Mapping the United Swears of America
July 30, 2015 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Hell, damn and bitch are especially popular in the south and southeast. Douche is relatively common in northern states. Bastard is beloved in Maine and New Hampshire, and those states – together with a band across southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas – are the areas of particular motherfucker favour. Crap is more popular inland, fuck along the coasts. Fuckboy – a rising star* – is also mainly a coastal thing, so far. from Strong Language via Kottke [NSFW language, natch]
posted by chavenet (104 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite


 
This data confirms my personal observation that while there a lot of assholes in New England, Oklahoma is the crappiest state in the country.
posted by yhbc at 7:28 AM on July 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Just putting it out there:

My current "wtf" has turned into:
"Shit, hooker!"
Long live, Chicago.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:30 AM on July 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Philly and NYC are squarely in the "Fuck" belt. As a native of Philly, and transplant to NYC, this is my complete lack of fucking surprise.
posted by SansPoint at 7:30 AM on July 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


"gosh" is a swear word? I'm in trouble now.
posted by sammyo at 7:34 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


That fuckboy shit 'bout to be repelled, though.
posted by Zerowensboring at 7:34 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


What about fuckboy vs fuckboi? I've only ever seen the latter.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 7:35 AM on July 30, 2015


I was sad that they left out gee willikers.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:36 AM on July 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Long live "fuckboy" in all of its spellings.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:37 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's definitely consistent with my experience that outside the South no one bothers to use hell as an expletive.

What is with that cluster of people using cunt between (I think) Nashville and Bowling Green? That's really striking.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:37 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Weird to see that the south is so distinctive in the way it swears. Wait, not weird. What's the opposite of weird?
posted by ColdOfTheIsleOfMan at 7:37 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love regional swears. I'd never heard jagoff before moving to Chicago. It's perfect in the accent. Jeeaaagawf.
posted by travertina at 7:37 AM on July 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


I was sad that they left out gee willikers.

After watching Downton Abbey I realized I want to bring back "golly". I also recently watched Bringing Up Baby so "jeepers" is on the list too because I am profoundly affected.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:38 AM on July 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Is choad/chode just so niche that it doesn't warrant a chart? I was introduced to the word in high school in South Jersey and have not really heard it outside that area.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:38 AM on July 30, 2015


I love how "gosh" appears to be the State Swear of Utah.
posted by telepanda at 7:38 AM on July 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I also came here to talk about the spelling of fuccboi.
posted by griphus at 7:39 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


After watching Downton Abbey I realized I want to bring back "golly".

I've been gollying up a storm for 11.3 months now. I've been trying to make golly happen. It's going to happen.
posted by Zerowensboring at 7:41 AM on July 30, 2015


I love how Marin County alone in California is into the word "bitch." What could it all mean???

Also, on a more somber note, I moved from the Sacramento 'burbs (NEVER AGAIN) to San Francisco in 2005, and this clearly shows that at least some of what I thought was progress during that time was actually just my location. (That also appears to be the only map where California is sharply divided on something.)
posted by sunset in snow country at 7:43 AM on July 30, 2015


Interestingly, Chicago rates pretty high for nearly all swears. Except crap. We don't take no crap.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:49 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am out west in Seattle visiting family and it's funny to hear people say "dang" where my Philadelphia cousins "back east" would ordinarily drop f-bombs. I fully approve of the G-rating however.
posted by three blind mice at 7:51 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also wish they had "dick" in this since I'm trying really hard to avoid the word "bitch" since it's inevitably gendered which makes me uncomfortable whereas I'm comfortable calling anyone a dick as long as they're being a dick.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:52 AM on July 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Seeing the Puget Sound light up for'slut' made me wonder how much of its visibility is due to the South Lake Union Trolley, and how people hawk merchandise for it online, etc ('Ride the S.L.U.T' e.g.).
posted by MoonOrb at 7:52 AM on July 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I also came here to talk about the spelling of fuccboi.

