A Corpus-Based Study of Nationality-Related Swearwords in British National Corpus


  • Ilyas Babar Awan Lecturer in English (PhD Scholar), Translation & Interpretation Department, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad
  • Muhammad Hussain` PhD English (Scholar), Faculty of Language & Literature, International Islamic University, Islamabad


corpus, nationality, swearwords, British National Corpus (BNC)


Swearwords are a part of everyday language use. A number of corpus-based studies such as gender, age, and social class have been conducted; however, nationality-related swearwords are not explored particularly with reference to British National Corpus (BNC). The aim of the present study is to investigate the use of selected swearwords that provide evidence for ethnic/national biased approach of one nationality for the other. The present study identifies and classifies selected swearwords by using BNC in order to find out occurrences of the target words, frequencies and collocations. It further traces out the differences between their use in spoken and written expressions. The results of the study show that British native speakers use swearword ‘mick’ against Irish nationals frequently which is 15.22 per million words and the frequency of ‘Guido’ which is used for Italian in BNC is 4.81 per million words. Furthermore, in BNC spoken expression the second highest number of swearword ‘Paki’ is against Pakistani nationals which is 1.06 per million words. Future researchers may further explore the BNC in different perspectives.


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How to Cite

Awan, I. B., & Hussain`M. (2017). A Corpus-Based Study of Nationality-Related Swearwords in British National Corpus. Pakistan Journal of Language Studies, 1(1), 50-59. Retrieved from //pjls.gcuf.edu.pk/index.php/pjls/article/view/14