What the F@*k?! The Question of Profanity (This post may offend some delicate sensibilities)

I have, as of late, been trying to figure out people rating profanity. As in, one “bad word” is worse than all the rest.

T.V stations that will bleep out one word but not another, people who will say some things but view other’s as taboo.

My clearest recollection of an instance like this was when I was still managing a retail store. I had a regular customer in the store who was ranting about something and wound up saying “the game was shit!” There were other customers in the store so I told him to watch his language, so he responded “sorry… The game was crap!!” …. HOW IS THAT ANY BETTER? They are both the dreaded “four letter word”, they both mean fecal matter…. What makes one on a different level of “bad” than the other??

buddy christ

He actually had a good explanation saying that there were many television networks that allow the word crap, but not shit. But, I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY??

And then there is the mother of all words…. Fuck. Easily viewed as the worst if the “four letter words” which, to me, is hilarious! Whereas things like shit and crap actually have a proper meaning in a sentence “that game was fecal matter!”, “you piece of fecal matter”, etc. Fuck literally has no proper meaning and makes no sense in any context.

Let’s look at the supposed “history” of the word Fuck. They say it is of Germanic origin, related to Dutch, German, and Swedish words for “to strike” and “to move back and forth.”

This makes sense when “Fuck” is replacing “Fornocate with” as in “I fucked her/him last night!” But, not in the copious other ways the word fuck is used (which is basically as a replacement for every word or just interjected into words!)

Now, let’s look at the Oxford Dictionary meaning of the word Fuck.

Fuck:

  1. have sexual intercourse with (someone).

  2. Ruin or damage (something)

So, let’s try these in a sentence!

what the fuck.gif

“what the have sexual intercourse?!”

Hmmm….. Not so much.

“what the ruin?!”

Eh….. Maybe?

fuck you.gif

“TO HAVE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH YOU!!”

Hey, that one actually sounds pretty good! But, not quite the insult it should have been.

“RUIN YOU!!”

Well, it seems we have a winner, folks! 😅

Does anyone else have any thoughts on the levels of Profanity? Or any words that they will or won’t say?

Does anyone just have a favourite profane word, or profane word replacement??

68 thoughts on “What the F@*k?! The Question of Profanity (This post may offend some delicate sensibilities)

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    1. Ha ha!! Ooo!! Another word that is just so taboo to most people!!! Honestly, I know people get really pissed off. But, the words cunt and twat (twat especially!!) keep me pretty titillated (ha ha!! Another of my favourite words…. Not bad, but definitely SOUNDS dirty! 😂)
      By the way, absolutely not out of context! They’re both “four letter words”!!
      Thanks for sharing your favourites!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m British and have lived in Britain all my life, and I can assure you that if you came over here and called someone a cunt to their face, you’d be nursing a black eye or worse. You might get away with ‘twat’ but I wouldn’t bet on it. They’re mostly for use in the car when some fukwit cut’s you up at a roundabout or overtakes you and makes you swerve. 🙂 Sounds like the bloke you dated was a knobhead.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. 😂😂 Well, I’m already loving the conversation! I don’t know what it is about the word twat, but it makes me giggle every time. As I said in my post, I feel like most words are nonsense… We’re the ones that give them their meaning.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Not as a swear word. You could use it like so …… “twot extent do you agree that twat sounds better than twot?” To which the answer should be, “not at all dear chap, twot is to twat as tomayto is to tomato. A travesty and butchering of the Queens English sirrah!” Or thereabouts 🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m also partial to cunt and twat. I seriously told my significant other last night that I wanted to move with England, so my swearing would be more acceptable. 😂

      Liked by 3 people

  1. This is such a great topic. In my personal life, I don’t swear much, (except at politicians). But in books… I run the gamut from not at all to made-up swears to a whole lot of f-bombs. Some readers do not like strong language so there’s an element of risk. Therefore, swearing for the sake of swearing probably isn’t a good idea. But if the character and the book require it, I say go for it!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m pretty sure you read Catling’s Bane, Nicole. The character Tiler makes up his own swears. To name a few: butt herder, filching codwit, spanking corker, codding torch-benders, glistering goat-licker, etc etc etc.

