ya’ll need to quit ur g*dd*mn cussin’!

or maybe i should just move to the south. i definitely should NOT move to utah ’cause teh mormons ain’t a cussin’. (~_^)

this is a map of americans a cussin’ and a swearin’ on twitter. (lighter colors means MORE swearing.) acc’dg to gizmodo:

“Huffman based his research on geotagged tweets between March and April of 2010. That means a smallish sample size, sure, but you can’t really argue with the black hole of cussin that swallows up Salt Lake City. But what four-letter words were counted, and how? According to Huffman:

“‘I made use of six main swears] that came to mind: fuck, shit, bitch, hell, damn, ass

‘I was running these through Excel (since I had the Tweet data in a spreadsheet), and I had it simply search for those text strings within the message. In most cases, that meant it was a search along the lines of *fuck*, meaning it would catch “fucker,” “fuckwit,” and other words probably bandied about the UW Cartography Lab in its saltier days. For ass and hell, I kept wildcards out of those words, since there was a chance of catching something like ‘assume’ or ‘shell’ if I did not.'”

looks like those settlers from the borderlands sure like their colorful language. (~_^)

(note: comments do not require an email.)


  1. Huh. I’m not sure that the borderlands connection is clear-cut here. In fact, much of Appalachia looks pretty dark relative to the surrounding. Certainly a dampening effect in Mormonia makes sense.

    I’m going to shamelessly pimp my own map here for comparison, in part because it was the initial spark that interested me in Albion’s Seed. It’s the results from the democratic primary:
    Democratic Primary map (RGB)

    The sons of the borderlanders did not like Obama and yet the areas of the southern highlands where Clinton did so well do not seem to be particularly prone to curse-laden tweets.

    Now, doing a quick glance at the map, I would say that there seems to be a definite racial component to the distribution (Why would Gary, IN be an epicenter for profanity rather than Chicago? Why is tidewater Virgina more prolific in its profanity than the backcountry?), but again, that isn’t a simple relationship.

    Now, ultimately, as is pointed out in the description, we’re dealing with a small sample size coming from a small section of the population (those that leave geotagged tweets), so what to make of it…I don’t know.


  2. @meng – “In fact, much of Appalachia looks pretty dark relative to the surrounding.”

    i thought that the borderlands folks also settled the deep south as well. or was that the cavaliers & indentured servants? or a mix o’ both?


  3. i thought that the borderlands folks also settled the deep south as well. or was that the cavaliers & indentured servants? or a mix o’ both?

    They did indeed. I remember Fischer discussing their presence in South Carolina quite a bit. However, I think that ultimately their greatest presence was inland.

    Ultimately, you can see a quite a bit more overlap with the old cotton belt than with the lands settled by the borderlanders, which I think can be illustrated well by the map of Americans who consider themselves to be of “American” (as opposed to British, German, Native American, etc.) ancestry:

    For the cotton belt see here:
    Another proxy for the borderlands strongest area of influence would be the inland southern dialect:

    The ethnic group that does overlap well with the Huffman map is African Americans:

    Clearly there isn’t a clean correspondence here, or you’d expect much more cursing in eastern Mississippi than along the Louisiana-Texas border and there wouldn’t be an epicenter of profanity in southern Washington state. It’s probably also worth noting the sample size and potential biases of the sample (we’re looking at geotagged tweets; what could be more representative of the population at large?).


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