Department of Linguistics & English Language, Lancaster University

Impoliteness: Using and Understanding the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)Language of Offence

This website focuses on language that is generally considered anti-social, and is labelled by a wide-range of terms such as impolite, rude, inconsiderate, verbally abusive, etc. It aims at describing that language and explaining how it works.

All material on this website is designed to be generally accessible. This means that it does not bog the reader down in methodology, numerous citations or the subtleties of academic precision. All this can be found in Culpeper, J. (2011) Impoliteness: Using language to cause offence, Cambridge University Press. What you get in this website are some essentials and points of interest.

This website has been made possible by the three-year Research Fellowship awarded to Jonathan Culpeper by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (RES-063-27-0015).

If you use or quote anything from this website, please cite it as your source! The following is a possible format: Culpeper, Jonathan (2009) Impoliteness: Using and Understanding the Language of Offence. ESRC project website:


Warning: Needless to say, this web will contain language that some will find offensive.



Disclaimer: This website is designed to be informative - for example, it may help shape policies on anti-social language, shed light on little known aspect of language or merely entertain the curious. The information contained on this site should not be treated as a substitute for obtaining professional help regarding, for example, the effects of harassment or bullying.