The best books about swearing 📚

Browse the best books on swearing as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Filthy English: The How, Why, When And What of Everyday Swearing

Filthy English: The How, Why, When And What of Everyday Swearing

By Peter Silverton

Why this book?

Silverton starts with the moment when one of the Sex Pistols used a four-letter word live on afternoon TV in 1976. It’s an appropriate beginning for a highly entertaining ramble through the dirtier byways of the English language, encompassing historical research, pop culture , and personal anecdotes, and showing just how ingrained bad language is in everyday life. His enjoyment and approval spring from every page.
From the list:

The best books on swear words

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Book cover of Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing

By Melissa Mohr

Why this book?

This American title is at the more academic end of books on swearing and oaths. Mohr shows how obscenity evolves over time. Words now considered indecent were acceptable in the Middle Ages while careless invocations of God and Jesus were taboo (that’s not to say they weren’t used). The very title of the book neatly illustrates a difference between US and British culture, with the asterisk being used to soften potential offence in the States. By contrast in the UK, the word usually appears naked and unashamed on the cover (as in Frankie Boyle’s My Shit Life So Far).
From the list:

The best books on swear words

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Book cover of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

By Mark Manson

Why this book?

A Zen-like book with the angst of a teenager. The thing I love most about this book is how it helps you reconnect with your core values. In other words, it helps to weed out all the BS we have to deal with every day (i.e. social media likes, living up to unattainable ideals, etc.) in order to achieve inner peace. It also had me burst out laughing a few times. Highly recommended if you’re feeling in a funk.

From the list:

The best books to kick you into high gear

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Book cover of Switch Bitch

Switch Bitch

By Roald Dahl

Why this book?

The book may not have much swearing in it, but it has one of the best titles ever. It sounds like an insult drawn from an obscure meme. Dahl is a master of the short story, and here you get four of them, including his fabulous character Oswald Hendryks Cornelius.
From the list:

The best books with swear words in the title

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Book cover of Badd Motherf*cker

Badd Motherf*cker

By Jasinda Wilder

Why this book?

Nothing wrong with a little bit of erotica. This one not only has one of the best titles of any book ever, it also has its tongue jammed firmly in its cheek. When your inciting incident is a jilted bride walking into a bar in Alaska, in her wedding dress—a bar that happens to be owned by eight brothers, one of whom is named Sebastian Badd– You know you're in for a good time.
From the list:

The best books with swear words in the title

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Book cover of Evil Eye

Evil Eye

By Madhuri Shekar

Why this book?

Madhuri Shekar’s groundbreaking psychological thriller helped show new ways that audiobooks could plunge listeners into a story. I’m sure I wasn’t the only author who took note. Evil Eye follows a mother who immigrated to the U.S. from India as she prepares to accept her daughter’s partner into the family. But she is troubled by an old crime. The tale is told almost entirely through phone calls and voice messages. That meticulously constructed delivery heightens the suspense as we discover how trauma can span oceans and overlap generations.

From the list:

The best crime stories you can only listen to as audiobooks

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