What Makes A Swear Word A Swear Word?


I have seen a few videos and read a few pieces about swear words (Curse Words) lately and thought that I would like to give my own take on the subject. Let's start with a bit of history around the subject. The most commonly used swear words, S*** and F***, both appeared in quite different places in history. S*** first appeared around 1,000 years ago from Old Norse origin, originally in the form "skita". Once it leaked into Old English it took multiple different forms including 'scittan' from Anglo-Saxon books which used the term to reference when cattle had diarrhoea. For most of it's history the word we had today had an 'e' on the end before taking the modern form that we know today in the mid-1700's. F*** is a much younger word which we believe to have entered our language from the Dutch in around the 15th century. Both of these words have become more and more acceptable as years go by, being induced in more literally text every year.

The definition of swear word is: 'An offensive word, used especially as an expression of anger'

Many of the swear words we know today are considered that way due to who they were used by many centuries ago. It is believed that in Old-England the most common swear words who used by the people known as "Commoners" or "Peasants", that is people who tended to be poor with no title to their name, These words were considered vulgar by the upper-class and as the English language has evolved some of the vulgar words have been carried over.

Social media is where a vast amount of swear words are used. Facebook issued a list of the most commonly used swear words by both gender and age groups. The F*** word tend to get less popular as you get older but S*** gets more popular. The S*** word is also the most used word by both Male and Female Facebook users.

Are swear words just made up or do they have an effect on you psychologically? It turn out that it does! In an experiment conducted by the magicians Penn and Teller they test people's pain thresholds with and without swearing.

Thankyou for reading!


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