Twitter allows users to say whatever they want, so what are the words people are choosing to take up those 140 characters?
This article titled “What are the most popular swearwords on Twitter?” was written by Leo Benedictus, for The Guardian on Sunday 23rd February 2014 18.00 UTC
What do you think is the most commonly used swearword on Twitter? Well of course it is. Very detailed work by researchers at Wright State University in Ohio has found that 34.7% of all the swearwords in their sample of 51m tweets were “fuck” or one of its long list of cognates.
In comparison, the second and third most popular swearwords – “shit” and “ass” – accounted for 15.0% and 14.5% respectively, while other highlights included “bitch” (10.3%), “hell” (4.5%), “whore” (1.8%), “dick” (1.7%), “piss” (1.5%) and “pussy” (1.2%). Between them, the top seven make up 90.6% of all the swearing on Twitter, and Twitter is a sweary place. In daily life it is thought that between 0.5% and 0.7% of the words we use are swearwords, but the proportion on the site is roughly twice this, at 1.15%. According to this study, about one in every 13 tweets contains a swearword of some kind.