I think you mean "fuqbwah"
posted by briank at 7:54 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Tarnation, this thread is fudge.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:55 AM on July 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Not a comprehensive study, they seem to have overlooked "fiddlesticks".
posted by sammyo at 8:06 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used the phrase "What in the Sam Hill?" with a coworker the other day when I was getting riled up enough to slip into the minced oaths and half-swears of my youth, but no one reacted oddly. I'm considering seeing how far I can push this. Stay tuned for next week's "Consarnit! Y'all need to stop CCing me on everything!"
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:07 AM on July 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm trying really hard to avoid the word "bitch" since it's inevitably gendered which makes me uncomfortable

That's why I try to only call people assholes, because it's gender neutral but the two syllables allow for maximum fury. (Though I did call an academic linked on the blue a prick the other day, because it just felt right)

Why is "darn" on the list? Really, darn is a swear? And I find it hard to believe that "shit" isn't used absolutely everywhere. It's such a handy word! Personally I'm still waiting for "fuckpig" or "fucking pigdog" to catch on, both of which my friends and I used a lot in Uni. Immensely satisfying to say.
posted by billiebee at 8:09 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's why I try to only call people assholes,

We've all wanted to send those Christmas cards, congratulations on living the dream.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:10 AM on July 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Wow, I did not realize "pussy" was an oft-used pejorative where I'm from. I am wracking my brain thinking if I have ever heard anyone use it.

My favourite non-swear substitute is "sugarfoot." "Oh, sugarfoot!"
posted by Kitteh at 8:13 AM on July 30, 2015


In today’s modern Galaxy there is, of course, very little still held to be unspeakable. Many words and expressions which only a matter of decades ago were considered so distastefully explicit that were they merely to be breathed in public, the perpetrator would be shunned, barred from polite society, and, in extreme cases, shot through the lungs, are now thought to be very healthy and proper, and their use in everyday speech is seen as evidence of a well-adjusted, relaxed, and totally unf [bleep!] ked-up personality. So, for instance, when in a recent national speech, the financial minister of the Royal World Estate of Qualvista actually dared to say that due to one thing and another, and the fact that no one had made any food for awhile and the king seemed to have died, and that most of the population had been on holiday now for over three years, the economy had now arrived at what he called, “One whole juju-flop situation,” everyone was so pleased he felt able to come out and say it, that they quite failed to notice that their five-thousand-year-old civilisation had just collapsed overnight. But though even words like “juju-flop,” “swut,” and “turlingdrome” are now perfectly acceptable in common usage, there is one word that is still beyond the pale. The concept it embodies is so revolting that the publication or broadcast of the word is utterly forbidden in all parts of the galaxy except one - where they don’t know what it means. That word is “Belgium” and it is only ever used by loose-tongued people like Zaphod Beeblebrox in situations of dire provocation.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:18 AM on July 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


There seems to be a particularly high degree of conservatism in Eastern Nebraska. The map for "Gosh" almost forms a bullseye. I have seen a few other maps with similar patterns for that area. I don't know if it is anything beyond being a mostly rural area, but it does seem to stick out. Looking at a map of the area, I can't even line it up with any particular town. I would say North Platte, but it seems the center is north of that.

Is there some sort of particular cultural enclave in that area beyond generally conservative farmer communities?
posted by Badgermann at 8:20 AM on July 30, 2015


Sammyo, I actually heard "fiddlesticks" in the wild last week, and in Philly no less.
It was spoken by a Comcast employee (!) annoyed that she wasn't able to help a customer (!!) after running out to the parking lot to try to catch him before he left (!!!).
I was so charmed by the whole thing it almost made me forget that I was there to pick up my 4th cablecard after the prior three had been DOA.
posted by Eddie Mars at 8:30 AM on July 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Zarking hell, backseatpilot, I should have thought of that.

Which reminds me... ss much as I love using a good Earth swear, by the way, there's a special place in my language centers for the fictional swear "smeg." Used to great effect in the Red Dwarf line: "Oh Smeg. What the smegging smeg's he smegging done?"
posted by SansPoint at 8:31 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


What's with all the motherfuckers in Maine?
posted by kokaku at 8:34 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well gosh all fish hooks!
posted by Foosnark at 8:34 AM on July 30, 2015


A friend of mine is trying to make "shitdang!" happen, but it's more of an exclamation of surprise than one of anger.
posted by emjaybee at 8:40 AM on July 30, 2015


What's with all the motherfuckers in Maine?

