Swearing: A Social History Of Foul Language, Oaths, And Profanity In English

Paperback | September 1, 1998

byGeoffrey Hughes

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Tracing the history of swearing from ancient Anglo-Saxon traditions and those of the Middle Ages, through Shakespeare, the Enlightenment and the Victorians, to the Lady Chatterley trial and various current trends, Geoffrey Hughes explores a fascinating, little discussed yet irrespressible part of our linguistic heritage. This second edition contains a Postscript updating various contemporary developments, such as the growth of Political Correctness.

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From Our Editors

Swearing in the English language has a long history that encompasses a rich variety of modes, including heroic oaths, sacred undertakings, profane and blasphemous curses, taboo insults charged with sexual and excremental "four-letter" words, competitive foul language, and racist "hate speech". Tracing the history of this intriguing cul...

From the Publisher

Tracing the history of swearing from ancient Anglo-Saxon traditions and those of the Middle Ages, through Shakespeare, the Enlightenment and the Victorians, to the Lady Chatterley trial and various current trends, Geoffrey Hughes explores a fascinating, little discussed yet irrespressible part of our linguistic heritage. This second e...

Geoffrey Hughes is Professor of History of the English Language at the University of the Witwatersand, Johannesburg.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.79 × 5.07 × 0.54 inPublished:September 1, 1998Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140267077

ISBN - 13:9780140267075

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction by Fergal Keane

Map of Burma

1. The Road to Thamanya (1)
2. The Road to Thamanya (2)
3. At Thamanya (1)
4. At Thamanya (2)
5. The Peacock and the Dragon
6. Young Birds Outside Cages
7. Breakfast Blues
8. Christmas in Rangoon
9. New Year Notes
10. An Independent Performance
11. A Note on Economic Policy
12. Months and Seasons
13. Visiting Rites
14. A Baby in the Family
15. Days of Rest
16. Union Day Dances
17. An Eventful Week
18. A Few Introductions (1)
19. A Few Introductions (2)
20. A Special Introduction
21. Taking Tea
22. The Beautiful and the Ugly
23. Old Songs
24. Water Festival (1)
25. Water Festival (2)
26. Water Festival (3)
27. A Fishy Episode
28. Repairing the Roof
29. Rain Thoughts
30. Eight Years Ago
31. A Dissident's Life (1)
32. A Dissident's Life (2)
33. A Friend in Need
34. July: A Month of Anniversaries
35. Mystery Weekend
36. Communication
37. Death in Custody (1)
38. Death in Custody (2)
39. Death in Custody (3)
40. Teachers
41. Some Problems of Definition
42. Misrule of Law
43. Uncivil Service (1)
44. Uncivil Service (2)
45. Strange Siege
46. Sequel to the Siege
47. Continuum
48. Tribute
49. Operation Anarchy
50. Respite
51. A Normal Life
52. Year End

From Our Editors

Swearing in the English language has a long history that encompasses a rich variety of modes, including heroic oaths, sacred undertakings, profane and blasphemous curses, taboo insults charged with sexual and excremental "four-letter" words, competitive foul language, and racist "hate speech". Tracing the history of this intriguing cultural phenomenon from its Anglo-Saxon traditions and those of the Middle Ages, through Shakespeare, the Enlightenment, and the Victorian Era to the Lady Chatterley's Lover trial and various current trends, Geoffrey Hughes explores a fascinating, little-discussed, yet irrepressible part of our linguistic heritage. This edition contains a new Postscript updating various contemporary developments, such as the growth of political correctness.