The History of Swearing
Fuck, shit, cunt, wank, piss… who doesn’t love a bit of casual profanity every once in a while? We certainly do, and that’s why all of our greetings cards are positively bursting with curse words! But why do ‘bad words’ even exist in the first place?
The concept that some words exist, but we aren’t allowed to use them is an unnatural one, that was apparently invented by the Victorians. The words have always existed, but it wasn’t until the advent of road signs that they became deemed actually unfit for use. When the time came for all addresses to be formalised and recorded, the common nicknames used to describe the streets and alleyways became a bit of a problem. For example, if directing someone to somewhere, you could say “turn left after the street with all the blacksmiths”, so that street would be known as Blacksmith Street. The same goes for Baker Street, Leather Lane and Butcher Street, but when it came to the street with all the prostitutes on it, things got a bit tricky. They couldn’t very well go and print ‘Grope Cunt Lane’ on all their road signs, so this was adapted to the much more acceptable ‘Grape Lane’. Just imagine the postman delivering his letters to ‘Horseshit Row’…
Some historians even trace swearing back to the cavemen, and attribute it to the sounds they would have uttered through anger or pain. It is believed that these grunts and moans have since slowly evolved into actual words, which would explain why we swear more when we’re angry or are experiencing great emotion. That’s why sending someone one of our “I fucking love you” birthday cards means so much more than just “I love you”.
Not only are these obscene words considered dirty to say, things move up a gear when swear words are written down for all to see. There’s something so permanent about the written word that really increases the impact that swearing has on people. That’s why we at Cardshit.com can’t get enough of fucking swearing, and we try to get as much bloody cursing in as shittingly possible on all of our cunting greetings cards. From Christmas cards to birthday cards, absolutely nothing is off-limits.
So where did our favourite four letter words come from in the first place? Unfortunately, it would appear that the word fuck wasn’t initially used to describe a good shag. Instead, it was used in place of the word ‘hit’ or ‘strike’, which might explain why we say that we’d ‘hit that’ in reference to sex. Just be careful that you don’t get misunderstood when sending one of our “Please let me fuck you” greetings cards…
Moving on to one of our top curse words of all time: shit. Originally only used to describe diarrhoea in livestock, this wonderful little word graduated onto street names like everything else. You may have lived near ‘Schitebroc’back in the day, which literally meant ‘shit-stream’, or even found your dream home on ‘Schiteburne Lane’, which was the slightly fancier ‘shit-stream lane’.
We’ve covered fuck and we’ve covered shit, so you’re probably wondering about the mother of all curse words. The word cunt is actually one of the oldest words we have and was found across the Germanic and Scandinavian languages back in the day. Aside from being perceived as one of the most offensive words in the English language, the word cunt is actually far more appropriate to use for feminists than the word vagina (which translates from the Latin for ‘sword sheath’ and is dependent on the penis for its definition). So when you refer to your mate as a ‘right cunt’, you’re actually being pretty thoughtful.
Swearing appeals to our base level, a level that everyone can relate to, and that’s why curse words are the fucking best! From “Happy Birthday Cunt face” to “Congratufuckinglations, we don’t give a flying fuck if you find our cards offensive!