Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A Fashion for Bad Language.

Elegant costumes...but not elegant language.
I don’t know about you, but I find women swearing somehow much more offensive than men. Perhaps it’s because women are the gentler sex and discouraged from testosterone driven competitiveness, but surprisingly, in the 18th Century it seems bad language was tolerated from women.
As one observer in the 1700’s wrote;
“Good round oaths are often heard from the lips of gentlewomen, who are quite familiar with the slang of the sportsmen and the stable.”
And rank was no bar as shown in this story about the Duchess of Marlborough.
One day the Duchess called on the Chief Justice Lord Mansfield, but neglected to leave her name. When his Lordship queried the manservant who had answered the door, as to who had called, the bemused footman’s reply was;
“I couldn’t find out who she was, my Lord, but she swore so stiff she must be a lady of quality.”
The fashion for Bomabzine...or 'Bum-be-seen.'

Does it bother you when women swear? Is it unforgiveable or excusable in certain situations, or is swearing not worth getting upset about? Share your thoughts (no obscenities please!) in the comments below.


  1. "Bad" language is in the ear of the beholder, and one should not be held to the standards of another. It all depends on context and tone. There is a time and place for everything. Swearing is not worth getting upset about, in any event, nor is it an excuse for a lecture by so-called betters.

  2. I agree, Julie, that we shouldnt judge others by their speech and ability to express themselves ...however I hate it when every other word is a swear word. Likewise swearing at children is unacceptable, adults should know better.

  3. I personally don't swear and I don't like to read a lot of it when I read. There are a few words I find especially offensive and it does turn me off a bit. However I have friends and I talk to people. They swear, I don't mind and when I get to know a character in a book and they swear because it is who they are, I don't mind. As long at it is natural and believable for that character, it's fine.

  4. I hear the F word a lot from young women and think it's quite sad that they express themselves in such a way.I try to explain this to them (I work with teenagers), but sadly, it falls on deaf ears. I suppose I'm just old fashioned. Swear words are common place for a lot of young people these days and I think they all want to "fit in" and so adopt the language of the day.

  5. I partially agree with Deb. Most kids begin swearing because it's forbidden. On the other side, I swear...a lot. I began swearing before any peers even knew what it meant. Best way to express myself.

  6. Gendered notions like this generally leave me sort of cold, so not particularly. On the other hand I've been swearing my whole life (thanks Dad) so I think it doesn't even stand out to me anymore when other people do it.

  7. It DOES hit my ear when a kid swears, though. It's usually so roundly forbidden in my part of the world still that it's always a surprise.


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