The Evolution of Swear Words
While I am sure that there are more complete discussion to be had on the subject, io9 has an interesting little piece, A brief history of four letter words:
"Scumbag," sounds like the kind of hokey insult that would get you laughed at if you used it. When it was used in a New York Times, it got protests from some older readers, because once upon a time it meant "a used condom." Think about every time you’ve seen Batman refer, in children’s cartoon, to criminals as scum, and you’ll begin to understand how obscenity evolves.
One thing is for certain: there is an ongoing evolution as to exactly how certain words are received and perceived.