Poor Vocabulary? That's Bollocks, you fucking twat-bastard
December 31, 2015 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Bloody Hell!! People who swear have bigger vocabularies, according to researchers.
posted by marienbad (41 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Twat-bastard is average - I'm afraid, you've joined together two sweary words and it somewhat negates the effect. Portmanteaus such as 'Fucksocks', or 'Pissflaps' which join together the light and the dark, seem to have a far greater impact.
posted by bookbook at 8:16 AM on December 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


The actual correlation is the number of swear words one knows to the overall size of the individual's lexicon. Just because someone says "fuck" all of the time doesn't mean they have a good vocabulary. If, however they are prone to saying "goddamn that fucking shit banana ass-wipe knob-slobbing pendejo" then you have someone with a larger set of words at their disposal.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:20 AM on December 31, 2015 [20 favorites]


Can we get a link to something other than The Sun?
posted by Evstar at 8:20 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


*Monocle pops out of my eye* Well, I never!
posted by drezdn at 8:21 AM on December 31, 2015 [9 favorites]


o hai. the sun is a twuntbag tis true.

here you go
and moar

arsefelch shitnipple spoogegargle
posted by lalochezia at 8:23 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here's the abstract.

Sadly for me it seems grumpybear69's take is spot on. People with good vocabularies are good swearers, people with small vocabularies might still swear but it's not creative.

I swear plenty but it's basically "fuck" and "shit" over and over. I binge watched The Thick of It once to try and improve but all that took was adding "fuckity fuck fuck" to my vocabulary. The first two posts in this thread have more creative swearing than I've done in my lifetime.
posted by mark k at 8:29 AM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure being able to swear creatively or having a large lexicon of swear words does anything to indicate the frequency of said swearing, and I challenge any of the motherpimping babyfisters who disagree with me to see how far they can pull down their prolapsed asshat.

I'd be more interested in a study about creativity or artistic intelligence and swearing frequency.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:35 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd be more interested in a study about creativity or artistic intelligence and swearing frequency.

Don't know about studies, but Mark Twain's language is the stuff of anecdote.
posted by BWA at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately, much of the art of swearing may be lost to the modern world. My father claimed that the highest caliber of artist in the medium of profanity was an army mule skinner - "he could go 5 minutes straight without repeating himself".
posted by 445supermag at 9:11 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


bookbook, i concur. more shocking than a conventional swear is some utterance that's obvs profane, but contains little actual profanity.
posted by Zerowensboring at 9:14 AM on December 31, 2015




'pissflaps' which join together the light and the dark.

Blink, blink, blink, forehead crinkle. Theoretical physics, metaphysics?
posted by Oyéah at 9:18 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is something about driving (real or simulated) that allows my full linguistic creativity to shine. It's pretty fun, tbh. The rest of the time I'm pretty banal in my swearing.
posted by Fig at 9:37 AM on December 31, 2015


Bellend and knobhead are my personal favourites......

I also think the word TWAT doesn't have quite the same ring in North America as it does in England.

It needs the hard "A" sound, not the soft "O" sound that Americans use.

Its TWAT not TWOT... you TWAT
posted by JenThePro at 9:45 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


In a follow up study they asked 40 Scottish men to combine all the swear words with all the animal words. The participants all completed the task before the researcher even managed to tell them to begin.
posted by srboisvert at 9:49 AM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well, heck-diddly-darn-arino! I guess I'm smarter than I thought!
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:52 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I try not to swear during prayer.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 10:06 AM on December 31, 2015


I also think the word TWAT doesn't have quite the same ring in North America as it does in England.

It needs the hard "A" sound, not the soft "O" sound that Americans use.

Its TWAT not TWOT... you TWAT


I'm lucky enough, as a non-Brit, to have a British boss so I can a.) use this in a workplace swearing context without getting fired and b.) pronounce it with the hard "A" (as feels right and proper) and feel completely understood.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:13 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also think the word TWAT doesn't have quite the same ring in North America as it does in England.

I've long had a theory that the most popular swearwords in the UK are the ones that have a certain amount of scope for either guttural hard-'c' back-of-the-throat pseudo-phlegm-gathering or hard 't's in imitation of spitting. Fuck, shit, wanker (or as properly pronounced in a South of England way: "Waaaankkkuh!"), cock, twat, prick. Of course, "cunt" has the gathering at one end and the spitting at the other, which is why it retains it's position as the holy grail of swear words. It really ought to be spelled with an invisible 'i' after the 'c' and at least three 't's: "Kiunttt!"

(That words such as cot, kumquat and carrot have a similar arrangement of c and t is purely coincidental: if society anointed them rude, they would be taken up with wild abandon by the foul-mouthed. Kumquat already sounds as though it ought to be rude.)

Other English-speakers, or at least Americans, approach the swears with too much delicacy, so they sound like proper words, rather than pure vehicles for catharsis.
posted by Grangousier at 10:21 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I swear like an unsaved truck driver.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:24 AM on December 31, 2015


I much prefer swearing to praying, I consider it my American birthright, with gestures!
posted by Oyéah at 10:33 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


All I can say is perhaps I personally have a bigger vocabulary due to having this bit make me find the Oxford Dictionary in the public library at 6. I was in search of other words that were definitely profane - but not among The US Dirty 7 that would get me a whipping:

"Don't give me that, you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings! Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, malodorous pervert!!!"

