I’m going to start this column with a veiled reference to a swear word, so I do hope you’re sitting down and have a brown paper bag handy to breathe into.

This low level swearer only uses the F Word, which is pretty wussy these days

Are you ready? Right: Remember when the “c word” was considered the absolute worst, most shocking, most pants-droppingly offensive word in the English language?

If you’re scratching your head thinking “but isn’t it still?” then it’s quite likely you’re over the age of 35, don’t really use social media and haven’t watched TV in a while.

Of course I’m generalising. You may very well be one of the few young people who are still shocked by the “c bomb” and refuse to use it, but from what I’ve seen they’re the minority.

Because despite many still considering it to be the final frontier when it comes to curse words, for most under 35s these days “see you next Tuesday” is as shocking as… well, “see you next Tuesday”.

I’m not talking about the rough types who yell it out before either throwing a punch or collapsing in a pool of Bundy and spew on the pub floor. They agree it’s shocking, that’s why they’re yelling it.

I’m talking about the young, educated, middle class teens and 20-somethings who greet their mates with it, pepper their sentences with it and casually bandy it about on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve even seen it turned into a hashtag.

For these Australians – and I stress I am talking about Australians here, because the word is usually still greeted with slack jaws and wide eyes in most other parts of the English-speaking world – the “c bomb” is no more offensive than the other now commonplace curses that have paved the way before it into mainstream lingo.

In Adelaide earlier this month with his band The Janoskians, Melbourne’s Beau Brooks, 19, tweeted the word to his more than 340,000 mostly teenage followers, referring to a friend as a “sick ****”. Nobody was offended.

Twenty-six year old Melbourne rapper 360 dropped the word in his acceptance speech at the ARIAs last month, and the only people that seemed to care were the journos scratching for something interesting to write about an otherwise dull event.

Last year American hip-hop artist Azealia Banks, 21, shot to global fame with a hyper fast-paced song in which the “c word” was just about the only one you could understand. It was voted the song of 2011 by music website Pitchfork.

Feminist author Germaine Greer famously said she loves the word, as it’s “one of the few remaining words in the English language with a genuine power to shock”. It seems even that power is now diminishing.

And you know, perhaps that’s OK.

Perhaps it’s silly to attribute such strength to words in isolation, as if they’re magic spells that when uttered unleash plagues and pestilence on all who hear them.

While I think the “c word” should probably be reserved for particular occasions - such as when you accidentally flush your iPhone down the toilet or when your mate runs over your foot with his ute - it doesn’t shock or upset me when others use it casually.

I enjoy swearing. I do it a lot. If it weren’t for the rules governing what this newspaper published I’d probably be swearing like a sailor right now. Actually I probably still could, but my sub-editors would have to censor everything, like f*** and s*** and **** (see?).

I don’t, as some people do, think the use of four letter words is necessarily indicative of a lack of intelligence or culture.

On the contrary – I’ve heard people use curse words so imaginatively you’d swear they were English academics. (Actually, some of them were.).

And I admit, I quite like the “c word”.

I find it harsh, yes. It’s certainly a stronger curse than the “f word” or “bloody” which – look – you can even print in the paper. But is it The Most Offensive Word? No.

If you’re looking for that, you can probably find it on Twitter – I bet it even has its own hashtag.

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST

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143 comments

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    • hammy says:

      05:56am | 13/12/12

      Slut walkers will no doubt don fishnet stockings and walk to ‘claim’ the word.  My only question is will they dress to look like one?

    • ronny jonny says:

      06:17am | 13/12/12

      The C word is still shocking and unacceptable for casual use. Look at your examples of who has used it in public. A few scummy musos and kids. That is just confirming it’s only used casually by dills and juveniles. The juveniles will grow out of it. I find when it’s used in TV or film it is usually employed to try to shock but to me always seems to be awkward and out of place, trying to hard.

    • FreddyFreeloader says:

      07:56am | 13/12/12

      Don’t worry too much ronny jonny.
      We want call you one, you don’t have the warmth or depth qualify.

    • ronny jonny says:

      08:14am | 13/12/12

      ouch, my feelings…

    • Sahara says:

      08:22am | 13/12/12

      I’m sorry but I refused to be offended simply by a mixture of letters. It ridicules to be offended by a combination of four letters. If I decided that for the rest of my life that I was going to substitute the word “albatross”  for the “C” word I could easily call anyone a sick albatross and nobody would care less even if I had forewarned them of my decision.

      It would mean exactly the same and offend nobody because it wasn’t that random combination of letters that people have decided to be offended by

    • hammy says:

      09:00am | 13/12/12

      Sahara

      Please don’t undermine the feminist mantra with common sense.

    • ronny jonny says:

      10:00am | 13/12/12

      Sahara, are you saying words have no power?

    • Rebecca says:

      11:11am | 13/12/12

      I don’t swear very often and I don’t use the C word myself, but I don’t understand why it’s so shockingly offensive in comparison to other swear words. When someone says ‘twat,’ which is essentially the same thing, nobody looks twice. Even dropping the F-bomb is pretty normal these days. So who decided that those words are okay, but c*** is foul?

    • Chris L says:

      04:27pm | 13/12/12

      What the fuck is an F-bomb?

    • Servaas says:

      05:17pm | 13/12/12

      Sahara are you for real? So as long as anything is communicated using a mixture of letters from the standard alphabet it ought to be met totally without any emotion by whoever is on the receiving end?

