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English Swear Words

Updated on September 21, 2012

The Queen's English

Where the swear words came from

The English language uses amusing, unusual, even unique methods for swearing. Every language has it’s expletives but English is bloody strange.That last one for instance, peculiar to England though sometimes used in the British Dominions of Australia and New Zealand, has its own bit of history.

Let’s start at the beginning;

The island of Britain was originally inhabited by Celtic people. The Island became part of the Roman Empire for 400 years then when the Romans left in 410 CE everyone who had a boat wanted to invade. Most of these illegal immigrants came from the Germanic areas around what is now the Hook of Holland. Also Danes and Scandinavians appeared. The main tribes were the Angles and the Saxons. It resulted in the people being called “Saxons” and the country they inhabited becoming known as “Angleland” or England. They spoke a language called Englec Today we would call it “Old Anglo-Saxon” This was a dialect of German and became the common tongue of the Saxons as they spread through the part of the island today known as England.

Then there arrived the one man who would change the history of the island and the nature of the language, William the Conqueror. In 1066 CE he landed on the southern shore and defeated the English, killing the last of the Saxon kings, though they were actually Danish at that time, Harold Godwinson. William then set about consolidating his hold on the English by giving land to the Barons that had came over with him to assist in the conquering. The barons had their retinues and all these people spoke Norman-French. Now, the language of the Nobility was French while the language of the Saxons, the new commoners, was German. The Saxon language was considered crude and peasant-like to the new rulers. Over the next couple of centuries the two languages would meld into the English of today but the same prejudices remain. There is a saying in England “English for the stable, French for the Table.” For example; when it is running around in the field, it is called a “Cow” When it comes to the table it is called “Beef” Boeuf is French for Cow. Similarly, in the field it is called a “Sheep” on the table it is called “Mutton” Muton being French for Sheep. So English has a number of words for the same thing. It’s just that French is perfectly acceptable and may even be used in Church. Old Anglo-Saxon is vulgar and must never be used in “Polite Company” and that is where the swear words come from.

 

Pardon my French

A few examples; It is acceptable to say “Bosom” and “Posterior” It would not surprise us to hear the Pastor say those words, after all they are French. If however the Anglo-Saxon words were used, I refer to “Tits” and “Arse” Then we would all be shocked at his foul mouth. Indeed we may “Defecate” but we may not Schitz as the Old Saxon would say We may even refer to a ladies vagina and not cause undue alarm but we must never, ever use the modern pronunciation of the old English word for Sex. It’s pure prejudice; we may say whatever we like just not in the language of the conquered. Let’s not forget that it is perfectly acceptable to “Fornicate” but never to……………..Ahh! now there’s an interesting one.

Back in the days of sailing Ships, when Navies and merchant ships sailed the seven seas, the captain would keep a journal of the daily events. No, the Ship Captain’s Log did not begin with Star Trek, it was around for hundreds of years. During the voyages, due to limited writing space the captain would tend to abbreviate a lot of the entries. So, if two seamen were caught in a homosexual act, they would be punished. The entry would read, for example; “30L for UCK” “L” stood for Lashes and the UCK stood for “Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” So a Taboo word came into being. The way that word is used today is interesting. Perhaps the worse thing to wish on anyone is that they suffer torment for eternity but if I was to tell someone to “Go to Hell” they would hardly be offended. On the other hand, if I told them to “Fornicate off’ (Pardon my French) I could be in for a fight even though it almost could be a blessing.

The English nobility of the middle ages had their own way of cursing that trickled down to the masses. They used to use religious words. It is said that Oliver Cromwell’s favorite phrase was “God’s Teeth” The phrases that were particularly insulting amongst the religious based curses of those days have remained with us; curses like “Damn you” and “Go to Hell” are still here but have less emphasis these days. One that became popular was “By our Lady” This became so popular amongst the ordinary folk that it is still used today, only it has been shortened to the earlier mentioned “Bloody” Regional variations in accent still retain some of the old sense of the word. “Bloody” is only pronounced that way in the Southeast of England. In South Wales the word is “Bledie” and in many areas of England you hear “Buh-ledie”

In many ways the English of today lacks the character and eloquence of bygone years. Today we say one word, when in years past a sentence would be used, and misunderstandings were far less. Every one of us has at least one person they would love to approach with the words;

“Thou art an unseemly dog; mayhap thy mother didst dally with a lustful goat”

Isn’t that so much better than inviting them to fornicate?

 

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    • Mutiny92 profile image

      Mutiny92 7 years ago from Arlington, VA

      Wow! This is a great hub...I can honestly say I did not know much of the info you shared.

    • Imelleda profile image

      Imelleda 7 years ago from East of the Sun, West of the Moon

      This is just too amazingly amusing. Thanks so much for sharing this insightful foray into the wacky world of etymology.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Mutiny92; Thank you for being the first visitor to this Hub.I enjoyed writing I'm glad you enjoyed it. I always hope my hubs can add to the collective knowledge here. Thank you for your support.

      Imellada; Thank you for being so encouraging. English is not my first language so I am able to find many amusing things within it. Etymology is an interest of mine along with History and Mythology. They all tie in and are fun to write about.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      I found this hub very amusing and interesting.

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      This is one of the most interesting hubs I have read in a while. Going to pass it on to a few people.

      I have always wondered where our swear words really came form, and why people say, "Pardon my French," though, I have been told that many do swear in french. (Wouldn't know it if I heard it, most likely.)

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 7 years ago from South Wales

      Really enlightening, Ianto. Maybe I should study how to swear properly now. I can tell my mates,'I'm personally exasperated by your continual use of Anglo Saxon words.'

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Thank you Angela_michelle. I'm very glad you enjoyed it.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Ivorwen; Now that's a good Welsh name if I ever saw one.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading. I really appreciate your comments. I've always wondered, when French people swear do they say "Pardon my English"?

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      ScaryTaff; It's always good to hear from you. Just tell your mates to "Stop your by-our-lady swearing"

    • knell63 profile image

      knell63 7 years ago from Umbria, Italy

      Di iawn, Ianto, well excuse my Anglo Saxon but I found it all fornicatingly funny. I am now thinking of a way I can work it into a usable lesson with my Italian, English students.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Knell; Isn't it funny how we tend to learn the bad phrases in a language first. among the first bits of Italian I ever learned was the four things an Italian loves; i'm sure you know it "Aqua fresca, Vino puro......" and so on.

      Thank you for commenting I hope you and your students have fun with it.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 7 years ago from Irl

      I love this-funny thing in Southern ireland bloody is also pronounced bledie.Very enjoyable read.

    • wavegirl22 profile image

      Shari 7 years ago from New York, NY

      I love history and this one is going down in my books. Big thumbs up and you have made me into your newest fans!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Itakins; Thank you for reading and commenting. I have noticed that in county Cork the accent is very much like the South Wales accent. Definitely a bledie funny thing. :)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Wavegirl22; Thank you so much. I'm proud to have you as a fan.

      Especially since we just became friends on RedGage. :)

    • TnFlash profile image

      TnFlash 7 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Great Hub! Interesting topic. I would never have thought of it but it's a really good article. Thanks!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      TnFlash; Thank you for reading my Hub and thank you for the compliment.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Very interesting and amusing hub, thanks for sharing.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      billyaustindillon; Thank you for reading I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Entertaining and informative. Next time I let rip at least I will know where it came from :)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Great hub, thank you! I always wondered why "bloody" was such a bad word in England; now I know!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Ethel; Thank you very much for reading my Hub. So next time you let it rip you can say;

      "I'm going to speak my mind and it won't be French!"

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Paradise7;

      So now you know. Don't you wish you were back in the day when you could say things like;

      "Get your by-our-lady hand off my by-our-lady arse"

      Much more colorful and far more expressive than the words of today.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading.

    • Majidsiko profile image

      Majidsiko 7 years ago from Kenya

      Great Hub, really informative!!!

    • George Greene Jr. profile image

      George Greene Jr. 7 years ago from California PA

      got me thinking!!! I am wondering why there isn't a list of how to use the "F' word properly. It has so many uses!!!

    • profile image

      papalopp 7 years ago

      I think your hub should be required reading in U.S. High Schools. It may give pause to our youth to know what they speak was not coined by their uncles but precedes Ollie Cromwell. Work well written!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Majidsiko;

      Thank you encouragement is very valuable I do appreciate it.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello George;

      I remember the list. It wasn't written down but I believe we discussed it at length in my school days.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      papalopp;

      Thank you very much for stopping by to read and comment. I appreciate the thought but fear it would not be acceptable in our P.C. conscious world.

      Dammit!

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 7 years ago from Illinois

      good, but I thought the origin of the "f" word was an old German/Saxon word, and that the idea of it as an acronym was actually a baseless urban legend?

    • tweetter profile image

      tweetter 7 years ago

      Nice hub

    • Laird Glencairn profile image

      Laird Glencairn 7 years ago

      Fascinating. Thank You.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Rachael; Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Truth is we don't know for sure. It has been a taboo word since at least the 16th century, that's the first record of it being written down. It's not old English any word that sounds like it has nothing to do with sex and wasn't taboo by anyone. The acronym isn't baseless, the abbreviation was used along with other sea-going abbreviations that have become words, POSH comes to mind.

      It's the best explanation for that word that's out there and the fact that it's also the most entertaining doesn't hurt.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Tweetter; welcome to HubPages and thank you for stopping by. You have some nice Hubs yourself.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Laird Glencairn; Fine Scottish title. Thank you for reading my Hub. I look forward to reading yours.

    • FashionFame profile image

      FashionFame 7 years ago from California

      I just loved your hub. Its very interesting and very different from other hubs. Liked your choice of topic.In joining your fans club and would like to invite you to join mine and stay connected.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      FashionFame; Thank you for reading and for your comment. Your Hubs are very interesting. Though fashion is not my strong point I think you have a winner there.

      Best Wishes...........Ianto

    • profile image

      Patrick Collins 7 years ago

      hehe that was good :)

    • profile image

      iphoneaccessoires 7 years ago

      really a great hub full of information that i really didn't knew thanks

    • Porshadoxus profile image

      Porshadoxus 7 years ago from the straight and narrow way

      I thought that the f-u-c-k came from "Fornication Under Consent of the King", when the kings of England gave their soldiers permission to 'breed out' the Scottish blood by sleeping with whomever they could force.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Patrick; Thank you for commenting. This was a fun Hub to write.

      iphoneaccessories; Interesting choice of name :) Thank you for stopping by, I'm glad you found it informative.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Porshadoxus: Now there's a name i need to look up;

      Thank you for reading and commenting. The origin of the word is as controversial as the word itself, that adds to the fun of it. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest spelling as "fukkit" while Wikipedia gives "fuccant" both originate from poems around 1500. Most attempts to discover the origin of the word come down to legend, urban or otherwise. The one you mention is a common tale but soldiers in the middle ages did not need the consent of the King to rape but thank you for mentioning it, it adds to an already interesting debate.

    • profile image

      jkmillz 7 years ago

      a very interesting hub, quite honestly i would not have considered how that lingo came about, very enlightening i must say!

    • JenniferMeghan profile image

      JenniferMeghan 7 years ago

      Heyy that was really interesting! Well done!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      jkmillz; hank you for reading and commenting. Welcome to Hubpages. I look forward to reading your Hubs.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Jennifer; Welcome to Hubpages. A woman of mystery, I'm already intrigued. :)

      Thank you for reading and commenting, I'm glad you enjoyed it. This Hub was fun to write.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      This is a great hub iantoPF. I learnt something new here as well.

    • kepke90 profile image

      kepke90 7 years ago

      great hub in deed :) well done ;)

    • blackreign2012 profile image

      blackreign2012 7 years ago

      thanks excellent hub ~hugs~

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Earnest: Thank you for visiting my Hub and thank you for your comment.

      Kepke90; Thank you. Welcome to Hubpages. I do appreciate encouragement and I appreciate you stoppnig by to read and comment.

      Best Wishes........ianto

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Blackreign2012; Welcome to Hubpages and thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Best Wishes...........Ianto

    • saltymick profile image

      saltymick 7 years ago

      Strueth mate,

      you made a lot of people happy with this one good on ya.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Saltymick; Good ta meet ya mate.

