Mom, don’t read this one.
The linguist blog Strong Language shared the results of researcher Jack Grieve‘s study into how different parts of America like to cuss a swear. It turns out every region in America likes to let loose with a good expletive from time-to-time — we just differ on which words we like to use, and, like other lexical preferences, those differences tend to break down region-by-region.
Grieve analyzed a set of geotagged tweets collected between 2013 and 2014 and then plotted them on a series of maps, with red representing higher frequency and blue for less. The maps are republished here with Grieve’s permission.
Here are some of the more interesting observations from the maps. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the post is going to get a bit blue from here on.
- The East and West Coast love dropping f-bombs. The interior of the country, not so much.
- The Northeast is filled with “assholes.”
- If you’ve ever called someone a “bastard,” there’s a good chance you might be from Maine or New Hampshire.
- If you were wondering what happened to all the people you knew in college who said “douche” all the time, they moved to the Midwest.
Meanwhile, lest you think New England is having all the fun, the South has its own lexicon of preferred expletives. And polite expletives remain in style somewhere: Texans and Oklahomans are still using “gosh” a whole lot.
I hope you’ll pardon my harsh language, but I think that’s the most flipping interesting piece of gosh-darn data I’ve seen in a long friggin’ time.