    • S.L says:

      06:23am | 13/12/12

      By my own admittance I can have a bit of a foul mouth especially when I’m having a bad day and yes the C word does come out occasionally. 
      Whether refering to a particular body part or as an adjective (as in I’m having a **** of a day) I still find it a disgusting word. But what I can never fathom is the increasing use of the C bomb by women. I will never get used to it…......

    • Kika says:

      09:16am | 13/12/12

      Can you please tell my sister this? Please? Her use of the word is digusting.

    • sami says:

      02:32pm | 13/12/12

      So we are allowed to have one but not use the word for it? Righto then…

    • Philosopher says:

      02:50pm | 13/12/12

      sami - you can call it ‘lotus flower’.

    • sami says:

      03:34pm | 13/12/12

      Thanks Philosopher, I wouldn’t want to be anything other than ladylike wink I’ll remember that next time someone cuts me off in traffic- “you stupid effing lotus flower!”
      Haha!

    • Right Hon Speaker says:

      04:22pm | 13/12/12

      Sami, it is a mussell!!!!!

    • Colin says:

      06:42am | 13/12/12

      It’s a cavern of Joy you are thinking of now,
      A warm tender field awaiting the plough,
      It’s a quivering pigeon caressing your hand,
      Or the National Anthem-It makes us all stand,
      It’s known among men as the centre of Love,
      The hope of the world or a velvety glove,
      But friend, heed this warning, beware of affront,
      Of aping the Saxon—- don’t call it a c***

    • Terence says:

      07:56am | 13/12/12

      The first time I’v heard it put so poetically. Now I see it in a different light and have come to accept the inevitable!

    • dafall says:

      08:41am | 13/12/12

      Well done Colin!

    • Smoke Crack - Worship Satan says:

      09:14am | 13/12/12

      Of aping the Saxon—- don’t call it a c***

      Colon?

    • Colin says:

      09:55am | 13/12/12

      @  Smoke Crack - Worship Satan

      “Of aping the Saxon—- don’t call it a c***...Colon?”

      Yes, of course it’s “Colon”. Because that rhymes so well with, “affront”

      Oh, but hang on; I get it now. You’re transposing my name to be Colin = Colon because that is hilarious…Oh, you are soooo clever grin

      Does your mum know that you are talking to the Big Boys on the Internet when it’s so close to your nap time..?

    • Philosopher says:

      10:23am | 13/12/12

      more to the point, does your mum know you are smoking crack??

    • James says:

      10:28am | 13/12/12

      Its still a C*** and always will be.

    • Colin says:

      10:47am | 13/12/12

      @ Philosopher

      She SOLD him the crack..!

      @ James

      And what an erudite, succinct, and wholly poignant demonstration of why Australian literacy continues to follow the average IQ plummeting down the left hand side of the bell-curve…

    • Smoke Crack - Worship Satan says:

      11:18am | 13/12/12

      @Philosopher, she’s more worried about me following the pope on Twitter.

    • Testfest says:

      11:26am | 13/12/12

      Colin,

      Yeah, nice work. Too bad it’s not yours….

      Tip of the day: When you are copying and pasting someone else’s work it’s generally considered poor form not to give them the credit for it.

      Unless your name is actually Earl Emmons, I give you 10/10 for plagiarism.

      And spare me your lame response of “I never actually claimed it was my work!” The second you failed to put the real authors name on it, you were deliberately misleading all readers of this website into believing that you had a modicum of talent. Which you do, but only for trolling, not poetry.

    • Testfest says:

      11:27am | 13/12/12

      Colin,

      Yeah, nice work. Too bad it’s not yours….

      Tip of the day: When you are copying and pasting someone else’s work it’s generally considered poor form not to give them the credit for it.

      Unless your name is actually Earl Emmons, I give you 10/10 for plagiarism.

      And spare me your lame response of “I never actually claimed it was my work!” The second you failed to put the real authors name on it, you were deliberately misleading all readers of this website into believing that you had a modicum of talent. Which you do, but only for trolling, not poetry.

    • St. Michael says:

      11:52am | 13/12/12

      Take a look now at good Colin’s post
      Quite a change from his usual roast
      Caused such laughter and mirth
      A new day it did birth!
      His own work? No, no—not even most.

      —St. Michael, “Crap but Original Limericks”, 2012.

    • James says:

      11:58am | 13/12/12

      “And what an erudite, succinct, and wholly poignant demonstration of why Australian literacy continues to follow the average IQ plummeting down the left hand side of the bell-curve… “

      As demonstrated by your wonderfully inept failure in trying to somehow correlate intelligence with literacy.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      03:11pm | 13/12/12

      @Testfest, I thought I’d seen it before, couldn’t for the life of me remember and you saved me a lot of searching.

      And Colin has the nerve to accuse others of using quotes (usually getting the source of said quote wrong in the process).

    • Tim says:

      06:57am | 13/12/12

      I often like going on a Sea Hunt.

      I often find it funny that swear words describing people as male genitalia are considered fine and dandy but there seems to be a section of people (usuallly women) who object to the same for women’s genitalia.

      We need to rise up for our rights to call people out if they are acting like massive vaginas.

    • T-rev says:

      07:59am | 13/12/12

      Though calling someone a twat has been around for decades and is perfectly acceptable…

    • Tim says:

      08:54am | 13/12/12

      T-Rev,
      I stand corrected.

