Mama’s swear jar has nothing on Myrtle Beach!

Meghan Overdeep
August 29, 2018
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Did you know that it’s illegal to wrestle a bear in Oklahoma? Or that eating fried chicken with utensils can get your arrested in Gainesville, Georgia?

Like the rest of the U.S., the Southern states have their fair share of bizarre old laws. Most of them remain on the books simply for old time’s sake. But laws against swearing are still very much alive in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

According to The Sun News, publicly using lewd, obscene or profane language in the City of Myrtle Beach is a misdemeanor under the city’s disorderly conduct offense. Those caught cussing could be taken to jail or issued a citation.

Lt. Bryan Murphy with Myrtle Beach Police Department explained to The Sun News that a person would violate the ordinance if he or she uses language to “provoke a violent reaction from another person.”

“We encourage everyone to avoid violating this ordinance by speaking to others with the same respect and kindness you deserve,” Murphy added.

Mama’s swear jar has nothing on this ordinance. Last year the city brought in $22,161 from profane language citations alone. The Sun News reports that a total of 289 tickets, each averaging about $77, were issued.

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City of Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea explained that the goal of the ordinance is not the fine.

“It’s not the ticket,” he said. “It’s compliance. The goal is to have folks obey whatever rules, ordinance that any government puts in place.”

“There is an expectation of a certain amount of propriety in a public place,” he added. “People get excited from time to time,” Kruea said. “There are limits, I think, to how excited one can be and how much expressive behavior one can share with the public without infringing on somebody else’s right.”

So the next time you find yourself in Myrtle Beach, you better watch your mouth or plan to pay up!