They're Mainiacs.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:41 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


No love for dink, eh. (Miss that one)
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:45 AM on July 30, 2015


I see that "asshole" registers strongly in New England. Was the confounding factor of the term "Masshole" accounted for?
posted by wenestvedt at 8:46 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine is trying to make "shitdang!" happen, but it's more of an exclamation of surprise than one of anger.

Assbuckets! (weary frustration)
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:46 AM on July 30, 2015


That's not a confounding factor; they actually are assholes.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:46 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Without rhyming slang it really isn't as fun ya bunch of Westpac bankers.
posted by Talez at 8:56 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm saddened to see no heat map for "peckerwood." It has a rustic charm and doubles up on penile imagery without quite crossing the line into publicly unacceptable vulgarity.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 8:58 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


godfuckingdammit is a favorite of mine.

also christ on a crutch, altho i have no idea what it means.
posted by sio42 at 9:06 AM on July 30, 2015


I'm a bit amused at seeing the amusement at fiddlesticks above--I use it myself, picked up from my mom.

The one that amuses me whenever I see it in the real world is "shut the front door." My wife and (at least) one of her friends use it.
posted by Four Ds at 9:06 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's interesting how racial slurs got mapped as "hate," but most gender slurs just get mapped as "swears."
posted by chortly at 9:07 AM on July 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


This list is balls
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:08 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


the first time i heard "shut the front door" was at a very busy starbucks at 630 am when a large black girl and a tall skinny white dude who obvs are good buddies are making drinks and telling each other about last night's outings. the guy says something and she stops what's she's doing, looks at him and says way over the din " SHUT.... THE... FRONT... DOOOOR".

Everyone was immediately awake, coffee or not.

I was not in a smiling mood prior, I was pretty happy the rest of the day.
posted by sio42 at 9:10 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


No love for dink, eh. (Miss that one)

If you're too far from the Twin Cities to swing by Dinkytown, you can still score a university-approved t-shirt.
posted by mr. digits at 9:12 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Alaska and Hawaii, getting fucking shafted again. (Not from either, but curious about them.)
posted by Hactar at 9:14 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Georges Perrier Rule: Swearing only counts in your own native language.

When Perrier ran Philadelphia's Le Bec-Fin restaurant, he swore constantly as a release of tension. WHAT THE SHIT IS GOING ON, THAT DISH IS IN THE SHIT, THIS KITCHEN IS IN THE SHIT! The staff learned to adapt to this.

But if Perrier started yelling MERDE!... that's when they hid the knives and breakables.
posted by delfin at 9:15 AM on July 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Alaska and Hawaii, getting fucking shafted again. (Not from either, but curious about them.)


Probably because Alaska has 1500 words for "fucking cold."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:18 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


My mom cusses but she won't disobey the third commandment, which results in the delightfully mixed Goshdammit!
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:20 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


My carefully cultivated "don't swear in front of the kids" expletive is "rats". It's a nice stand-alone.
posted by telepanda at 9:31 AM on July 30, 2015


"gosh" is a swear word? I'm in trouble now.

As a boy, I got reprimanded in Texas for saying "shoot". Fucking Texas, man.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:46 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Haha, in front of the kiddo is "jeez" a lot, with "come ON!" where I would usually say "What the fuck?" and also "DUDE WHAT!!" as all-purpose Angry Exclamations. Most occur while driving.

His dad and I have a habit of "swearing is ok after bedtime" on the assumption that he's asleep, but I know he's not always asleep and has definitely heard us drop f-bombs and so on. At first I felt bad, but now I feel like this is enough of a fig leaf for a kid his age. Just don't cuss around teachers, small kids, or Mema.

