Netflix, a US streaming service, has premiered ‘History of Swear Words’, a new comic cum educational series.
The season one of the series, hosted by Nicolas Cage, an American actor and filmmaker, premiered on the streaming platform on Tuesday.
It examines the origin of taboo words, such as “f–k” and “s–t,” as well as rude euphemisms like “d–ck.”
The six-episode series features contributions from academics, historians as well as comedians such as Nick Offerman and Sarah Silverman.
According to the series, a common theory for the origins of “f–k” is that it came from the phrase “fornication under consent of the king.”
The development, it said, stems from the fact that people in the middle ages had to ask their king for permission to marry.
Melissa Mohr, who appears in the show, argued that each generation defines words that are labelled as taboos.
“While I was getting my Ph.D. in English literature, I noticed that what counts as ‘bad language’ in medieval texts is very different from what we consider it to be today,” she told the New York Post.
Buttressing her point, the author of “Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing,” narrated how some words and phrases assumed different contexts between the 19th century and contemporary literature.
“By the 18th century, ‘f–k’ was definitely one of these and was gone from public discourse, but ‘s–t’ could still sometimes be found,” she added.
“By the 19th century, neither word could appear in polite or literary discourse. They were at the height of their power to shock and offend.
“‘F–k’ and ‘s–t’ started to become taboo words during the Renaissance because our ideas about privacy changed. And we began to insist that sexual and excremental body parts and actions be hidden, in life and in language.”
Mohr also explained that culture plays a crucial role in determining words and phrases that are described as taboos.
“In American and British culture, broadly speaking, the sexual is more taboo than the excremental,” she said.
“Sex carries a moral weight that excretion lacks. It may be disgusting to s–t, but it’s never morally wrong, while sex is policed by strict codes that deem many kinds immoral and off-limits. These codes inform which swearwords are ‘worse’ in English.”
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