Pete Davison: I Swear, By The Moon And The Stars In The Skies

Posted on March 21, 2011 by


(If you are offended by swearing you may wish to skip this one. But then that’s kind of the point of this post. So perhaps you should read it.)

Swearing’s a funny thing. On the one hand, a well-timed expletive—particularly a creative compound one, such as “felchbastard”—can make everyone laugh. On the other hand, people who use the word “fucking” as verbal punctuation and/or a non-fluency feature are, well to be frank, complete arseholes.

It’s curious how some swear words are more acceptable than others though, especially given the fact that many of them refer to the same thing. Refer to someone as a “twat” and that’s generally seen as just fine and peachy (unless you’re, say, talking to the Queen or your grandparents (assuming they’re not the kind of grandparents who swear like sailors (possibly because they were sailors) or squaddies (ditto) and now I’m not sure how many nested brackets I’ve used so I’ll just hope) or the local vicar) but call them a “cunt” and you’ll quite possibly be the recipient of a stony silence, a slap in the face or a detention, depending on your age/social status and/or occupation.

But why should this be? “Twat” and “cunt” both refer to the female genitalia, yet some people feel more uncomfortable saying the word “vagina” out loud than “twat”, yet “cunt” is still some sort of horrendous secret taboo. They all mean the same thing.

Oddly enough, no synonyms for the penis (of which there are many, as the back page of my Year 8 homework journal from secondary school will attest) appear to be regarded as anywhere near as taboo as words for the vajayjay. “Cock”, theoretically the most offensive one, as it’s (arguably) the one you’re most likely to hear during pornography, is flung around with gay abandon (not literally) pre-watershed on Top Gear, while “penis” is still seen as somewhat awkward, despite being an anatomical term and not a swear.

“Fuck” and/or “fucking” are the words that gets a lot of people though. “Fuck/fucking” are, in themselves, rather multi-purpose words. They can be used as a verb meaning sexual congress (“He fucked her good and proper”) or as a verb meaning “broke” or “beat up” (“She fucked him up good and proper”) or as an adjective (“Cover that fucking bruise on your face, you big wuss”) or as an intensifier (“That was brilliant.” “No, it was fuckingbrilliant.”) or just a an expletive (“Fuck!”).

The trouble with “fuck”, though, is that it’s overused. First five minutes of Four Weddings and a Funeral aside, you just have to walk down any inner-city street in the UK to hear the word “fuck(ing)” used so frequently you wonder if the people uttering it are actually aware they’re saying it quite so much. In theory, a lot of their usage of it is as an intensifier—but seriously, saying “I went to the fucking shops” is utterly redundant. Saying something is “fucking brilliant” makes it very clear that it’s better than brilliant. However, saying you went to the “fucking shops” is useless, because the shops are the shops, and however much “fucking” you put in front of them, they cannot be any moreshoppy than they already are, in that they are already 100% shoppy, and if making them into the “fucking shops” made them more shoppy than 100% shoppy, then that would defy all laws of physics, metaphysics, logic and possibly a few bits of theology, too. And no-one wants that.

The only exception to this is when you’re annoyed at the place you’ve been. Then you can do that sulky teenage stroppyface and say “Yeah, I went to the fucking shops” as if it’s the biggest hardship in the world that you had to suffer being dragged around New Look a little bit when all you really wanted to do was get home and masturbate/take drugs/yell at a gerbil that just isn’t pulling its weight any more/watch Noel Edmonds (on TV, obviously, unless you live with him, which would be a hellish existence in and of itself more than worthy of using the word “fucking” at every opportunity).

Basically, cockweasel, stop being such a fucking prudish cunt, and enjoy the rich tapestry of bullshit that the English cocking language has blessed us twats with.


Posted in: Pete Davison