Such A Colorful Language

Before I got to Australia, I thought people in America swore a lot, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Australians probably swear on average twice as often as Americans do, if not more. Not only is it a lot more colorful and creative, but it’s also more culturally accepted as a societal norm.

Among the Aussie profanity, there’s the standard array of curse words, the F-word being chief among them. Then there’s a frightening display of swear words derived from sexual connotations. Sure, I’ve heard them used in the States, but not so openly and often in public. As a side note, the Australian’s humor seems to be even more sexually suggestive like that of their word choice. I’ve noticed this most in their television commercials. My favorite being that of an ad for a lawnmower in which the owner gets a special encounter with his lady friend not only by mowing his yard, but hers as well.

Swearing isn’t just popular with the university students, but with the rest of the residents here as well. Although more common with the younger generation, I’ve been pleasantly surprised when I’ve even heard some of my lecturers swear on occasion. Maybe it’s just me because the people I was raised among never swear, but I think it’s also partially a result of cultural differences in the spoken language. We may both speak English, but not the same English.

I’ve actually gotten used to all the swearing in my short time here and now, most of the time, it doesn’t even feel like curses are being uttered to be insulting, but to emphasize emotion in speech. Being of British influence, I think a good example would be the use of “bloody” in common speech. Originally a curse word, nowadays it’s considered to be a mild offence it none at all.


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