      Yeah I never realized swearing was so popular :)

    • nomoretrucks profile image

      nomoretrucks 7 years ago from scotland

      T'yn iawn ianto, once again you've come up with a gem. I've always felt it a compliment when those across the border have called me a 'sheep s*****r'( hill cattle fornicator) After all thats where the biggest market for sheep is! Do you reckon there is a one word expletive for it.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Diolch yn fawr iawn brawd;

      I'm not sure about one word, I can think of a lot of words neatly strung together. The rumour is that the English like to make love to sheep face to face, so as not to miss out on the kissing. I don't believe it, it's just scurilous slander.

    • nomoretrucks profile image

      nomoretrucks 7 years ago from scotland

      Lol! I ve just had an urge to find my wellies!

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

      Great stuff! There's some great nuggets in here I'd never heard. You tell it credibly, so I have no reason not to buy it (also given that I'm too lazy to keep investigating). Great work. (I was dissapointed not to have a song this hub though. I thought it was going to be a trend in your hubs. Figured some Death Metal would go nicely with the pagan song and Tom Jones lol)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Shadesbreath; Thank you very much. I hadn't thought about it but you have a point. There's a great song on youtube called "You can't say Fuck in Canada." Perhaps.... but naah I don't want to upset the powers that be.

      Nice thought though.

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 7 years ago

      What a wonderful hub, the best I've read in a long, long time. I wouldn't have come across this hub had it not been for Shadesbreath and his post on the forum. I am glad I found you Ianto!!

      Well, I'd be reading some more of your hubs. Well done!! Thanks for the education - its not often that you learn something substantial reading a hub, but with this one, I've learnt a lot. Thank you again, Ianto! You have a new fan!!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Shil and thank you. I look forward to reading your work also. Must admit I'm overwhelmed since Shadesbreath recommendation kind people like yourself have been very generous with their encouragement.

    • profile image

      Redwortallicus 7 years ago

      I've found in my readings that the word um... fornicate, was found in classic German childrens' stories.

      Oh and by the way, great article i enjoy your hubs.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Loved this, especially coming from Guernsey in the British Isles. I must tell my Mum the origins of the F*** word, it is her pet hate word, and if I am angry and it slips out she goes mad at me, (even though I am 40). 'Twat' is another she told me off for, as apparently it is a word for a womans vagina, but I have no idea why... perhaps you can enlighten me :)

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      Very interesting and may I say hucking filarious too.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Great read. Had fun here. Thanks

    • ritosolange profile image

      ritosolange 7 years ago

      Interesting read!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Redwortallicus; I hadn't heard that, interesting, about kids. The kids today know words that I never knew at their age. I was 20 before I heard the word Vagina, and then I thought it was somewhere in Italy.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Mistyhorizon thank you I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I have heard two versions of the origin of "Twat" 1) it's a word for a pregnant fish and 2) it comes from an old anglo-saxon word for a cut. Other than that, it is used as an insult. Though didn't David Cameron, The conservative leader get into trouble for saying the word in a live interview? As I recall he was talking about Twitter and said something about "Too many tweets make a twat"

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      ralwus; thank you but I think you got your mucking words fuddled :)

      Granny's House; I'm glad you enjoyed the Hub. Though I would be embarrassed to say those words in Granny's house.

      ritosolounge; interesting name. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      This is very interesting. Language in any form interests me and this was a very good article. I will read more of your work later.

      Thanks.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hummingbird; hank you for reading and commenting. having a bi-lingual background I find English very fascinating. Though I have a reasonable fluency in the language I'm still something of a cultural outsider so it's nuances continue to fascinate.

      I hope you find my other Hubs interesting. :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL, I susoect number "2" in your descriptions for a "Twat" may refer to certain areas of the female anatomy, and that this is where the comparison might come from, I doubt it is the "pregnant fish" definition, (unless the "odour/fragrance" may come in to the equation somewhere!

    • profile image

      U Neek 7 years ago

      Awesomely written, informative and entertaining hub! I feel so educated now and know better how to respond to certain "invitations."

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello U Neek; Thank you for reading and commenting. I've been reading your Hubs too and I bet Miss Lila could have taught me a thing or two about responding.

    • GeneriqueMedia profile image

      GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

      I can't see why you remain buried on HP. Thanks for sharing this with us, it was bloody well done.

      Cheers!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      GeneriqueMedia; I've been folowing you for a little while, your Hubs are excellent. Thank you for reading and commenting I do appreciate your praise.

      Truth is I rarely visit the forums and I haven't advertised myself on Hubpages. I've used social bookmarks and other writing sites to advertise my work. Since Shadesbreath "discovered" me I've received tremendous support from Hubbers. It's been very gratifying.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      An absolutely fantastic, entertaining, AND fascinating hub. Thoroughly enjoyed the ride, so thank you for offering it.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Springboard; You are most welcome. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • lxxy profile image

      lxxy 7 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      ianto,

      Glad Shadesbreath did "discover" you. We wouldn't know about you!

      And we're with you about the forums, generally go around there to amuse the masses or myself.

      In any case, I tweeted this particular Hub. Not sure it'll do much for you, but hopefully you'll see a couple clickies.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Ixxy; Thank you, you honor me. appreciate that more than i can say.

      Many Bright Blessings...........ianto

    • Dense profile image

      Dense 7 years ago from somewhere in a concrete jungle, hugging a green plastic tree, and wondering what happened

      Excellent hub. Didn't know that a swear word like "bloody" has history too. Can someone tell me what does "By Our Lady Fool" mean? :)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      hello Dense; It is surprising what has a history, sometimes it is the things we take for granted.

      LOL all I can say is that I've been called a "Bloody Fool" many times.

    • profile image

      ugivetheword 7 years ago

      really enjoyed this hub!! brilliant stuff. thanks for the read.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      ugivetheword; Hi thanks for reading, commenting and thanks for the word :)

    • billysgomez profile image

      billysgomez 7 years ago

      I like it, it's funny.

    • Jamiehousehusband profile image

      Jamiehousehusband 7 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

      Damn good stuff, made me laugh!

