Expletives are great. While you won’t be taught them at school, and even though they’re generally frowned upon, there’s nothing quite like swearing your worries away every once in a while.

In fact, research shows that people who swear are more resilient to pain than those who don’t. Cursing helps us relieve our stress, anger and pain, much like crying or exercise, and it’s frankly a relatively harmless one – so go ahead! Try it! Shout some cuss words into the abyss. It’ll help you deal with the terrifying state of the world.

Swearing isn’t as easy a task as it seems, though; from fornicatives1 through defecatives2 all the way to theo-imprecatives3, there are a lot of options to choose from. Needless to say, some cuss words are more popular than others, and many people have their personal favourites. Let’s see what the Internet’s favourites are.

On 2021-04-06, I have conducted a survey, which asked people one question:

What is your favourite curse word?4

As of writing this blog post, I have gathered 590 responses, ranging across several continents5 and languages. Below is a rundown of statistics and interesting information, and the raw list of responses is located here.

Most popular curse words in phrases Most usednon-English languages

  • The most used swear word, by far and away, is fuck. It’s just so versatile!
  • People are creative – the “other” category contains 30% of the submissions.
  • 18 people chose to use either a euphemism or a “pseudo-cuss”, where the offensive part of the swear is replaced with a similar sounding word.
  • 33 people used a swear word from outside the English lexicon.
  • Three people chose not to swear. One of them rick-rolled me.
  • “Farley Chicken” is my new favourite cuss

I, personally, am a big fan of fuck as well. It’s easily the most extensible word of the bunch, and it rolls off the tounge so, so easily. What’s your favourite? The form is still open for submissions, and I might update this page in a couple of weeks if enough people continue to use it.

Thank you to my English teacher for letting me do whatever project I wanted, and thanks to r/SampleSize and its users for taking part in my survey! Thanks to you, I have managed to reach a much larger audience than I could have expected.

  1. fuck, dick, cunt, bitch ↩︎

  2. shit, piss, are you shitting me ↩︎

  3. goddamn, jesus, christ almighty ↩︎

  4. I have specifically disallowed the submission of slurs. I’m all for expletives as long as there isn’t a recipient. ↩︎

  5. Or, at least, I assume they’re from multiple continents – the survey was anonymous. ↩︎

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