. They win, they lose, life goes on.

  7. Paul on March 19, 2004 at 1:21 am


    I don’t think I said BYU has the moral high ground. I think I said Utah, and every other school in the conference for that matter, strongly dislikes BYU and roots against them regardless of who they’re playing. Don’t get me wrong, BYU deserves a lot of it. We spent the 80′s running up the score on all of those schools, now the playing field has been leveled and it’s fun…for them.

  8. Adam Greenwood on March 19, 2004 at 4:43 pm

    You couldn’t be more wrong. You anti-exceptionalists are all the same.

    In any case, why rain on a little friendly fan rivalry?

  9. Ady Hahn on March 19, 2004 at 7:58 pm

    Ooh, Paul. Them’s fightin’ words! ;-)

    At least Utes, to my knowledge, haven’t used a variation of Cougars as a cuss word. We heathens up north just use the “real” 4-letter word instead of a euphemism of a euphemism.

    Sniff! I’m still sobbing from the Utes’ loss to Boston College today. I do hope the Cougs do fare better.

  10. Paul on March 19, 2004 at 10:17 pm


    Your right on about the heathen part. Don’t worry, we did fare better in our game…much better. Just not good enough.


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