Now that's just awesome. I always wondered which of them came up with this one. Wouldn't be surprised if it had been Eric! Brits, boy. They certainly are terrific swearers.
posted by droplet at 10:48 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I learned to swear at my daddy's knee. He had a prodigious vocabulary and so do I (my whole family is ace at crosswords) but I'm happy to add "twatbastard" to my lexicon and I imagine Dad would be proud of me.
posted by scratch at 11:02 AM on December 31, 2015


I learned to swear at my daddy's knee.

Why, did it offend you somehow?
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:18 AM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Ultimately, the best swearing is about context, which is why the The Thick Of It's sweary rants are brilliant, because they demonstrate both knowledge of detail, awareness of what's going on, and an almost Synesthesia-like approach to the situation, such as "DO YOU WANT A FUCKING SPLINTER GLASS FACIAL?"

As opposed to dumb swearing - see Steve Albini on Odd Future which simply shows the speaker to have run out of thoughts.
posted by bookbook at 11:22 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I much prefer swearing to praying

For those who prefer both: Swear to God, with Reverend Winton Dupree.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:31 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I never use swear words, because every swear word perpetuates the social acceptability of a metaphor of hate.

Consider one of the most common swear words in modern English - "fuck". Its use as an insult reinforces the extremely problematic idea that sex is a metaphor for violence, e.g. in "fuck you", "fuck off", "go fuck yourself".

Similarly, swear words that reference the genitals suggest that sexual organs are a metaphor for stupidity - and thus calling someone a "cock", "twat", denigrates not only the insult's recipient, but also everyone who possesses such organs. I note that we do not use a certain four letter-word for the vulva here (as an insult), and quite rightly so.

Swear words that reference bodily excretions - "shit", "piss", etc - might be thought to be acceptable, as we are taught from an early age (for reasons of hygiene) that the excretions are themselves disgusting. But we would be rightly troubled by a suggestion that menstruation is inherently disgusting, as the metaphor is inherently sexist. And why is it then acceptable to insult men and women equally, by denigrating digestion (and its product, faeces)?

Only by abjuring ALL such swear words can we stop ourselves from continuing these metaphors of hatred. That's why I've invented a NEW taboo word for the English language, which performs the function of swearing but which is free from all these troubling connotations. So go quidnunc yourselves, you quidnunc-faced quidnunc garglers. You quidholes make me want to quidnunc.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 11:32 AM on December 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Army drill sergeants used to have a good store of euphemisms to describe trainees, and their accomplishments. I understand that this is discouraged in the modern army. One of the coolest things I heard during my basic training was when a D.I. called the guy next to me "S T U fucking P I D." I laughed all the way through four sets of pushups.

But about the mule skinners. Those who handle mules usually don't call them obscene names, especially in front of nearby observers. The savvy mule handle will say stuff like "sweetie" when the mule steps on his toe. The mule knows what he actually means, and the observers are not put off by his candor.
posted by mule98J at 12:05 PM on December 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Dagnabbit, I always appreciate your mule lore mule98J.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:24 PM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


GRANNY'S PUBES Y'WHORE
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:16 PM on December 31, 2015


I do use the adjective "fucking" more than anyone I know. I don't know why. I do know it still has the capacity to shock people, although I have no fucking idea why.
posted by kozad at 1:17 PM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


No shit?! Will someone please show this to my Mom for fuck's sake!
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:33 PM on December 31, 2015


I fucking knew this shit already.
posted by Splunge at 2:33 PM on December 31, 2015


Those rapacious snot-faced turd-gobbling bastard offspring of the accursed union of Academe and Mammon over at Elsevier can go and get royally fucked if they think I am going to pay them 35.95 USD to pass through their shit-smeared doors to read the goddamn article.

Ok, but seriously, The Cost of Knowledge.
posted by Gotanda at 4:52 PM on December 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


I was once told that my habit of saying "fucking" as opposed to "fuckin'" was so cool. Something about the hard k... Or maybe it's that "fucking" is two distinct syllables instead of one blurry one. More emphatic maybe.
posted by bendy at 5:19 PM on December 31, 2015


The North American (I am one) habit of saying "-in' " instead of "-ing" costs -2 in swear effectiveness.
posted by sneebler at 6:54 PM on December 31, 2015


Chuck Wendig is pretty creative in this line. Here he is discussing how this gift came to him through his father.
posted by bryon at 10:32 PM on December 31, 2015


The Thick Of It's Armando Iannucci has had swearing as a preoccupation for many years.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 4:47 AM on January 1, 2016


shitting dicknipples
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:20 AM on January 1, 2016


if you don't swear when you pray you have an unrealistically positive opinion of any omniscience that would slap together this half-baked universe we're living in.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:38 PM on January 2, 2016


like basically any meaningful prayer would have to start with "so, you know this shitty little universe is internally inconsistent, right?" and end with "I mean I can't fucking even. I literally can't."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:40 PM on January 2, 2016


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