      Twats for everyone.

    • hammy says:

      10:01am | 13/12/12

      Only Poms call people twats.  Tim your argument is resurrected!

    • Maryjane says:

      06:47pm | 13/12/12

      Tim, this woman is the wrong side of sixty and swears like a trooper.  I love swearing but find that the word ‘panties’, when referring to women’s knickers, quite offensive.  I’ve no idea why.

    • RJB says:

      07:37am | 13/12/12

      And I admit, I quite like the “c word,
      Well the chests of Mr and Mrs Starke must really be swelling with pride.

    • mark says:

      07:41am | 13/12/12

      . some of the insults women throw out when angry are horrific think “i will cut you dick off” if a man suggest the reverse they would be up on charges!


      everyone has double standards, its time we accepted this and moved on.

    • Robin says:

      07:44am | 13/12/12

      I find it offensive, and that is exactly why I have used it to offend during extreme emotion.  Not nice, not meant to be.

    • Philosopher says:

      09:09am | 13/12/12

      use of language is one of the few remaining ways by which we can distinguish between imbeciles, morons, plebs, prats, the urbane and the classy. Money, education and family are no longer the arbiters of social standing. But for those who don’t see the need to choose their self-expression carefully and in fact appeal to the lowest common denominator, they will always mark themselves out as base creatures, no matter where they went to school or how many Jeeps they have in their four-door garage.

    • getoveryourself says:

      12:47pm | 13/12/12

      @philosopher - anyone who still defines another person by there intellect or class is a stuck up c***

    • Philosopher says:

      01:12pm | 13/12/12

      yet you are happy to define me as a ‘stuck up c*nt’. Maybe we are as bad as each other?

    • fml says:

      07:56am | 13/12/12

      Great, word. Use it frequently. Anybody who says I cant use it is a ....

    • Smoke Crack - Worship Satan says:

      08:07am | 13/12/12

      Great, word. Use it frequently. Anybody who says I cant use it is a ....

      Bitch?

    • LJ Dots says:

      09:20am | 13/12/12

      Attorney-General?

    • fml says:

      10:23am | 13/12/12

      they are all things evil and vile in this world. Saying that, I am offended at my inappropriate use of a comma.

    • LJ Dots says:

      10:57am | 13/12/12

      I was almost going to point out the comma debacle, you do know a comma offender carries great stigma is these here part’s.

    • St. Michael says:

      10:59am | 13/12/12

      So you’re saying you c*nt use it?

    • Philosopher says:

      11:03am | 13/12/12

      fml, I thought you were from South Central LA…

    • Smoke Crack - Worship Satan says:

      11:21am | 13/12/12

      I have it on good authority that you’re going to Hell for your inappropriate use of a comma.

    • fml says:

      12:28pm | 13/12/12

      LJ,

      I know, will I ever be able to live down the shame? Beer will help me thinks.

      Philosopher,

      http://tinyurl.com/cglrfp9

      St. Michael. Yes’m.

      Smokey Crack Satan,

      I hope so… Heaven seems so dull… Atleast I won’t be struggling for a light in hell…

    • Steve77 says:

      07:59am | 13/12/12

      Totally agree with this article.  This word gets thrown around a lot at my workplace amongst the Men, and when it slipped out at home recently and the Bride pulled me up on it, I actually said to her that the word is quickly becoming mainstream and less despised.  Seems to be getting used much more often!  She did not allow my excuse to excuse me

    • ramases says:

      08:02am | 13/12/12

      The use of this word and the F word in general speech just shows how low people have sunk to have to include those words. If a person I am tale them but if they say it in the hearing of my good lady I have this tendency to let them know in n o uncertain terms that use of those words will not be tolerated and physical violence may ensue.
        There is no need for these and other words to be used unless of course you have no self esteem, just plain rude or ignorant or all three . Old fashioned, you bet but if a person cant carry on a conversation without resorting to swearing then they are not worth talking to.
        Happily I move in a circle where swearing is frowned upon and polite conversation is expected and received and the thought of swearing in front of a woman is frowned upon and likely to get one sent to Coventry.

    • hammy says:

      08:13am | 13/12/12

      Swearing bad.
      Mindless violence good.

      Something wrong with your priorities there.

    • tez says:

      08:27am | 13/12/12

      So it’s not OK to swear but it is OK to inflict physical violence makes sense.

    • Mouse says:

      08:53am | 13/12/12

      While I agree, to a point, about swearing every second word in a conversation, I must admit that sometimes the “f” word is the ONLY word that completely and totally explains the situation!
      While I restrain myself in front of people that don’t use swear words as a matter of course, I am definitely easy with people that do.
      Except the “c” word, I HATE that word and I don’t know why…..........  hmmmmmm there goes another sleepless night!!!  LOL ;o)

    • Tim says:

      11:56am | 13/12/12

      If someone says a word which you find offensive, and violence is the response I honestly think you should go and have a look at those anti violence advertisements.

      I’d rather talk to a thousand people who use the c word, then have to deal with someone who’s prone to bursts of violence.

    • Mark990 says:

      12:45pm | 13/12/12

      Swearing people must be low on self esteem??? I think writing a 3 paragraph self righteous rant about how upper class you and your friends are reeks of self esteem issues.

    • sami says:

      02:42pm | 13/12/12

      What if it’s a ‘lady’ that is doing the swearing? Will your brain explode?