        Liked by 5 people

  2. Hahahaha. Degrees of swear words… not in front the kids but otherwise… sure 😂
    The f word is probably the strongest I’ve ever used. But in my imagination at what I’d love to tell inconsiderate drivers… well…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Censoring swear words in books, film, and TV always feels awkward to me. If you’re presenting to me the most serious, terrifying bad guy and expect me to believe he’s going to say “freaking,” that just breaks right through the story wall. It needs to align. The degree of badness is just weird in general.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. My absolute worst ever word and my daughter always starts with Sorry Mum but…The word See you next Tuesday which is mentioned a few times in previous comments is to me the worst word ever. I absolutely cringe when I hear or see it written…Just saying 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hahaha, I worked in hospitality for a long time, and when you’re in a behind a bar and a drunk guy is in your face yelling (and spitting) because he wants another beer, I have zero qualms about telling that “fucking cunt” to get lost. To his face, of course. I just don’t see the problem with swearing. They are just words. You could choose to be offended by a lot of things: colours, shapes, foods, religion, words. At the end of the day, if you want to be offended, that’s on you. I’ll just be over here living my carefree life. x

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  6. Such a great post… for me, it’s a mental and a physical reaction. When I hear any of those 4-letter words, my body sorta does a quick reflex / jerk / twinge because I’ve been conditioned to know it’s bad.

    As an English language / literature student, words can be meaningless or multi-dimensional. It’s the human experience that defines them. Happy to one person is different to another. And if that’s the case, then I have a hard time thinking someone shouldn’t be able to say a 4-letter word in public. It’s more about controlling the outward / exterior behavior coming with it. A mumbled “f-word” versus a shouted one where people turn their heads and gawk, that’s where I see it being more managed, if that makes sense?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That makes PERFECT sense! I’m glad you brought up how other words hold different meaning to people as well. I completely agree!
      There are also words out there that I wouldn’t even think of being bad, but they still offend others. I still remember meeting my man’s family. Her sister has kids and I was talking to them and happened to say “oh, that sucks.” well, turns out “sucks” was one of those words. It does sound rather crass! But, I would never have even thought of it! That was tough to watch myself with. You never know how much you say something until you’re told not to anymore!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ouch, that was awkward. I don’t think ‘suck’ is a bad word, but the connotation conveys it could be for a small child, so I get it, I suppose. I’m sure you are the best aunt now! 🙂

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  7. Frakking hell….this was a funny post (sorry Battlestar Galactica fan…where they used the F*ck word as Frak…which often resulted in such colourful things as: Holy Frakk, Frakk you…or my personal favorite: Motherfrakker….😂😂…Okay…drifting slightly off topic here….sorry😅😅).
    Eh…being Dutch we of course have our own wonderful swearwords that we use, and honestly I use them myself as well. But not a lot. However…in the time where I used to game….I was a different person while I was gaming. Many swear words were used by me, that is the alternate me…as in…maybe I am suffering from multiple personality disorder😂😂
    Anyways…I usually don’t mind swearwords at all, all except one: cancer (which is sometimes used by people in Holland as a swearword) Having lost many people to that disease that’s the one word I really despise.
    Other than that….everyone can use all the four letter swords they want…and then some. This was a funny post for sure, and as always it made me laugh…so thank you for that! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m quite partial to full on swearing phrases, particularly fond of ‘piss up a rope, fukstick’ much more fun that your bog standard fuck off , and where I live in Geordieland actually ‘fek off, ya toady eyed wazzock is the preferred mode of insult. 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty partial to my own made up or mish mashed swear words and phrases. Such as “jerkhole” “jackasshole” (I apparently really like holes…) I usually love to yell things out sporadically like, if I hit my toe or something you may hear something like “SON OF A MONKEY FUCK!!” Come out of my mouth…. I don’t know what it means… But, it sure as fuck feels good to yell!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. uh, in our generation the f-word was never used (and remember i grew up in Victorian America), much less publicly, and it does get tiresome hearing it used for everything in a sentence. i assume the person is lacking an education and vocabulary. back in my day…😘 …we said rats. okay, i said rats. and, occasionally crap. i was shocked when my aunt reacted negatively to that one day. i said something wrong? 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha!! Ya. I defintitely grew up with a lot of rats and shoot! I defintitely feel that fuck is an overused word now-a-days…. I can’t say that I’m not among those overusing it… But, it is NOT a noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, etc. Ha ha!!

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  10. Figured I’d weigh in here, for what it’s worth.

    I think just about anyone who has met me in real life (or who has read some of my books) knows where I stand on profanity. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, although I tend to choose my words carefully if I’m in the company of those who offend easily. I’m not in the business of being unnecessarily rude, after all.

