49

Is there a word which has this definition:

usage of vulgar or abusive words too often especially while chatting or talking to someone or while giving a speech.

What do you call a person who uses abusive words too often without needing to.

closed as off-topic by tchrist Feb 5 '17 at 0:38

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – tchrist
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    The title and definition don't match: do you want a word for the person, or for the action? If you want a word for the person, as suggested by your edit, you should change the definition to say "a person who uses vulgar or abusive words..." – sumelic Aug 21 '16 at 10:03
  • 3
    Noun, verb, adjective or adverb? Must it be a single word? "crude", "vulgar", "s/he swears a lot" or "uses vulgar words" are candidates. Most of the one-word answers assume context which is missing here. – smci Aug 22 '16 at 7:37
  • 8
    "Too often" for what? For the social context? For your taste? – mattdm Aug 22 '16 at 13:51
  • Is the person who uses abusive words part supposed to be a separate question? You can be vulgar without being abusive, and vice versa. e.g. It's not vulgar to call someone worthless, but it's very abusive. – Peter Cordes Aug 28 '16 at 6:33

16 Answers 16

80

Two adjectives come to my mind for a person who uses excessive foul language:

1) crass

having or showing no understanding of what is proper or acceptable; rude and insensitive (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crass)

2) vulgar (as you used in the title of your own question)

not having or showing good manners, good taste, or politeness (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vulgar)

Both of these suggestions are more reflective of the person's demeanor or temperament than the cursing itself, but I think they could be more colorful (pun intended) alternatives.

I hope this is helpful to you!

130

Two excellent choices exist. The first can be used as either an adjective or noun, in slightly different forms:

foulmouth, adj. and n.
B. n.
A foul-mouthed person.

["foulmouth, adj. and n.". OED Online. June 2016. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/73916 (accessed August 21, 2016).]

The adjective 'foulmouth' is obsolete in that form. Instead, the current version is 'foulmouthed':

foul-mouthed, adj.
Of persons and their utterances: Using obscene, profane, or scurrilous language.

["foul-mouthed, adj.". OED Online. June 2016. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/73917 (accessed August 21, 2016).]

The second choice is not so commonly used, and is only found as a noun. However, there's no mistaking its meaning:

muck-spout n. regional and slang a person who uses obscene or foul language.

["muck, n.1". OED Online. June 2016. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/123164?redirectedFrom=muck-spout (accessed August 21, 2016).]

  • 10
    I immediately thought of "gutter mouth," which aligns closely with this answer. – Gracie Aug 22 '16 at 12:14
  • 8
    Is that latter mostly British English? I've never heard it used in American English before. – Adrian Larson Aug 22 '16 at 17:30
  • 3
    In American we use "dirty mouth" to mean the same thing. – Jasmine Aug 22 '16 at 19:00
  • 2
    Also, "toilet mouth" – barbecue Aug 23 '16 at 0:43
  • @AdrianLarson: I've never heard it over here. – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 24 '16 at 23:32
75

An alternative to @JEL's answer is the noun

potty-mouth

Dictionary.com. The Dictionary of American Slang. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/potty-mouth (accessed: August 21, 2016)

The corresponding adjective is

potty-mouthed : using or characterized by bad language.

  • 25
    To me, this is something I'd expect a young kid to say. It would sound odd coming from an adult. – zzxjoanw Aug 21 '16 at 11:34
  • 12
    perhaps, although i'm not sure i agree 100%. I (as an adult) would consider using it (1) when addressing a child, or (2) in a more language-sensitive environment where something like "foul-mouthed" would be considered inappropriate. – GoHokies Aug 21 '16 at 11:46
  • 9
    @zzxjoanw To me it wouldn't sound odd coming from an adult, as long as the adult was aware of the association with juveniles and was explicitly or implicitly invoking that connotation. I.e. by using a term associated with young kids, they're mockingly implying that the person being labeled is no better than a young child in their manners. Agreed, though, that it wouldn't be used in a formal register. – R.M. Aug 22 '16 at 19:21
  • 7
    I think part of the point of using this phrase is to point out not only the language used, but your opinion that such usage is juvenile or immature. – barbecue Aug 22 '16 at 23:51
  • 9
    (Agreeing with @barbecue) It might help this answer to add an explanation. The word "potty" means a little chamber pot for very young children; it's also used by and with very young children for "toilet". Calling an adult a "potty-mouth" is demeaning because it insinuates that he or she is acting like a child of that age; it casts you in the role of scolding parent and the other person in the role of naughty child. – Ben Kovitz Aug 23 '16 at 18:17
29

I wouldn't call them a single word.

I would say "Barry swears like a sailor".

I could potentially alter it to "swears like a trooper", but people who know one phrase will still understand the other.

This has several advantages over any single word answer I can think of, in that it:

1) Is easily understood and used in many countries. Foreign language speakers will likely even understand if the phrase is translated literally. In fact, Italian even has the same expression Bestemmia come uno scaricatore di porto

2) Doesn't sound childish.

3) Refers specifically to swearing, not to being rude generally.

21

Crude

This is a polite way of describing someone that swears a lot, e.g. 'Martin is a bit crude, particularly when he has had a few'.

There are more descriptive terms, for instance, someone that uses every opportunity to insult at a personal level (rather than just using four letter words due to a lack of vocabulary) could be deemed to be 'passive-aggressive'. For instance 'Stop being so passive-aggressive!' - this more descriptive term can be more useful if you don't care about the words so much (who hasn't heard them before?) but do not like being insulted.

