Melissa Mohr is an author, best known for her book, "Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing" (2013). Mohr's work has appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post,, and Mohr has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition and shows on the ABC, BBC, and the CBC, The Red Peters Comedy Music Hour. She received a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance English Literature from Stanford University.
WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE AND SUBJECT MATTER: We are thrilled to have author Melissa Mohr in studio with us to talk about her new, awesome book everyone is talking about: Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing. For the first time, we'll be letting loose and talking about some of our favorite swear words, but there will be no name calling! Plus, as usual, Dereck has his Weird News of the Week and Kay brings us the Hot Topics. It's our last show in June! Melissa has recently been dividing her time between writing a book about swearing and hiding it from her kids. She received a Ph.D. in English Literature from Stanford University, specializing in Medieval and Renaissance literature. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. Almost everyone swears, or worries about not swearing, from the two year-old who has just discovered the power of potty mouth to the grandma who wonders why every other word she hears is obscene. Whether they express anger or exhilaration, are meant to insult or to commend, swear words perform a crucial role in language. But swearing is also a uniquely well-suited lens through which to look at history, offering a fascinating record of what people care about on the deepest levels of a culture--what's divine, what's terrifying, and what's taboo. Holy Sh*t tells the story of two kinds of swearing--obscenities and oaths--from ancient Rome and the Bible to today. With humor and insight, Melissa Mohr takes readers on a journey to discover how "swearing" has come to include both testifying with your hand on the Bible and calling someone a *#$&!* when they cut you off on the highway.
Bob Garfield and Mike Vuolo discuss curse words old and new with author Melissa Mohr. Show notes at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Author Melissa Mohr joins us to talk about about her new book and where the 'f word' really came from...
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Creator Details

Somerville, Massachusetts, United States of America
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 hour, 56 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 116923