America gets stereotyped quite a bit: we’re a nation of Wal-Martians, fat, nuclear-armed slobs inclined only to learn geography so our missiles can land on target.
But we’re so much more diverse than that, and Dr. Jack Grieve at Ashton University has just found a commendable way to show it.
Dr. Grieve compiled American Twitter data to map the kinds of swear words used most often throughout the United States. Many Americans already know how Midwesterners say “pop” while much of the rest of the country says “soda.” But this takes our dialect to another level.
The results are fascinating.
When it comes to dirty mouths, the Mountain States typically have lower filthy tweets. Maybe people are too polite, or maybe they’re too busy reminiscing about the days Wyoming’s Dick Cheney ruled America as Vader did the Galactic Empire.
Meanwhile, a strong Shit-band extends from Texas to New York City through the South, but, for some reason, fails to make inroads in the Midwest.
And speaking of the old South, Southerners remain on top for use of “damn” – the rest of the country having long moved on to more offensive swear words, like “cunt.” A fortress of “cunt” reigns over New England and the Northeast, while outposts of every Brit’s go-to swear appear around Portland, Oregon, spots of the Midwest, and curiously enough, in a well-defined region on the Tennessee-Kentucky border.
Once formidable “motherfucker” now clings to the Mexican-American border, which makes some sense. When was the last time you accused anyone of fucking a mother derogatorily?
Clearly, we may be the United States, but when it comes to how we refer to the guy who just cut us off in traffic, we play regional favorites.