NOT SAFE FOR WORK: Which Curse Words Are The Most Popular On Facebook?

By David Cohen 

This post is most definitely not safe for work: Slate tapped the keyword insights application-programming interface that Facebook launched Monday to determine the most popular profanity used on the social network.

Here are some of Slate’s findings, with a second warning that the content below is definitely NSWF:

  • Over a three-day period, shit was the most popular swear word on Facebook, appearing in 10.5 million interactions in the U.S., followed by fuck at 9.5 million, damn at 6.3 million, bitch at 4.5 million, and crap (crap is profanity?) at 2 million.
  • Those five words were also the top five among males and females, albeit in different orders, with shit holding the crown across the board.
  • Words that were more common among male users included fag, pussy, and dick, while cock was more popular among females, and darn (people really say darn?) came in at No. 8 for females and No. 13 for males, marking the biggest gender gap.
  • When examined by age group, the use of fuck, bitch, dick, and fag drops steeply as ages increase, and they are replaced by the much less toxic damn, crap, and darn.
  • The West is the only U.S. region where fuck tops shit, and damn and fag also ranked higher in that region.
  • The top eight swear words for the South and Midwest were identical.
  • Dick and pussy ranked highest in the Northeast.
  • When bringing other countries into the equation, bloody claimed the No. 3 spot in the U.K. and ranked fourth in Australia. Bugger and bollocks also appeared on the U.K. chart, and arsehole replaced asshole.
  • Cunt is No. 17 in the U.S., but it is used much more casually in Australia (No. 5) and the U.K. (No. 8).

For much more, please see the post on Slate, which also provided the following disclaimer:

Now, the fine print: First, the Facebook tool used to conduct this analysis cannot distinguish profane uses of a word from ordinary uses. For example, Facebook interactions mentioning the popular British dish spotted dick, or interactions mentioning a person named Dick, both add to the mention count for dick. Similarly, interactions that use fag as “a cigarette” add to the count for fag. Second, the tool does not distinguish cases in which the word appears inside another word. For example, fucking counts as a mention of fuck. For this reason, ass is excluded here because it appears in so many common English words, such as asset and assess. Hell is also excluded because it appears in hello. Third, the analysis tool estimates mention counts using a random one-fifth sample of all interactions, which does not include private, direct messages between Facebook users.

Readers: Is it time for some Facebook users to wash their mouths out with soap?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.