My dad was basically Yosemite Sam around us. "Consarn it, dag-blasted, ding-dang piece of....dang it!" Also, "dadgum" and "dagnabbit." It was a big day when I caught him saying "damn."
posted by emjaybee at 9:48 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm trying really hard to avoid the word "bitch" since it's inevitably gendered which makes me uncomfortable

Aw geez this gets right to the heart of me. As I've learned more about the power of language, microaggressions, and such I've been trying really really hard the last few years to clean up my swearing so as to get rid of phrases that are perojative to an entire group of people, and it's been super hard. Bitch itself wasn't a regular part of my vocab, but "hellbitch", "sonovabitch", and "bitch on fire" were; phrases like "bastard" and "assfuck" also had to be weeded out. These were easier to get rid of with some effort.

The questionable ones have been a little harder, and due to my favorite swear being shit tend to involve additions to that word, phrases like "shitcock." Could that be construed as homophobia, or am I merely implying they have a cock made out of shit? Is motherfucker a gender slur? What about my frequent use of "mothershitter?" What about one of my absolute favorites, shitfuck? Should I stop saying "jesus shit"? Could I be implying something deeper with "monkey toed shitface?" I've had to think (and still am) about a lot of this and it's been painful.

And then there's butt fuck Egypt, or BFE for short. I spend a lot of time in the middle of nowhere; I spend a lot of time talking about the middle of nowhere. The middle of nowhere isn't good enough for truly desolate places, which is where "way out in BFE" comes in. But it's a phrase that makes me deeply uncomfortable when I think about it; it's also so goddamned entrenched in my vocabulary that I can't.stop.saying.it. I want to stab myself in the eye every time it slips out.

Luckily other favorites like "pissant", "piss up a rope", "big turd in a little bowel", "horseshit", "sheeptick", "assholes in paradise", "corncob the feces", and "shitfire" are still good to go - phrases I'm a little disappointed aren't on that list, honestly.

And everyone knows to get the fuck out of my way when I bypass shit and say "excrement" instead. In some ways the most effective swears are swears that don't use "bad" language.
posted by barchan at 9:49 AM on July 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Isn't it interesting that there seems to be a number of words that have as dividing lines from the Appalachians in the east and their foothills in the south, to the Mississippi at it's confluence with the Ohio, then after that pinch-point, it continues on to the greater west.

Culture is fascinating.
posted by eclectist at 9:50 AM on July 30, 2015


My mother was a fan of just saying the phrase "bad words" when she wanted to swear, only she could only manage it when she was actually not all that mad, so there was this escalation of "Darn, dang it, bad words, bad words, SHIT!" that was pretty entertaining.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:51 AM on July 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


I know playing any of the Souls games (and currently Bloodborne) will evoke deep wells of spontaneous freeform profanity, from the punchy 'cocksmelter!' to the grandiosity of 'shitfuck dick-a-titty!' And recently I got a strong sideeye from my ladyfriend for exclaiming 'whillikers'. NoVA locale for data point reference.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:52 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Eclectist, I wonder how much of that is the long cultural shadow of the Civil War and where soldiers went afterwards? Or , somewhat related, that a lot of soldiers come from the South in general, and there's a lot of military bases in the west?
posted by barchan at 9:53 AM on July 30, 2015


I've told this story here before, but it bears repeating.

I was driving my then-3-year-old daughter to day care one day and used the epithet "Goldang it!" in some context.

My child asked "What's goldang it mean?"

I responded, "It's something you say when you get angry about something."

To which my 3-year-old replied "Oh, you mean like 'motherfucker'!"

Mommy got a talking-to that evening.
posted by briank at 9:56 AM on July 30, 2015 [35 favorites]


There seems to be a particularly high degree of conservatism in Eastern Nebraska. The map for "Gosh" almost forms a bullseye. I have seen a few other maps with similar patterns for that area. I don't know if it is anything beyond being a mostly rural area, but it does seem to stick out. Looking at a map of the area, I can't even line it up with any particular town. I would say North Platte, but it seems the center is north of that.

Is there some sort of particular cultural enclave in that area beyond generally conservative farmer communities?


