In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man shoots at the fort and hits an energy shield, ending up saying


and Captain America warns him with


A couple of minutes later, Iron Man says:

Wait a second. No-one else is gonna deal with the fact that Cap just said "Language"?

Why does he do that? Am I missing something? As far I can hear, nobody swears.

  • The accepted answer doesn't mention that Captain America and Iron Man have some friction between them.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 0:52
  • 2
    And then there's the follow-up line, when Cap says he "slipped", which was historically a common excuse given when somebody violated a rule about using such language.
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 5:01

2 Answers 2


It's Tony having a little fun at Cap's expense. Captain America is from a much earlier period where swearing was less socially acceptable than it is today, and by reflex he tells Tony off.

He's still getting used to the social norms of the 21st century.

Tony's mocking him for being so outdated, which is a bit of a theme with the two of them - he refers to Steve as a "Cap-sicle" in the first Avengers movie, which is to do with Steve being frozen like a popsicle ice lolly, while asking about Pilates and telling him he might have missed a few things.

Tony's also asking if nobody else is essentially going to call out/mock Cap on his somewhat old time values.

  • 20
    And not just his values of not swearing, but him telling another adult how to speak like he was a child.
    – JKreft
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 11:47
  • 63
    While its true that he was from an earlier time, I think any army vet from WWII (sadly less and less around these days) will tell you folks swore every bit as much in that environment as today, if not more. I think its more just part of his "boy scout" personality.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 13:36
  • 20
    @T.E.D. They swore heavily amongst themselves, but probably avoided it in public, especially anywhere with women present.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 16:52
  • 11
    Although Cap seems so much of a boy scout that I suspect he didn't even swear with his earlier comrades.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 16:53
  • 13
    @Barmar - Thing is, they were literally in combat when the "Language." statement was made. One gets the impression he did it absent-mindedly, like it was the same thing he would have said in a similar situation leading a team in WWII, and just forgot himself for a moment.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 18:12

Why does he do that? Am I missing something? As far I can hear, nobody swears

To answer your question directly; "shit" is considered to be "swearing" or a "swear word". It can still fall into that category in today's society, but its generally not seen as extreme as it was back in Steve Rodger's days. It was definitively a swear word as recently as the 90's, so Rodgers isn't that far off anyhow.

  • In the US it isn't even allowed on network TV channels. So in that sense it is still "officially" a swear word.
    – Tenfour04
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 13:08
  • @Tenfour04 I think that was relaxed around the turn of the millennium to be allowed after some time like 9:00 or 10:00pm. South Park had an entire episode inspired by the rules change. Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 14:30
  • @ToddWilcox South Park is on cable TV, not network. But I don’t know if that relaxed rule extends to network TV.
    – Tenfour04
    Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 15:03
  • @Tenfour04 Ah good point. Before that time, it also wasn’t allowed on basic cable and now it is. So there was a change, it just didn’t affect network TV. Actually I think you can swear on network TV but you’ll be fined for it. So if a network really wants it in, they can just pay the fine. Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 15:06

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