    That said, I have a problem with people who take undue issue with profanity. You get to control your own speech. You don’t get to control mine. Period. And, besides, a word is only as offensive as you take it to be. Words are just words, after all. It’s up to us to interpret their meaning, context, usage, and intention.

    As a side note — something I’ve wanted to rant about for a while — I find it increasingly tiresome to watch a television series (basic cable) in which none of the characters swear. Like, ever. I mean, I’m supposed to believe that this group of people has been shot, punched, kicked, stolen from, vilified, held hostage, framed, tortured, or worse, and no one — not even one character — lets an F-bomb slip? Like, not even once? Ever? It’s just not realistic. People swear. Some more than others, of course, but to depict a world in which no one curses, ever, regardless of the circumstances? That’s just not realistic. It takes me out of the story, to be honest.

    Besides, you’d think the people so easily offended by language would stop to consider the core content of what they’re watching. You’re telling me “fuck” and “shit” offend your sensibilities, but violence doesn’t? If we’re going to ban certain words from being used on TV and radio, why not ban all depictions of violence, too? Why not ban fictional depictions of crime, as well, since that’s also objectionable?

    I was invited to a book club meeting the other day. Their group had just finished reading The Fifteenth of June and they had mixed feelings about the language used throughout. Some of them were bothered and others weren’t. I was quick to point out that, language aside, the characters I’d created in that book were also racist, homophobic, and misogynistic. It’s not because I support being any of those things — it’s because, in real life, there are racist, homophobic, and misogynistic people. Likewise, there are people who swear. You might not care for any of it, but to pretend otherwise is mind-boggling. I write fiction, yes, but I try to write honest fiction, and that means creating situations and characters that might be offensive to some.

    Anyway, that’s all for now. Hope you’re well, Nicole.

    —Brent

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EXACTLY!!! You pretty much wrote a comment on what spawned this post for me in the first place.
      We were listening to the radio (97.7 hits FM) and a song had the word “shit” in it and it wasn’t beeped out. I was surprised and my man said that a lot of stations don’t sensor anything but the word “fuck” now because they’re decided it’s art and shouldn’t be subjected to sensorship…. But, why sensor Fuck at that point??
      And, on top of that, “Baby it’s Cold outside” is not appropriate to have on the radio, but I can now listen to an unsensored version of “Smack a Bitch”?? How does this make ANY SENSE?? And, like you say, where do we draw the line?? I can watch 24 hrs of Law and Order SVU watching episode after episode of people being raped… But, I can’t say or hear the word “fuck”?? 🤔🤔…. I’m confused.
      I love how real your characters are. People are flawed. People are dicks. People AREN’T PERFECT!! Characters in books shouldn’t be either.
      Thanks for the weigh in!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post! I’m the absolute worst about cursing, and it seems the older I get, the less I care. When my kids were little, I used to sensor everything trying to protect them from those awful words (Fork!). Anyhoo, they’re everywhere, and they’re going to hear them regardless. I at least try to keep my lady-like composure (ha!) in public the best I can, and when I hear curse words for the most part it makes me laugh. I DO NOT like the c*** word or any derogatory words towards homosexuals and mentally challenged individuals. Those just piss me off!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I defintitely try to keep it away from the ears of children! Although, I do know there were times where it would come out at work and I would yell some profanity AND THEN look around to make sure no one was in the store! 😂😂 I really had to train hard to look FIRST, and THEN let it fly!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. As an Australian, I have a tendency to use fuck as a comma, and it never ceases to amaze me how often people take offence online. I see it in Amazon reviews a lot, too: “Goodness gracious, I can’t believe how many swears this book has!” type of thing. I think there are distinct geographic/cultural differences, and it just becomes more obvious when we all find ourselves together in the internet melting pot. As committed as I am to “fuck”, I must say I quite like “What the ruin?”, so cheers for that 😉🥂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. HAHA this is the best post I’ve read in a while lol…. We had to quit swearing at my house for a while because my son dropped the F-bomb on great grandma LMAO. Don’t worry though, everything is back to usual in the swear department now 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HA HA HA HA!!!!!! 😂😂😂 You taught him well, I see! I’m visiting my parentals right now and my dad and I were watching an old episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” Ramsey in his fucking prime!… Before he went all family PG rated. And, my dad was unimpressed. Words are only as powerful as you make them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL agreed! I don’t know if you read Colleen Hoover books, but in the second installment of her Slammed series there’s a young teen who’s mom and her use swears in place of random words, and use random words in place of swears…. just because. They have the words are just words mentallity and its awesome! I love it lol

        Liked by 1 person

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