Bloody Hell Is a Place Full of Offended Brits


Tourism Australia's latest ad campaign asks: "So where the bloody hell are you?" British authorities have ignored that particular question to ponder whether censors can permit public airing of the country's own favorite adjective. Bloody was declared verboten in March. The decision has since been repealed, but Aussies have run into another hitch: delicate Canadians. Their complaint? A CBC spokesperson explains:

There are people in this country who when watching television with their young family just might take exception to the word hell.

To find out which words offend its public most, the BBC has commissioned an extensive study (enigmatically titled "Delete Expletives?") that manages an impressive 12 pages of throat clearing before we get to the list of bad words. Bloody comes in at 27th, in between crap and God. The full rankings are here (.pdf).

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  1. AAAAA! Warning–the full rankings are on one of those vile Adobe PDF files.

  2. Bloody PDF files. 8^)


  3. Sorry, fixed.

  4. Wanker is #4? Hmmm. I like how the word “Jew” is the 23rd most offensive word. Worse than “hell”. Crazy. How is “Jew” an expletive?

  5. See? The squeaky wheel really does get the grease.

    Or, in light of the topic: The bloody squeaky wheel really does get the bloody grease, eh wot?

  6. I still find it amazing that people feel the need to abitrarily declare certain words “bad.”

  7. I wasn’t even aware that spastic was a slur. I’m still not sure what it means. On the plus side, I’m glad to see that someone else finds baby talk offensive, although I suspect their reason are diferent.

  8. “Wear the fox hat”

    Here’s their list:

    Figure 1: Ranked order of words according to severity
    Position (1997)
    Cunt 1 (1)
    Motherfucker 2 (2)
    Fuck 3 (3)
    Wanker 4 (4)
    Nigger 5 (11)
    Bastard 6 (5)
    Prick 7 (7)
    Bollocks 8 (6)
    Arsehole 9 (9)
    Paki 10 (17)
    Shag 11 (8)
    Whore 12 (13)
    Twat 13 (10)
    Piss off 14 (12)
    Spastic 15 (14)
    Slag 16 (18)
    Shit 17 (15)
    Dickhead 18 (19)
    Pissed off 19 (16)
    Arse 20 (20)
    Bugger 21 (21)
    Balls 22 (22)
    Jew 23 (24)
    Sodding 24 (23)
    Jesus Christ 25 (26)
    Crap 26 (25)
    Bloody 27 (27)
    God 28 (28)

    I don’t see motherfucking “sticks and stones” in their sodding list despite the fact they can break my bollocks.

  9. What does “slag” mean in British?

  10. I found out the hard way that “git” is considered less acceptable in Australia than it is in Britain.

    And let’s not even get started on “fanny”…

  11. “Slag” means something like “trashy slut” or “disease-ridden Nancy Spungen lookalike” if I’m not mistaken.

    Which surprises me, that this is swearing. Based on the British women I’ve met, its a statement of fact!

    Kidding! Kidding!

  12. How is “Jew” an expletive?

    I had some drunk Indians, er, intoxicated Native Americans, scream “Jew” at me repeatedly for no apparent reason. I took it as a compliment.

    I wasn’t even aware that spastic was a slur

    They use it differently, but it seems similar to calling someone a “cancer patient.” Any Britannics out there to explain?

  13. Wikipedia explains the Brit slang:

    A term of abuse, e.g. you’re such a spastic (also colloquially abbreviated to “spazz”, “spack”, “spacko”, “spanner” and “spacker”), derived from a popular misconception that those with any physical disability resulting in spasticity would necessarily also have a mental or developmental disability. When a “spacker” has a fit, it is often referred to as a “spack attack.”

    Slag is a derogatory slang term used in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia to describe a woman of loose morals who engages in casual sex and promiscuous behaviour, or a weak and pathetic male. Deriving from the term as used for the ugly piles (slag heaps) of impurities during the smelting of metals the term achieved a wider use with the comic strip The Fat Slags in Viz magazine.

