An analysis of more than 500,000 online product reviews, according to the Times, has found that Cypriots swear more than any other nationality when they complain.
The article said one in every 100 words Cypriots they used to complain was an expletive compared with less than one in 1,000 by Britons. It did not specify what those expletives were that Cypriots used on the web.
“Britons love a swear word and “shite” is by far our favourite — at least when it comes to describing something we don’t like,” the Times reported.
The analysis of the product reviews found that the curse was used more frequently than any other when giving negative feedback. The reviews, posted on Reevoo.com, also showed that Britons were more likely to use scatalogical expletives than many nationalities.
The curse most often used by Americans was “sucks” while Australians preferred “boob”.
“However, we were more moderate in our use of curses than Cypriots, who swore more than anyone,” it added
The figures shatter the myth that Britons are too reserved to raise grievances, the Time said. UK users of the website were the sixth most likely to post negative reviews. The Danes were the biggest complainers, while the Portuguese were the least likely to post negative feedback.
The word “shite” is unique to the British isles, Professor Simon Horobin, of the English language and literature department at Magdalen College, Oxford told the newspaper.
He said: “The word is regional in origin but it is found earliest in Irish and Scottish use. The earliest uses . . . date from the 18th century when it was used purely descriptively — to take a shite, his shite stinks etc — but by the early 20th century it was used to describe something worthless, or an unpleasant person. Its origin probably lies in an alternative pronunciation of the word shit with a long vowel.”
He said that the earliest examples in literature of shite as an exclamation and the phrase “don’t give a shite” were in Ulysses, by James Joyce, in 1922.
The Times compendium of complaints based on negative reviews on Reevoo.com
Finland Paska (shit)
France Merde (shit)
Swedish Skit (crap)
Italy Schifo (disgusting)