    • Zreeves11 profile image

      Zreeves11 7 years ago from Kent

      very interesting hub

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Billy; Welcome to Hubpages, thank you for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Hi Jamie; Welcome to Hubpages, Thank you for stopping by and it makes me damn well laugh too even though I wrote it. :)

      Zreeves; Thank you for reading and commenting. Also welcome to Hubpages though I'm two weeks late. :)

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

      Fascinating hub. Great work.

    • compu-smart profile image

      compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

      I will never swear again!!.......... without thinking of this read;)

    • jbullet profile image

      jbullet 7 years ago

      Great hub! Gives a fresh perspective on swearing!

    • sdipple profile image

      sdipple 7 years ago from Ohio

      OMG - this is really funny! Great perspective. I must tell you the first time I visited my husband's family in England I mentioned that my fanny was sore from the airplane ride. They turned purple and my husband whispered, "You just told them your vag*** hurt." Huge oops.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      lovelypaper; Thank you for stopping by and reading and thank you for being fascinated :)

      Compu-smart; Lol I try to be a little more creative when I cuss. It's a lot better than using the same words all the time. Thank you for visiting.

      jbullet; Thank you we all need a fresh perspective on swearing. Thank you for your comment.

      sdipple; I've heard some words over here that made me choke in my beer. Like the guy who introduced himself as "Randy" The only suitable response was "Good for you!"

    • flinchwymer profile image

      flinchwymer 7 years ago from West Yorkshire U.K.

      A great read - very funny. A pleasure.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      flinchwymer; welcome to Hubpages. thank you for your comment. You know that it's not a sin to find it funny, it's only a sin if you take pleasure in it. LOL sorry I couldn't resist.

    • CarpetDiem profile image

      CarpetDiem 7 years ago from Southern California

      hey iantoPF,

      This is a bloody fantastic hub!

      I just wish I could come up with great hub ideas like this.

      :D Steve

    • wayne sr profile image

      wayne sr 7 years ago from home-East Moline,Il.

      This is an interesting read,though I did know a couple of them.But it was well done and informative.Thanks.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hi Steve; I'm totally surprised by this myself. This is my most commented on Hub. All I need do now is think of something even more popular than swearing.

      Wayne; Thank you for stopping by and thanks for the encouragement.

    • lisa86 profile image

      lisa86 7 years ago from Florida

      Great Hub! Very amusing :)

    • lender3212000 profile image

      lender3212000 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      Now you're speaking my language!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      hello Lisa; thank you for the compliment. As you see the first picture is of Queen Victoria but i don't think she would be as amused :)

      Hello lender3212000; interesting name, I'll bet there's a story there and I'll bet you could tell it with hearty language :)

    • True Blue Tips profile image

      True Blue Tips 7 years ago

      Thanks for the history lesson. It made me think of all the sayings we have and wondering where they come from. Maybe you could write a hub on them.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      And thank you True Blue Tips; That's a good idea and I think I might do that.

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      Interesting.

      What about the word, bollocks, not sure of the spelling?

      Thanks

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      OpinionDuck: Glad you found it interesting, I hope you found it fun too. Not sure my self about the word "Bollocks' Though back in my younger day syphilis was sometimes referred to as "The ragin' bollockolitis" and that is not a load of Bollocks. :)

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      Just found this hub and I must admit I did not know half of this stuff! Excellent and really well-written :)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Izzy; Thank you for the compliment. When I started writing I never thought I would be adding to the general knowledge of cussing. Just goes to show.

      It's always a pleasure to know you are reading my scrawls.

    • TroyM profile image

      TroyM 7 years ago

      TOo funny:

      “Thou art an unseemly dog; mayhap thy mother didst dally with a lustful goat”

      Love these old sayings! COol hub :)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Troy; This was a fun Hub to write and these old sayings are worth a lot. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Best Wishes..........Ianto

    • mikicagle profile image

      mikicagle 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      My husband and I like to make up our own swear words. For example, "cricker" is a very uneducated person-usually with very dirty feet. A "bohach" is a very annoying person (the word came from the family name of my neighbors up north)-we use it instead of saying someone is an as*****.

    • jonsony profile image

      jonsony 7 years ago from Dublin, IRELAND

      good one..reminds me of the 1960s English classic movie ...my fair lady...stressing on the importance of good English language

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      hello mikicagle; yes it is fun to make up your own words, then you can be wishing someone all kinds of luck and they would never know what you are calling them :)

      Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. I hope you have the time to enjoy some more of my scrawls.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      jonsony; Thank you for stopping by. Yes it seems that these days we are all becoming versions of Eliza Doolittle.

      Best Wishes.

    • thebuckleshop profile image

      thebuckleshop 7 years ago

      Very Educational !!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      thebuckleshop; Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Best Wishes.

    • dansmith86 profile image

      dansmith86 7 years ago

      Fascinating! I hardly knew about any of this until reading it on your article so thanks very much!

    • Origin profile image

      Origin 7 years ago from Minneapolis

      Ah, so that's the story behind "bloody". Interesting!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      dansmith; thank you for your comments,what has amazed me is just how popular this Hub has become. There may be a future in writing about swearing. :)

      Origin; Thank you very much for stopping by. Best Wishes

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Good job, Now I understand more. I have a friend who said bloody hell one time, he is a Welshman. Now I know, this is a very interesting piece, Maita

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Maita; I'm honored you stopped by to read and comment. Thank you. but a Welshman said "Bloody Hell" just *One* time. Bet it was more than that LOL

    • MickS profile image

      MickS 7 years ago from March, Cambridgeshire, England

      nice write up.

      I've heard another variant on the f word, that it came here with the first Hanoverian King and is a mispronunciation of fack, to hit, is fack the German Verb to hit? Vagina is the euphanism, it's the Roman scabbard for their short sword, easy to se where that came from. All over Europe, including Greece and Rome, the c word is the correct word.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Micks; hank you for commenting. I've been astonished at the number of possible origins for the word. It seems to me one is as good as the other. I don't think it came over with George though because it appeared in print before he got here. It could have reached us from Germany some other way. I don't discount anything.

