Cursing in public

Is it completely legal to use profanities in public? If not, what might be the consequences?

Well, this guy was charged with a misdemeanor offense for using profanity in public (based on a century-old law) but the law was struck down on appeal.

Every time I curse in public, my consequences are my girlfriend giving me the stank-eye because Og forbid, a child may be in hearing distance. :rolleyes:

You didn’t say where, however if you want to just look at blasphemies, see Blasphemy law. That link covers much of the planet.

In my misspent youth, I was arrested for “public use of profanity.” Called a cop a sorry son of a bitch. Cost me a night in jail and a hundred bucks.

  1. Do you only want to know about your own jurisdiction, or are you interested in other places, too?

  2. Are you talking about cursing out aloud, but to yourself (God damn, I stubbed my toe) or cursing at somebody = insulting (You god damn son of a bitch to the person who just stepped on your toe)?

  3. Do you want to know about general (criminal) laws - it’s forbidden to use Gods name in vain in public/ forbidden to insult other people/ and you will be punished by law? Or do you also want to know about private lawsuits - a parent takes you to court for corruption of a minor/ psychological trauma, because you said “Fuck” in public, his child heard and was traumatized (when the child repeated the word at home, Dad slapped him)?

Besides blasphemy, which is forbidden in some countries (see above link) - although what exactly is blasphemous varies from culture to culture - insulting somebody is forbidden in several countries.

E.g. in Germany, calling a police officer a pig will result in a fine, not because it’s blasphemous, but because it’s insulting, and the state sees it as its duty to protect the people who serve it, so insulting public officials like cops results in an automatic persecution. (Insulting a private person, like saying “Son of bitch” to your neighbour, is at the discretion of the injured party whether to pursue to court or not; often times, people think it’s not worth the bother).

In Ireland, you are unlikely to be arrested for cursing. If that was common, most of the population would have a prison record. It is routine to hear either “holy names” or words relating to copulation of body functions.

The real point is what you are doing with your cursing. Are you abusing someone, or just complaining that you stubbed your toe.

You might be arrested (or at least warned) if your cursing is likely to lead to a breach of the peace - that is if you are likely to start a fight or some similar public disturbance.

Seven deadly sins - the Dubliners

We like to cuss loudly in the bar we frequent, where assholes like to bring their children (who the fuck brings children to a bar?), in the hopes that the parents might possibly get the idea someday that there are places where their children are not welcome. (Children are not prohibited from being in bars here unless there are VLTs in the bar - you just can’t serve them.)

Heh. Typo, or not?

In Ohio, cursing in public will often lead to a charge of drunk and disorderly (where applicable) or disturbing the peace, each punishable by at most a $150 fine with no possibility of jail time. There are cases holding that you have a First Amendment right to use profanity in speaking with police officers, but… I wouldn’t advise it.

I want to walk onto a airport uni-rail in Chicago where there are a lot of children and use a string of vulgar obscenities out loud on my cell phone. Am I breaking a law?