      @Mouse you don’t like the word because you’ve been conditioned into thinking it’s bad. If you grew up not knowing it was socially unacceptable it would just be another word, like ‘moose’ or ‘jelly’ or ‘shenanigans’. It actually used to be acceptable and just another regular old name for your lady junk.
      Words are just a combination of letters. They only hold whatever power we give them. It always offended me too until I really thought about why. I would still rarely say it but hearing it doesn’t bother me any more.

    • Mouse says:

      03:35pm | 13/12/12

      sami, lol, you are probably right, but I cannot understand why this word and not any of the others. I have no qualms at all about my lady junk (great name btw! lol) and really don’t even equate c**t to it at all, it has always been a noun for a person greatly disliked.
      Anyway, at least my ears don’t go rotten and fall off when I hear it, so maybe I should just toughen up and start using it.  I’ll keep you appraised of how I go!!  LOL :oD

    • Tork says:

      08:10am | 13/12/12

      I was watching Dexter and the dropped the C-bomb.  I was shocked!  ..but I wasn’t shocked by the killing scenes in it.  go figure.. but swearing is getting worse and worse and worse these days.  It’s disappointing, but just look at the turn around in the language over the last 100-200 years.  We were talking like a Shakespeare play on the streets where “fi” was frowned upon. Our language added swearwords for impact quicker and quicker. Our dad jokes turned dirtier and dirtier and shows like Californication and whatever that Don Cheadle crap show is appear as commonplace place on our TVs to filth it up.

      It’s just something we have to live with.  To sell papers or sell adverts on TV, you have to get people reading/watching.  F**k that sh*t I say..

    • Zeta says:

      08:13am | 13/12/12

      C*** is my verbal laundry day word. Sometimes you just can’t be arsed thinking up something more offensive so you just trot out a couple of c***s in someone’s general direction.

      An excellent piece of abuse, a threat or a put down is always made better when you craft it out of otherwise innocuous words that taken together are orders of magnitude more offensive than the merely pedestrian ‘cunt’. Kind of like early 90s English art. ‘Oh, that’s clever, they made that giant fetus out of coat hangers’.

      Take ‘Dick Fister’ for example. If someone complains about you calling them a dick fister in the workplace, the two words that make up the term are used so often in general conversation that you can keep saying it during the disciplinary proceedings until it loses its meaning. Dick fister also works for men and women depending on the circumstances. For women, it’s a significant upgrade on the unimaginative ‘ball breaker’ and for men, it demonstrates that the person just isn’t very nice. Or actually fists dicks.

      ‘Panty Crust’. Some people, for whatever reason, are deeply uncomfortable about the word ‘panties’, so you can upgrade it to ‘gusset crust’ if you like. Anyone who knows anything about feminine hygene would agree that it’s a more offensive thing to call someone that ‘c***’. I had an intern work with me who I called panty crust for a year, and he didn’t figure out what it really meant until his girlfriend moved in with him.

      ‘Spit Drinker’. Try grabbing an empty glass, spitting in it, and drinking it. It’s disgusting. The average human will vomit. There’s just something deeply unsettling about it. You now realise that’s your entire IT department. They’re spit drinkers. They sit down in their basement and drink their own spit. For many years, I used to just refer to my organisation’s head of IT as a c*** until I realised no, he’s a spit drinker. And his staff eat their own scabs. Ringing him up and saying, ‘listen, spit drinker, I want Chrome installed on my desktop and if I so much as hear the word ‘Bing’ again I’m going to come down there and set fire to your precious scab collection’ is a lot more impactful than just calling him a c***.

      If you want to get fancy, there’s ‘Oedipean Wanker’, which combines the best traits of a mummy’s boy with a mother f***er. Other variations of wanker which compound their offensiveness include ‘hands free wanker’, ‘sounding wanker’ or ‘fleshlight wanker’ - put on a Scottish accent and combine them all into one sentence and you’re basically Malcolm Tucker.

    • Tim says:

      08:56am | 13/12/12

      I used to work with a guy called Dick Fister.

    • Smoke Crack - Worship Satan says:

      09:12am | 13/12/12

      mmmHmmmm…. Spit Drinker.

      Did somebody say 2 Girls, 1 Cup?

    • Mouse says:

      09:22am | 13/12/12

      ....and don’t forget Michael Hunt. Mike to his friends….  :op

    • CC says:

      09:39am | 13/12/12

      Much to my amusement I saw a guy with a mechanics shirt on one day and his embroided on name badge said “Phil McCraken”  best name ever.

    • sunny says:

      10:03am | 13/12/12

      Spare a thought for Dick’s long suffering brother, Roger N. Fister.

      It’d be difficult for even the most humourless of people to formally address someone as Mr Fister. Even the Indian call centre crew would be dining out on your misfortune “Mr Fister *snigger/sniggering in the background*, can I interest you in cheap long distance calls?”

    • hammy says:

      10:31am | 13/12/12

      Yes Punch Moderator…you censor my post and let this stuff through…

    • Philosopher says:

      10:59am | 13/12/12

      I hear you, hammy. I’ve posted very mild comments that were obviously judged as offensive, yet the mod clearly misses the irony considering the subject of the entire article, yet alone half the comments. Don’t question, just give thanks - a bit like worship, really.

    • Smoke Crack - Worship Satan says:

      11:20am | 13/12/12

      Mr Ben Dover?

