Here’s the new ?podcast on PROFANITY. ? (Yes, there will be two versions released!) What a fascinating topic!!!

I figured I would ease us in to profanity by blogging this week about TABOO TOPICS – what they are, and how to handle them in conversation. 

(You can skim this short email or dive in to the many links to learn more!) 


TABOO – DEFINITION

The word TABOO comes from the Tongan TAPU, the Fijian TABU, or the Polynesian TABU, and translates to “unacceptable,” “prohibited,” “disallowed,” and/or “forbidden.”

Taboos are words or behaviours that are sacred or prohibited based on morals, religion, or norms.

The definition of taboo varies across countries, across religions, across cultures, and over time.  So what is taboo in one place may be completely acceptable in another. (Just to keep things interesting!!!)


TABOO TOPICS – THE LIST

Here is an alphabetical list of 20 taboo topics,
according to several sources that I checked – 
including in Canada ??, around the world ?, and at work ?:

  1. ABORTION
  2. BODILY FUNCTIONS & EXCREMENT
  3. CANNIBALISM
  4. CO-WORKERS
  5. DEATH & DYING
  6. FOREIGN POLICY
  7. GOSSIP
  8. INCEST
  9. JOB-CHANGING
  10. MARITAL ISSUES 
  11. MEDICAL/HEALTH PROBLEMS
  12. MENTAL HEALTH
  13. MONEY
  14. PROFANITY 
  15. POLITICS
  16. RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
  17. SALARIES
  18. SEX & SEXUALITY
  19. Anyone’s SPOUSE
  20. SUICIDE
Frankly, I’m glad we don’t talk about some of these things.  But many are things I wish we talked about more! Yes, society advances by talking about taboo topics.  Consider this list of 9 socially acceptable things that used to be taboo:
  1. Visible bra straps
  2. Girls making the first move
  3. Living together or having a child outside of marriage
  4. Keeping your maiden name
  5. Asking a lady’s age
  6. Phone calls after 9pm
  7. Girls wearing pants
  8. Tattoos
  9. Being anything other than heterosexual
We’ve come a long way baby! 

? TALKING TABOO

So what do you do when a taboo topic comes up?  Here are five suggestions:

  1. Ask, “is everyone is ok talking about this?”
  2. Smile and nod…
  3. Try to keep it objective
  4. Challenge yourself to fully understand others’ perspectives
  5. Change the subject! 

Or – you could just do what my 12-year-old does and exclaim,
“AWWWWk-ward !!!”


? TABOO QUOTES 

Taboo Topics Quote1

Taboo Topics Quote2

Taboo Topics Quote3

Taboo Topics Quote4


I hope you enjoyed this primer for next week’s podcast focused on ….PROFANITY!  (see the ? link HERE)

Taboo Topics Quote5

Have you had a chance yet to listen to the FUNNY TALK podcast with Professor Hillary Anger Elfenbein? It really is good for a laugh – I promise!  ?

One last thing: If you aren’t signed up already, please sign up for FREE Communication Coaching every week in your email inbox by clicking here. If have any friends or colleagues who might also enjoy Talk About Talk, please send them this link and encourage them to sign-up for the weekly email blog. ❤️ I THANK YOU very much!

Have a great week. 

TALK soon,

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Founder & Chief Talker – Talk About Talk Inc.


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