“What was your swear word?” was the question asked of people last night before they were admitted into Royale. One man grew embarrassed when asked by the hostess. “Cock off,” he replied. She flipped through her massive guest list. “You must be Paul!” she said, retrieving a name tag, writing on it, and then handing it to him. “Hello,” it read, “my name is: Cock Off.” He put it on and walked into the crowded bar, where he joined others wearing similar name tags (often much fouler than his).
Royale was host to the “Fucking Party” last night, a social experiment that seeks to record every swear word known to man, and then compile an open-source list of them for the public (to be called the “Fucking List”). In submitting a word to the list, you register yourself as the swear word’s original author. To RSVP for the party, one had to submit a word not yet recognized by the list, which became increasingly difficult in the final days leading up to the event. Early submissions included common curses such as “bitch,” and “fuck,” but some of the more interesting 11,000 other submissions included, “ham wallet,” “Justin Bieber,” “dicktator,” “Micky Mouse mother fucker,” “cummuter,” and “fuQ.”
Inside the bar, a projector flashed obscene selections from the list onto the ceiling. Watching it became a numbing experience. Authors of swear words proudly introduced themselves to each other by the names on their tags. A tall gentleman with white-rimmed glasses wore the name “Dicktator.” A large fellow with a rugby shirt wore “Teleboner.” A quiet man who sat alone with his drinks wore the label “Jizz Bath.” The skinny D.J. wore the label “Fuck Face.”
Innovators of more interesting and personalized curses could often recall the stories behind their origins. One man wore the cryptic slur “Chandy.” He explained that when he used to work on a farm, that was the term he and his friends used to describe an animal climaxing. A man with buzzed-cut blond hair had coined the slur “John Mayer.” “Because John Mayer is a douche,” he explained.
Kid Sista, a small, newly branded creative advertising group run by Matt O’Rourke and Alessandra Lariu, started the project. “People love to curse,” O’Rourke explained. “We”re giving the world the largest database of swear words, free and open-source, which means it can be accessed and added on to by anyone.” The list will also serve as a powerful censoring device. “The list can be used for good too,” he said, “as a filter for companies and websites. Take Disney for example. You wouldn’t want someone cursing on their message boards. They can use this list to block words they might not have known otherwise. You’d be amazed at the variations that exist.”
Of the night’s celebration of profane language he said, “This is exactly like Halloween. Some people fit the curse words they’re wearing. Some people put little effort into them. Some people are really proud of them and put lots of thought into them.”