A Study Found Swear Words in All Languages Have One Thing in Common
Chattanooga, Tennessee— (Wise Brother)
Do you know any swear words in other languages? This might be a good way to start learning one: A new study found the most popular curse words in most languages tend to have one thing in common.
No matter what language you’re cussin’ in, the choice words you’re using probably don’t include these four letters: L, R, Y, and W.
Researchers had people list the most offensive words they knew in their native language. And very few of them had those letters.
If you look at George Carlin’s famous “seven words” you can’t say on TV, there’s only one of those letters in any of them. Two have an “R”, but that’s it. The two words are “[blank]-sucker” and “mother[blank]er.”
They also found that words we use in place of swear words DO tend to have those letters a lot. For example, “frick” and “darn” both have an “R” . . . “gee whiz” has a “W” . . . and “holy cow” has a “W” and an “L”.
They think there’s just something about the sounds those letters make that don’t sound offensive enough. So as languages evolved, we naturally left them out of the most popular swear words.