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Unparliamentary Language

Charles Fisher, c.1913The Speaker's job is to enforce the Assembly's debating rules, one of which is that members may not use "unparliamentary" language.  That is, their words must not offend the dignity of the Assembly.  But like other rules that have changed with the times, Speakers' rulings on language reflect the tastes of the period.  Here are some words and phrases that Speakers through the years have ruled "unparliamentary" in Canada and Alberta.

  • parliamentary pugilist (1875)

  • a bag of wind (1878)

  • inspired by forty-rod whiskey (1881)

  • coming into the world by accident (1886)

  • blatherskite (1890)

  • the political sewer pipe from Carleton County (1917)

  • lacking in intelligence (1934)

  • a dim-witted saboteur (1956)

  • a trained seal (1961)

  • evil genius (1962)

  • Canadian Mussolini (1964)

  • liar (consistently from 1959 to the present)

  • pompous ass (1967)

  • pig (1977)

  • jerk (1980)

  • sleaze bag (1984)

  • racist (1986)

  • scuzzball (1988)


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