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[ # ] The History of Swear Words is the shit
January 5th, 2021 under Netflix, Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage and Netflix teamed up to give us a series about the History of Swear Words. In each episode that is out today, they examine the origin of the words we are told not to say, along with how and why we use the word now.

There are six episodes, and they each focus on one word. Those words are fuck, shit, bitch, dick, pussy, and damn.

Did you know there are people who study curse words? They are Benjamin Bergen (PhD, Cognitive Scientist, Author of What The F), Anne Charity Hudley (PhD, Linguist, and Educator), Mireille Miller-Young (PhD, Professor of Feminist Studies), Elvis Mitchell (Film Critic/Host of The Treatment on KCRW), Melissa Mohr (PhD, Author of Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing), and Kory Stamper (Lexicographer, Author Of Word By Word), and they feature throughout the series.

It is not only about the lessons. There is some comedy added to the mix. Joel Kim Booster, DeRay Davis, Open Mike Eagle, Nikki Glaser, Patti Harrison, London Hughes, Jim Jefferies, Zainab Johnson, Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman, Baron Vaughn, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. give us their takes on the words. Think of it like VH1’s serious I Love a certain decade.

As we get the history and the humor of these words, we also learn why they have such an impact on us. We do feel better when we curse. In fact, if two people put their hands in ice water, the one who curses will be able to keep it there 50% longer. Not only does it make you feel better, but it also makes you stronger. I know I feel invincible when I curse now. Not when I was a kid because my dad would remind me who was boss.

Anyways, we don’t know how all of these four-letter words came into existence, but we learn some interesting facts. Damn is so damning when it is taken away from its intended use in the Bible. That is why Gone with the Wind had such a hard time getting the censors to allow them to use the word.

Not all of these words were considered offensive. In fact, only one of them recently became one in the Merriam Webster dictionary. The person who gave it that title will explain why they did it. We also find out which words have been around for over 1,000 years.

These are just a few of the many interesting facts you will learn in the docuseries. There are plenty of more. Seriously, who doesn’t want to learn more about words like fuck, shit, bitch, dick, pussy, and damn? I can’t wait for the inevitable second season. I want to learn more about the history of tit, c#nt (I fucking hate this word), ass, and so many more.

Especially with Nicolas as our teacher. He was born to play this part. Teach me, Professor Cage!


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