July 26, 2013

Revised 'Compound Curse Words' Network Graph

by Gordon

Dear readers: Clearly, I should've done more market research on the 'Compound Curse Words' network graph from my last post. Many people have graced me since with utterly correct additions and thoughtful questions - many more than regarding my usual posts (I must say I'm impressed with everyone's passion and strong opinions about profanity). Below are some contributions.

To clarify, this was supposed to encompass compound words that are used as derogatory curses. I am omitting other 'bad words' that aren't usually directed at people, such as bullshit and jackshit (shithole, on the other hand, I believe is in the vernacular).

Also, lest the network grow into a creative but useless gargantuan mutant spiderweb, the following must be omitted:
  • rarer fringe compounds such as 'pigfucker' (though I have actually used this)
  • juvenile or non-curse versions such as: butthead, fartmouth, stupidbrain, jerkface, etc.
  • in a related vein, curses which don't include profanity, or at least crude slang ('dick')  as part of their compound: nitwit, numbskull (both redacted in this new version), etc.
The boundaries, of course, are fuzzy.

Part of the utility of this graph is to make your own connections between nodes and see what you like and don't like. You can even go the avant-garde route and create triple curse compounds by following the arrows around: dumbasshole, dipshitface, jackassclown. If you ignore the direction of the arrows, you could even treat this like a traveling fucking salesman problem, or the three dumbass bridges problem or whatever that other one was.

Imagine all the points are actually connected, only the thickness of each connection represents how often the compound is used (a weighted network). The little-used pairings simply have connections that are too gossamer-thin for you to see. The next level up from this graph would be a zoomable map, with both size of words and connections between them proportional to their usage (someone with data vis. software please do this).

Actually, I'll do this. I did this. Here we go. Features/limitations:
  • prefixes are blue; suffixes orange; I wish it blended the colors to represent words used as both, but that's too much to ask
  • word size is proportional to their usage in compounds
  • connections are directional (see tiny arrows) and size is proportional to # of google hits
  • it's only showing 28 of 38 nodes for some damn reason
Here's just a snapshot:

To see the full version, which is zoomable and moves around creepily, see here.

'Carpetmuncher' strikes me as pretty uncommon, but a couple of you wrote in to me about that one, so it's included in there.

As a bonus, here are several rarely-used gems (along with possible definitions) which I consider too exotic to chart, but which deserve mention for their own special charm.

Shitgobbler (a rumor-monger)
BOY: Ha ha, I heard you on the phone - Stephanie won't go to the dance with you!
OLDER BROTHER: Look, you little shitgobbler. I am going to take this phone, and...

Assmonkey (someone who messes with your stuff)
"Hey, assmonkey, stop twerking on my car! You're getting drool on it!"

Bumblefucker (someone from East or West Bumblefuck, NJ)
NY GAS STATION ATTENDANT: Look at this bumblefucker. Waitin for us to serve him gas on a fuckin platter.

In addition: what if you substitute "dick" for "hunch"?
"Look, there goes another dickbacked whale!" [sic]
"Hey, have you heard of the Dickback of Notre Dame?"
"I dunno, slim... can't put my finger on it, but I've just got a dick is all."

Also: cockhero, shitsberry, assmonger, shitsloth, fuckstick, and dicksmoker.

Thank you Dennis, Natalie, Kelsey, Josie, David, Danielle, Bonnie, Mike, Jon, Chris, and my other beloved foul-mouthed cursemongers.

If you missed it, by the way, see the addendum on the last post for a wonderful graph relating llamas to productivity, sent in by Steve! Awesome sauce.


  1. Thanks for your wonderful work, Gordon. And I appreciate the "thank you." However, I take exception to your dismissal of all "jerk"-related material. Jerkface, jerkwad, and jerkfuck are not infantile: I use them all regularly, and I'm a grown adult. Surely you're not calling me infantile, are you, jerkface?

    1. Dennis: Thank you for your thank you for the thank you, and for writing again with feedback. Regarding jerk compounds, I refer you to the third paragraph above, and the somewhat arbitrary but useful rule that at least one part of a compound should include profanity or patently offensive crude slang, neither of which describe jerk. This disqualifies jerkface and jerkwad.

      While jerkfuck, on the other hand, is clearly good profanity, remember that google graphs is a little fucked up and hides some of the nodes, despite all my best tweaking (only 28 or 30 out of 38 show up in the dynamic plot). Jerkfuck is one of the compounds it would hide, based on connection strength. For reference, as of this morning:

      Asshat - 1,290,000 google results
      Fuckface - 744,000 google results
      Fuckwit - 547,000 google results
      Assclown - 464,000 google results
      Pigfucker - 44,000 google results
      Jerkfuck - 9,160 google results

      If displayed, the line connecting jerk and fuck would have to be less than one-hundredth the thickness of the line connecting ass and hat. Even a personal favorite of mine, pigfucker, is an order of magnitude less common than assclown (a word for which I am indebted to you), and so is also unfortunately excluded.

      So in other words, this is done analytically and I'm not playing favorites. Nor do I think that your subscription to the usage of excluded words makes you infantile (possibly eccentric, however, but no more than my predilection for bumblefucker makes me). So nothing personal... jerkhead.