Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1. Introduction
                Many language have words which are considered dangerous, holy, magic, or shocking and which are only use in certain situation or by certain people. In many culture words associated with religious beliefs are used only on religious occasions, or only by priests. Words of this kind can be called tabbo words.
                English has three main groups of taboo words and expressions:
v  A number of words connected with the Christian religion ( e.g the names Christ, god) are considered holy by some people. These people prefer use such words only in formal and respectful contexts, and they may be upset or shocked by their careless use.
v  Certain words relating to sexual activity and the associated parts of the body (e.g fuck,balls) are regarded as shocking by many people. In formal or polite language these words are generally avoided or replaced by other words and expressions (e.g make love or have sexual intercourse, testicles)
v  Some words referring to the elimination of bodily waste are also regarded dirty or shocking (e.g shit. Piss)
Because taboo words are shocking, they are common in situation where people want to express powerful emotions by using strong language. This is called swearing. When people swear, taboo words usually change their meaning completely. For example fuck off and piss off have nothing to do with sex or urinating they are simply violently rude ways of saying go away. The strength of the original taboo words is borrowed for different purpose.
Linguistic taboo in English speaking countries are less strong than they used to be. Most taboo words and swearwords shock less than they did, say, twenty years ago. And increasingly people using informal taboo words which are felt to be amusingly naughty rather than shocking, such as bonk instead of fuck, or willy insread of prick (penis).
None the less, students should be very careful about using taboo words and swearwords. There are two reasons for this. First of all, it is not easy to know the exact strength of these expression in a foreign language or to know what kind of people are shocked by them, and in what circumstances. One may easily say something that is meant as a joke, but which seriously upsets the people one is talking to. And secondly, using this sort of this language generally indicates membership of a group one most often swears in the company of people one knows well, who belong to one’s own social circle, are group etc.
2.  Taboo words
                The following are some of the most common English taboo words, with explaination of their literal meanings where necessary. Their approximate strength is shown by stars: a one-star word  like hell will not upset many people, while a three-or-four star word may be very shocking if it is used in the wrong situation.
v  Religion
Taboo words                 meaning
Damn*                            condemn to hell
Blast*                                 strike with divine punishment
       God*        Jesus*
v  Parts of the body                     meaning
Arse***                                       bottom, buttock, anus
Arsehole***                              anus
Balls***                                       testicles
Bollocks***                                                testicles
Cock***                                      penis
Dick***                                        penis
Prick***                                      penis
Tits***                                         breast
Cunt****                                    woman’s sex organs
v  Sexual activity                           meaning
Fuck***                                       have sex
Wank***                                    masturbate
   Jerk off***
Bugger***                                anal intercourse with a person or animal
Come***                                    reach sexual climax
Sod***                                        homosexual, sodomite
Bitch***                                      immoral woman
Whore***                                  prostitute
Bastard***                                 child of unmarried parents
v  Lavatory                                       meaning
Piss***                                        urine, urinate
Shit***                                        excrement, defecate
Crap***                                       excrement, defecate
Fart***                                        let disgestive gas out from the anus
3. swearwords
                All of the words listed above, and few others, are used in swearing. The meaning of swearwords is always different from its literal meaning.
                e.g what are you doing fucking in my bed
                                (=why are making love in my bed?- literal meaning
                e.g what are you doing fucking in my bed?
                                (=why the hell are you in my bed?- fucking used as swearwords
                The meaning of swearwords can also change with its grammatical form. For instances, piss off is an aggressive way of saying go away; pissed is british slank for drunk; piss off is british slank for fed up. Many swearwords are grammatically very flexible. Fucking for example can act both as an adjective (e.g fucking girl) and as an intensifying adverb (e.g fucking good, fucking soon). Swearwords are the only words in the language that have this grammatical range. The following list shows some of the most common expression used in swearing; they are grouped according to meaning.
§  Exclamation of annoyance
Damn (it)
Blast (it)
God damn it
(my) god
Jesus Christ
Sod (it)
Example of use
Damn it! Can’t you hurry up
Christ! It’s raining again
Oh, fuck! I’ve lost the address
§  Exclamation of surprise
(My) god
Jesus Christ
God damn
Well, I’ll be damned
Son of a bitch
Damn me/bugger/ fuck me
Example of use
My god! Look at that
Well, I’m damned, what are you doing here
Fuck me! There’s Mrs smith. I thought she was on holyday
§  Surprise question
Who/what/why etc the hell……….
Who/what/why etsc the fuck……..
Example of use
What the hell do you think you’re doing?
Where the fuck are the keys?
§  Insult ( noun)
Son of bitch
Dickhead( idiot()
You bastard!
Stupid old fart!
Lucky sod!
She’s a bitch!
§  Insult (imperative verb+object)
Damn …..
Example of use
Damn that child!
Fuck you!
§  Insulting request to say go away
Fuck off
Piss off
Burger off
Sod off
Example of use
Can I have a word with you? Fuck off
If andy comes asking for money, tell him to piss off
§  Expression of unconcern (= I don’t care)
I don’t give a damn/shit/fuck…. A bugger
§  Violent refusal/rejection/defiance
(I’ll be) damned/ fucked if I will
…. Buggered if I will
Stuff it (up your arse)
Get stuffed
Balls to..
Example of use
Mr. parsons wants you to clean out the lavatories. Fucked if I will
Give me a kiss, get stuffed
You’re afraid to fight balls
§  Intensifying adjective/ adverb/ (used to emphasise an emotion)
Example of use
That car’s going damned fast
Where’s yhe bloody switch
Put the fucking cat out
§  Miscellaneous
Fuck up, screw up, and bugger up can mean ruin, spoil, or destroy
        Somebody’s fucked up the TV
        You,re buggered my watch
Fucked and buggered can mean cheat
        Want another from that garage- they’ll screw
Cock up, balls up, fuck up, and screw up can be used as verbs or nouns to refer to mistakes of organizations.
        That blood secretary’s cocked up my travel arrangements
        Sorry you didn’t get your invitation- mary made balls up
Balls, bullshit, and crap are used to mean nonsense
        What’s his new look like? A load of balls
        Don’t talk crap
Shit can mean lies or nothing
        He don’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. He don’t know shit
Sources: practical English


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