I find it way too easy to write in a way that could be considered gender normative.  I would describe someone with gusto as having balls (regardless of their gender) and things like that.

In an attempt to move away from potentially sexist words I decided to have a think about some gender neutral swear words I can use when I want to rant but in a non-sexist way!

Some examples of sexist swear words

  • Pussy
  • Dick
  • Bitch

These are obviously sexist in that they put down a person by ascribing them a gender characteristic. You can argue about the intent all you want but until the meaning of "Bitch" stops meaning a female dog then calling someone a little bitch has to be considered sexist.

Some swear words that might be sexist?

  • Wanker
  • Tosser

Both of these mean the same thing, and whilst both genders masturbate it is almost exclusively assumed to be a male trait. Personally I don't think they are gender normative but others might consider them so, or at least in a grey area.

Gender Neutral Swear Words

Now onto the fun bit of this article!

I should say this was way harder than I thought it would be to come up with a list.

  • Asshole – (see also: arse, ass, a-hole, etc.)
  • Fuck – (see also: fucker, fucko, etc.)
  • Toe-rag – (a personal favourite)
  • Shite – (see also: shit, shithead, shower of shites, gob shite, etc.)
  • Eejit – (Northern Irish favourite, it means idiot)

You will note I haven't included things that are equally as bad as gender biased put downs, so things that are based on race or sexuality don't have a place in my lexicon of swear words.

Swearing in Other Languages

When I was doing research for this a short while ago Jonny Buchanan shared with me that Dutch folk sometimes swear using words related to illness and disability.

I quite like the idea of the phrase: alles ging naar de pleuris, everything went to the tuberculosis.

In German you can call someone a Schweinepriester – This literally translates as Swine Priest and I think is a good example of a gender neutral animal to compare someone with.