Eastern (rural) Nebraska is definitely pretty conservative, but I wouldn't say it runs much more so than the rest of the region. "Gosh" is, now that I think about it, a pretty ingrained part of the texture of the language around there. It might also see some exaggerated use among self-consciously-not-swearing Evangelicals, who are a pretty strong presence.
posted by brennen at 10:07 AM on July 30, 2015


Grandpa would omit vowels. Shhhhhht was heard often when I stayed at their house.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:18 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah arguably most of these, other than the penis-focused and blasphemous ones, and of course "fuck", "shit", and "asshole", derive their chest-expanding power from homophobia and misogyny (including "douche", which I sometimes still use, despite myself, because I like to spit out that d). Looks like "whore" is the worst thing you can call someone in/around Montana. I can't believe the non-"fuck" f-word is still in active use. (Well, I guess I can if I think about it, just haven't heard it in years, thankfully.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:18 AM on July 30, 2015


I was raised in a rock-ribbed, devout Irish-Catholic family where swearing was taboo. My Ireland-born grandfather's worst expostulation was "Flaming Pest;" my father's, "Judas Priest." Naturally, I learned to swear like a fishmonger from Billingsgate. . .

For those seeking euphemistic but satisfying swearword substitutes, I recommend W.C. Fields' own "neoswearisms": "Mother of Pearl" and "Godfrey Daniel."
posted by rdone at 10:19 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know whence I got "shitbird" as an insult, but it never fails to generate a smile or laugh when I am forced to deploy it.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:22 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


derive their chest-expanding power from homophobia and misogyny (including "douche", which I sometimes still use, despite myself, because I like to spit out that d)

I am totally fine with "douche" as an insult because everyone should hate douches! They are bad for you and throw off the pH in your vagina and if I felt like someone were calling me a name that meant "you are bad for me and would throw off the pH in my vagina" I would feel non-misogynistically chastened.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:29 AM on July 30, 2015 [28 favorites]


I did an interview with Peter Fonda years ago, and the thing that surprised me the most is that he uses "gosh" and "golly" in everyday speech, like he's a Hardy Boy and not Captain America from Easy Rider.
posted by maxsparber at 10:43 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


My father, who was a drill sergeant and then a bombardier-pilot on a B-24 in WWII, raised me with the notion of "Power Words." Words that have a great deal of power, but only when used judiciously. Of these words of power, "fuck" was the most powerful. The dementia which has claimed his mind as he has passed 90 has seemingly brought him closer to enlightenment, and he spends his days sitting in his favorite chair with a blissful smile on his face. He's always hated games, but lately he'll sit at the table while the rest of the family plays cards. As he gets more demented, I imagine someday he'll be able to enjoy playing like we do. During one particularly rousing game my delightful SO, whom everybody adores, was dealt a disappointing hand. "JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!" she screamed.
My very proper mother burst out laughing, and my dad said: "I know each one of those words, but I've never heard them in that order."
posted by Floydd at 11:11 AM on July 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I know, I know...but "cunt punt"
posted by Zerowensboring at 11:12 AM on July 30, 2015


Notice that the extreme southwest corner of Tennessee has one shade higher frequency of curse words on almost all maps. That's Shelby County/Memphis. I'm doing my fucking part, you chinstraps.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:21 AM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


i smashed my elbow quite horribly earlier and screamed DICK PICKLES and it is my new favourite swear
posted by poffin boffin at 11:44 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was told by a small child at my library that crap is a swear. Well, I was chastised, really, since I had just said it within his hearing. I just told him " not at my house."
posted by Biblio at 11:58 AM on July 30, 2015


It's not really my field, but I must ask - is Fuckboy DC or Marvel?
posted by Devonian at 12:13 PM on July 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


On the milder swears: growing up, I would definitely be in trouble with my parents for using darn, dang, etc. I remember very well the day I heard my mother say "Damn it!" One day in class, I was reading aloud from a play and accidentally said "damned," or something similar, and nearly broke down in tears.

Bit of an interesting contrast between my kids:

My eldest, now 18, came home from kindergarten announcing that he knew what the F-word was, and proceeded to confirm that fact--his mom had been expecting him to say "fart" or some such, but no.

