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An introduction to curse words, why they exist, where they come from, how they function, and why they are, in fact, different from other sorts of words.

And, yes, I really did say all of those bad words and, with significant detective skills you can probably figure out what it was that I was saying. Sorry for the was interesting to scream curse words all day!

Also, my facial hair is gone! So all of you hair haters can rejoice, I know The Katherine is.

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A Bunny
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Good morning, John. This video, out of necessity, has some swear words in it. They're all bleeped, but if you're ultra-sensitive to that kind of thing, you may just not wanna watch this one. So, you hopefully remember in my last video that I said f in front of some little kids at the mall. And I felt like a huge a**. And that got me wondering, what the s are swear words anyway? So I looked at all the definitions, and every one of them b , so I created my own, and that is, it's a word that you know how to say, and you know what it means, but you know also not to say it in front of your mom. Also the word cannot slander any particular group of people, because a slur is different than a swear. Sometimes a curse word will make a transition from curse word to slander, and that's why the word !@$% remains at the top of most people's do not say list, because it's not just a swear word, it's also become a slander of like half of the world's population. It's easy to say, like I did at the beginning of this video, that there's nothing special about a** or d or c or f but that's actually literally not true, there is something different about them. Swear words have a different kind of power than normal words. For example, people, who in a scientific study were being subjected to pain (I know, science, it's so much fun!) could withstand more pain when they were encouraged to swear. So, yeah, next time you stub your toe, it's actually perfectly legitimate, and, like, probably a good idea to just scream out @#$% &*!@ !$%# !#&@. Swear words have power because we give them power, of course. It's unclear why we ascribe the power of profanity to some words and not to other words. It's definitely a linguistic form that's more common if it has a round noise in the middle and a hard noise at the end. And they're almost always words for things that we're ashamed of, like body parts, or sex, or bodily functions. But once a word becomes a curse, it loses its original meaning pretty fast, like, I'm not talking about any particular sphincter when I call someone an a . It's almost as if my brain has a special place for curse words that's different from the place where it stores normal words. Holy s , it does. Language and linguistics happen in a recently developed and very complex part of the brain in the left hemisphere. Swearing, on the other hand, happens in the emotional bit, in the limbic system. Swear words are stored and accessed in a completely different way, so next time you think, "there's nothing different about swear words," there is, they're physiologically different for us. This is why it's hard not to scream @#$%&!&@^#! when you die on the last boss in super Mario brothers Wii. You can think of swear words as being stored in our brains as units of emotional expression, almost like a laugh or a scream or crying, it blurs the line between linguistics and emotion. In this way, it's actually possible that swearing gives us insights into the origin of language. The first words ever spoken by ancestors of homo sapiens may have found their home in the same place that we now store our c s and @#$!s and s s and a s. So check this out. We call them curse words, and we don't think about that, but what we're saying, here, is that they're magic. Because I think, deep down, we always knew that words are magic, and some words have more power than others. All the words that I have said in this video is a spell that I'm casting upon your brain. We can build worlds with words, we can tear worlds down. Language is the tool that all of this wonderful stuff that I'm surrounded by is built on. It's the one tool, over any other, that created humanity. And it's just so !@#&%^$*#^@!$# beautiful. John, I'll see you on Monday. Ooooh, I have a mustache. Hey there, ladies. I'm Hank Green. I have a mustache. Hi. Take my glasses off, now I don't look like anything like me, do I? Completely different dude. Also, have gotten a haircut, um, in the last couple hours, so everything's just different. I did a whole video of me shaving it, I'm gonna put the whole thing up on hankschannel. I don't feel like I look like a pedophile. I kinda look like a cop. I'm Hank the cop! Whaddaya got in your trunk? What's in your trunk? Open up your trunk! That's what cops do, right? They tell you to open your trunk? Mustache face. Man, that is not me, that is, I am not that guy. As long as you're here, let me tell you about the new Youtube. Uh, it allows you to go through your subscriptions and tag certain people in your top ten. Unfortunately, if you have ten people, vlogbrothers will still be below the fold because our name starts with a v. So you should only tag five people. Okay. DFTBA, and Officer Hank says don't do drugs!