English slang and taboo
Should learners of English endeavour to learn swearwords or taboo words that society considers vulgar? The short answer is; yes. Yes, we need to at least learn them. Everyone, regardless of their social class, will use swearwords amongst the people they feel comfortable around to express anger, jealousy and other strong such emotions. It’s important to learn swearwords and be conscious of their meaning and varies connotations so you can understand them and even use them if the situation permits.
Listed in alphabetical order, the most common swear words in both British and American English.
- A: ass, ass-hole
- B: bastard, bitch, bollocks
- C: crap, cunt*
- 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,
- N: nigger
- S: shit, son of a bitch, son of a whore
- T: twat
Elaboration with examples on the most common swear words in English; 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’.
- 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 companionship 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’.
- 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’.
- 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.
Modal auxiliary verbs:
- Articles (a/an, the, zero article)
- Pronouns: subject, object and possessive
- Question tags
- English conditionals
- Interrogatives in English
- Phrasal verbs
- Prefixes and suffixes
- Reported and direct speech
- Punctuation: apostrophes, colons, semi-colons, commas, dashes, full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, and quotation marks
- Numbers: cardinal, ordinal, and Roman numbers
- The verb: “get”
- ‘Get’ vs. ‘go’ and ‘got’ vs. ‘gotten’
- Copular verbs
- Cleft sentences
- Subjunctive in English
- Split infinitive
- Emphasis with inversion
- Gerunds in English
- To + infinitive
- Bare infinitive
- British and American spelling