alexa The Social Function of Swearing in a Miraa Market Environment
ISSN: 2151-6200

Arts and Social Sciences Journal
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Research Article

The Social Function of Swearing in a Miraa Market Environment

Mukuni DM1*, Ireri AM2, Nthiga PM1 and Owili FA1

1Department of English and Linguistics, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

2Department of Educational Psychology, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

Corresponding Author:
Mukuni DM
Department of English and Linguistics
Kenyatta University, 43844-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254208710901
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: April 13, 2016; Accepted date: May 16, 2016; Published date: May 20, 2016

Citation: Mukuni DM, Ireri AM, Nthiga PM, Owili FA (2016) The Social Function of Swearing in a Miraa Market Environment. Arts Social Sci J 7:187. doi:10.4172/2151-6200.1000187

Copyright: © 2016 Mukuni DM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



The study aimed at evaluating the social motivations behind the use of swearwords in the language of miraa traders. The study was carried out in Kῖrῖtirῖ open-air miraa (khat) market in Mbeere South sub-county within Embu County. Twelve negotiations involving both male and female traders were recorded and subsequently analyzed. The analysis indicates that swearing is an intricate social practice that is highly gendered, and which is used to not only socialize but also to achieve highly precious transactional goals in the miraa market. Significantly, swearing is a way in which the Miraa traders establish both their social and linguistic identity.


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