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English Swear Words

Updated on August 15, 2017
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Peter is an amateur historian and a student of languages. Retired he spends much of his free time writing historical books and articles.

The Queen's English

Queen Victoria in her coronation gown
Queen Victoria in her coronation gown | Source

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 is peculiar to England. Although "bloody" is often used in the British Dominions of Australia and New Zealand. The word has it's own history but let's start at the beginning.
The island of Britain was originally inhabited by a Celtic people who spoke a language called Brythonic. That language eventually became Welsh, Cornish and Breton. The latter spoken in Brittany, Northwest France. The Island became part of the Roman Empire for 400 years then when the Romans left in 383 CE everyone who had a boat tried to invade. Most of these illegal immigrants came from the Germanic areas around what is now the Hook of Holland. The main tribes from that area were the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Scandinavians, especially Danes settled in parts of England and for a period the King of Denmark was also King of the Saxons. Eventually 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” a dialect of German, it 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, Duke William of Normandy popularly referred to as William the Conqueror. In 1066 CE he landed at Hastings on the southern shore of England and defeated the English, killing the last of the Saxon kings, Harold Godwinson. William then set about consolidating his hold on the English. The Saxon nobility were either killed or sold into slavery. They were replaced by the Barons that had aided William. The barons had their retinues and all these people spoke Norman-French. This result was that the language of the nobility was French while the language of the Saxons, remained German. The new Norman overlords were cruel and exploitative. They considered the Saxons to be inferior beings and treated them as such.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. For example; the common people, mainly the farmers, provided meat for the table of the nobles. So they used the old words of Sheep and Pig. At table those same animals are referred to as; Mutton and Pork. Muton and Porc are the French equivalents. There is a common saying, still repeated today, that it's "French for the table, English for the stable" Another example of how English has a number of words for the same thing is the following words; Canal (Latin) Channel (French) Trench (Saxon) You may notice something here; there is almost an instinctive pecking order in those words. Canal seems superior to Channel and they both make Trench feel vulgar. It gets worse, In modern English, French is perfectly acceptable in all conversations. It is possible to say absolutely anything, any word, describing any part of the anatomy, even sexual acts, can be used from the church pulpit and sound respectable. As long as it is said in French. It is only a vulgar curse word if said in old English,

Pardon my French

A few examples;
It is acceptable to say “Bosom” and “Posterior” and it would not surprise us to hear the Pastor say those words from the pulpit, 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 Scite 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.
There are a number of urban myths about the origin of that word. Mostly they revolve around acronyms. One of the most popular refers to 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. As interesting as that may sound it is an urban myth. Acronyms did not come into being until the first world war. The word has been a taboo word for centuries when used in a derogatory manner towards someone. This word derives from "Firker" the old description of a Pig breeder.
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 among 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 among 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 “Bleddy” and in many areas of England you hear “Buh-leddy” Other words that are contractions of medieval curses, though not as popular as they used to be, were: Gor blimey, (God blind me) and Gadzooks (God's Hooks, referring to Jesus nailed to the cross)
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?

English swear words and other ways to be completely misunderstood

English Swear words and other ways to be completely misunderstood.
English Swear words and other ways to be completely misunderstood.
For further fun facts about swear words including the ways in which we all get our words mixed up.


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    • louromano profile image


      8 years ago

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

    • louromano profile image


      8 years ago

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

    • profile image


      8 years ago

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

    • stayingalivemoma profile image

      Valerie Washington 

      8 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

      this was great and funny!

    • Naomi's Banner profile image

      Naomi's Banner 

      9 years ago from United States

      Interesting and humorous I might add.

    • Web World Watcher profile image

      Web World Watcher 

      9 years ago

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

    • pcdriverupdate profile image


      9 years ago from VA

      funny and informative. love it. :)

    • Suri Ben Noah profile image

      Suri Ben Noah 

      9 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.

