Formerly (and hopefully future) frequent commenter Xiaolongnu sent me a link to the Periodic Table of Swearing (click image for large version). This is a U.K. model, with entries like “Looking Like A Right Arsehole” and “Bollocks To That”; someone should do equivalents for the U.S., Australia, and other English-speaking regions. Actually, now that I think about that, someone should do equivalents for every language with a decent swearing culture.


  1. “swearing culture” or “swearing tradition”?

  2. Siganus Sutor says

    “A decent swearing culture”: is it the culture which has to be decent, or the swearing?
    I appeal for external competencies in view of an appraisal of my swearing culture. Charlatans should refrain from giving indecent comments.

  3. I quite like the Drive-By Abuser, plugs into your car stereo, “…scared the shit out of my kids”.

  4. “Arseholed” is common UKshire slang for being pissed (drunk) but “arseholing” – never heard that before?

  5. Ah. At least this one understands the periodicity.

  6. “Ceefax” I was able to find, but “gristler” remains a mystery.

  7. I’ve never heard of “gristler” before but I can imagine it’s an allusion to ‘gristle’ – ‘meat’ and therefore euphemistic for the male genitals?

  8. Gristle is not meat, and neither is erectile. Think Spongebob instead, if euphemism floats your boat.

  9. Well I did find a definition for “gristler” in the urban dictionary but I’m certainly not posting that here!
    Don’t be pedantic about penises Stu?!

  10. Ahhhh, thanks for posting the link. I saw this on Boing Boing but their image was unreadable so the humor was lost on me, hehe.

  11. Don’t be pedantic about penises Stu?!
    Spongebob pedantic ?? That’s Squidward, isn’t it ? But there’s no harm in getting these things straight. I myself graduated from the school of hard knocks.

    But he was very stiff and proud:
    He said, “You needn’t shout so loud!”
    And he was very proud and stiff:
    He said “I’d go and wake them, if –“
    I took a corkscrew from the shelf:
    I went to wake them up myself.
    And when I found the door was locked,
    I pulled and pushed and kicked and knocked.
    And when I found the door was shut,
    I tried to turn the handle, but–‘

    There was a long pause.
    `Is that all?’ Alice timidly asked.
    `That’s all,’ said Humpty Dumpty. `Good-bye.’

  12. Eel, it just occurred to me that perhaps you are not aware that Spongebob is a corpus cavernosum ?

  13. Corpus Spongiosum-bob Square pants?

  14. It’s just a shame that Tom Lehrer is in retirement…

  15. Bob’s your uncle !

  16. EllieMurasaki says

    You don’t have permission to access / on this server.
    Apache/2 Server at Port 80
    Getting that on Firefox and IE both.

  17. Yeah, now I’m getting an index page instead. I have no idea what happened.

  18. dearieme says

    Here’s my only Periodic Table joke. I was looking at a Periodic Table wall chart; this was years ago when the chart ended with Lw. A passerby stopped, looked and enquired “What does Lw stand for?” Quick as a flash (for I was young) I said “Last one”.

  19. I was really hoping for some new things to say to my goddamn computer, but the ones new to me on the chart just aren’t effective across in American English.

  20. Apart from porn, conspiracy theories, spam, and videos of people making complete Mfa’s of themselves, I knew there had to be some practical value from this inter-web thing. Thank you to the creator(s) of the “Periodic Table of Swearing” for my beautiful new desktop wallpaper. Now when someone comes into my office and asks for my opinion, I can just glance at the screen and give one.

  21. Dearieme, I was surprised to see you refer to Lw, since I knew lawrencium was Lr (which wouldn’t work in the story), but now I see that the symbol was changed from Lw to Lr in 1963.

  22. regarding ‘arseholing’ not having been heard before… surely that’s the beauty of British slang, we can stick any old word into the string and inflect it appropriately with no regard for word class. It’s bastarding brilliant.

  23. dearieme says

    “now I see that the symbol was changed from Lw to Lr in 1963”: the beggaring bastards keep doing that sort of thing without consulting me.

  24. “arseholing” – never heard that before?
    Similar to “cunting fuck”.

  25. Siganus Sutor says

    Shouldn’t this “Periodic Table of Swearing” have at least one catamenial expression containing the word “period”?

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