We’ve featured swearing montages from video games; now here’s one from TV.
Even if you’ve never seen Sharpe (I haven’t), that won’t stop you enjoying Sean Bean uttering oaths from it non-stop for 7½ minutes – mostly bastard, bloody, bugger and damn, with crap, arse, piss, prick and twat entering the fray near the end and culminating in this mighty outburst:
What an idiot. What a dirty little Dutch buffle-brained bastard. I’ll ram his poxed crown up his royal poxed arse. The blue-blooded twat.
You can almost feel the spittle from here.
Bloody is a mild intensifier to many ears, but in some quarters it’s considered pretty strong, and its use in G.B. Shaw’s Pygmalion caused a scandal a century ago. Poxed refers to various poxes once common, and dates to the 17thC.
Buffle-brained means ‘stupid, foolish’, literally ‘buffalo-brained’ (from the French buffle). See John Kelly’s ‘You pack-saddle child!’ for more on bastard, especially its etymology, and check out Four Femmes on the Thames to hear twat turned into a feminist anthem.
So without further ado, here’s Sean Bean cursing up a blue streak. Because we love you damned bloody buggering bastards.
This brings make a curious memory: the word “bastard”. As an 11-12 year old I attended school (from Australia) at a north-ish London Comprehensive school. My fellow students (first year, or whatever it was called) were profoundly, and I mean profoundly, shocked at my casual use of the word “bastard”. This was 1966! I knew that “fuck”, “cunt” and “bugger” were problematic: but “bastard”? It was such an ordinary word in my vocabulary. My father put it down to the fact that the Poms were sensitive souls, and that there had been many bastards in their royal lineages. It was a couple of years before I realised the point(s) of his observation.
Chips: That reminds me, we got a talk in primary school about bastard. That other swears were prohibited was a given, so I guess bastard was singled out because it was perceived as less serious, so it was being used a lot during sports and the like. Its ‘illegitimate child’ sense was explained to us as a reason for its inappropriateness.
Bugger me! ‘E’s a right grumpy bastard, inn’t he?
Aye, he’s a shirty bugger right enough!