The most unacceptable words and phrases for television

September 10th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The BSA has done a survey on what words or phrases people would find acceptable on free to air television at 8.30 pm. The 31 phrases tested, and proportions finding them unacceptable are:

  1. Cunt 70% (-9%)
  2. Nigger 65% (-7%)
  3. Jesus Fucking Christ 61% (-4%)
  4. Mother fucker 61% (-17%)
  5. Cocksucker 56% (-8%)
  6. Get fucked 54%(-1%)
  7. Fuck off 50% (-2%)
  8. Fuck 50% (-19%)
  9. Faggot 48% (+2%)
  10. Slut 43% (nc)
  11. Whore 43% (-12%)
  12. Cock 42% (-16%)
  13. Retard 41% (-3%)
  14. Wanker 39% (-9%)
  15. Arsehole 37% (-12%)
  16. Jesus Christ 33% (-8%)
  17. Dick 32% (-8%)
  18. Jesus 30% (+3%)
  19. Piss 29% (-9%)
  20. Bitch 28% (-14%)
  21. Prick 28% (-15%)
  22. God 27% (-7%)
  23. Piss off 27% (+3%)
  24. Bastards 26% (-10%)
  25. Balls 24% (-9%)
  26. Shit 23% (-8%)
  27. Bullshit 20% (-8%)
  28. Crap 17% (-6%)
  29. Bloody 15% (-2%)
  30. Bollocks 13% (-7%)
  31. Bugger 13% -3%)

The figures in brackets are the change in unacceptability from the 1999 survey (or 2009 for some newer phrases).

Only the first two words would cause me a bit of shock if used on television.

Also of interest is the other words or phrases some respondents offered as unacceptable:

  • Pommy bastard
  • Being Jewish (tight with money)
  • Hua Slimy Mongrel
  • Nignog
  • Milf
  • Cock-tease
  • Cuntface
  • Frogface
  • Tea bagging
  • Fucktard

Fucktard is a great word!

  • Ginga
  • Muptard (combination of “muppet” and “retard”)

Also a great word!

  • Dog bangger
  • Whitee wifee

Not heard that one!

Tags: ,

35 Responses to “The most unacceptable words and phrases for television”

  1. Peter (1,471 comments) says:

    Is that a list to help one complete the sentence: “David Cunliffe is a…..”?

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Viking2 (10,749 comments) says:

    What??? no Golliwog.

    softcocks

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Psycho Milt (2,001 comments) says:

    Not a lot of Deadwood fans responding to the survey, then…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Redbaiter (6,483 comments) says:

    Thanks for the mother fucking inspiration.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. wat dabney (3,472 comments) says:

    Jesus Christ

    Reminds me of a Louis C.K observation:

    It’s in the Ten Commandments to not take the Lord’s name in vain. Rape is not up there, by the way. Rape is not a Ten Commandment. But don’t say the dude’s name with a shitty attitude.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. cha (3,547 comments) says:

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Perfectly acceptable to say…

    John Key can go eat a bag of diddles!

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Michaels (1,317 comments) says:

    So many of my favourites, just as well they don’t audit me.
    And yes, Fucktard would be right up the top.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. kowtow (6,734 comments) says:

    I suppose Mofuckinghamed doesn’t get mentioned as it is unacceptable to give offence to Mofuckinghamadans and also not very sensible to give them an excuse to burn your TV station to the ground……..

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. radvad (621 comments) says:

    “Jesus Fucking Christ 61% (-4%)”

    So “Fucking Allah” is acceptable? Just wondering.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Hori
    Its a demerit on here said in anger or jest.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. wreck1080 (3,533 comments) says:

    i’d rank slut higher up the list. Above mother fucker. .

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. SHG (321 comments) says:

    One can only presume they are not familiar with Peter Capaldi’s Malcolm Tucker on The Thick of It or In the Loop.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. GPT1 (2,043 comments) says:

    Number 1 still has shock value. Important to keep that as taboo as sometimes, when things have gone really really wrong, fuck just won’t do.
    Number 2, outside historical drama (ie: highlighting racism) is one I can do without and frankly the overuse in “music” for example is quite unnecessary.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Monique Angel (234 comments) says:

    Ha ha. Cunt!
    Ha ha.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Kea (10,466 comments) says:

    Anyone who claims to be offended by a word is manipulative and self absorbed. People claiming offence are trying to shut down freedom of expression, get attention for themselves or impose their beliefs on others.

    The appropriate responses to “offended” people are; derision, mocking, contempt and social exclusion. j

    [That should attract a number of down ticks from perpetually offended groups such as; middle aged women, prudes, religious nuts and social engineers on both the right and left :) ]

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. wreck1080 (3,533 comments) says:

    Kea, thankfully I do not know you as potty mouths really bug me.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    I find the word God 100% unacceptable. How dare that word sully what is otherwise a fine list.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance 4:41 pm hahahahahahaha you’re a bag of diddles!!

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    Redbaiter 4:27 pm Reckon. I’m taping that list to the monitor.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Kea (10,466 comments) says:

    wreck1080 (3,066) Says:
    September 10th, 2013 at 5:43 pm
    Kea, thankfully I do not know you as potty mouths really bug me.

    I find that highly OFFENSIVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    People who restrict freedom of expression have murdered millions and used torture and fear on the survivors in order enforce their belief that saying certain things is bad. Your association with that mindset represents a very real danger to public safety and OFFENDS me to my core.

    [1999999999999999999999999,00000000000000000,000000000000 DEMERITS] :)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. straya (55 comments) says:

    You forgot one.

    Trevor Mallard 87% (+4%)

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Peter (1,471 comments) says:

    How about diddums?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Steve (North Shore) (4,332 comments) says:

    What’s that? what did you just say?
    Don’t be silly, you ca’t do that to yourself, nobody can, except for BWAV

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. kowtow (6,734 comments) says:

    Last night on GD at 1044 kea said “My cock is massive…..”

    and here was me thinking he was just a big cunt!

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. freemark (324 comments) says:

    Maybe I missed it, but does this mean that calling something or someone gay is not actually offensive (as we all know)?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Colville (1,780 comments) says:

    MILF is a term of endearment :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Kea (10,466 comments) says:

    Oh dear ! Now kowtow is over on this thread talking about my COCK !

    Well it makes a refreshing change from his passionate raves about homos bum holes. :)

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Wally.Anchor (17 comments) says:

    I always love how “God” & “Jesus” are considered swearing! :-D

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Dave Mann (1,127 comments) says:

    I’m surprised that ‘ecofuck’ hasn’t made it to the list… maybe its because ecofucks are now so prolific in everyday life that they have become mainstream…? :D

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Nostalgia-NZ (4,699 comments) says:

    I thought ‘silly as a two bob watch’ might have featured, but ‘by crikey’ or ‘crikey dick’ not being on there has got me stumped.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. vto (1,128 comments) says:

    .
    Womans Weekly David Farrar styles..
    .
    Ten ways to improve your virility
    .
    20 signs you are the man
    .
    .
    at the car wash
    .
    applause applause

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,787 comments) says:

    List kind of reminds me of the start of this classic video:

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Andronicus (185 comments) says:

    Just as well redbaiter isn’t on TV. He would have to be totally silent.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. mavxp (490 comments) says:

    Anyone wanting to hear an excellent talk of the use of offensive language from one of the worlds top academics should check out Prof. Steven Pinker’s talk on Youtube, available in 2 parts. Worth a watch/ listen.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.