Hierarchies of cussing


I’ve never understood which swearwords are worse than others. It’s only in very recent years that I’ve heard people saying that the c-word is the worst of all. Before that I assumed the f-word was the worst swearword. Is there a pretty specific…

mellopetitone said:

Also, some words are considered swears by some and not by others. These, if considered swears or “bad words”, are generally considered to be some of the milder ones and, as mentioned in the original post, are often considered appropriate for some ages and not others. Examples are words like “crap”, “freaking”, “stupid”. (“Crap” is usually a substitute for “sh*t”. “Freaking” is usually a substitute for “f*cking”. “Freak” is only rarely a substitute for “f*ck”.)

These words are in a middle area where some people consider them swears/words that have restricted use and are inappropriate to say usually, but others consider them as mild/non-swear replacements for swear words and most others consider them to be just as mild as any other word in the language.

These words may gain some force when used to replace a swear word, especially if said with strong emotions. An example is “*angrily* You’re full of crap!” That use has more negativity than saying “Crap!” when you accidentally drop what you’re carrying or refer to something you dislike by saying “Oh, not that crap again.”

realsocialskills said:

Also sometimes the level of force is more important than which words are being used.

Some people’s “darn it” is more frightening than other people’s “fuck off”.