  14. Spastic is consider to be an unpc way of saying mentaly ill, a its the same as nigger is to black people, spastic is to the mentaly ill (its mainly specified at people with downs syndrome and other simmiler type mental disorders).

  15. I like how “piss off” is higher on the list than “pissed off.” I suppose the imperative mood is more offensive to people than adjectives.

  16. I’m guessing “Wear the fox hat” = “Where the fuck’s that?”

  17. This is why I always go with “retard” for the mentally handicapped: everyone is offended pretty much equally that way.

  18. Crap, I was just about to note that “retard” seemed acceptable. I’m still going to use it. You damn retards.

  19. Ha! I thought this was just going to be about the idiotic beer thing; didn’t realize Canada was mad about hell, too. Still, as Americans we should encourage this sort of stuff; when Europeans say, “You uptight Americans don’t even allow tits on television!” we can say “But we do allow people to say ‘hell’ and drink beer, unlike some folks. Pick your poison.”

  20. While the censorship of “bloody hell” is silly, one point that people keep overlooking in the debate is that this ad campaign truly sucks. It’s one of these things where it’s mildly funny the first time you see it and then after that it’s just annoying.

  21. Can someone please tell me what a wanker is? In particular, a bleedin’ wanker? Apparently it is more offensive than nigger?

  22. “Bleeding wanker” would involve simultaneous masturbation and menstruation. Best not thought about, OK?

  23. This table bothers me more than their weird ideas of tv censorship. After all, all of our (US)presidents seem to think that the word shit should never be heard on free tv, but racial slurs are perfectly fine.

    Table 13: It is the parents’ responsibility to monitor what their children watch

    ………Total %…….Households with children %


  24. What, no “cock” or “cocksucker”?

    Jew is a slur when not describing an actual Jew. This embarrasses me terribly in retrospect, but: I had a posh-but-jerky English ex who used it as a term of disparagement for those he thought excessively stingy (“mean”), like his flatmate (who was much posher and much nicer). And of course it can be used as a verb, too (“to Jew someone down”).

  25. Balls? Balls!?! Balls.

  26. Bloody Hell Is a Place Full of Offended Brits

    Yeah and:

    Blue heaven is a place on Earth…


  27. Here’s more:

    Ok, as if ya couldn’t tell, this has been another gratuitous New Wave Link! I gota couple more emails…again. THe New Wave Links are popular! ­čśë

  28. “Bloody hell.” Ron Weasley, expletive of choice.

    Ban the Aussie ad, but it’s okay in YA books and movies?

  29. Rev. Error is highly offended and reports:
    I like the Tops of the Pops style 1997 rating.

    Cunts are still ruling the charts. I’m glad that Arsehole, Arse, Balls
    and Prick have stayed where they are, unfortunately Shit has slipped
    down and Bollocks have dropped.

    Nigger has made a sprint for the finish line right behind Wanker who
    has been stuck on the same spot for quite some time.

    Jew is 23rd, Hmmm don’t let Mikey Danglecorn over on alt.slack see this
    one ! (Oops too late, I suspect a deeper conspiracy at work)

    Jesus Christ has moved the same amount as the Spastics but they’ve gone
    in opposite directions. There’s a Bloody standstill and God is
    unmoved, Bugger won’t budge even though Shit and Crap are coming down.

    Slags climbed up and Shag’s down, Dickhead has popped up a fair bit,
    The Twat is down pushing the Whore up. Pissed Off has dropped down.

    Paki’s are in at number 10.
    Motherfucker stood his ground, Fuck hasn’t moved and Bastard has fallen
    Down, Sodding dropped down. Piss Off is trickling down the charts.

    It kinda feels good to know that the phrase “Jesus Christ was a Jew and
    the Son of God” gets a triple word score on the Beeb’s ‘Top of the
    Bollocks’ Swearing poll Cuntathon.

    Error 6 (59)

  30. I found out the hard way that “git” is considered less acceptable in Australia than it is in Britain.

    And let’s not even get started on “fanny”…

    And don’t ever tell anyone that you’re “rooting” for your favorite team.

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