    • Rebecca says:

      11:22am | 13/12/12

      Wow…. that is disturbing. The most interesting one I’ve heard so far is Thunderc**t.

      @Sunny: That’s a bit rich coming from people whose accents make Coke sound like c**k (a source of great amusement to me back when I worked behind the counter at a fast food joint - yes, I really am that immature).

    • sunny says:

      12:12pm | 13/12/12

      Rebecca - then you probably would’ve been straining at the rivets not to burst out laughing whenever they ordered a large Coke ..or worse a super size Coke!!

    • Philosopher says:

      12:43pm | 13/12/12

      sunny, how about if one of them mutters, ‘damn, I bumped into that girl and spilled my coke all over the floor’.

    • Mouse says:

      01:43pm | 13/12/12

      Philosopher, it probably would have been side-splittingly more funny if he said “damn, I bumped into that MAN and spilled my coke all over the floor”.  ahahahaha Silly Poms!  LOL :oD

    • Mark says:

      08:22am | 13/12/12

      Most young people see the hypocrisy in accepting a word like ‘d**k’ in to every day language, while the taboo against “c**t” remains.
      It is a colloquialism and is not intended to offend the recipient. Therefore, it is not offensive.
      If you don’t understand this, then you are no the intended recipient and therefore should fuck right off.

    • Meph says:

      08:45am | 13/12/12

      @Mark

      While I agree with your sentiment, unfortunately the PC police went and made it possible for someone who overhears and is offended by something to complain and make it stick.

    • Mark says:

      10:58am | 13/12/12

      How do you enforce something as unprovable as words between two people? A law is only as good as societies ability to enforce it.

      As such, unless I said it to a policeman, it would be the complainants word against mine and that would not go down well in court or most likely with the policeman accepting the complaint.

      Narrow minded and insular people like those who made these laws and those who think they are necessary for occasions of situational offence need to be brought back to the real world.

      If someone dare’s to confront me over my use of language, they will be getting a severe dressing down about their manners and the sexist connotations their complaints would imply to my using the word c**t. That would humiliate them enough to turn and run, I assume, as only an idiot would confront someone over this in the first place.

    • Philosopher says:

      11:11am | 13/12/12

      yes Mark, you have clearly never heard the words ‘pu**y’ or ‘twat’ used before in casual conversation. For attempting to turn this into a Mens Rights tantrum, I dub thee a dickhead. No offence.

    • James says:

      12:02pm | 13/12/12

      @Philosopher - just as long as you call anyone parading women’s rights a pussy.

    • Meph says:

      12:05pm | 13/12/12

      @Mark

      “If someone dare’s to confront me over my use of language, they will be getting a severe dressing down about their manners and the sexist connotations their complaints would imply to my using the word c**t. That would humiliate them enough to turn and run”

      In most workplaces, about all it would earn you is a security escort out of the building, and a one way ticket to jobhunting land. While I applaud your attempts to stand up for common sense, that particular boat has well and truly sailed, and personally I find it foolish to try and fight unwinnable battles.

    • Mark says:

      12:17pm | 13/12/12

      Who made you king? You obviously can’t read so I doubt your self important title relates at all.

      I have heard all of those words used in conversation. What I said was IF SOMEONE APPROACHED ME for using the word c**t in a conversation not directed towards them, I would point out that it is a narrow minded thing to take offence to seeing as we accept other colloquialisms such as d**k and in fact, such adverse reactions to the derogatory term for a females vagina could be taken as sexist if it is deemed more offensive than the equally derogatory word for a males penis.

      This would be meant to humiliate the recipient, not to push an agenda. No one likes being called sexist by a stranger, so they tend to walk away very fast, which is the desired reaction. Get the picture? Lecturing someone who was not expecting it will usually stop them from doing the same thing again.

    • Mark says:

      01:01pm | 13/12/12

      @Meph- A work place? Why would I do that in my work place? Working is about cohabitation or a small space, not about conflict. A colleague who heard something offensive has the right to ask the person to stop it. They are forced to put up with it., after all.

      I was talking about a public place where one party has the option to remove themselves, rather than put up with something they don’t like. Ie, a person at another table in the restaurant you are eating at. That is self absorbed and puerile and needs to be stamped out of society.

    • Mark says:

      01:01pm | 13/12/12

      @Meph- A work place? Why would I do that in my work place? Working is about cohabitation or a small space, not about conflict. A colleague who heard something offensive has the right to ask the person to stop it. They are forced to put up with it., after all.

      I was talking about a public place where one party has the option to remove themselves, rather than put up with something they don’t like. Ie, a person at another table in the restaurant you are eating at. That is self absorbed and puerile and needs to be stamped out of society.

    • sami says:

      02:55pm | 13/12/12

      @Mark you win the internets today

    • AFR says:

      08:22am | 13/12/12

      Using such words does show a lack of class…. but… I never really saw how a word like that could actually “offend” anyone.

    • St. Michael says:

      11:04am | 13/12/12

      Well, according to Tory you have no right to be offended, so feel free.

    • RuralBrain says:

      08:26am | 13/12/12

      People who use the c word are really just a bunch of lazy c’s.  With just a smidgin of imagination you could be much more cutting when abusing a person or the misfortune of just being you yourself.

