Parents' Guide to

History of Swear Words

By Marina Gordon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Six oft-taboo profanities take center stage in short series.

TV Netflix Comedy 2021
History of Swear Words Poster Image

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Kids say (4 ):

Dip into any five minutes of this six-episode series about six well-loved and oft-forbidden curse words and you'll know exactly what to expect of the other 115 minutes. Nicolas Cage is a surprising host for this slight History of Swear Words; perhaps the lure was zestily uttering the words that double as episode titles: "F--k," "S--t," "Bitch," "D--k," "P---y," and "Damn." Some popular comedians well-known for their colorful language (e.g., Sarah Silverman, Nikki Glaser, Zainab Johnson) share their observations on the words, but aren't laugh-out-loud funny nor particularly insightful. Better context and lessons come from lexicographer Kory Stamper, real-life professors (as opposed to Cage's professor shtick), and other wordsmiths. Most high schoolers will have heard all these words, in all their variations, well before watching this show. Who'll be offended? Probably anyone named Dick.

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