A Sociolinguistics Study of Conversational Swearing in Iran

As an old communicative phenomenon, swearing has been a frequent speech act adopted in daily conversation as well as formal ceremonies in Iran. The loan word “Qasam” from Arabic and the old Avestan word “Sougand” are the equivalent terms for swearing in contemporary Persian language.

As Abdel-Jawad (2000) notes Qasam, a synonym of yamiin or ‘oath’ is the speech act by which an individual necessitates him/herself to do or not to do a particular physical or juridical act, by referring the name of God or one of the sacred powers. He continues that based on their domains, oaths can be classified into three groups: “ judiciary oaths which are formally taken in the court of law; loyalty, constitutional or office oaths and pledges taken by senior officials when assuming office; and finally extra judiciary or conversational swearing uttered by people rather routinely in their daily interactions and dealings” (p.218).

In different eras, swearing has oriented toward different forms depending on the poets’, writers’, and critics’ interests. As a result in one time the religious swearing has been prevalent and in another time the emotional swearing and still in the next time the dirty swearing expressions have been thrived. Today, swearing is a commonplace phenomenon among Iranian people to the extent that they often swear quit frequently without much attention being devoted to the fact that what they say is a swear expression.

For full text: click here

(Author: Mohammad Aliakbari, Zahra Heidarizadi, Elham Mahjub

Published by Macrothink Institute)