These Maps Reveal How Your State Curses

The geography of America’s expletives, mapped.

Are you a “darn” guy or a “damn” dude? A “shit” man or a “fuck” fella? 

No matter what your expletive of choice may be, chances are you’re not alone. These fascinating maps by linguist Jack Grieve trace the most popular swear words in the U.S. by analyzing millions of tweets to reveal the hidden geography of American profanity.

Grieve breaks down regional usage compared to the national average, where blue spaces represent standard deviations below the national rate of usage, and orange represents a higher rate of usage. For example, “asshole” appears particularly popular on the East Coast (as a Massachusetts native with a dirty mouth, I feel vindicated to say the least). 

Things get interesting when you look at the regional breakdown between the furious “damn” and the more tame “darn” and “gosh.” “Damn” seems quite big in the South:

“Darn” is most popular in the Midwest (and really, really unpopular in New England):

I thought nobody said “gosh” anymore, but good on you, Texas!

Grieve also took the time to map out some more aggressive expletives: 

If you’re interested in looking at more regional differences in language outside of profanity, take a moment and check out Grieve’s blog.

Photos by Jack Grieve