Reileen van Kaile (reileen) wrote in linguaphiles,
Reileen van Kaile

Resources on learning about the history, nuances, etc. of "bad language" in English?

Can anyone recommend books or other resources in a similar vein to Ruth Wajnryb's Expletive Deleted, things that look at how the set of English language curse/swear/insult words has evolved over time, how the level of offensiveness of certain words have fluctuated up or down, how these kinds of words are used, etc.? (Also, if anyone has any thoughts on Wajnryb's book, I'd be happy to hear them. Based on the bookmark in my book, I apparently started reading this a while back but never finished, so I'll probably be re-reading this entire thing soon.)

While I'm primarily focusing on English (and American English, mostly, although I know that Wajnryb is an Australian linguist), if anyone does know other similar kinds of resources for other languages, that would be great too, since I think it would be helpful to me as a point of comparison.

Thanks in advance.

  • EUROPA, etymology

    "... Agenor, king of the Phoenician city of Sidon, had a beautiful daughter Europa, literally (in Greek) the "wide-eyed". In fact, of course, not…

  • Word 'Climax'. A note for aspiring etymologists.

    The English word climax has two seemingly incompatible meanings of "climax" and "orgasm". Yet, we should not forget that the word has not only a…

  • The extended etymology for Ego, Εγώ ( I )

    The Oxford Etymologic Dictionary (OED) considers Ego / I as if it were a self-standing word developed within the Germanic and 'Indo-European'…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded