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Is 'hell' considered to be a swear word? (1 Viewer)

MickeS

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How the hell should I know?

(you knew it was coming)

I don't know if it's a swear word though, they seem to use it on network TV...

/Mike
 

Ike

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Um....sort of. It's very mild. It has been allowed on TV forever, and it used to be able to be used in G rated fare. TV G shows (TV shows are rated in America) can contain hell and damn. It's in some kid's cartoons, but very rarely.
So, yes and no. I'd assume the reason it was once considered a curse is because of it's religious applications. I would use it in public, but not in front of my grandmother. :D
 

PS Nystrom

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My students get in trouble if they use the word hell, but that's just me trying to be a good role model. Outside of class I certainly wouldn't be offended if it I heard it. However, I really must object to the phrase, "Cold as hell." I mean, what's up with that? Then again, what the hell does "Hell yeah!" mean, or "What the hell?" for that matter?

"Get the hell out of my way!" "Who the hell are you?" "Why the hell not?" "Hells, bells" None of these make any sense! At least "Go to hell" can be understood.

Pieter
 

Dennis Nicholls

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I would use it in public, but not in front of my grandmother.
Hell, my grandmother used to say it to me all the time.

I'm sure it's quite cultural-specific. Take two other words, "crap" and "shit". In the US the latter is considered by far the more objectionable term. However I've been told in the UK that it's the other way round.
 

Steve Christou

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Hell no! I use it all the time damn it, ah what the heck, hmmm what the heck is heck? Why use heck instead of hell? Maybe heck is a suburb of hell, what in Hades am I talking about? The devil knows.
 

Kevin P

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Actually, Heck was developed as a place to punish those who commit minor sins, such as using milk past the expiration date. Hell was getting too overcrowded, apparently. Heck is run by Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light, who carries a large spoon.
(Courtesy of the Dilbert comic strip) :)
 

Joseph DeMartino

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However, I really must object to the phrase, "Cold as hell."
While the image of the "bad place" in the afterlife being terribly hot comes from the Middle East and the Mediterranian (places abounding with deserts and volcanoes) the word "Hell" entered the English language from Scandanvia, via the same Viking raiders/settlers who founded the city now known as York (Norse, Jarvik.) The Norse "Hel" was a place of snow, clouds, and bitter cold - not unlike the Scandanavian pennisula itself (in the winter, anyway. :))
So "cold as Hell" makes perfect sense, if you know your history.
Regards,
Joe
 

Jeffrey_Jones

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It was when I was growing up. So was shut up, sucks, fart, etc. I still don't use much profanity...ah, who the fuck am I kidding...I cuss like a sailor.

- Jeff
 

Scott L

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The Norse "Hel" was a place of snow, clouds, and bitter cold - not unlike the Scandanavian pennisula itself (in the winter, anyway. )

So "cold as Hell" makes perfect sense...
Hahaha! Always learn something new in After Hours, followed by a hearty chuckle.
 

Brian Kleinke

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Actually, Heck was developed as a place to punish those who commit minor sins, such as using milk past the expiration date. Hell was getting too overcrowded, apparently. Heck is run by Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light, who carries a large spoon.
(Courtesy of the Dilbert comic strip)
My favorite place! "Get the heck out of my way".... hmm works :) I use hell sometimes, but heck if I'm around ppl I don't want to offend and I start to say hell... like in Spy Kids where the girl starts to say Shi...taki Musrooms :D
 

Danny R

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Another interesting fact about hell is that it has not always had the connotation of being a place of punishment.
There are several books that describe the history of hell, and how it's mythology has grown over time.
I'd recommend:
The Formation of Hell: Death and Retribution in the Ancient and Early Christian Worlds. By Alan E. Bernstein.
Note that this book doesn't try to argue if hell exists or not... only how the concept has been interpreted throughout history.
 

Joseph DeMartino

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You also have to remember that these things change over time. Clark Gable's use of "damn" in Gone with the Wind was terribly controversial at the time, and there was considerable debate about keeping the line within the studio. As far as I know that first use of the word "Hell" on network television was James T. Kirk's final line in "The City on the Edge of Forever" - "Let's get the hell out of here." The Trek folks had to fight hard with the NBC censors to get that line passed in 1967 - now it could easily turn up in a kid's TV show. :)
So while Hell certainly was considered a swear word at one time, it has pretty much lost that designation. (Now it is used as mere verbal emphasis. A few other words, including one that begins with an "F", are rapidly moving in the same direction, used so often and so casually that they are losing the ability to shock that is the hallmark of profanity. We're going to need some new curse words soon if we're going to be able to do any really satisfying swearing. :))
Regards,
Joe
 

Kevin_W

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While I don't find the use of "hell" objectionable, I do think we need to remove "H - E - double hockey sticks" from our vocabulary! :)
 

RobertR

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In Larry Niven's Known Space series, the word "censored" had become a very bad swear word, because it had been used so often in place of other words. :)
 

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