      Best Wishes............ianto

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      It gave George Carlin a career highlight - and speaking of highlights - I swear this is the best hub ever written about swearing!!!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Thank you for the compliment epigramman. I have other hubs that have had more views but this is the most commented upon Hub that I have. there seems to be a lot to be said about swearing. ;)

      Best Wishes.........Ianto

    • profile image

      Dchosen_01 7 years ago

      What an information I've got here. Really educative.

      Thanks for the history too.

      Great Hub, I must say.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Dchosen; Welcome to Hubpages. Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub and for your comments.

      Best Wishes............Ianto

    • TroyM profile image

      TroyM 6 years ago

      I've noticed in some pop comedy today they do use arse, and other body parts. Know I understand more. Thanks!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Troy; I just became a fan of yours. I'm from Wales so Rugby Union is my passion too. All the words and phrases and many more that I dare not print can be found in the Pub at the end of a Rugby game when we all get to sing the songs.

      Sing a song of Rugby, Buttocks, Booze and Blood.

      Thirty dirty ruffians, brawling in the mud.

      When the match is over, They're at the bar in throngs,

      If you think the game is filthy, you should hear the songs.

    • sunbeams profile image

      sunbeams 6 years ago from Cairns , Australia

      This is one really interesting hub!! Loved it !

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello SunBeams; It was an interesting Hub to write but what is more interesting than anything for me, is that this is fast becoming my most read Hub. Who would have guessed?

    • triciajean profile image

      Patricia Lapidus 6 years ago from Bantam, CT

      Yes, we are all interested in this one. I knew the general history--and you recapped it well--but I didn't know some of the specific origins you give.

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 6 years ago from The Lone Star State

      This was very interesting. I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • FilthyRichFellow profile image

      FilthyRichFellow 6 years ago from Manhattan, NY

      Very interesting hub, mate!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Triciajean; thank you for stopping by and thank you for being interested.

      Best Wishes............Ianto

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Shawn: Thank you. I hope you do find my Hubs interesting but most of all I hope you enjoy them.

      Best Wishes........ianto

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Filthyrichfellow; Interesting name. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Best Wishes ..........Ianto

    • TylerCapp profile image

      TylerCapp 6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      The derivations of words and phrases are always amusing. They can also help you learn the modern language easier too. I like the depth you go into on these words.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello TylerCapp; Yes I agree and it's a lot of fun to write about. I'm glad you enjoyed the read.

      Best Wishes.......ianto

    • profile image

      TransScribbler 6 years ago

      Thanks for this Hub. Very entertaining and educational. And yes... "bloody" is still frequently used here in Australia.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hi TransScribbler; Thankd for reading and commenting as I've mentioned to others this Hub was bloody entertaining to write. :)

    • ltfawkes profile image

      ltfawkes 6 years ago from NE Ohio

      iantoPF, this is totally #$#@#ing cool :), especially the part about the origin of "bloody". That's one I had always wondered about.

      Nice job and thanks,

      L.T.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hey L.T. Thank you very much for reading and commenting. That "By Our Lady" thing is interesting in itself. Glad my Hub helped clear it up. :)

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      I am certain I will wake up later tonight and start laughing all over again.

      There is a funny story about manure. I do not know if it is true, but here it is:

      In days past when manure, fertilizer, was transported by ship, they had to be very careful. If the manure was stored below deck, gas would build up with an explosive, and messy, outcome.

      Therefore, containers of manure were stored above deck with the reminder: Ship High In Transit.

    • iburahimu profile image

      iburahimu 6 years ago

      This is very interesting thing to know.

    • lou16 profile image

      lou16 6 years ago

      Thanks for an amusing look at the English language.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      keith Tax; Thank you for reading and commenting. Especially as that led me to checking out your profile and Hubs. You sre high on my list of "Authors to Read"

      Interesting tale unfortunately I don't believe manure was ever transported by ship. There's usually enough of it to be found without going to any expense.

      But thanks anyway.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Iburahimu; Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment.

      Iou16; I write mostly for others to enjoy. I am so glad that you enjoyed this Hub. Thank you.

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 6 years ago

      Great read. thanks. I especially liked the ending.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hi there agalia; Thank you for reading and commenting. The ending is an attempt to show how you can cuss someone out with flair. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Excellent hub! Yet another variant on the origin of one of our 'taboo' words: I had always heard that the 'f-bomb' came from British English legal terminology, essentially the same as the sea captain's usage, but not necessarily homosexual in nature; "Found Under Carnal Knowledge."

      I am reminded of being in the audience during George Carlin routine surrounding 'that word.' He went on and on about how people are designed to enjoy that activity, so why should being told to do so be an insult?

      At the close of the show that evening, he left the stage with a loud, (un-abbreviated)"F-you!" and wave of the hand to the audience. Everyone howled with laughter; no one was offended...and I'm sure more than a few went home to do just that! ;-)

      I am also reminded of a story about a Quaker lady who was rear-ended by a drunk. As the Quakers still believed in using the old-fashioned 'Thee and Thou' usage, and absolutely did not swear, her way of calling the fellow a rotten SOB was to say, "When thee gets home to thy kennel, I hope thy mother bites thee!"

      I actually have my doubts as to the veracity of this tale, because as far as I know, the modern Quakers no longer use 'thee/thou,' and an olden-days Quaker would not have been driving a car.... ... but it is amusing, and does serve the purpose of illustrating a different way of saying things.

      (I am not one to be offended by language--"it's only words--so what!" is my take. Personally, I can either make a sailor blush or be a perfect lady, or anything between, as the occasion demands.) ;-)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello DzyMsLizzy; Thank you so much for your comments. I love that story about the Quaker woman if I had known it I may well have used it.

      I'm also a big fan of George Carlin his 7 words never used on TV are a classic.

      thank you again. Best Wishes............Ianto

    • profile image

      culturespain 6 years ago from Spain

      Very good! I had certainly never heard about the 30L UCK!! Fascinating. Any more examples?