As he grew up, he rapidly accumulated a full vocabulary. He delighted in bringing this vocabulary to bear, and we made it clear that he was not to do so in class or around his baby brother, but that otherwise, many of them didn't bother us. (Side-story: at one point, he repeated "stupid bitch" from a classmate, and we absolutely stamped down on it. "Bitch" got forgotten from his vocabulary, and he fixated on "stupid" as being an unallowable swear word.)

My youngest is now 8, and has never used any swears to my knowledge; because of that, we've never really discussed having a rule about it. My language has nearly been fully expurgated of cursing, but my wife's is a bit looser...and despite the rule, the older brother's is much looser than that--usually while playing videogames behind closed doors admittedly, but still audibly--so the little one's been exposed to such language even in our house, let alone at school. He's much, much less social than his brother, and I wonder about the connection.
posted by Four Ds at 12:14 PM on July 30, 2015


My favorite pseudo-profanity is "hamdrammit!," which I learned from a preacher's wife who is now around 70 years old.

In my north Texas family, the worst I ever heard was "shoot" and "dadgummit." I was probably in my early 20s before I realized what "dadgummit" was substituting.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:14 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Zut alors! Tabernac! Sacre bleu.
posted by porpoise at 12:34 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Barchan, the solution is East Jesus! I use that and BUFU (butt fuck nowhere) interchangeably so if you're looking for a replacement there's one for you.
posted by Carillon at 12:41 PM on July 30, 2015


RATFUCK 4EVAH
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 1:01 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


California says f*** slightly more than New York? Well f*** California!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:17 PM on July 30, 2015


I went to a Baptist primary school, where we weren't even allowed to use faux-fanity like "heck" or "darn." Our classroom copy of Little House on the Prairie was expurgated, because Pa Ingalls used the word "danged."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:21 PM on July 30, 2015


My 14 year old and her best friend hate swearing. They have created their own little vocab of faux swears. Fuck = faboo, shit = shaboo, bitch = bafoo, ass = aboo and tits (?) = tafoo (but they use that one more freely, like "what the tafoo" and such). It's kind of adorable.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:47 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The maps are based on an 8.9-billion-word corpus of geo-coded tweets

That's a strongly limiting factor in this analysis. These are maps of regionally used swears by people on Twitter, which necessarily excludes a significant section of the population while skewing towards the demographics that use Twitter.
posted by Panjandrum at 1:55 PM on July 30, 2015


Jesus H Fucking Christ. Put the emphasis on the syllable of your choice :)
posted by triage_lazarus at 2:39 PM on July 30, 2015


I like using "sci-fi swear words" myself, just to be myself*, and I give preference to those coined on my favorite (usually less serious) shows/movies/books, mostly "Frell" from Farscape (as opposed to Battlestar Gallactica's "Frak" which has lost its specialness now that oil companies are frakking all over the place), "Smeg" from Red Dwarf, . Under certain circumstances, I've used "Belgium" (which I make sound more like "belge 'em" but have rarely needed to go as far as "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle". And yes, I used to "Shazbot", but not for a long time.

*weird
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:45 PM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Jesus H Fucking Christ.

My personal favorite is Jesus H. Tap-Dancing Christ on a Cracker. I just like the imagery.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:52 PM on July 30, 2015


My personal favorite is Jesus H. Tap-Dancing Christ on a Cracker. I just like the imagery.

That reminds me of a book by Spider Robinson, possibly Lady Slings the Booze. Along with all the other random weirdness, a not-quite-named character described as somewhat hippy-looking wanders through a few scenes in odd ways: on a pogo stick, on a crutch, maybe even tap-dancing (it's been a while). I believe he might even have given the middle initial H. This being Spider Robinson, it's kind of implicit that he's the real deal, just hanging out at the best bar/brothel in the universe.
posted by Four Ds at 3:01 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I feel like this study should've included 'Bless your heart,' in order to be truly accurate about swearing in the South.

Also, dude is totally a swear word when used thusly: Dude!
posted by culfinglin at 3:16 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wish there was a map for tarnation just to see how it correlated with hell.
posted by ckape at 3:26 PM on July 30, 2015


I went to a Catholic school where teachers frowned on "Oh my god", and the school had a flight of slippery stairs from the cafeteria to the lower level.

