Social Question

OpryLeigh's avatar

Do you swear/cuss in front or around people you don't know?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25251points) December 18th, 2009

My language is far from clean at the best of times but I am only comfortable saying the F word etc in front of people that I know. I have no problem with anyone swearing around me but I have noticed that people of my generation and younger seem to swear more loudly and openly in public and not care who hears them. I was just (literally 5 minutes ago, hence why I thought of this question) in the toilets/restroom at work and a couple of girls who I assume are customers were messing around when one loudly joked about how the other was a “fucking bitch”, there was a mother and child in there as well as myself and I couldn’t help feel that, although I wasn’t offended, it was unecessary.

Do you think “freedom of speach” is taking away our consideration for those around us when it comes to overly colourful language?

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27 Answers

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Fucking-A right I do Ummm…I mean no.

DrBill's avatar

I don’t swear/cuss anywhere, anytime.

I have always believed that swearing/cussing is an undeveloped mind struggling to express itself.

ucme's avatar

I swear to God people who do that are so fucking rude. Ignorant bastards no shit!

Fyrius's avatar

I do in English.
I don’t in my native language.

I think it’s because my mommy always told me Dutch swearwords are bad. So I’m inhibited to swear in Dutch.
On the other hand, I learned most of my English from the internet, so… yeah.

That’s fucking retarded. ;)
Plenty of sophisticated and eloquent people cuss a lot too. I count myself as one of them, if I may say so myself.

gradyjones's avatar

It’s rare that I cuss at all but I’ll throw in a colorful word if I think it really adds emphasis to a statement or makes it funnier. I think that gratuitous cussing is tiresome and boring.

belakyre's avatar

Oh no! Only people who are close to me get the privilege (if it is) of hearing me swear!

janbb's avatar

I try not to and usually succeed – save my “best” verbiage for my nearest and dearest.

anoop66's avatar

With close friends, full blast cursing/swearing, otherwise I am a good guy!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

If I am angry or in the middle of a heated discussion I will absolutely curse (not around my children) – if I notice anyone squeamish about it, I will apologize but not mean it.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir What about other peoples children? Would you swear in front of them?

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Cool. I must admit I was shocked when the girl I mentioned in the main bulk of my question dropped an F bomb in earshot of the kd. It’s one thing to use language like that in front of adults but I think using it in front of a child is really disrespectful to the parents who are probably trying to do all they can to stop their kids picking up that sort of language.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Leanne1986 I remember I said ‘fuck’ once in front of my then 2 and a half year old son and he thought the word sounded hilarious so he screamed fuuuck, fucck! non stop to pre-school…eventually I told him he heard it wrong and I was saying duck

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir That is a major Ooops! Sounds very funny though :D I once was babysitting a young boy who was also probably about 2ish and all of a sudden I heard him shout at the family Whippet “Freddie, you bastard dog”. I was gobsmacked. When I told the mother about it she yelled at her husband “I told you not to talk like that around him”

azlotto's avatar

I seldom swear/cuss.

Fyrius's avatar

I’m amazed that so many parents are so surprised when their children first use swear words. What did they expect? That they could raise them without them figuring out how to cuss?
Come on. Get real. They’ll learn their swearwords sooner or later, you’re not going to prevent that.

Everyone cusses. Where does this notion come from that children should behave better than adults?

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Fyrius I know it can’t be avoided but I still think twice before swearing in front of a youngster because personally, I don’t think it is necessary to encourage kids to swear regardless of whether it is inevitable.

Fyrius's avatar

Fair enough.

ratboy's avatar

No fuckin’ way.

prude's avatar

It depends on just how angry and bottled up I am

rooeytoo's avatar

I sometimes like to throw in a hell or a damn just for fun, but I save the heavy duty artillery (the f word) for special occasions!

DrBill's avatar


Thank you for proving my point.

Fyrius's avatar

I do hope you didn’t take offence at that post. It was a joke.

As for the point you believe I confirmed: I could just as easily have said that I think your low esteem of people who swear is a prejudice, a one-sided generalisation over a population that is far more diverse than just the verbally incompetent. I could have spelled out that some people who swear might be having trouble expressing themselves, but others just prefer to swear.
Instead of saying that, I chose the words “fucking retarded”. Deliberately, even though I had a choice. Having the whole wide world of expressive possibilities of the English language before me, I chose to cuss.
Doesn’t that make you reconsider?

Your opinion seems to hinge on the preconception that cussing is always a last resort, that these are words people don’t use unless they have no other choice. Not everybody sees it that way.

DrBill's avatar


I had assumed it was a joke and responded in kind.

I believe my opinion of those who insist on colorful medifore is well founded. It is the media of the poorly educated, and thusly mentally undeveloped. On the other hand, intelligent and mentally strong persons rarely or never cuss or swear.

I idea that you choose to cuss/swear tells me you have chosen to lower yourself to an intellect level somewhat below your own, perhaps to speak to those less intelligent

Fyrius's avatar

Did you just say “medifore”, “thusly” and “persons”, while criticising other people’s grasp of the English language?

Depending on how serious you’re being this time, I’m either going to chuckle or ask for your statistics. How do you know the intelligent rarely cuss? What do you base that assertion on? Not just on your personal impressions, I should hope.

In the above post, all you’re doing is stating again what you believe; cussing equals a low level of intellect, and an intelligent person cussing means he’s lowering himself.
But I already know what you believe. What I want to know is why you believe it, and why I should believe it. In other words, statistics.
And an explanation of what could cause the correlation you believe to exist is no substitute for proof that it’s there in the first place.

I know places where you’ll find plenty of generally intelligent people who habitually cuss like there’s no tomorrow. Like I said, I consider myself one of them.



I don’t even use swear words in front of people I “know”. And I don’t hang with people who cuss either.

takeachance's avatar

I swear in front of pretty much every one beside family, because thats just rude. I do if we are having a joke or just talking but not in an agressive way.

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