Holy Shit

Holy Shit

A Brief History of Swearing

Book - 2013
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"Holy Sh*t tells the story of two kinds of swearing--obscenities and oaths--from ancient Rome and the Bible to today. With humor and insight, Melissa Mohr takes readers on a journey to discover how "swearing" has come to include both testifying with your hand on the Bible and calling someone a *#$&!* when they cut you off on the highway. She explores obscenities in ancient Rome--which were remarkably similar to our own--and unearths the history of religious oaths in the Middle Ages, when swearing (or not swearing) an oath was often a matter of life and death. Holy Sh*t also explains the advancement of civility and corresponding censorship of language in the 18th century, considers the rise of racial slurs after World War II, examines the physiological effects of swearing (increased heart rate and greater pain tolerance), and answers a question that preoccupies the FCC, the US Senate, and anyone who has recently overheard little kids at a playground: are we swearing more now than people did in the past?"--Amazon.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2013.
ISBN: 9780199742677
Branch Call Number: 417.2 MOHR
Characteristics: x, 316 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Alternative Title: Holy sh*t


From Library Staff

In perhaps the only widely published book of its kind, Mohr makes the exploration of truly foul language approachable, educational, and even funny. With her patient guidance, we can examine the way profanity has changed and the difference between swearing an oath and just swearing like a sailor.

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Jul 05, 2014

this was the most engrossing and delightful history book I've read in a long time, informed, erudite, and hilarious

Jul 26, 2013

I think this book is full of swearing. I
thought that there is f**k in this book. But I think I find that word.


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Mar 06, 2015

"Take away swearwords, and we are left with fists and guns."


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