Should you swear on your podcast?


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!

Cartoon of woman swearing

The benefits of keeping it clean…

If you’re a fan of blue language, there’s nothing wrong with dropping a few f-bombs on your show.

You just need to make sure your audience is up to speed so they don’t walk into something they weren’t expecting.

iTunes Google Podcasts Stitcher Spotify

Why you should bleep your swear words out

The decision to swear on your podcast is, of course, entirely up to you.

If you’re aiming your show towards adults and you want it to be edgy and a little bit naughty, that’s totally fine.  There are plenty of shows littered with swear words that are hugely successful.

From time to time I’ll swear on my podcasts but I usually stick to the “s-word is ok, f-word gets beeped” rule.

And here’s why…

It doesn’t add anything to your show

It’s not like the audience doesn’t know what’s going on under the beeps so do they really need to hear it?

The disadvantage of turning people off who don’t like swear words far outweighs the benefit of having them there, so think about whether they’re really necessary.

How to come up with a great podcast idea


It can turn people off your content

Some people really don’t like colourful language and if those people tune into your content and get showered with f-bombs they’ll likely turn it off.

You want your show to appeal to as many people as possible so, if it’s potentially going to scare people away, why risk it?

It’s also important to think about “where” your audience is listening.

Could they have your show on in the car or at home when kids are around?  If so, beeping out swear words is a good idea because nothing pisses a parent off like having to answer the question “Mummy, what does f*%& mean?”

How to find content for your podcast


It stays around forever

You might be ok swearing your head off on your podcast now, but what if a future boss finds your old show and thinks “what a potty mouth!”

Stuff on the internet lives forever so think about what ‘future you’ will think about this and whether it’s better to keep it clean.

The most important word to use in your podcast


If you do swear on your podcast remember to…

Label your show as ‘explicit’

This is an easy way to let your audience know they’re in for some adult content so they won’t be shocked.

Warn your audience

If your show is rough, rude and labelled ‘explicit’ you won’t need to do this because your listeners will know what they’re getting themselves into.  But if it’s not clear, or if an episode is uncharacteristically swear-heavy, it’s a good idea to issue an audio warning before you start.  That way mum has a chance to get the f*&%ing kids out of the car.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Hey Rach,

    This might sound like a silly question but would “Shit” and “Vagina” be considered as explicit words?

    1. rcorbett says:

      It really depends on your audience, Elizabeth. In most of the pods I’ve produced we’ve bleeped from the f word up so I think you’ll be fine….unless your podcast is for a younger audience and all of a sudden “shit” comes out of nowhere so just use our judgement and think about it from your audience’s point of view. And I wouldn’t worry about bleeping vagina (this is the most risque comment thread I”ve had on my site so far! Love it!) Rach

  2. Elizabeth says:

    So would we just label “explicit” in the shownotes? I really should have thought of this before allowing my guests to swear but its only a bleep here and a bleep there the conversations are note crude so I kind of don’t want to rule potential listeners out if that makes sense. So I would rather just put it in the show notes for episodes that do have cuss words.. if in show notes is fine what should I write exactly?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Elizabeth, If you’ve got unbleeped swear words it’s often better to record a little message to include before your ep starts saying something like “Just a quick note, there are a lot of rude words in this episode so you might want to listen when the kids aren’t around” or whatever your version of that is i.e. in your own words. If you’re bleeping the swear words out you don’t need to issue a warning because you’re already removing any content that might be offensive. Rach

  3. Kyle says:

    Hey Rachel great post, very informative. Was wondering if I bleep out sweat words if my podcast could get the clean designation or if I intend on having the bleeps if it would fall under explicit.

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Kyle. Really glad you found it helpful! If you bleep out the swear words on your podcast you definitely don’t have to label the show ‘Explicit.’ That label is for shows where the swear words aren’t beeped or there the subject matter is really full on i.e. it could definitely upset or offend some people. ‘Clean’ is the opposite end of the spectrum so I’d only use that label if it was friendly enough to have kids listening, and if you’ve got bleeped swear words, that’s probably not the case. ‘No Rating’ is probably the option you’d choose because it sounds like you’re right in the middle. Hope that helps! Rach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!