What the F***?

Florida ranks 3rd in U.S. states that swear the most

Words by Carmen Macri 


Does it really come as a surprise that Florida, the dirty south, has the dirtiest mouth? This esteemed revelation came from BonusFinder when they analyzed the top “hot” posts on state subreddit pages to pinpoint the states with the most colorful vocabularies. 


Out of 726 posts, there were 4,723 curse words used for an average of 6.7 per post. That seems a little extreme, no? But that’s not the best part — after further investigation, our beautiful city of Jacksonville also ranks 3rd out of every city in the United States for use of vulgarity… You’ve got to be f***ing kidding me. 


According to Preply, the average American curses around 21 times per day, and since Jacksonville is always above average, Jacksonvillians, on average, curse around 28 times per day. In my opinion? That seems a bit low. I feel like I curse 28 times before I even walk into work, but that’s just me. Another recent survey from Business Insider goes so far as to say the average American says about five curse words for every hour they’re awake … that’s more like it. 


And that leads me to the question: What is the most popular no-no word in Florida? I’m so glad you asked. A report from BonusFinder shows that in the grand tradition of national curse words, Florida’s go-to seems to be in sync with the rest of the country. We like to throw “bull” in front of it. And no, we’re not talking about “crap.” It’s a different four-letter word for the same delightful concept. Have you guessed it yet? No? Well, sh*t. (Picking up what I’m putting down?)  


BonusFinder’s study counted Floridians cursing on Reddit and the word was used 18% of the time. And for the other tens of thousands of profane-filled state subreddit posts, the same word was used 19% of the time. Wonderful. 


The list of America’s favorite to least favorite curse words is in the following order: 

  1. Our favorite four-letter word that rhymes with “sit” is used 19% of the time.
  2. It’s a tie between a word that rhymes with “truck” and “trucking” which were used 14% of the time. 
  3. “H. E. double hockey sticks” is used 7% of the time.
  4. Another tie is between that thing beavers build (different spelling) and another word for a donkey, both used 6% of the time 
  5. Another variation of our top word (add a “y”) was used 4% of the time.
  6. “Bullsh*t” and “f***ed” are tied for both being used 3% of the time 
  7. And I would hardly call this vulgarity, but “crap” was used a total of 2%.


Not too far back in the day, dropping a curse word was seen as a breach of good manners (well, it kinda still is). But lately, swearing has become the common tongue. Thanks to the quirks of social media, some curse words have undergone a complete makeover. For most folks, except those down unda in Australia and in parts of the U.K., “c*nt” used to be the absolute taboo. It was reserved for those rare moments when someone committed an act so atrocious that it was the only insult fitting. But guess what? Being a “c*nt,” or having a touch of the “c*nty’ vibe is now considered high praise from those Gen-Zers. If my coworker Ambar were to walk into the office wearing a mini skirt and platform boots, that outfit would be “c*nty” or “serving c*nt.” (It takes a while to get used to it.)


Some even believe that higher usage of profanity has a direct link to intelligence, so, by default, Florida is one of the brightest states, and it’s not because of the sunshine.


Timothy Jay, professor emeritus of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, who has studied swearing for more than 40 years, said in a recent CNN interview, “The advantages of swearing are many … To the degree that language is correlated with intelligence, people who are good at language are good at generating a swearing vocabulary.” 


This was in relation to a 2015 study Jay conducted where people were presented with the task to come up with as many words as they could in one minute with the first letter being “F,” “S” and “A.” The next minute was devoted to listing as many curse words as they could with the same beginning letters. The study found those who came up with the most “F,” “S” and “A” words also produced the most curse words. Jay mentioned believing swearing can also be associated with social intelligence. 


“Having the strategies to know where and when it’s appropriate to swear, and when it’s not,” Jay explained, “is a social cognitive skill like picking the right clothes for the right occasion. That’s a pretty sophisticated social tool.”


Hell yeah. 

About Carmen Macri

Since a young age, Carmen Macri knew she wanted to be a writer. She started as our student intern and has advanced to Multi-media Journalist/Creative. She graduated from the University of North Florida and quickly found her home with Folio Weekly. She juggles writing, photography and running Folio’s social media accounts.