The Identification of Slurs and Swear Words in Bronte Sisters’ Novels


  • Citra Suryanovika Sekolah Tinggi Bahasa Asing Pontianak
  • Irma Manda Negara Sekolah Tinggi Bahasa Asing Pontianak



slurs, swear words, gender, the Bronte sisters’ novels.


This research aimed at identifying the categories of slurs, presenting how swear words expressed in male or female characters of Bronte sisters’ novels, and examining the social status scale in presenting slurs. The research was a qualitative content analysis of which process was categorizing, comparing, and concluding. The researchers employed MAXQDA 2018.1 (the data analysis tool) for analyzing the samples of five female and male main characters of the novel of Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights), Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre), and Anne Bronte (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall). The research has shown three out of nine Thurlow’s pejorative items (social personality, phallocentric, and sexist), the possible formation of social personality slurs, the identification of swear words for showing speakers’ emotional states, and the influence of social status scale on the expression of slurs. It proves that slurs and swear words are used to deliver a derogatory attitude. The sexist slurs are not only delivered from male characters to female characters, but it is also found in Catherine Earnshaw targeting Nelly although they have similar gender background (female). Slurs are found in the characters from both high and low social rank since the plot develops the relationship amongst the characters. One unexpected finding is the different swear words between the characters. Swear words found in the novel are not only dominated by the word devil, damn, or by hell, but also the word deuce and humbug. The varied swear words proves that the male characters do not dominantly produce swear words, but also euphemistic expression.


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Author Biographies

Citra Suryanovika, Sekolah Tinggi Bahasa Asing Pontianak

Citra Suryanovika has been teaching in STBA Pontianak since 2010, She teaches  Introduction to linguistics and Morphosyntax. Currently, she is interested in studying the relation between language and gender.

Irma Manda Negara, Sekolah Tinggi Bahasa Asing Pontianak

Irma Manda Negara  was born in Pontianak, 12 May 1987. As the lecturer of STBA Pontianak since October 2015, she teaches teaching method and ELT Media. Besides, her researches and community services were also about English teaching. To date, she has published some articles about English teaching method in printed and online journals.


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