    • Ilan says:

      08:28am | 13/12/12

      Nobody in history has used the “C-word” as prolifically or for better comic effect than Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, in their alter-egos Derek and Clive, and that was close to 40 years ago.

    • Mouse says:

      09:04am | 13/12/12

      hahahahahahaha! When I first heard it, that little skit had me rolling on the floor for days!!! I LOVE IT!  I could never work out why because of my hatred for that word, but I can imitate that skit so I sound just like the recording. Every now and then, towards the end of the night,  they will get me up on the bar and I will do it, loudly! Have never had a complaint! If I did, “well that’s toof biffo!!”  LOL :oD

    • Ilan says:

      08:29am | 13/12/12

      Nobody in history has used the “C-word” as prolifically or for better comic effect than Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, in their alter-egos Derek and Clive, and that was close to 40 years ago.

    • Ilan says:

      08:28am | 13/12/12

      Nobody in history has used the “C-word” as prolifically or for better comic effect than Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, in their alter-egos Derek and Clive, and that was close to 40 years ago.

    • Kika says:

      09:17am | 13/12/12

      OK, Ilan. We get it!

    • Philosopher says:

      10:13am | 13/12/12

      Has no-one in history ever used the C-world prolifically or for great comic effect? I can’t think of anyone…

    • KAT says:

      08:29am | 13/12/12

      I just hate that it is used as an insult. As I pointed out to a male friend of mine, it makes no sense at all to me that he would refer to someone he hates by using a word that refers to something he loves

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      09:20am | 13/12/12

      That’s why I often say to people; “I’d call you a c*** but they’re useful and you’re not”

    • Jotunn says:

      09:31am | 13/12/12

      And yet I bet you’ve called someone a “dick” before?

      And anyways, its a love/hate relationship, hence why its so appropraitely used sometimes it can be affectionate, or offensive.

    • Meph says:

      08:42am | 13/12/12

      Considering the time of year, I shall simply direct all ye worthies’ attention on the immortal (immoral?) Kevin Wilson, and his timeless christmas carol “Hey Santa Claus”

    • Miss K says:

      08:49am | 13/12/12

      We usually use “Unt” because most people we use it on aren’t worthy enough for the C! Works with lut also as most dont deserve the s.

    • hammy says:

      09:07am | 13/12/12

      With censorship out of control here…you would think the Punch would eliminate repeat posts.

    • sunny says:

      11:19am | 13/12/12

      Whenever a Punch moderator censors one of your posts they yell “I just pulled a hammy!”

    • Poita says:

      09:11am | 13/12/12

      Mila Kunis used it in the movie “Ted” just recently, to appropriately describe one of the other characters.

      It didn’t hurt and she’s still the top notch girl in hollywood at the moment.

      In fact I’d much rather a girl who used it every now and then. Because some people are c’s, and this whole facade of respectability that a lot of people use is ridiculous, especially after the gfc.

    • Roll out your Prejudice says:

      09:11am | 13/12/12

      Increasing the level of disrespect across society, in the media and in comedy goes hand in hand with incidents like the singing French woman on a Melbourne bus.

      Tolerance for disrespect concerning the words used in public has a knock-on effect in amplifying selfish, self-centred, self-absorbed, arrogant, violent attitudes and behavior in the community.  Real people can be hurt with just words.  Hello shock jocks.

      Welcome to today’s 2012 Australia your standing in it. 
      Rodney Rude would be so proud of you all.  Everyone is finally catching up to his noble throne benchmark in the gutter back in the 80’s.
      I believe it is really time grow-up all over again.

    • John says:

      09:15am | 13/12/12

      Personally I think it is a fine word to use as long as people don’t refer to anatomy using the ‘C’ word, it’s just taking on a new meaning. It just sounds like a good swear word. I find it funny how people use F*** which is basically 2 different things and they seem to have no problem separating use based on the context of saying the word.

    • John says:

      09:15am | 13/12/12

      Personally I think it is a fine word to use as long as people don’t refer to anatomy using the ‘C’ word, it’s just taking on a new meaning. It just sounds like a good swear word. I find it funny how people use F*** which is basically 2 different things and they seem to have no problem separating use based on the context of saying the word.

    • che says:

      09:19am | 13/12/12

      This is the best word, I use it regularly. So right for so many occasions. I don’t really understand why it bothers people.

      Someone said that it is offensive because it references the vagina, but do you really call your own vagina that?

    • Philosopher says:

      10:02am | 13/12/12

      I actually have a pet name for my wife ‘down there’: ‘my parking spot’. She loves it. (now waits for the inevitable comments about public car parks)

    • hammy says:

      10:30am | 13/12/12

      $35 an hour?

    • Philosopher says:

      10:46am | 13/12/12

      hammy, give her some credit! Try the purchase price of a house.

    • St. Michael says:

      11:02am | 13/12/12

      Can’t be used if you don’t get to them before 4:30 in the morning?

    • hammy says:

      11:55am | 13/12/12

      Wow parking has gotten expensive!

    • Philosopher says:

      12:46pm | 13/12/12

      parking is always expensive, my friend. Always.

    • Sir Viv says:

      09:20am | 13/12/12

      Live in London and hear the Cockney use the C-word artfully. It’s a thing of beauty.

