Curse Words as Dialect Maps II.

Last year we discussed Curse Words as Dialect Maps; now Stan Carey at Strong Language has a much wider selection in his post Sweary maps 2: Swear harder. He says he “went searching for swears and euphemisms” and found “some intriguing – and visually very appealing – patterns of rude word use in contemporary discourse”; there are maps for af (as fuck), asf (as fuck), badass, bullshit, cock, crappy, dammit, damnit, damned, dang, dick, dickhead, douchebag, effing, fart, freakin, freaking, frick, frickin, friggin, fuck, fucked, fucker, fuckers, fuckery, fuckin, fucking, fw (fuck with), goddamn, gtfo (get the fuck out), heck, idgaf (I don’t give a fuck), lmfao (laughing my fucking ass off), mf (motherfucker/-ing), mofo, motherfucking, nigga, omfg (oh my fucking god), piss, pissed, pissy, prick, scum, shit, shits, shitty, shittiest, shitting, slutty, stfu (shut the fuck up), sucks, swear, tf (the fuck), twat, turd, wtf (what the fuck), and wth (what the hell). Enjoy! (Via the Log.)

Comments

  1. Af, idgaf and some others seem to correspond to areas with higher black presence.

    Badass has a curious distribution centered on the High Plains. Maybe some association with cattle culture?

    Dang seems to correspond to Evangelical presence; notably, the Catholic culture of southern Louisiana seems to have inoculated them against euphemism, at least in this case.

    Dickhead a favorite of the Mid-Atlantic.

    Effing seems to have caught on well among Mormons.

    Freakin’ and heck show another interesting pattern of euphemism, uniting the Upper South with Mormon areas.

    The popularity of friggin’ in New England doesn’t surprise me; I’ve heard it quite a bit here in Massachusetts. Ditto the popularity of goddamn in the Northeast.

    This may have been noted before, but fuck (along with some derivatives) forms a very curious ring around the country.

    And shitty yields an interesting north-south dynamic.

  2. Yes, so many odd and interesting patterns!

  3. gwenllian says:

    As an outsider, I have to say most of these are very surprising. I really would’ve expected sucks, shit, goddamn, fuck, dammit, bullshit and almost all of the abbreviations to be very popular across the country. Also, the differences between denominations. I knew about them, but I’m still surprised at how strong they are here.

    I’ve read here that twat is gaining popularity, but I wouldn’t have expected it to be this popular already.

    The popularity of friggin’ in New England doesn’t surprise me; I’ve heard it quite a bit here in Massachusetts.

    Yep. Also popular in the Maritimes. Frig, too.

  4. J.W. Brewer says:

    I assume the maps are not measuring absolute rates of usage but relative rates compared to some national average. So the absolute rate of usage of word X in a part of the country where its usage is below-average might still be substantially higher than the same region’s absolute rate of usage of word Y even though its usage of the latter is above-average.

  5. I also wonder how, if at all, it’s adjusted for population density.

  6. “This may have been noted before, but fuck (along with some derivatives) forms a very curious ring around the country.”

    I think this will be clarified when multi-word searches can be used. Fuck can be used in so many contexts.

    I happened to have grown up in southern Missouri, which is right in a division line in most of the maps, but very blue for fuck.

    I never heard it used as anything other than a synonym for having sex until I began listening to rap music. Only then did I realize that someone could be ‘crazy as fuck’, or that you could ‘fuck someone up’, etc.

  7. David Marjanović says:

    Interesting how sharp the line between the Lowland South and the Inland South sometimes is… and that the Lowland South occasionally reaches all the way to Connecticut. 🙂

Speak Your Mind

*