Strewth, bloody, rooted: is there a quintessentially Australian swear word?

In this book extract, Amanda Laugesen says it’s hard to argue that Australians swear more than others, but we do our best, and we try to be inventive in the process

Linguist Geoffrey Hughes writes that “people swear by what is most potent to them”.

What is considered to be “most potent” changes across time, although taboo has often focused on the religious (hell), the sexual (fuck), and the excretory (shit). More recently racial, sexist and other discriminatory epithets have become our most taboo and controversial terms.

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