Teacher taugth [sic] swearwords in religion class

(Nettavisen 2003)

As students in eight grade were supposed to learn about religions in religion class, they got a list of 1000 swearwords from their substitute teacher. The teacher encouraged the students to practice the swearwords in class.

The swearword list was handed out during class in the newly instituted religion class teaching Christianity, world religions and spirituality in the ten year mandatory school. According to the substitute teacher, the goal was to get the students at Kjenn school in Lørenskog to stop swearing.

“The idea was to break down taboos, make words less harmful and encourage a more creative use of swearwords,” said Jostein Sand Nilsen, the stand-in who distributed the list, to TV 2 Nettavisen. “Most of the words are funny and harmless.”

According to the Norwegian paper VG, the list is called a “swearword machine.”

Along with the list, the eight graders received an instruction sheet indicating how they could put together words to make the most effective swearwords, and they used the class period to practice swearing.


Among the ‘nicer’ swearwords on the list are goosefish, grape, and porridge. Sand Nilsen said he urged the students to avoid taboo words in ordinary name calling.

“Potato and orang-utan are examples of words which can be used successfully when calling names,” Sand Nilsen said.

He admits that the list may have inspired the students to use the worst words.

“It is a possibility, but at the same time, these are words which are listed in dictionaries and on the web site forbanna.com where I found them,” Sand Nilsen said.


The use of the list was approved by the school administration in advance, but the students’ parents had not been informed. Principal Hanne Sand, who just happens to be the stand-in teacher’s mother, is apparently not allowed to comment the event by the Director of Schools in Lørenskog.

“All I can say is that this was professionally motivated,” Sand said.

Sand stresses that it was the deputy head who decided to hire on her son as a stand-in. The deputy head is currently on vacation, and the Director of Schools was unavailable for comment.