Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental purchases.


You may extend rentals at any time.

Holy Sh*t A Brief History of Swearing

ISBN: 9780190491680 | 019049168X
Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pub. Date: 5/1/2016

Why Rent from Knetbooks?

Because Knetbooks knows college students. Our rental program is designed to save you time and money. Whether you need a textbook for a semester, quarter or even a summer session, we have an option for you. Simply select a rental period, enter your information and your book will be on its way!

Top 5 reasons to order all your textbooks from Knetbooks:

  • We have the lowest prices on thousands of popular textbooks
  • Free shipping both ways on ALL orders
  • Most orders ship within 48 hours
  • Need your book longer than expected? Extending your rental is simple
  • Our customer support team is always here to help
Almost everyone swears, or worries about not swearing, from the two year-old who has just discovered the power of potty mouth to the grandma who wonders why every other word she hears is obscene. Whether they express anger or exhilaration, are meant to insult or to commend, swear words perform a crucial role in language. But swearing is also a uniquely well-suited lens through which to look at history, offering a fascinating record of what people care about on the deepest levels of a culture--what's divine, what's terrifying, and what's taboo.

Holy Sh*t tells the story of two kinds of swearing--obscenities and oaths--from ancient Rome and the Bible to today. With humor and insight, Melissa Mohr takes readers on a journey to discover how "swearing" has come to include both testifying with your hand on the Bible and calling someone a *#$&!* when they cut you off on the highway. She explores obscenities in ancient Rome--which were remarkably similar to our own--and unearths the history of religious oaths in the Middle Ages, when swearing (or not swearing) an oath was often a matter of life and death. Holy Sh*t also explains the advancement of civility and corresponding censorship of language in the 18th century, considers the rise of racial slurs after World War II, examines the physiological effects of swearing (increased heart rate and greater pain tolerance), and answers a question that preoccupies the FCC, the US Senate, and anyone who has recently overheard little kids at a playground: are we swearing more now than people did in the past?

A gem of lexicography and cultural history, Holy Sh*t is a serious exploration of obscenity--and it also just might expand your repertoire of words to choose from the next time you shut your finger in the car door.

Related Products

  • Holy Sh*t A Brief History of Swearing
    Holy Sh*t A Brief History of S...

Please wait while this item is added to your cart...