Pardon my French
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The expression is most commonly used in the United Kingdom, America, and Russia. In the UK pardon my French stems from the contrast between the cultures. To the British the French seemed more liberal and permissive. This is also the basis for the American usage.
This phrase was never more ironic in America than it is today. In America, vulgarity is what's associated with the phrase. Anything too sexy for the Puritan foundation is also seen as French. Simultaneously, America pushes violence on its people like it's candy. Too much skin is taboo, but skinning someone is okay for television. Violence is highly censored in Europe today, while sex is not even an issue. The obvious problem is that both sex and violence are naturally human. Who's to say what's right and what's wrong?
The Russian lineage of the saying is a bit less offensive to the French. When the Russian nobles and/or socialites would need to be profane they would express their feelings in French as to not pollute or taint the language of the land. In Russia, speaking French is actually regarded as noble; even posh.
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