Stats review

These are some facts and figures based on the results collected between June 4 2013 to January 12 2014

If you want to find out more about what this is, or see some live data, take a look at the home page.

Overall totals

For 223 days, I kept a beady eye on Twitter to track the usage of each of the '7 dirty words': shit, piss. fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits. The grand total of Tweets counted, came to a whopping 785,838,705 Roughly 40.79 per second. So vulgar.

That's 2.5 Tweets per American, 12.3 per person in the UK, or 9,300 for everyone on the Isle of Man.

If each Tweet were a delicious finger of a Twix bar, there would be enough to wrap around the world twice.

Totals per word

It goes without saying that 'shit' and 'fuck' were by far the most used, commanding 95% of the overall total between them.

Shit

49.75% of the total

390,989,152 Tweets

1,753,315 per day

Fuck

45.22% of the total

355,363,697 Tweets

1,593,559 per day

The rest

Out of the other 5 words the biggest surprise for me was that 'cunt' edged out 'tits' in popularity; oh and people just don't use 'cocksucker' much at all.

  • Piss 15,584,573 (1.983%) 69,886 p/d
  • Cunt 10,669,953 (1.358%) 47,847 p/d
  • Cocksucker 137,313 (0.017%) 616 p/d
  • Motherfucker 3,539,171 (0.450%) 15,871 p/d
  • Tits 9,554,846 (1.216%) 42,847 p/d
Weekly word usage

A look at the highs and lows of each word as the week progresses. 'Cocksucker''s galore on Wednesdays, 'piss' in abundance on Sundays, and Monday is very much the best day to spot a 'cunt'. (This graph is normalized based on averages and so on, so has no particular bearing on actual counts).

  • Shit
  • Piss
  • Fuck
  • Cunt
  • Cocksucker
  • Motherfucker
  • Tits
More specifically..

Wondering what the best/worst dates for each word were?

  • Shit Aug 14 Jan 10
  • Piss Jul 11 Jan 10
  • Fuck Jul 5 Jan 10
  • Cunt Dec 16 Nov 22
  • Cocksucker Jul 17 Oct 29
  • Motherfucker Aug 7 Jan 10
  • Tits Jul 31 Jul 15

What can we learn from this? I have no idea. But January 10th, 2014 was a quiet day for swearing. It was also Frank Sinatra, Jr.'s birthday. Those 2 things may or may not be related.

Popular phrases

Beyond the words individually, here are some sweary phrases that get used regularly.

More people "give a shit" 2,739,282 than "had a shit" 152,533, but many more people people actually "do shit" 3,666,437.

Plenty of people out there who "need a piss" 33,216, presumably because so many "take the piss" 328,901. Looking back though, only 10,295 "had a piss".

I have no idea if it works, but "let's fuck" 178,365 is quite popular as a straight to the point chat up line. The more polite "can we fuck" 64,415 is lagging, but I'd imagine, more successful(?) Either way, they're both miles behind a simple "fuck you" 36,814,477.

Nice to see "cunt face" 31,855 is reasonably widely used, but I do think that "cunt chops" is sadly lacking with only 2,722 uses.

Cocksucker is underperforming across the board, but when it does get used, it's not often direct and along the lines of "you cocksucker" 9,574 - instead adopting the tact of indirect claims of someone who "is a cocksucker" 27,694.

Conversely, "you motherfucker" pulls in 114,762, whereas "is a motherfucker" only manages 24,478.

Finally, who would have thought that "my tits" 1,137,514 would outperform "your tits" 940,109? Also, "big tits" 308,655 outweigh "small tits" 60,606, "nice tits" 168,890 and "great tits" 36,424 combined.

Reaction to big news stories

I'm fairly confident that Frank Sinatra, Jr.'s birthday did not in fact have any effect on the swear counts, but plenty of things did. Here are some key events from the date range, with some samples of what people were saying.

July 3rd - Egypt's President Morsi deposed

Quite a big event you would've thought, but 'Morsi' only received a paltry 1,451 (0.04% of the total that day) mentions. I'm guessing that's a limitation of only looking at English language Tweets.


July 7th - Andy Murray wins Wimbledon

British people playing tennis are clearly much more important than deposed government regimes.. 40,466 (1.05%) hat-tips for this Scottish dude hitting a ball.

Andy Murray

July 14th - George Zimmerman found not guilty

45,596 (1.18%) slightly incredulous Tweets about Zimmerman, mostly along the lines of:


August 21st - chemical attack in Syria

Only 2,902 (0.08%) mentions for this. Slightly suprising, but again, could just be down to the language thing.


Thankfully, some people were around to make sure Twitter concentrated on the real issues of the day.

Ben Affleck

Steve would be happy to know that Ben Affleck getting announced as the new Batman attracted 8 times as many mentions (22,694 - 0.6%) as the Syria thing. There's a lot of passion about who the Dark Knight is.


August 25th - Miley Cyrus at the VMA's

The first big event of my sample set; Miley twerking against Robin Thicke. A whopping 141,606 references. That's 3.82% of all the recorded swears for that day. Shake that ass.

Miley Cyrus

Some of it was (sort of) good

Some not so much


But basically:


September 20th - iPhone 5s released

Not quite as popular as Miley, but 17,513 (0.5%) Tweets is a respectible showing for the latest Apple Shiny Thing.

Apple

October 1st - US Government shutdown

And people reckon there's no interest in politics(?) 106,477 (3.03%) exclamations of frustration at the government shutdown would suggest otherwise.


Then again, maybe not


November 15th - Batkid

Only 777 (0.02%) mentions for Batkid today, 99% of which were nice.


Yet there were still some people who somehow took umbridge.


December 5th - death of Nelson Mandela

36,736 (1.09%) Tweets mentioning Mandela. The vast majority of those were along the lines of 'shit, Mandela is dead' but some people just.. I don't know.. how the fuck do some people actually exist?

Mandela

December 25th & 31st

Wrapping up the year were the 2 biggest swear invoking events; Christmas and New Years Eve. The birthday of baby Jesus attracted 595,699 swears, which paled in comparison to the 1,089,119 associated with NYE. (16.45% & 30% of the daily swears respectively). Clearly, people are so jaded by this celebration stuff.

Worldwide distribution

Last, but not least, a quick look at how the Tweets were spread across the world.

Sort of.

Because of the sheer volume of Tweets, I'm finding it slightly tricky to plot them on a map without causing some sort of catastrophic meltdown somewhere. So, for now, here is a visualisation of all the [geocoded] Tweets made between 9am and 12pm on Christmas Day. It's just a sample of what I hope to do more of. Do get in touch if you have experience working with maps and millions of locations!