Every language has some “bad words”, or impolite slang words. We also call them “profanity” or “curse words”.

Most English students want to know some of these words and what they mean. Maybe you want to use them when you talk to American friends. Maybe you want to understand them in movies or songs. Or maybe you just want to understand when someone insults you with these words!

You don’t have to use “bad words” to speak English with Americans. It’s good to understand their meaning. If you want to use English profanity, be careful. Some of these words only a little rude. But some can get you in big trouble!

A few rules to remember:

  • Don’t use “bad words” around older people. You will seem disrespectful.
  • Don’t use these words around children. You might upset their parents.
  • Follow the example of the other person in a conversation. Does your friend use some of these words with you? You can probably use those words with your friend.
  • If you’re not sure what a word or phrase means, don’t use it! Ask one of your IEI teachers for the meaning (we won’t be embarrassed!) or check an online dictionary.

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