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      hello Culturespain; Welcome to Hubpages. There are a lot more examples of this kind of thing. I might even write another Hub about it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • jgw899 profile image

      jgw899 6 years ago from Santa Cruz

      hi!

      i love this hub; i think it's interesting that swear words change to less scathing words as time progresses. for example, in the middle ages, 'wench' was highly derogatory, but as it progressed into early modern English, the connotations changed to be less so. Now we hardly use the word, but when we do, its connotations are more funny than hateful!

      beautifully done!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hi Gina; swear words are interesting but i never knew they would be this interesting. If ever you get a chance to go to the Rennaissance faire up in Northern califotnia you'll hear "Wench" said a lot. True it's more fun than derogatory these days. I can't imagine my walking into a bar and ordering a Wench to give me a beer. Not here in L.A.for sure.

    • cbris52 profile image

      cbris52 6 years ago

      This is very interesting... My best friend moved to the states from London about 6 years ago...so he always asks me to go to the pub with him instead of the bar.

    • burning bush profile image

      burning bush 6 years ago

      Bloody well done.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      cbris52; Thank you for reading and commenting. One of these days I'll do a Hub on the different meanings of words between America and the english speaking world.

      Best Wishes..........Ianto

      Burning Bush; Thank you; I took a look at your hubs too. Bloody good show.

    • Joshwinvp profile image

      Joshwinvp 6 years ago from Chicago

      Hah, what a controversial topic this is.

      I like it.

    • miss_jkim profile image

      miss_jkim 6 years ago

      Delightful Hub,

      As a person who has traveled to England and Scotland, I have come to realize that America and these great countries are simply divided by a single language.

      It’s quite unsettling to be asked, “What time do you want to be knocked up?” when checking into a hotel.

      Or have someone ask to “bum a fag” in a local pub.

      And am I supposed to be offended when someone calls me a "wanker?"

      Ah, so many phrases that one could discuss.

    • PassinItAlong profile image

      PassinItAlong 6 years ago

      Not that I plan to add any of those to my vocabulary, it was still very interesting to learn about them; thank you.

    • MikeTheRhino profile image

      MikeTheRhino 6 years ago from Staten Island

      Well, Fornicate me, THAT'S a good hub!! :)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Joshwinvp; It seems so I agree and it was just written for fun, hardly one of my more serious Hubs.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    • nettech profile image

      nettech 6 years ago from London (UK)

      Great hub,

      Kind of made me laugh, I think for every sentence us Londoners use, over 50% are filled with profanities. Its not that we like swearing, or even do it deliberately, its just part of the culture. Not a good thing but part and parcel.

      Now as much as I'd love to share all these with you, I think its best I didn't....lol

      Regards,

      Zaheer

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      hello Miss_jkim; Thank you not just for reading and commenting but for giving me a great idea. I'm going to write a Hub on the differemces in US and UK English. I have some deas that I think might go well together and you have been my inspiration. Thank you. :)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Passinitalong; I'm glad you enjoyed the Hub and may I say that there are many things I have learned about that I do not intend to do. So happy you dropped in.

      Mike the Rhino; You enjoyed that? well I'll be buggered. :)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello nettech: thanks for stopping by. I used to drive tour buses in and around London so I got to know the town pretty well. You're right about the swearing but the dicky bird around the kermit was that the old bill would turn a blind mince pie if you watched the P's and Q's.

    • Mardi profile image

      Mardi 6 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      Wonderful hub and lots of fun. I am from Canada and we use a lot of the British terms, but here in the southern USA they look at with the evil eye if you use terms like bloody or bugger. The whole chesterfield thing really throws them as well but I still go to the pub for a pint, even if they only serve bottles!

    • healthgoji profile image

      healthgoji 6 years ago

      Very proper lesson on angles and saxons and queens manners. I did not know the origin of "bloody" being "by our lady". Sounds religious or were they speaking of the queen?

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Mardi; I've had the evil eye thrown at me a few times myself. though being Welsh I have the advantage of being able to curse in a language no one can understand.

      Is the beer better in Canada? I've never been but that would be a definite selling point.

      Best Wishes..........Ianto

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      healthgoji; Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes they were speaking in religious terms. That was the method of swearing before modern English started using vulgarities.

    • PR_am profile image

      PR_am 6 years ago from Oregon

      This really made me laugh out loud. Very informative and well researched post. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Lionel Bracken 6 years ago

      Fantastic Hub! In addition to finding it informative in its right, I love the model - this is exactly the way Hubs ought to be written. Thank you for the great job!

    • profile image

      taskManagement 6 years ago

      interesting read

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      PR_am; Thank you for your kind words. I write mostly for my readers to enjoy. I'm glad that you enjoyed the read. Best Wishes..........Ianto

      Lionel Bracken; You do me too much honor. Thank you.

      taskmanagement; Welcome to Hubpages, thank you for stopping by.

    • David 470 profile image

      David 470 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States

      Awesome hub. Our language is not really as complicated as it once was. A lot of phrases are no longer used today anymore.

    • profile image

      Witchetty 6 years ago

      'Bloody' certainly isn't only or even mainly used in England. It's pretty bloody common in Australia too - and in other 'outposts of bloody ex-empire'.

    • jeanie.stecher profile image

      jeanie.stecher 6 years ago from Seattle

      Great informaton you have here. I enjoyed reading your hub. Wanted to read more of your hubs. Thanks for sharing.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 6 years ago from The Other Bangor

      I found this useful list in Time magazine--it's probably already mentioned here somewhere, but just in case--

      "First printed in a Scottish poem in 1503, the ancient and awesomely powerful F-bomb continues to mystify lexicographers. Rumors persist that legal acronyms spawned the obscenity in question ("Fornication Under Consent of the King" or the Irish police-blotter inscription "booked For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge"), though the modern-day phrase has been traced to a number of etymological origins: Middle Dutch (fokken), Germanic (ficken), English (firk), Scottish (fukkit). Even the Latin terms futuerre ("to copulate") and pungo ("to prick") bear a striking resemblance to the four-letter word. Of course, its original definition linking sex with violence and pleasure with pain has broadened considerably in the past 500 years." http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,185...

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello David470; that is a very good point. Though I would use the word "Flowery" A comparison of today's English with the language of Shakespeare makes me feel we have lost much.

