Crispy Chicken Wing Review: History of Swear Words

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

Hello Crispyverse,

Let's be honest. Swearing is fucking awesome. Swear words have a shit ton of uses. You can have one bitchin' conversation when sprinkling discourse with a little profanity. But where do these words that make old ladies clutch their pearls come from? Netflix's History of Swear Words explores this topic. The 6-part docuseries "covers the origin and evolution of fuck, shit, bitch, dick, pussy, and damn, from their early beginnings to the branching out of multiple meanings of these words". With experts in lexicography, pop culture, sociology, and history, all of these different lenses are looked at through host Nicholas Cage. What was is most interesting about this series is that it explores the levels of offensiveness of these words. While nearly all of the words explored would earn a PG-13 movie rating at best, it truly depends on who you ask about how offensive it is. At their origins, these weren't considered swear words, but rather, words. Societal context eventually gave these words the wonderfully profane power they have today. I also really enjoyed the choice of Nicholas Cage as a host for the show. When I first saw the trailer for it, I had to do a double-take. Yes, it's the same Nicholas Cage who tried to steal the Declaration of Independence. Seeing such a seasoned actor drop f-bombs with a delightfully deadpan expression was hilarious. My one real critique was that I think it glossed over the early origins of these words a bit too much. While I realize that historical sources, particularly before the printing press, are very limited, I would loved to have them explore how the words evolved from their Norse, Latin, and Germanic origins. Let's be honest. English is just several languages standing on top of each other in a trench coat pretending to be one language. Overall, I give this series 4/5 Crispy Chicken Wings. It has its flaws, but it was a damn good time despite this.

Stay crispy,

- Reba

*Make sure to tune into The Crispy Soul Podcast, where we go more into depth on this topic, available on all major streaming apps.


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