19

I would suggest boorish

adjective 1. of or like a boor; unmannered; crude; insensitive.

16

Profane - common or vulgar.

That's lower on the list of other meanings, but leads to a synonym of obscenity, profanity

14

I think the best term would be vulgarian:

a vulgar person, especially one whose vulgarity is the more conspicuous because of wealth, prominence, or pretensions to good breeding.

In other words, it is one who is uncharacteristically vulgar given their status, whatever that may be, not necessarily that they're especially wealthy.

  • 2
    One can be called a vulgarian even if one never swears, though — it can apply to all sorts of vulgar behaviour. – Michael Seifert Aug 22 '16 at 18:25
  • This sounds too much like "Bulgarian" to my uncouth American ears. =) – jpmc26 Aug 23 '16 at 23:17
  • never heard "vulgarian" before so I don't think its a good choice, unless you're writing a paper at university – developerwjk Aug 24 '16 at 19:29
  • I learned to look for 'root words', so 'vulgarian' would not be very difficult for me to guess. The same goes with 'vegetarian' as 'one who eats vegetables', etc. – John P Aug 24 '16 at 22:40
13

Perhaps not as technically accurate, but I've always liked uncouth:

  1. discourteous, rude, uncivil. See boorish.

... as listed under the Synonyms section of dictionary.com's entry

An anonymous user suggested "couthless" as an alternative - but the online dictionary I use to double-check my thinking didn't list it as a "real" word. (Couth is a real word.) Your mileage may vary.

5

I would definitely call such a person

salty

From Merriam:

(of language or humor) down-to-earth; coarse. synonyms: earthy, colorful, spicy, racy, risqué, naughty, vulgar, rude; More

Is there a word which has this definition:

usage of vulgar or abusive words too often especially while chatting or talking to someone or while giving a speech.

Yes. Salty.

What do you call a person who uses abusive words too often without needing to.

You can call a person 'salty', but they wouldn't be 'a salty' or anything like that. It's just used as an adjective, but this is particularly a good description of someone who uses vulgarity, and someone who simply just is a little vulgar.

I don't know if there really is a connection, but there's a term "cusses like a sailor". Sailors have a stereotype, wrong or right (probably more historically) for using bad language. When I think of salty, I think of salty air, or salt water which reminds me of this phrase or some connection thereof.

It's possible that 'salty' does also have a historical reference to sailors in this regard as well, e.g. 'salty like a sailor'.

  • 1
    This is a decent answer, but salty doesn't convey a strongly negative feeling, it's more neutral or even tolerant. If the goal is to say the person's language is completely unacceptable, this might not work. It would be good for describing inappropriate language that you are willing to tolerate. – barbecue Aug 22 '16 at 23:58
  • 1
    @barbecue I completely understand what you're saying. I did not, however get the impression that the question was about being overly vulgar, just that there was too much vulgarity for the person's taste or appetite. I think, as most people do, any vulgarity should be highly filtered, so a salty person will probably be overly vulgar. In other words, I think what is salty to me would be overly vulgar too many. I consider Amy Schumer to be salty. But in practical terms, she's really quite vulgar. But I am in agreement ultimately. Saying that someone is salty is a quite nice way of putting it. – John Aug 23 '16 at 0:38
  • I guess what I'm saying is, if the person is really upsetting you, salty may not convey the right sense. On the other hand, if you want to convey that you consider the person's language inappropriate, but in a more lighthearted, even affectionate manner, salty is perfect. I did upvote you BTW. – barbecue Aug 23 '16 at 0:41
  • @barbecue, I amended my comment, it really can be a very friendly way of saying it while actually being quite turned off by the language. Indeed. – John Aug 23 '16 at 0:43
  • I regularly hear "salty" used alone in the context of an irritable person (perhaps derived from "rubbing salt in a wound") without the implication of any foul language being used. This could just be a regional thing, though. "Salty language," however, is used by the same people to refer in a relatively less offensive way to vulgar or foul language. – dannysauer Aug 23 '16 at 21:20
4

A medical term for people that use excessive obscene language would be coprolalic.

CoprolaliaM-W

noun 1. obsessive or uncontrollable use of obscene language

3

From What’s the difference between cussing, swearing, and cursing?, cuss is:

an American alteration of curse, and its meaning “to say bad words” was first recorded in 1815

and the adjective form cussing exists. The person him/herself is called a cusser (from @GoHokies).

Profanity is the act of using swear words, but profane does not seem to be usable in modern language with the meaning you are looking for.

  • 1
    as for the person, you'd call him/her a cusser. – GoHokies Aug 21 '16 at 11:48
2

A sweary person is one inclined to swear a lot. The word is fairly informal but appears in a number of online dictionaries

1

I would go for brash.

brash (adjective) : Source Merriam-Webster

self-assertive in a rude, noisy, or overbearing way.

1

"gross", unrefined and "impolite" come to mind.

  • "gross" - (adj) - 6. crudely vulgar, unrefined. MW

  • "unrefined" (adj) - not showing good education and polite manners.

  • "impolite" (adj) - rude (He made some impolite comments)

These adjectives, however, are not specific for speech and you can be gross, unrefined or impolite without ever uttering a word. "foul-mouthed", already mentioned by JEL in their answer, sounds like the best choice.

1

If you're from the UK, or a TOWIE fan, you'd probably call that person an Essex girl

  1. We swear quite a lot. It's because we're 'colourful,' OK?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.