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In every country and continent in the world, there are words that shouldn’t be said publicly – or, at the very least, are only acceptable in certain circumstances.

In 1972, George Carlin listed a bunch of curse words in his “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” monologue, focusing on the words that were generally avoided on US TV at the time.

He listed them in this order : "s***", "p***," "f***k" "c**t," "c********r," "m**********r," and "t***." You got that?

Most of the words that in Carlin’s monologue list still won’t feature in American broadcasts, although the list was not an official index of forbidden words, but rather a compiled list for Carlin to flow better in his comedy routine.

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Obviously, racial or homophobic slurs are more offensive than any curse word, and are never acceptable. But what’s the true ranking of offense for curse words? We’d make the case as follows:

1) C**t

The worst of the worst, a word that cuts through the air like a blade: The C-word. Yeah, we’re going to have to use a lot of asterisks in this article, but you know what we’re talking about. Loaded with sexist contempt and truly shocking when used in conversation or on TV.

2) Motherf*****

Some people use it to describe how talented people are, such as that is one “bad motherf*****”, but despite this, it’s a rough, nasty curse word that should be avoided – especially in the presence of mothers, for obvious reasons.

3) F**k

This is probably one of the more recognizable swear words in the English language. Can be used as a sexual reference, a shocked exclamation, or added prefixed to ‘you’ to insult someone. One apocryphal tale says the word is actually a shortened version of the following: 'fornication under the consent of the king.'

4) B***h

This curse word was generally used to describe female dogs. It can also be used to describe someone who is mean, such as “she’s a cold-hearted b****.” On a brighter note, b**** is also used at times as a term of endearment for one another and describes a good-looking girl. For example, “wow, she’s a bad b****.”

Tread lightly though, a lot of people still don’t want to be called this word.

5) S**t

As a word that means poop, it can also be used to express the unexpected things that happen in life, such as forgetting to send that important email. You may also say the after dropping a glass on the floor or stubbing your foot. Many of us have been there. It can even be used as an adjective.

6) B*****d

This curse word once widely meant a child born out of wedlock. Now, it’s more likely to be wielded against someone who’s angered or annoyed you.

7) Pussy

The first word on our list without any asterisks – but context matters. If you’re describing your pet cat? Go right ahead, it’s cute. But it is, of course, also a vulgar term for female genitalia, or, alternatively, a less offensive but still stinging way to brand someone a coward. It’s another word steeped in sexism, so we tend to rate it as more offensive than the following two terms.

8) Ass

This one is pretty much part of everyday speech. Someone can act like an ass, or they might be working on their ass on the Peloton. Either way, it packs a mere fraction of the punch that some of the worst words above have. But still, it’s a curse word, so don’t start saying it around your grandma.

9) Damn

Last but not least, we have one of the popular words in everyday vernacular if you see something that’s a little shocking or perplexing. It’s not the harshest swear word used in America, and it’s usually said to yourself, not a word to cause harm to others.

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