The current experiment examined the effects of inter-talker variability and listeners’ gender on the perception of spoken taboo words. Previous spoken word recognition research using the long-term repetition-priming paradigm, in which listeners respond to two separate blocks of spoken words, found performance costs for stimuli mismatching in talker identity. That is, when words were repeated across the two blocks and the identity of the talker remained the same (e.g., male to male) reaction times (RTs) were faster relative to when the repeated words were spoken by two different talkers (e.g., male to female). Such performance costs, or talker effects, followed a time course, occurring only when processing was relatively slow. The current study examined whether attention also plays a role in spoken word recognition by using taboo or swear words that grab people’s attention. Participants completed an easy lexical decision task, and participants’ mean accuracy rates and RTs were analyzed. It is predicted that hearing taboo words will surprise the listeners and grab their attention, such that talker effects are obtained even when processing is relatively fast. It is further predicted that there may be a main effect of the listeners’ gender due to the evidence of gender differences on frequency of use of taboo words. Preliminary results and implications will be presented.