Certain offensive/swear-words are censored in the UK, mostly on the TV.


swear-words are censored according to the normal TV censorship rules (i.e., with reference to who might be watching, etc) and are prone to being cut out, voice-overed, or replaced with a 'beep' or period of silence.

Research into how offensive words are was commissioned by the BBC, advertising standards authority, broadcasting standards commission, and the independent television commission. It is apparently used (at the very least by the BBC) as a guide to what words to dissallow:

(from )

Ranked order of words according to severity:

  1. Cunt*
  2. Motherfucker*
  3. Fuck*
  4. Wanker
  5. Nigger
  6. Bastard
  7. Prick
  8. Bollocks
  9. Arsehole
  10. Paki
  11. Shag
  12. Whore
  13. Twat
  14. Piss off
  15. Spastic
  16. Slag
  17. Shit
  18. Dickhead
  19. Pissed off
  20. Arse
  21. Bugger
  22. Balls
  23. Jew
  24. Sodding
  25. Jesus Christ
  26. Crap
  27. Bloody
  28. God

* = Denotes fewer than 25 respondents.

if i remember correctly, you can't actually say 'cunt' on TV.

the same report categories swear-words by type, as to how offensive they are:

  • (least)
  • baby talk (poo, wee, bum), stupid insults (berk)
  • sound-alikes ('peace off' for 'piss off'); double-entaundres (salad tosser)
  • blasphemy; f.c.u.k; b*****d; presumably stuff like FU; americanisms (hooch)
  • swear words (shit, fuck off)
  • sexual swear-words (I wanna fuck, dick, pussy); adjective swear-words (fucking monkey)
  • insults/minority-abuse (wanker, slag, spastic, poof)
  • racist (nigger)
  • (most)




Computer gamesEdit


the British Board of Film Classification censors swearing, 'justified' by the fact that it goes against 'broad public opinion on what is acceptable'.

This censoring is partially absolute and partially restrictive (lots of 'fucks' are restricted to >18)

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