Our Favorite #@&*%ing Swear Words


A Brooklyn writer took to the New York Times today to bitch about people who “curse” too much. The worst offenders, he says, are “20-somethings whose informal language consists of a liberal use of profanity blended into their OMG-juvenile act.”

“Is there a cure for this rampant vulgarity?” he asks.

We say… “No.” But to investigate this sociolinguistic WTF, we culled a list of our own favorite vulgarities (from a staff of, well, 20-somethings) to celebrate the great art of swearing. Our defense of F-bombs and other profanities, after the jump.

If Mr. Cotto had his way, New York would probably take a page out of California’s handbook and start banning four-letter words. In 2009, South Pasadena, Calif. instituted a “no cussing week,” which Los Angeles County and then the state legislature tried to adopt as well.

But this isn’t South Pasadena, goddammit, it’s New York. And New Yorkers (or “New Yawkers,” at least) have a long, proud history of hurling F-bombs and other expletives at each other.

And we’re not alone. Joe Biden’s on our side. And so are TV networks. Besides, “bad words” are part of our historical and cultural narrative. To censor them would be an affront to our American heritage! And also a total downer, because damn — bad words are fun. (And therapeutic — in September, science even proved that swearing is cathartic! It’s healthy, for fuck’s sake!)

So today, we’d like to take a moment today to celebrate swearing. To do so, we’ve culled a list of our own favorite vulgarities:

  • I think I’m a “Fuck Me” kind of guy. Not as a command, obviously, but in a “I’m fucked, my life sucks,” sort of way, because it has an added bump of shock value when compared to your average swear. Plus, if said around the right people it easily devolves into a contest of Exorcist impressions, though her “fuck me” is different in meaning. 
  • Twat.” I watched seasons 1-3 of Skins on Netflix last month and I fell in love with this word. It’s so different and comes as a huge surprise to a friend when you shout it out. Bonus points for using it while drunk. 
  • Fuckass.” This one’s a gem that my friend made up in high school and it just stuck. It’s original, so it provides that “Wow” factor that you’re always looking for. It usually makes said “fuckass” laugh so your harsh criticisms aren’t picked up. 
  • I think I pretty much just use “fucking” but more as an adjective, in times when slight emphasis is needed. I don’t even think I say other curse words!” 
  • Son of a bitch,” is a good one that I think is woefully underused. “Fuck” is great, too, because it’s so versatile and there’s something cathartic about pronouncing that hard consonant. I could literally sit around and just say “fuck,” all day. Fuck, fuck, fuck. 
  • Douchebag.” Maybe it’s just my age, but I find myself using this word to describe a lot of people lately. Has a zing to it. 
  • Cunt.” While most women fear its meaning, and the disturbing ring that follows after it’s said… I do appreciate its harshness. I mean, let’s be honest, how many effective swear words are left?”

How many, indeed?

We may not have James Lipton’s gravitas, but we’re curious: which are your favorite swear words? (Or least favorite? Are some bad words, indeed, overplayed?) Do people really swear too much these days? Or is “decorum” (Ha!) overrated?

But before you decide, here’s a video of Dexter‘s Jennifer Carpenter swearing a lot. If this doesn’t cement your love for expletives, nothing (except a Quentin Tarantino marathon) will: