At what age do children learn to swear? (it’s younger than you think!)

Parents try very hard to avoid swearing in front of their children.

But it’s inevitable.  And whether they hear those words from their parents or learn those words while at school, at some point in your child’s life they will casually utter one of those Seven Dirty Words – and usually at the most inappropriate – albeit funny – moment.

The Very Inappropriate Word
The Very Inappropriate Word


It all depends on the word.

The “S” word is the most commonly learned by young children, with children as young as 5 or 6 years old using it regularly.

The “F” word takes a little bit more practice, according to the research, where it becomes the most common swear word amongst 11 to 12 year olds.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, as “S” and “F” are the most commonly-used swear words among adults.

Overall, parents should be more careful with the words they use in front of children.  Data shows that all children from the ages of 1 to 12, hear 1,187 different curse words over those years.  The same research shows that by the time children are 8 years old, they begin accurately copying what their parents do with swearing appropriately.  By that age, kids know what a “bad” word is.

“Bad” words are taught (“don’t say that, it’s a bad word”).  Think how much more liberating children’s language would be if they never learned what was bad in the first place.

So what was your first swear word?  If you can remember the story behind that, leave it in the comments below…