• Phil

Noob Reviews: History of Swear Words (Season 01)

Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.

What is History of Swear Words?

Released only a few days ago as a Netflix original. History of Swear Words is a comedy documentary hosted by the charismatic Nicolas Cage that sees Nicolas and a selection of specialists, comedians, actors and scholars bring the history of swear words to life. Across this six-episode mini-series you will find out the historical origins of words like D**k, F**k, Damn, Pu**y, Sh*t and B*tch. As you can tell, the episodes’ names have been edited slightly for censorship purposes, but you can easily guess what the topics are.

Whether it be the historical origins, common misconceptions or accurate ways with which to use the words covered - the show investigates each swear word from multiple different ethnic and personal points of view. As well as interpretations of what they mean in other countries. And how given time many swear words are often folded into and used in day to day speech over time as they lose their edginess and are replaced by newer swear words. Demonstrating the life cycle of some of the most commonly used swears and curses around today.

Do you have a trailer to show us?

- The official trailer linked from Netflix’s YouTube channel -

Alternatively, you can also find History of Swear Words on Netflix here.

When was History of Swear Words released?

History of Swear Words was released on the 5th January (2021).

How many episodes are there?

There are six episodes in total, each with a run time of around twenty minutes.

Has a second season been confirmed?

At the moment a second season has not been officially confirmed by the production company or Netflix.

Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?

For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.

What did you think of History of Swear Words?

History of Swear Words is a relatively fresh and entertaining take on a documentary in which Nicolas Cage and many big-name comedians and actors (such as Sarah Silverman, London Hughes, Nick Offerman and Jim Jefferies). Join forces with scholars and specialists in their fields (such as a lady who edits the definitions of swear words for dictionaries). To look at six of the most commonly used swear words around today.

Although the episodes are fun and very informative, really throwing out a lot of historical facts that I had never considered before. Such as parental advisory warnings in the 90s were an attempt at silencing black artists’ voices and their fan bases, something that a gentleman named Elvis Mitchell speaks about and presents very well (amongst other things). Each episode appears very unscripted, and off the cuff. Although the comedy segments are hysterical at times, around them, each episode seems loosely structured and haphazardly thrown together in places.

When it comes to the effects for the show, there are quite a few animated and hand-drawn segments which for the most part are quite funny and add a unique (questionably accurate) view on historical events. But the cast really does make each episode highly enjoyable. Whether it be the actors and comedians we know and love or the scholars and specialists. Everyone has a great sense of humour, they are passionate about their fields, and they really do bring their all to their screen time (however limited), and I loved this. The more passionate the speakers were, the more I found myself enthralled. I would have to say my favourite specialist speaker was a lady named Mireille Miller-Young, a Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California. She brought an entirely new level of enthusiasm, energy and bubbliness that no one else could match.

Overall, when you consider the sheer scope of curse/swear words out there, the ones that the writers picked were very vanilla and a bit dull compared to some of the more colourful ones. But you can see why they might appeal for the first season so that the show could test the waters and see how well it was received. Although fun and entertaining, History of Swear Words offers nothing drastically new or groundbreaking but is still worth watching. If a second season should be released, I’ll definitely give it a look as season one could be binge-watched in about two hours.

What rating would you give History of Swear Words?

Casting 🍌🍌🍌🍌

Delivery 🍌🍌🍌🍌🍌

Effects 🍌🍌🍌

Entertainment 🍌🍌🍌🍌

Story 🍌🍌🍌

I would rate History of Swear Words as a pretty decent 3.8 out of 5 bananas.

Although poorly structured and very crude at times, History of Swear Words’ heart is in the right place, and it definitely could have been presented a lot worse than it was. Although neither a full comedy and questionably a reliable documentary, it does provide many thought-provoking insights and laughs aplenty. Because of the nature of the words and how the research is handled, I would say this is definitely an entertaining watch for both teens and adults alike. Especially as teens, these days will probably already know such words and more!

Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in History of Swear Words and would like to check it out for yourself, you can check it out over on Netflix here - to form your own opinion.


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