The reason I ponder this is because someone at church kept saying "what the freak?" the other day. I mean, every other phrase... Does it really make a difference that he said freak? The same thing was implied to me each time he said it and I started to get annoyed thinking just say it!
It's like when people say O.M.G. for "Oh My God", but will not say "God." (I don't either, which means I am as guilty as "freak" guy, I guess.) They will tell you that they are implying "Gawd" or "Gosh".
Does the actual word matter that much that just changing a letter or two make it all sunshine and rainbows?