- 12.17.10 - 4:00PM
- - by
- Cole Stryker
Searching Google Books for Naughty Words - When 'Fartface' First Appeared in Print
Ngram Viewer, which searches Google's massive database of books and shows you how popular any word or phrase has been over time. It generates a graph so you can figure fun information like the existence of a place called Butthole Field in England from a dusty old geographical text.
I looked up a bunch of bad words to see when they started appearing in the English lexicon. Join me on a potty-mouthed adventure through time.
(Update: We also graphed out the history of some less-dirty words.)
Fartface really exploded in the 70s, but I found a reference as early as 1965 from Is thy name Wart?: The origins of some curious and other surnames.
Booger was used as early as the 1920s, particularly by Zora Neale Hurston in reference to something called "The Booger Man," a corruption of "boogeyman."
This one shocked me. Can it be that our civilization managed to survive as far as the 90s without this wonderful insult? Obviously it spiked around the launch of MTV's Beavis and Butthead. Here's an early reference from the mid-60s that means something completely different.
Weewee really made a splash (groan) in the 40s and stayed strong since. For some reason it's on decline lately.
Ladies and gentlemen, Sigmund Freud, 1924.
As expected, big jump for the millenial generation.
Best name for a pimp ever, from a wonderfully titled 1939 crime thriller called "Ninety Times Guilty."
Just a steady rise from the 20s. Nice work with this one, English speakers. Slow and steady.
This one's a personal favorite. I fully intend to bring back the following phrase from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1926.
Here's the earliest reference I could find that wasn't about fowl.
Another classic. Big in the late 70s, then a short inexplicable dip, then an explosion around the Beavis and Butthead era. I feel bad for everyone older than me.
Also, there is A LOT of gay erotica on Google Books. Here's an early 70s reference.
Well that was fun. Go and do likewise.
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