      Best Wishes.......ianto

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Witchetty; Welcome to Hubpages. You are right it is used in many English speaking parts of the World. Does that mean America is not an English speaking country? :)

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello jeanie; Thank you and welcome to Hubpages. I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub and I hope you enjoy not just mine but the really excellent Hubs other writers put on here. Best Wishes...........Ianto

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Teresa; I'm honored you took the time to read and comment. Your comment is a valuable addition to this Hub and the subject of the F word. That word seems to have a particular fascination in it's use and origin.

      The stories are fun though :)

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 6 years ago from The Other Bangor

      It's just such a great word to SAY, innit? I love the Irish version, feck, too. And your intro to the history of the English language is great--

      T.

    • darntoothysam profile image

      darntoothysam 6 years ago from Burnsville, MN

      The French word for 'cow' is 'vache'.

      The French word for 'beef' is 'beouf'.

      =)

    • paulkimelecu profile image

      paulkimelecu 6 years ago from philadelphia, pa

      i like this hub a lot. i think English has evolved a lot. In Korea, we use English swear words all the time. I guess they've infiltrated all across the world thanks to American cultural colonization... no f-ing good!!!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      darntoothysam; Thank you for your comments. I try to make my Hubs entertaining as well as informative though I have discovered that the comments section is a place where I can go into a little more detail without spoiling the flow of the article.

      "Cow" is derived from the old Anglo-Saxon "Cu"

      "Vache" is derived from the latin "Vacca" modern French is the adaptation of the earlier Gallo-Romance language centered around Paris. Just as the accepted standard for modern English is based around the English dialect prominent in London and the south east of England, so modern French is based around the dialect commonly spoken around Paris. The Norman-French were related to the Scandinavians and their dialect was heavily influenced by their Nordic heritage. Their word for "Cow" was similar to the Danish "Bos" from which was derived the English word "Beef" There are many other examples of how Norman-French impacted the Saxon language causing more than one word to be used for the same thing and sometimes the effect of Latin as a legal language in the middle ages also contributed. For example; Canal (Latin) Channel (French) Trench (Anglo-Saxon)

      Thank you for the opportunity of allowing me to go deeper into this subject. Best Wishes.......Ianto.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello paulkimelecu: Thank you very much for stopping by I had no idea that English swearing had entered Korean.

      Welcome to Hubpages........ianto.

    • ameliadietl profile image

      ameliadietl 6 years ago from Florida

      Ah! This is very funny. Thanks for the awesome hub!!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Yes, healthgoji--they used to say things of religious derivation, and that's why it was considered 'swearing' because they were "taking the name of a diety or saint in vain."

      A friend of mine, when her kids were young, used to exclaim, "Oh, fungus!" I laughed & questioned her on it one day, and she replied, "It's better than saying something else that starts the same way!"

      I also enjoy "frelling" which susbtitute I learned from Hollywood screenwriters, in the Sci-Fi TV series, "Farscape."

    • profile image

      CowlesK 6 years ago

      Very interesting! Thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      Richard Stephen 6 years ago

      Very amusing and educational. You should do more of these kinds of hubs!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Ameliadietl; Thank you very much for reading and commenting. Thank you most of all for enjoying.

      DzyMsLizzy; Your comments are always a joy to read as are your Hubs. Thank you.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello CowlesK; Welcome to Hubpages. Thank you for reading this Hub. I was wondering if you use any of those words when training your animals :)

      Richard; Thank you for your comment. This Hub has done so well overall that your advice is very worthwhile. I recently wrote a Hub on Americanisms and I've linked this Hub to it. Let's see if it does as well as this one.

    • Elefanza profile image

      Elefanza 6 years ago from Somewhere in My Brain

      Awesome post! I do love English history and the English language. One of my favorite historical tidbits (and my memory is a little vague on the specifics) involving the English language was the fact that when the language was changing and taking out the less formal you, thou etc, people would get into fights if they thought they weren't addressed properly! Ha!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      Hello Elefanza; Thank you for your comment. It is still partly true today. "Thee" and "Thou" are still used in Yorkshire but it should not be used towards someone you are not on very familiar terms with. Outside of a friendly atmosphere it is called "Thee-ing and Thou-ing" and can be construed as fighting words.

    • UltraGrowth.tv profile image

      UltraGrowth.tv 6 years ago

      Think I learned more about english history than the teachers at school ever managed!

    • profile image

      jackranson 6 years ago

      Cool! =)

    • EnergyAdvisor profile image

      EnergyAdvisor 6 years ago from The nearest planet to Venus

      This is really an interesting topic. I definitely learned something here. Thanks for this great share:) voted up!

    • Jacob Darkley profile image

      Jacob Darkley 6 years ago from California, USA

      Very interesting... and surprisingly funny! Thanks for sharing.

      Jacob

    • days leaper profile image

      days leaper 6 years ago from england

      "...And then they all F***ed off to America!" -Might be your next instalment?

      Thanks for this great hub! Very informative, I bet it will take me a lifetime to read the comments alone! Well Done!

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      LOL days leaper I actually did do that, not with that title though; It's called Americanisms,

      https://hubpages.com/travel/Americanisms-English-i...

      Thank you for your comment and yes there are a lot of them. That's a good thing :)

    • naturefire666 profile image

      naturefire666 6 years ago

      Life Changing topic, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      tt 6 years ago

      it's very good information.

    • Elefanza profile image

      Elefanza 6 years ago from Somewhere in My Brain

      Wow, I didn't realize that. It's amazing that anyone continues with the folly of speech when there is so much opportunity for mishap. Even a fool is thought wise when he holds his tongue. Yet language is sadly and irresistibly addictive.

    • Leslie Jo Barra profile image

      Leslie Jo Barra 6 years ago

      I love delving into etymology. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      TruckinDr 6 years ago

      A nice read, very interesting, thnx!

    • Medical Writer profile image

      Medical Writer 6 years ago from Great Britain

      Very interesting article.

    • RoseGardenAdvice profile image

      RoseGardenAdvice 6 years ago from San Francisco

      I must say you have written a 'fornicating' good hub!! Very well written .. made me laugh and at the same time gave a lot of interesting info on the history of swear words, Thanks.

