How to swear on your iPhone, iPad or Mac

21 November 2015, 04:09

Swear words have long and interesting histories. Most are older than words we use everyday, and several were once everyday terms until they somehow became taboo. Sadly, we can’t mention any of them here because Google will subsequently bury this site in its page rankings (Does anybody smell censorship? Hmmmm…)

Swearing on your Apple device can be difficult. Often what you type will be autocorrected into nonsense: a friend will be described as a “ducking idiot”, for example. If the word isn’t autocorrected it will be underlined as misspelled.

Luckily you can fix all of this.

For the purpose of the steps below we invent several new swearwords: sponder, fonking, and gonst. Please create your own definitions for these in the comments below.

Swearing on the iPhone or iPad
Setting up trouble-free swearing on the iPhone or iPad requires the same steps as adding unusual words or proper nouns, which we covered a few years ago here on Mac Kung Fu. However, here are the steps again:

  1. Open the Contacts app and create a new contact by tapping the plus button at the top right. Give it the first name of “Dictionary words”.

  2. In the Last Name field, type the swearwords you want iOS to learn, putting a space between each of them (see the screenshot below for an example). Ensure each is lower case by tapping the shift key BEFORE typing them – iOS will attempt to auto-capitalize each word, because it thinks you’re typing proper nouns.

  3. Become a real potty mouth. Curse like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t forget to add all forms of the words, including endings such as -ing, -er and plural. For example, using our demo swearwords mentioned above, we would need to add fonk, fonking, fonks, fonker, and so on.

  4. If you see an error about too many words being in the name field (I haven’t seen this but just in case), switch to typing the rest of the words in the Company name field.

  5. Click Done to create the new contact. Return to this in future if you need to add new words.

Note that you might need to close and re-open any documents or notes you have open for the bad-spelling underlining to disappear.

Swearing on the Mac
Unfortunately the trick described above using the Contacts app doesn’t work on the Mac. In our experience Macs will still highlight the words as misspelled.

However, it’s a lot easier on a Mac to teach it new words. Just right-click the word when you type it anywhere and select Learn Spelling. Note that some apps like Microsoft Word have their own dictionaries, so you might need to do this more than once for each app.

You can bulk-add swear words to the Mac’s spelling dictionary by opening a Finder window, tapping Shift+Cmd+G, and pasting in the following:


Look for a file called either LocalDictionary, or one named after the country you live in – because we live in the UK, we see en_GB, for example. It seems the “local” file takes precedence over the LocalDictionary file. Double-click the relevant file to open it for editing and then type the swearwords – each word on a line of its own, without a capital letter at the front of it. You MUST arrange the words alphabetically, from A-Z, or this won’t work! You may have to put your swear words below or above words already in the file.

Again, go completely potty mouth. Swear your head off, in every word permutation possible. When you’re done, tap Cmd+S to save the file and then log out and back in again for the changes to take effect.

See also:

Leave a comment...

Or you could just click the little cross in the auto correct box. If you cancel the same auto corrected word at least 3 times iOS will add it to the dictionary. If you manually correct the spelling it adds the word immediately.

— Jm · Dec 27, 03:35 AM · #