      You can be any of the following:

      A bit of a C - endearment or jealousy
      A C - an insult
      A lucky C - admiration
      A pissed C - an alcoholic
      A crazy C - endearment
      My C - endearment
      This C is “insert descriptor”
      Lovely C - (often used to describe a footballer who scored a winner)
      F**king C - Not good, usually a precursor to violence
      Don’t be a C - You have been teasing someone in a good natured manner.
      Dumb C - lacking intelligence
      C’ing me off - An attempt at deceit (usually involving money)

      The list goes on.

      Beer belly, bug eyes, loud gravelly Embassy no.1 stained voice and white van complete the ‘C’ masterclass. It takes about 40 years to perfect the tone and turn of phrase.

      Australian usage of C usually lacks the playful, theatrical charm. It’s much harder as it’s socially more taboo in Australia.

      Sick C is as close as it gets here.

    • Kika says:

      09:32am | 13/12/12

      It’s definitely loosing it’s punch the poor old ‘C’ word. Mainly by overuse. It’s still nasty to hear girls say it. My sister is an absolute shocker. Microbiology and Veterinary science (working with small animals, btw) and she drops it like it’s hot. I am used to it, but my poor relatives get their noses out of joint when she says it. Then again she was pretty much born to swear. She started swearing regularly from the age of 4 much to my parents dismay and hasn’t stopped.  I blame it on Mum - her Dad was from Essex. She can’t help it.

    • Nathan Explosion says:

      09:46am | 13/12/12

      ‘Straya, c***s.

    • sami says:

      03:00pm | 13/12/12

      ken oath, mate

    • Ruby says:

      10:06am | 13/12/12

      I am really torn on the C-bomb. On one hand, I use it a fair bit. I know a lot of people who also use it and usually am not offended in the slightest. But when my ex-boyfriend used to call me it during a fight, I would get so offended and upset, even though he’d use it constantly in normal conversation. I guess it’s the intent behind the use of the word that determines how offensive it is. It does still pack more of a punch that any other swear word, and probably will for a long time yet. As long as it’s used appropriately though, and not every 3rd word like f**k tends to be, it’s not all that bad.

    • sami says:

      03:04pm | 13/12/12

      It’s definitely the intent. Your partner shouldn’t be calling you any names, fighting or not. I’d be upset too, whether I got called c-bomb or a jerk or anything really. It’s juvenile. Anyway I’m glad he is an ex, he sounds like a real *censored* wink

      Shouldn’t be any different than dick, pussy, arsehole etc… they are all colloquialisms for our anatomy, why does that one get singled out as ‘worst’? It used to be perfectly acceptable.

      Equality for vaginas! :D

    • Terence says:

      10:10am | 13/12/12

      Dickhead used to be my favourite, but I still can’t come to terms with the sight of people walking around with dicks sticking up from the tops of their heads, so prefer the C word.

    • St. Michael says:

      11:01am | 13/12/12

      Yeah, it works so much better to visualise people walking around looking suspiciously cavernous and smelling like clams.

    • Haggis says:

      10:14am | 13/12/12

      ‘Ere,  ‘ow’d you like to work in Gropecunt Lane? Lots of girls used to . . .  all over England.

    • Haden says:

      10:25am | 13/12/12

      I think it depends on the connotation you load it with and the meaning you give it. The British actually use it a lot more too, you see it used in ‘Shameless’ including women, I have female friends who use it and even Mira Sorvina’s character calls Thora Birch that in ‘American Beauty’ in response to Birch saying, -“you’re just some pampered suburban chick”. I jokingly refer to myself as a “fat c***” when I’m putting on weight and use it a lot, much the same as the British ‘chav’ way. I’ve seen the way the young kids use it on Twitter, by that I mean in their 20’s and I don’t think the word has lost its power, I think it’s about power, that’s why they’re using it and there’s a lot of emotional violence in the way they use it. It leaves me feeling quite uncomfortable though I find the brazenness and disregard for social conventions of it a turn-on.

    • Wakey Wakey says:

      10:25am | 13/12/12

      The “b” word’s now a byword
      bloody bastard? so passé.
      The “sh” word no-one shuns no more
      goes well with shower and shave.
      The “f” word can be funny,
      makes big men out of runts.
      The “c” word may be crap or cool
      but no word is more blunt !

    • Wakey Wakey says:

      10:26am | 13/12/12

      The “b” word’s now a byword
      bloody bastard? so passé.
      The “sh” word no-one shuns no more
      goes well with shower and shave.
      The “f” word can be funny,
      makes big men out of runts.
      The “c” word may be crap or cool
      but no word is more blunt !

    • Wakey Wakey says:

      10:26am | 13/12/12

      The “b” word’s now a byword
      bloody bastard? so passé.
      The “sh” word no-one shuns no more
      goes well with shower and shave.
      The “f” word can be funny,
      makes big men out of runts.
      The “c” word may be crap or cool
      but no word is more blunt !

    • Elizabeth says:

      10:30am | 13/12/12

      Petra I’m going to have to correct you there. Ramsey called someone a c*** on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares that aired on fta tv in Australia. He also called the same guy a f###ng French pig. I thought the latter was rather worse.

      Part of what makes swear words offensive is the tone in which they’re delivered. Saying c*** in a conversational way isn’t shocking to me. Someone angrily screeching it is.

    • Philosopher says:

      01:34pm | 13/12/12

      Gordon Ramsey could say ‘shaved truffles’ and I would find it offensive. His very existence is an affront on good taste (literally). He can stick his pretentious food up is a*****e

    • Matthais says:

      10:42am | 13/12/12

      For Christ’s sake, why must we tiptoe around words with such childish and Americanised expressions as:

      “The ‘C’ bomb” or “the ‘F’ word”?

