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English slang and taboo

Should English learners endeavour to learn English slang and taboo that society considers vulgar? The short answer is; yes. Yes, we need to at least learn them.

Everyone, regardless of their social class, or where they stand in society, will use swearwords amongst the people they feel comfortable around to express anger, jealousy, and other strong emotions.

It’s important to learn swearwords and be conscious of their meaning and various connotations, so you can understand them and even use them if the situation permits.

However, let this article serve as a learning tool and nothing more. English Reservoir shall never advocate for the usage of vulgar or offensive words towards any person. We strongly discourage any individual from using offensive words.

Most common swear words in both British and American English.

  • A: ass, ass-hole
  • B: bastard, bitch, bollocks
  • C: cunt** (extremely offensive)
  • D: dam, dick, dickhead, dipshit, donkey
  • E: egg
  • F: fuck, fuck face, faggot
  • G: god, goddammit,
  • H: hell, holy shit,
  • J: Jesus, Jesus Christ
  • M: motherfucker,
  • S: shit, son of a bitch, son of a whore
  • T: twat

A further look at the most common swear words in English with examples of; fuck, shit, cunt*. Bear in mind, these are only a few uses of these words, there are many more meanings. 


  • Fuck! Used to express strong anger. Can be used as an interjection or a noun. ‘fuck!’ ‘You fuck’.

Fuck you:

  • Used to express anger at someone or something. It’s used in the second person, aimed directly at the recipient. ‘You stole my money, fuck you!’
  • Friends or people with a lot of trust between them can use it in a nice way without it being an insult.

Fuck no/fuck yeah: 

  • Can work either positively or negatively. Someone will use either expression if they are truly assertive about a decision or something they have to do or not do. ‘You wanna drive? ‘Fuck yeah’.

I don’t give a fuck: 

  • Means you really couldn’t care less about something. ‘I don’t give a fuck if my ex-girlfriend comes to the party tonight’.


  • Both interjection, adjective, adverb and noun. This word is used in general to express emotions or just a general vulgar word that’s not as strong as ‘fuck’. ‘Shit! I forgot to bring my lunch’.
English courses

Shit happens: 

  • Used as an expression to state that, in life, bad things will happen and you just need to accept it. ‘I broke my watch’. ‘Well, shit happens man’.

No shit: 

  • We use this expression to point out something that is blatantly obvious or we’re very impressed by something or someone. ‘I just realised that Tim got fired’. ‘No shit, everybody knows that’.

Get your/his/her/our shit together

  • One lacks organisation and needs to get themselves or their life together and organised. ‘Get your shit together’. ‘We’ve been waiting for you for about an hour’.

Full of shit: 

  • One is a liar and doesn’t speak the truth. ‘You’re full of shit, you always are’.


  • ‘Cunt’ is the vulgar word for vagina and is incredibly derogatory and offensive towards women and should be avoided, always. ‘You’re a cunt’. (It should be known that native English speakers from Australia and New Zealand have a tendency to use this word too excessively). One might say to another, ‘you’re a good cunt’. This is a common thing to say among young people and must be avoided because it’s very, very derogatory.

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