The original meaning of the adjective profane (Latin: "in front of", "outside the temple") referred to items not belonging to the church, e.g. "The fort is the oldest profane building in the town, but the local monastery is older, and is the oldest building," or "besides designing churches, he also designed many profane buildings". Over time this meaning changed to the current meaning.
Other words commonly used to describe profane language or its use include: curse, pejorative language, swearing, expletive, oath, bad word, dirty word, strong language, irreverent language, obscenity language, choice words, blasphemy language, foul language, and bad or adult language.
Tape-recorded conversations find that roughly 80–90 spoken words each day—0.5% to 0.7% of all words—are swear words with people varying from between 0% to 3.4%. In comparison first person plural pronouns (we, us, our) make up 1% of spoken words.
Research looking at swearing in 1986, 1997, and 2006 in America found the same top ten words were used of a set of over 70 different swear words. The most used swear words were fuck, shit, hell, damn, goddamn, ass, bitch, and crap—these eight made up roughly 80% of all profanities. Two words, fuck and shit, accounted for one third to one half of them.
According to Pinker, the content of profane language can also be broken into five categories of negative emotion:
The original meaning of the term was restricted to blasphemy, sacrilege or saying God's name (or an identifier such as "Lord" or "God") in vain. Profanity represented secular indifference to religion or religious figures, while blasphemy was a more offensive attack on religion and religious figures, and considered sinful.
Profanities in the original meaning of blasphemous profanity are part of the ancient tradition of the comic cults, which laughed and scoffed at the deity or deities. An example from Gargantua and Pantagruel is "Christ, look ye, its Mere de ... merde ... shit, Mother of God."
The relative severity of various British profanities, as perceived by the public, was studied on behalf of the British Broadcasting Standards Commission, Independent Television Commission, BBC and Advertising Standards Authority; the results of this jointly commissioned research were published in December 2000 in a paper called "Delete Expletives". It listed the profanities in order of decreasing severity, the top ten being cunt, motherfucker, fuck, wanker, nigger, bastard, prick, bollocks, arsehole, and paki in that order. About 83% of respondents regarded cunt as "very severe"; 16% thought the same about shit and 10% about crap. Only about 1% thought cunt was "not swearing"; 9% thought the same about shit and 32% of crap.
Distinct international auxiliary languages usually apply different strategies to coin or borrow profane words and expressions.
In Interlingua, the fundamental criterion for inclusion is widespread international use, and this can be as true of a profanity as any other word or phrase. Thus, expressions such as cunno (cunt), merda (shit), and pipi (pee-pee) may be used in Interlingua. Culo (ass or butt) and its derivative incular (to butt-fuck) are also Interlingua expressions. Futer (to fuck) is used much as in English, e.g., "Fute te!" ("Fuck you!") or "Mi automobile es futite!" ("My car is fucked!").
(There is currently no text in this page)
|This page or section does not have any sources. You can help Wikipedia by finding sources, and adding them. Tagged since August 2008|
Profanity is the act of using rude words. The adjective is profane. Profanities can also be called swear words, curse ("cuss") words, dirty words, bad words, foul language, obscenity or obscene language, or expletives. It can be called an oath, although this word also has a normal meaning of a "solemn promise".
Religious profanity is called blasphemy. The verb is to blaspheme and the adjective is blasphemous. Saying “God!” or “Jesus Christ!” as an expression of surprise or annoyance is considered by many people to be blasphemy, mostly because one of the Ten Commandments says not to use the Christian god's name "in vain" (without a good reason). Swearing oaths can also be considered wrong by some who follow Jesus' teaching against swearing oaths in the Gospels (such as Matt. 5:34).
A profanity usually refers to religion, sex, or . These are things that people feel very strongly about. In some languages, such as French, there is more profanity about religion than most other topics. Russian has more about and the lower .
A profanity can be a word or gesture or some other form of behaviour.
Different words can be profanity to different people, and what words are thought of as profanity in English can change over time.
Whether a word is a profanity will always depend on the way people think. Some people will be offended by something, while others will not be. Words which should not be used are taboo words. Using such words is thought by some people to be a sin.
Some people call profanity "crude," but some say that it is no cruder to say "damn" than "puke" (a word that is simply vulgar, but not a swear word). People who use profanity do not always mean to make anybody feel bad, and tolerance for different forms of profanity can vary widely, from person to person. Most often, using profanity is a verbal outlet for strong feelings (usually unpleasant ones), that might otherwise cause a physical reaction. At other times, some people may use profanity as humor.
Some people develop a mental condition where they use profanity constantly. This is called coprolalia. Many people wrongly think this is called Tourette's syndrome. Tourette's syndrome is actually a group of disorders that only includes coprolalia 15% of the time. The condition can be (made worse) by stress.
Several of these words come from Anglo-Saxon or Norse names for body parts, and bodily functions. They came to be thought of as profanity mostly after the Normans brought French and Latin words for them to England.
These are mostly performed while facing another person, and can be meant toward them, or about them. These gestures are considered as strong as profane words in most cases.