      Both of them contain four letters and seeing them written is surely not going to blind us.

      F.U.C.K

      C.U.N.T

      Hopefully that will pass the censorship test, as they are clearly acronyms…

      The latter of the above used to hold a special place in my heart, prior to the acceptance of it into the common vernacular.

      It used to be somewhat of a turn on for me to hear it uttered by an otherwise well spoken and demure lass in a moment of exasperation or anger.

      Sadly these days, the impact has been almost completely diminished, though were someone like Penny Wong to breathe it whilst referring to Tony Abbott, the sparks of my desire may be rekindled.

      I refuse to find any single word offensive, even those such as “coon” or “nigger”.

      A word itself is not offensive, rather the use of the word and the intentions of the person using it are what can cause offence.

      About five or six years ago, one of the Rabbitohs players was referred to as a “black cunt” during the course of an NRL game.

      A fierce debate was had about the use of the words.

      The current affairs program “Hack” on Triple J did an entire, uncensored piece about it, asking whether it was the use of the word “cunt” or the preceding “black” that caused the outrage to spill over.

      If, they asked, a player had been called a “white cunt”, would the outrage have been as palpable?

      For mine, a word can never be offensive, though the intent behind the usage of a word or a combination of words certainly can.

      We are all adults, to spout preposterous and outraged invective about an utterance with no malice behind it is really quite childish.

    • du says:

      10:55am | 13/12/12

      Of course,thereis discrimination.A man looks iat a naked woman thru a window,he is a peeping Tom,a woman sees aman undressing,he is exposing himself

    • HOBART HERO says:

      11:03am | 13/12/12

      “Slabs of meat” seems to have more shock value in the media…

    • St. Michael says:

      11:54am | 13/12/12

      Only if it’s uncovered meat.  That’s a public health and hygiene issue, you see. wink

    • HOBART HERO says:

      11:04am | 13/12/12

      “Slabs of meat” seems to have more shock value in the media…

    • Luc Belrose says:

      11:39am | 13/12/12

      Petra your item is awful, rude, disrespecful. I hope your sub editors are not contemplating giving this raw word the mantle of acceptability in The Punch.
      It is used by foul mouthed individuals with poor vocabularies.

    • LJ Dots says:

      12:01pm | 13/12/12

      An observation about the changing nature of words. Is it just me, or has ‘dog’ become a similar, or possibly more threatening version of verbal abuse.

      True, it may not sound as offensive at first glance, but when I have heard it used in real life (and I’ve heard it a lot), it is said with considerably more menace than any other typical swear word.

    • Mouse says:

      02:02pm | 13/12/12

      I agree, LJD. When I have heard a female call another female a dog, it was said with a fair degree of venom and spite! That, it seems, is now a hate word rather than an ordinary, run of the mill abuse word.
      I suppose different generations take ownership of words and their connotations change. Slut appears to be used in a more “friendly” (is that the right word? :o| ) term than it used to be.  Tone, I think, is the final decider as to the intention of the meaning.  If I am really angry, which don’t happen very often I might add lol, I can make the word “person” sound pretty vile! lol :o)

    • Redeker Plan says:

      12:02pm | 13/12/12

      I love the c-bomb and drop it freely in conversation everywhere but work and when in the company of my Mum.  It’s just so versatile - as a noun, as an adjective, as a verb. 

      I knew that my bestie and I were destined to get along when - within minutes of meeting her for the first time - she gestured towards a particular bloke (who, it turned out, both of us loathed for a multitude of reasons) lurking around the edges of our group, as “that bloody c*%$ rag”  Ten years on and she can still turn the air blue with creative profanity.

    • Bruno says:

      12:36pm | 13/12/12

      What am i?

      Some journos have one, all Journos are one.

    • T says:

      01:01pm | 13/12/12

      Funny story.

      I was sitting at my computer one day and my parrot stuck his beak between then cage and said c***.

      Probably he most shocked i’ve ever been to hear the word. I’m guessing my BF who plays COD is to blame….

    • Old Cobber says:

      02:23pm | 13/12/12

      All this is now irrelevant—- with the vindication of the Rev. Slipper—-they are henceforth known as ” Mussels”.

    • Mouse says:

      03:40pm | 13/12/12

      ....to be updated in next year’s Macquarie Dictionary!!  ;o)

    • Old Cobber says:

      02:23pm | 13/12/12

      All this is now irrelevant—- with the vindication of the Rev. Slipper—-they are henceforth known as ” Mussels”.

    • Old Cobber says:

      02:23pm | 13/12/12

      All this is now irrelevant—- with the vindication of the Rev. Slipper—-they are henceforth known as ” Mussels”.

    • sami says:

      03:09pm | 13/12/12

      I think the only time I’ve been properly shocked by the word was when Hit Girl said it in Kick Ass, but only because I wasn’t expecting a child to say it. Nonetheless it was effective and suited her character.

    • Dann da Man says:

      03:50pm | 13/12/12

      C**ts are useful,birth giving , different shapes and sizes,some look bald some unplucked or shaved and some taste nice others do not some have an odour some don’t. All in all I Still find it a very offensive word and I am NO prude. Some people are called a Ankle which is 2 foot lower thana c**t.

 

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