Pardon my French! Taboo Language in English

This is not an event notice, so if you would like to know when a programme is to be offered, join our emailing list and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive regular updates.


Taboo language, or language which to some people or in some contexts is offensive, can be both interesting and intimidating. It can be interesting because of the reasons why it is offensive; it can be intimidating because you have to be careful when using it or when interpreting when and why it is used. Even if you don’t use taboo language yourself, it is still common, especially in informal contexts, and you will want to know what is being said.

This programme examines the history and types of taboo language in English, when, why and how it is used and what is being meant. Specific usages, and some differences between UK English, US English and Australian English are explored. Warning : this programme is graphic and not for the faint-hearted!


Session I – Origins, role and uses of taboo language
Session II – Examples and Usage I – Bodily Functions
Session III – Examples and Usage II – Relationship and Religious
Session IV – Examples and Usage III –  In the media

swear 01Audience     Students, teachers and others interested in contemporary English usage.

Format     Face-to-face interactive seminar

Pre-requisites     English CEFR-C1

Number of hours     8

Dates and times

  • Open Programmes : contact us to register your interest in an open programme
  • Closed Programmes* : by agreement

Fee     CLP 80 000

SENCE-eligible     Yes
Ley SEP-eligible     Yes


  • Contact us to register your interest in an open programme
  • Closed Programmes* : by agreement

swear 02Related programmes

For more information, or to speak with a programme advisor, contact us.

You can also find out when and where the next “open” programmes are being offered by :

* Unsure as to your level of English, or lacking a formal qualification? We can help!
Check out our Assessment Services available to teachers and to schools

We can often run a closed programme with as few as 4 participants (slightly more outside Santiago). If you can get four friends or colleagues together, ask us about a closed programme on your date(s), at your time(s) and in your location(s).