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Why Are Bad Words Bad?

I like languages—that’s sort of why I’m I learning another one. So for the longest time I’ve wondered why bad words are bad. Think about it. Each language has its own set of swear words, but all a swear word is is a string of characters—nothing more. So why are bad words considered bad? What makes 3 or 4 letters socially unacceptable? It's quite the language question.

Well today I answered my own question and if you guys would like to learn for yourselves, I found a great video that answers this question. Please keep in mind that although the video does bleep out all bad words and shows them using the random set of symbols (#@%&, etc.), it does have a suggestive theme, so if you are a minor, please (as cliché as it sounds) get parental permission before watching the video.


4 years ago


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Over the history of a country or region, certain events happen. Usually, an idea/concept gets connected to the event and people from that time keep reinforcing it.

An example would be the word "swine" in English: All it means is "pig". So why are people typically taken back a little, or even appalled when they hear "swine" instead? Believe it or not, it's actually taken from the Norman invasions of 1066 in England; over time, it carried the weight of the events that took place during that era.

That's the way it happens with all words (especially swears). Certain terms offend a social group of people because that same group of people found it pejorative to be called that word.

4 years ago

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Vsauce is one of the best Youtube channels out there. Their videos are very interesting.

4 years ago