“You Sick Geeky Bastards!”: A Gender-Based Analysis of Impoliteness Strategies in American Comedy Series

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

2 Department of English, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of English, Shiraz branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran


This paper examined impoliteness strategies used by characters and their resulting reactions in five American comedy series. Drawing on Culpeper’s models (1996 & 2003), the comedy series were watched several times with one month interval to make sure that the impolite utterances and their reactions were put in the correct categories. The results of the study revealed that sarcasm was the most frequently used strategy among other strategies, and male and female characters were not distinct in using this strategy. However, male characters exploited the bald on record strategy more than their female counterparts. One striking result was the frequent use of offensive reactions by male actors. The reasons behind the variable use of these strategies are twofold. First, impoliteness is used as a tool to show off the power of the male characters. Second, using impoliteness strategies in comedy series reflect the entertaining role of sarcasm used by the actors.