Profanity

The Basics of Bitch

Where did basic bitches come from? Cristen and Caroline take an etymological journey through the history, gender politics and reclamation of women's most-used curse word.

7 Bitchin' Facts about the B-Word

In 1785, the Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue declared the b-word "the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman, even more provoking than that of a whore."...

How Contraception Gave Birth to the "Bleep"

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, but thankfully for sensitive ears, the Federal Communications Commission regulates obscenity over the airwaves. In a fascinating (though profanity-laced, FYI) article at The Verge, Maria Bustillos traces the history of the "bleep," that auditory blotting out of unsavory language that radio and TV broadcasters deem inappropriate for unassuming audiences, and how it simultaneously spotlights the word or topic in question: