Something we can all swear by

Swearing is good for team morale and helps employees to cope with stress, according to a recent study by Norwich University. Anyone could have told you this, of course. Swearing is good for you, everybody knows that. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be the first thing you do when you bang your elbow or, as is often the case with me, catch your little toe on the corner of furniture. I turn the air blue.

Oh yes, you can’t beat a good swear. Swear words are high in fibre and vitamin C, they have a low sodium content and act as an antioxidant. They form part of your 5 A Day.

So in the interests of team morale, I heartily encourage anyone reading to proclaim their favourite rude words in the comments section as part of a controlled exercise in catharsis. Perhaps we can resolve the age-old issue: what is the best swear word in the English language?


Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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7 comments on “Something we can all swear by
  1. GB says:

    I prefer to start small and build up as the situation dictates, start with a shit or (my personal favorite) bollocks, and save the big boys for those that really deserve it. Of course you can fill the grey area in between by stringing together a few milder ones for dramatic effect i.e. fecking bastard twat for example.

    Having said that, it winds me up when people use swear word all the time, or because of a lack of vocabulary.

  2. East of Ipswich says:

    The best swearword ever (apart from cunt which, frankly, is unbeatable as it’s the only word left with the power to shock / offend) is “shankered”. My friend Tancredi invented it, or at least that’s who I heard it off. Shankered describes the state one gets in after a heavy session. Examples of use:
    “I got shankered on Saturday night”
    “Let’s go and get shankered”
    and so on.
    According to Julian Cope, his publicist was responsible for introducing the phrase “skin up” into the South of England, well, we should take on the challenge of introducing the word “shankered” – hell, we need new swear words and this one’s as good as any…

  3. Geoff Champagne says:

    I like to throw out a combination sometimes. Something like ‘oh, shitting arseholes’ or ‘he’s a bit of a cunting bastard’. Will there ever be any new ones invented? I think we need a few more, like shankered, for example. What’s the most recent swear word too?

  4. Citizen Sane says:

    The only other hybrid I’ve seen in recent years has been “twunt”, which I rather like. As in, “He’s a complete and utter twunt”.

    But, for my money, nobody swears like the Irish. They have a natural propensity for this sort of thing, and the accent just suits certain words. You also have to admire their handiwork with the word “bollocks”. No longer an exclamation: in their hands it’s a noun. Best exemplified by Bishop Brennan in Father Ted: “You address me by my proper title, you little bollocks!”

  5. Geoff Champagne says:

    Recent thought: How about Richard Wilson/Victor Meldrew? He’s the best I’ve ever heard. And then there’s ‘bloody buggering shit’.

  6. Geoff Champagne says:

    My Grandmother is turning 80 in May. She used to swear up and down the dictionary from “Bitch the Bastard” to “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph” whenever she was angered.

    She suffers from a multitude of health problems but swears (in the cross my heart sense) that she’s alive and well today because she used to curse wherever applicable. It was healthy to just “let it out”

    She still does this…

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