Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

British ‘Bollocks’ versus American ‘Jerk’: Do native British English speakers swear more – or differently – compared to American English speakers?

British ‘Bollocks’ versus American ‘Jerk’: Do native British English speakers swear more – or... Abstract The present study investigates the differences between 414 L1 speakers of British and 556 L1 speakers of American English in self-reported frequency of swearing and in the understanding of the meaning, the perceived offensiveness and the frequency of use of 30 negative words extracted from the British National Corpus. Words ranged from mild to highly offensive, insulting and taboo. Statistical analysies revealed no significant differences between the groups in self reported frequency of swearing. The British English L1 participants reported a significantly better understanding of nearly half the chosen words from the corpus. They gave significantly higher offensiveness scores to four words (including “bollocks”) while the American English L1 participants rated a third of words as significantly more offensive (including “jerk”). British English L1 participants reported significantly more frequent use of a third of words (including “bollocks”) while the American English L1 participants reported more frequent use of half of the words (including “jerk”). This is interpreted as evidence of differences in semantic and conceptual representations of these words in both variants of English. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Applied Linguistics Review de Gruyter

British ‘Bollocks’ versus American ‘Jerk’: Do native British English speakers swear more – or differently – compared to American English speakers?

Applied Linguistics Review , Volume 6 (3) – Sep 1, 2015

Loading next page...
 
/lp/de-gruyter/british-bollocks-versus-american-jerk-do-native-british-english-DdxCKNEcY8
Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by the
ISSN
1868-6303
eISSN
1868-6311
DOI
10.1515/applirev-2015-0015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract The present study investigates the differences between 414 L1 speakers of British and 556 L1 speakers of American English in self-reported frequency of swearing and in the understanding of the meaning, the perceived offensiveness and the frequency of use of 30 negative words extracted from the British National Corpus. Words ranged from mild to highly offensive, insulting and taboo. Statistical analysies revealed no significant differences between the groups in self reported frequency of swearing. The British English L1 participants reported a significantly better understanding of nearly half the chosen words from the corpus. They gave significantly higher offensiveness scores to four words (including “bollocks”) while the American English L1 participants rated a third of words as significantly more offensive (including “jerk”). British English L1 participants reported significantly more frequent use of a third of words (including “bollocks”) while the American English L1 participants reported more frequent use of half of the words (including “jerk”). This is interpreted as evidence of differences in semantic and conceptual representations of these words in both variants of English.

Journal

Applied Linguistics Reviewde Gruyter

Published: Sep 1, 2015

There are no references for this article.