    • Hezekiah profile image


      9 years ago from Japan

      Wow, lots I never knew there.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 

      9 years ago from Southern California

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

    • sligobay profile image


      9 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.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

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

    • profile image


      9 years ago

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

    • alishaneuron profile image


      9 years ago from Colorado (U.S)

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

    • TonyShepard profile image


      9 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.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

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

      Ken @EliKen

    • Shona Venter profile image

      Shona Venter 

      9 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!

    • Godlike profile image


      9 years ago from Sweden

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

    • PZigney profile image


      9 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.

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 

      9 years ago from Nashville, TN

      This is a great one. Fun and informative.

    • kkgifts profile image


      9 years ago from Florence, SC

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

    • D.Virtual.Doctor profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 

      9 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....

    • cbris52 profile image


      9 years ago

      Great and witty hub!

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 

      9 years ago from Hong Kong

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

    • Sa`ge profile image


      9 years ago from Barefoot Island

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

    • alqx profile image


      9 years ago from Singapore

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

    • mikiy profile image


      9 years ago

      This is an exceptional writing . Thanks

    • cuisinart profile image


      9 years ago from U.S.A

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

    • GaryChrist profile image


      9 years ago from Kansas City, MO

      A wonderful article! Glad I ran across it!

    • nathanross profile image


      9 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

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice topic, great lil hub !

    • motorola profile image


      9 years ago from U.S.A.

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

    • Drood profile image


      9 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.

    • BartCougy profile image


      9 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!

    • CarolineVABC profile image


      9 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!:-)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      A very interesting hub to read.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      nice hub

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

    • henrykasan profile image


      9 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


      9 years ago

      Great hub. your topic is very interesting and informative.

    • xboxliveforxbox profile image


      9 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.

    • tectonic profile image


      9 years ago from Singapore

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

    • darntoothysam profile image


      9 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.


    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      9 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

    • RoseGardenAdvice profile image


      9 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.

    • Medical Writer profile image

      Medical Writer 

      9 years ago from Great Britain

      Very interesting article.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      A nice read, very interesting, thnx!

    • Leslie Jo Barra profile image

      Leslie Jo Barra 

      9 years ago

      I love delving into etymology. Thanks for sharing.

    • Elefanza profile image


      9 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.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      it's very good information.

    • naturefire666 profile image


      9 years ago

      Life Changing topic, thanks for sharing.

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

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

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

    • days leaper profile image

      days leaper 

      10 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!

    • Jacob Darkley profile image

      Jacob Darkley 

      10 years ago from California, USA

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


    • EnergyAdvisor profile image


      10 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!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Cool! =)

    • profile image 

      10 years ago

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

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • Elefanza profile image


      10 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 imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • profile image

      Richard Stephen 

      10 years ago

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

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very interesting! Thanks for the info!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      10 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."

    • ameliadietl profile image


      10 years ago from Florida

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

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • paulkimelecu profile image


      10 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!!!

    • darntoothysam profile image


      10 years ago from Burnsville, MN

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

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


    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      10 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--


    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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 :)

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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 imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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 imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      10 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.",8599,185...

    • jeanie.stecher profile image


      10 years ago from Seattle

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

    • profile image


      10 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'.

    • David 470 profile image

      David 470 

      10 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.

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      interesting read

    • profile image

      Lionel Bracken 

      10 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!

    • PR_am profile image


      10 years ago from Oregon

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

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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

    • healthgoji profile image


      10 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?

    • Mardi profile image

      Mardi Winder-Adams 

      10 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!

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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 imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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. :)

    • nettech profile image


      10 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'



    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • MikeTheRhino profile image


      10 years ago from Staten Island

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

    • PassinItAlong profile image


      10 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.

    • miss_jkim profile image


      10 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.

    • Joshwinvp profile image


      10 years ago from Chicago

      Hah, what a controversial topic this is.

      I like it.

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • burning bush profile image

      burning bush 

      10 years ago

      Bloody well done.

    • cbris52 profile image


      10 years ago

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

    • iantoPF profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.

    • jgw899 profile image


      10 years ago from Santa Cruz


      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 imageAUTHOR

      Peter Freeman 

      10 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.


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