• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

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Glasgow is most potty-mouthed UK city


A recent employment tribunal made the controversial ruling that swearing in the workplace should not be seen as offensive. Although using profanity has become more commonplace in face-to-face conversation as well as online, doing so at work is still deemed by many as unprofessional. 

Intrigued by this, Reboot Online, analysed the dedicated subreddit pages of 20 major UK cities in relation to the total number of swear related comments, to discover which city is the most potty mouthed.

F*ck is the UK’s favourite swear word

  Swear Word Overall use (%)
#1 F*ck 30.9%
#2 Sh*t 27.6%
#3 C*nt 7.2%
#4 P*ss 4.1%
#5 Cr*p 4.0%
#6 Other 25.9%

Reboot Online can reveal that F*ck is the UK’s favourite swear word, 30.9% of all swear words discovered across UK city subreddits were f*ck. The favourite swear word of cities such as Glasgow, London and Manchester

Closely followed by Sh*t in second, at 27.6% and C*nt in third with 7.2%, which is a drop of over 20% in usage online compared to sh*t in second.
P*ss is the fourth most used swear word online at 4.1% and Cr*p (4%) is in fifth

All other swear words analysed were below 4% usage and so have been amalgamated into ‘Other’ which altogether is 25.9% of all used profanity online by UK reddit users.

The UK cities that swear the most


Rank Subreddit / City Comments Analysed Comments Containing Swear Words % of Comments With Swear Word
1. Glasgow 916,467 139,092 15.18%
2. Liverpool 50,408 4,395 8.72%
3. London 268,117 23,073 8.61%
4. Edinburgh 556,019 47,210 8.49%
5. Belfast 74,448 6,201 8.33%
6. Bradford 6,946 532 7.66%
7. Bristol 505,610 38,032 7.52%
8. Leicester 44,122 3,311 7.50%
9. Newcastle upon Tyne 122,708 8,676 7.07%
10. Manchester 22,965 1,610 7.01%
11. Portsmouth 26,778 1,837 6.86%
12. Hull 17,292 1,184 6.85%
13. Leeds 32,950 2,180 6.62%
14. Birmingham 666,409 42,411 6.36%
15. Cardiff 107,632 6,601 6.13%
16. Southampton 81,997 4,937 6.02%
17. Nottingham 133,460 7,888 5.91%
18. Sheffield 128,963 6,648 5.15%
19. Coventry 11,525 590 5.12%
20. Derby 10,184 501 4.92%

For a breakdown of each city’s data, please see here.


Glasgow has been crowned the sweariest city in the UK with over 15% of comments online including a swear word — equating to over 139,000 comments on the city’s subreddit platform. Not to be put off by expletives, over 18,000 Glaswegians users on the platform have used ‘foul’ language.
F*ck is Glasgow’s favourite swear word, with the word being used almost 35% of the time. Followed swiftly by Sh*t (24.6%) and C*nt, at just shy of 12%.

Liverpool ranks in second place, 8.72% of comments analysed (over 50,000 altogether) included swear words, making them 6.5% lower than Glasgow.
The favoured word by scousers is Sh*t with 31.2% of all profanity related comments containing the word. F*ck then reappears at 28.1%, with C*nt, again,  in third (4.2%).

London ranks third, with 8.61% of online comments are swear related. That’s 23,073 comments out of 268,117 on the city’s subreddit. The UK’s capital has over 100,000 less comments that involve profanity than Glasgow.
Londoners, much like Glasweigans, prefer to use F*ck as their favourite curse word (29.9%), Sh*t comes in close behind with a usage of 27.9% and again, C*nt is in third (5.23%).

The second Scottish city to rank, Edinburgh, places in fourth (8.49%). With a 7% decrease in swear related comments compared to neighbouring Glasgow, over 47,000 contained expletives from a pool of 42,000 users.
Just like their neighbours in first, locals of Edinburgh enjoy the expletive F*ck (29.3%), a favourite across most of the nation. Sh*t is used at a rate of 27.8% and C*nt lags behind with just under 7%.

In fifth is the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast. 74,448 comments in the subreddit were analysed of which 8.33% included profanity, equating to 6,201 comments. There are over 40% less swear comments by Belfast natives than that of swear comments used online by Glaswegians.
The Irish are no different with their favourite swear words as F*ck is still a favourite used in over 30% of swear related comments. Sh*t is second (28.9%), followed by C*nt (6%).



  1. Reboot Online conducted a content analysis of over 3.7 million comments on subreddits concerning UK cities, in order to highlight those with the most foul mouthed redditors. The study ranks cities in descending order of comment swear word percentage.
  2. Firstly, a seed list of 20 major UK cities together with their respective subreddits were acquired. The most popular subreddits for each city are chosen on the basis of member counts. City subreddits have been distinguished from those relating to specific football teams.
  3. The comments endpoint on the Pushshift API were queried to acquire a significant sample of comments from each subreddit. The resulting dataset contained over 3.7 million comments from over 320,000 users.
  4. Content analysis of the comments collected resulted in a binary classification of each comment based on the existence of a swear word. A full list of swear words used in the analysis can be found in the ‘swear_words’ tab of the full dataset.
  5. Aggregations by city were subsequently performed to calculate the percentage of comments containing swear words, and the percentage of users who had mentioned a swear word in any of their comments within our sample. 
  6. An additional table providing a frequency distribution of the most common swear words found is also included in the full dataset.
  7. All data is correct as of 8th February 2023 but is subject to change.

Note that comments on a city’s subreddit may not necessarily reflect the semantics of those that inhabit the city.