These facts connected when I slipped on one step, and at age 13, my life flashed before my eyes as I bellowed "SHIT!" down the steps.

The vice principal-- who cringed when people said "darn"-- was in stitches.

Shit happens.
posted by lineofsight at 4:55 PM on July 30, 2015


My word lately has been "jackass", especially when I'm driving. Get the fuck out of the fast lane, you slow dumb jackass. Try looking at the fucking road for once in your life, you stupid jackass texting while driving and weaving. I'm going to rip your goddamned balls off, you jackass motherfucker who almost clipped my car doing a no-look four-lane change in heavy traffic.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:07 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Rock Steady: "I don't know whence I got "shitbird" as an insult, but it never fails to generate a smile or laugh when I am forced to deploy it."

I'm going to venture a guess: did you ever watch Trailer Park Boys?
posted by Bugbread at 6:38 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I learned 'shitbird' from a college friend who spent his formative years in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
posted by MoonOrb at 6:46 PM on July 30, 2015


Can someone explain what "fuckboy" means and how it's used? Sounds completely foreign to my New Jersey ears.
posted by mikemacman at 9:39 PM on July 30, 2015


Ego-blinded, disrespectful horny morons who ineffectually pester women for attention and/or sex on social media.

Here: see for yourself.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:13 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


And, when it comes to real life, I think it tends to be applied to guys who are similarly jerkish or shallow or sort of useless. especially exes. Although it seems to me it's more widespread as an online usage.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:19 PM on July 30, 2015


I've never heard "fuckboy", but googling it...well, there's a word I won't be adding to my vocabulary anytime. Prison rape victim as insult...

And, yeah, sure, you can always say "Oh, I didn't mean it in that sense, I meant it in the 'sleazy guy who won't take no for an answer'", but that's just as awesome a defense as all the people who say "I didn't mean faggot in the homophobic sense" or "I didn't mean bitch in the misogynist sense".
posted by Bugbread at 2:03 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fuckboy and fucboi aren't the same thing. I've always heard fucboi in my neighborhood used to describe a guy who is super thirsty, take selfies all day and thinks he's hot shit.
posted by laptolain at 4:43 AM on July 31, 2015


Bugbread: "I'm going to venture a guess: did you ever watch Trailer Park Boys?"

No, actually, but I bet lots of people in my social circles have. Maybe I picked it up second-hand from them.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:08 AM on July 31, 2015


And, yeah, sure, you can always say "Oh, I didn't mean it in that sense, I meant it in the 'sleazy guy who won't take no for an answer'", but that's just as awesome a defense as all the people who say "I didn't mean faggot in the homophobic sense" or "I didn't mean bitch in the misogynist sense".

The word is a portmanteau. My impression has been that it's something of a homonym in terms of the competing prison rape (or alternatively, archaic rent-boy) usage, when it's spelled the same way. It's not really like those examples at all, from my impression. I don't think the most of the people using it have any awareness of the other usage. Whereas people who say 'faggot' and 'bitch' know what those words mean even if they think they should be allowed to use them lightly.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:14 AM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like the equal-opportunity moniker "dickwash" instead of "douchebag" for some asshat who is just a total fucking douchebag.
posted by AmyPants at 4:32 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Similarly I once called someone a "dickwipe" in a fit of road rage. I spent the next while marvelling at what your brain can invent on the spot when someone pulls out right in front of you for fucks sake
posted by billiebee at 1:02 AM on August 2, 2015


I find it absolutely hilarious that people in metafilter want to fit in with the regular crowd by "swearing"...but not swear so much as to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Try "golly gee".
posted by hal_c_on at 12:57 PM on August 2, 2015


I find it absolutely hilarious

let me understand this ... cuz I ... maybe its me, maybe I'm a little fucked up maybe. We're funny how, I mean funny, like a clown? We amuse you? We make you laugh? We're here to fuckin' amuse you?
posted by billiebee at 1:15 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


« Older My envy: it is boundless. Life on a houseboat (or...   |   The Value of People with Down Syndrome Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments