We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.




Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB


Hero image for Swearing


Television (Full Length) – 2004

In this documentary comedian Mike King looks at the social history of swearing in Aotearoa, from everyday lingo to what we're exposed to in the media and pop culture. King talks to linguists, psychologists, censors, cultural commentators and famous Kiwis about the power of certain Anglo-Saxon words to stir up society. Sir Ed Hillary recalls his famous Everest quote and Tim Shadbolt discusses his 1970 jail term for 'public obscenity'. Comedian Arthur Baysting recounts making headlines in 1979 as the first Kiwi to utter the 'f' word on state television, and comedian Michèle A'Court happily reclaims the 'c' word. 

Warning: This content contains offensive language (obviously perhaps). 

When the policeman served the summons on me, it was at Auckland airport, I was on my way to fly to Wellington and he hit me with these blue papers and I said 'Is this why you joined the force?' He said 'I've been chasing you for the last three miles, are you Germaine Greer?', and I said 'Yes', and he said 'Here you go', and I said 'What are these for?', and well 'two bullshits and a f***k' is virtually what he said, and I said 'It must be great being a policeman and doing such important work'...
– Australian author and academic Germaine Greer on her New Zealand 'scandal'

Key Cast & Crew

Profile image for Tim Shadbolt

Tim Shadbolt


Profile image for Georgina Beyer

Georgina Beyer


Profile image for Mike King

Mike King


Profile image for Arthur Baysting

Arthur Baysting


Generic Profile image for Eric Derks

Eric Derks

Camera, Director

Generic Profile image for Anja Janse

Anja Janse


See all 21 credits

Produced by

Logo for South Pacific Video Production

South Pacific Video Production