Sweary links #6

For your weekend reading pleasure, a bumper batch of sweary shit from around the internet. You may have seen some of these items before, especially if you follow @stronglang on Twitter, but I bet there’s something new here even to devotees.

Romance writer KJ Charles has a great defence (and examination) of swearing in fiction, showing its importance in conveying character and mood, among other things.

I’m not ashamed of my name, says Mr Fuck (pronounced ‘foo-key’).

Swearwords help boost awareness of sign language at Adelaide Fringe festival.

There’s been a lot of anger and sarcasm in bookish circles at the ‘Clean Reader’ app that (ineptly) replaces profanities and vulgarities with sanitised alternatives: ‘chickenshit bullshit’, as Strong Language‘s @VoxHiberionacum pithily described it. Lionel Shriver has a smart response in the Guardian:

What is being protected is an idea of yourself – as pure, untainted, unworldly, literarily chaste. Why, if evangelicals in Idaho didn’t know these words already, they wouldn’t be sufficiently acquainted with the terms to be offended by them. So this app offers up a fictionally pristine self. It services a vanity.

Transport for London has a series of posters with poems on etiquette. Here are BuzzFeed readers’ sweary versions.

Imagine waking from a nine-day coma addicted to cheese and swearing. It happened to this British teenager. Or as one wit remarked, ‘welcome to adulthood, kid!’

A student was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight in the US for wearing a shirt with a swearword on it.

From the Letters of Note archives, a sweary pun brightens a diplomat’s day.

An Aboriginal girl in Sydney was violently arrested for swearing, and committed suicide three days after she was found not guilty of resisting and hindering police.

The Girls on Shit Duty’ is a lovely essay by Anna Maxymiw on working with shit (and shit).

Pute de merde de con! An interesting look at translating swearwords and slang from French to English in the TV drama Spiral.

‘Sometimes there’s nothing else to say, but Sheeeee-it.’ Isiah Whitlock, aka Senator Clay Davis in The Wire, reflects on the birth of a sweary catchphrase.

A playground chant that’s extremely sweary – or is it?

Vowels and consonants: Language Log shares a cartoon on cursing and a mouth-watering archive of sweary linguistics.

Crapper, skiter, cacafuego, and other historical slang terms for bullshitter (by our own Jonathon Green).

A Twitter account by the name of @SimonSwears, presumably a bot, offers a new insult every hour. There are over 170,000 so far. Many aren’t sweary, or even particularly insulting, but there’s something here for everyone – even fishy fuckmonkeys.

Finally, in a variation on an old theme, this very TL;DR copy of the Bible.

pocket bible

Thanks to these thoughtful tweeters for sending links our way or otherwise bringing them to our attention: @rebecca_roache, @sherrynoik, @FF_notes, @ArmaVirumque, @arriabelli, @lauraahaha, @sesquipedaliac, @AdamCSchembri, @HelenSaltedit, @superlinguo, and @conorjh.

12 thoughts on “Sweary links #6

  1. misterslang March 28, 2015 / 4:32 pm

    Mr Fuck is not alone. Though more courageous than most. In 1862 one Joseph (or Joshua) Bug changed his name to Norfolk Howard, despite popular derision at what was seen as affectation. The immediate response was for slang to adopt Norfolk Howard as a synonym for ‘bedbug. The London Times came to his aid, publishing a list of other risible/unpleasant names. Among them were ‘Asse, Beaste, Belly, Boots, Cripple, Cheese, Clodd, Dunce, Fatt, Frogge, Hagg, Humpe, Jelly, Kneebone, Lazy, Mudd, Honeybum, Piddle, Paswater, Pisse, Pricksmall, Quicklove, Rottengoose, Swette, Sheartlifte, Silly, Spittle, Teate and Vittels’.


  2. Stan Carey March 29, 2015 / 7:57 am

    Ghostpupp3t: If you like to swear then you’re in the right place.

    Jonathon: It can’t be easy for him, unless he doesn’t mind his name being constantly mispronounced for comic effect. I love the Times‘ list, though some of those names are very unfortunate.


  3. astraya March 30, 2015 / 10:45 am

    Mr Fuck really should anglicise his name now he’s living in an English-speaking cuntry.


    • Stan Carey March 30, 2015 / 12:25 pm

      I’m sure he’s considered it. Maybe he doesn’t want to.


      • astraya March 31, 2015 / 8:42 pm

        Morning thought: He should have become a priest or a pilot.


      • astraya April 2, 2015 / 8:45 pm

        ‘Holy Fuck’ and ‘Flying Fuck’ respectively, if you haven’t caught my drift.


  4. astraya April 2, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    Re the pocket bible. Yesterday I saw at a train station a man carrying a cloth bag with the words ‘Don’t be a Richard’. I was still puzzling when I saw a women at the next station carrying a similar bag. I searched online and found the answer. I should have realised. My father’s name is Richard and he was known in childhood (and still is to his Sydney family and friends) as ‘Dick’.
    There was a NSW politician named Richard Face.


    • Stan Carey April 3, 2015 / 7:30 am

      I remember being taken aback as a child when I first learned the slang word dick, since I was familiar with it as a name short for Richard. Richie seems a more common form in Ireland, though I haven’t compared figures.


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