Nobody swears like the British. Maybe for a good reason, but the western world knows that a curse doesn’t contain the same venom unless it’s delivered from a British mouth. In fact, nobody knows this better than Ofcom!

In case you didn’t know, Ofcom are the company that keep the bad words off the telly and radio until post-watershed (9pm here in the UK) but that’s not to say that young nippers won’t ever be exposed to swears. We can’t bloody stop here in the UK!

So how can Ofcom know what words are bad and what words are just funny? Recently, the regulators interviewed more than 200 people across the country to cast their prude opinions on 150 rude words.

Some were of a sexual nature (see: punani) while others were more serious concerning health conditions and genders. They were asked to rate these words as either mild, medium or strongest – like a curry that’ll make your nan tut.


Image credit: Ofcom

With such vague categorising how did people decide that ‘minge’ was way worse that ‘minger’? Apparently the mild words were thought to be okay around children, medium words were seen as unacceptable before watershed on telly and the strong words weren’t even to be spoken by the lips of Lucifer himself.

Ofcom has found that people are becoming less tolerant of discriminatory language which we suppose is quite promising for the wider consciousness of a kinder society.

An Ofcom spokesperson said to Indy100: “The results are vital in supporting our broadcasting standards work to protect viewers and listeners, especially children”.

While that’s sweet in principle, we wager that today’s children know new, super-swear words that would warrant as fourth column in Ofcom’s little chart. You laugh but it’s true – they don’t need protecting from our watershed, they have the internet, we need protecting from them.