    • iantoPF profile image
      Author

      Peter Freeman 6 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      RoseGardenAdvice; Thank you very much for the comment, I continue to be surprised at how much interest this Hub has generated. The most important part is that you enjoyed it, Best Wishes............ianto

    • darntoothysam profile image

      darntoothysam 6 years ago from Burnsville, MN

      Cheese and crackers! Why do people like such odd subjects 'round here? Guess funny and/or entertaining is the way to go. I do like the article ianto, and thanks for the educational response to my previous comment.

      Thomas

    • tectonic profile image

      tectonic 6 years ago from Singapore

      I can't believe how many comments there are here...looks like a good topic....

    • xboxliveforxbox profile image

      xboxliveforxbox 6 years ago

      Very interesting topic. Some people use those words without even knowing where they came from. Thanks so much and good luck with your hub.

    • profile image

      Artoflegendindia 6 years ago

      Great hub. your topic is very interesting and informative.

    • henrykasan profile image

      henrykasan 6 years ago from UK

      Good Hub!!!!!

      The information regarding word is very useful. The language of English today lacks the character and eloquence of bygone years. It is aptly stated into the hub that today we say one word, when in years past a sentence would be used, and misunderstandings were far less. The hub is very much knowledgeable, thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful peace of text.

    • profile image

      alae 6 years ago

      nice hub

      very true because language is a most important thing for communication. thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 6 years ago

      A very interesting hub to read.

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 6 years ago from Castaic

      Wow-I did not know how "swear words" came about. I guess, like anything else, it has to start from somewhere. Just like with history of names: how did we get from Richard to Rick to Dick or William to Will to Bill? Thank you for sharing such an informative and interesting hub. Keep up the good work. God bless!:-)

    • BartCougy profile image

      BartCougy 6 years ago

      Fun hub! I got a good laugh out of it, and it is an interesting approach to linguistics... maybe, the naughtier side of the English language. I might have to slip a few of these in place of my other bad words so that I don't get in trouble. Haha!

    • Drood profile image

      Drood 6 years ago

      thanks for the great idea. been working through a little dittie on the cliché. perhaps there's room for one more hub on the topic of language.

    • motorola profile image

      motorola 6 years ago from U.S.A.

      You've got a nice topic.I really love reading and this one is nice.Thanks

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 6 years ago

      Nice topic, great lil hub !

    • nathanross profile image

      nathanross 6 years ago

      Very Interesting... That is why I love history very much. Because everything that we are today, or everything that we do all goes back to something that happened in the past. I did not know about bloody... That is very very interesting. I always wondered why people would say pardon my french after they cursed... Now I know... Thanks for sharing

    • GaryChrist profile image

      GaryChrist 6 years ago from Kansas City, MO

      A wonderful article! Glad I ran across it!

    • cuisinart profile image

      cuisinart 6 years ago from U.S.A

      Good article. You know what I really love reading history. Keep posting man,,,

    • mikiy profile image

      mikiy 6 years ago

      This is an exceptional writing . Thanks

    • alqx profile image

      alqx 6 years ago from Singapore

      That was an interesting read. Seriously, I still can't believe 'bloody' was originally 'by our Lady'.

    • Sa`ge profile image

      Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

      Wonderfully witty hub, turned me into a fan. :D aloha oe

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 6 years ago from Hong Kong

      I never knew we could have so much clean fun reading around the foul subject.

    • cbris52 profile image

      cbris52 6 years ago

      Great and witty hub!

    • D.Virtual.Doctor profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 6 years ago from Europe

      this is unbelievable. Such hubs are invaluable and are what make this community a world class article directory. Great job and looking forward to read more of this....

    • kkgifts profile image

      kkgifts 6 years ago from Florence, SC

      This is a great hub!! very much enjoyed reading it!

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

      This is a great one. Fun and informative.

    • PZigney profile image

      PZigney 6 years ago

      Great fun. Remembering that my nephew had to calm me down one day. "Uncle, you sure use a lot of expletives." Til that day, I didn't know what the word expletives was. Now I have new ones to use on them.

    • Godlike profile image

      Godlike 6 years ago from Sweden

      Nice hub. Hope to see more from you! :)

    • Shona Venter profile image

      Shona Venter 6 years ago from South Africa

      Always good to know the origin of our language. Name-calling must have meant so much more back then as well - so much more descriptive!

    • profile image

      EliKen 6 years ago

      Love the historical perspective, as a History major undergrad...

      Ken @EliKen

    • TonyShepard profile image

      TonyShepard 6 years ago from Dallas Texas

      Positively WONDERFUL. I LOVE this article. Outstanding job on bring out some of the funnier sides to the English language. Thank you IantoPF for the post, I truly enjoyed this.

      Kindest Regards,

      Tony S.

    • alishaneuron profile image

      alishaneuron 6 years ago from Colorado (U.S)

      Historical facts is my search. Thanks you have given me to meet it. Enjoyed really.

    • profile image

      houlian 6 years ago

      Great stuff, i never knew any of this, and it tickles me. You have just obtained another follower.

    • profile image

      ShaunLindbergh 6 years ago

      Great hub, lots of interesting stuff. I look forward to reading your other hubs.

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 6 years ago from east of the equator

      I'm a new follower too. Great Hub. I will be reading other articles that interest me. Cheers.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      What a great hub.................

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 6 years ago from Japan

      Wow, lots I never knew there.

    • Suri Ben Noah profile image

      Suri Ben Noah 6 years ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu, South India

      I really loved your style. Very humourous but also very informative & meaningful. Btw, Bloody is also commonly used in India thanks to the Brits & the resultant Anglo-Indian community that they spawned.

    • pcdriverupdate profile image

      pcdriverupdate 6 years ago from VA

      funny and informative. love it. :)

    • Web World Watcher profile image

      Web World Watcher 6 years ago

      hah, very funny. I never realized swear words had such a dep and profound history

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 5 years ago from United States

      Interesting and humorous I might add.

    • stayingalivemoma profile image

      Valerie Washington 5 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

      this was great and funny!

    • profile image

      orbtastic 5 years ago

      Posh is another urban myth! It's a false acronym.

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 5 years ago

      It gave George Carlin a career highlight - and speaking of highlights - I swear this is the best hub ever written about swearing!!!

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 5 years ago

      Thanks for this Hub. Very entertaining and educational. And yes... "bloody" is still frequently used here in Australia.

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