Words like f**k, p***k and b***h may not be acceptable for the radio but "pommy git" is OK, the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has ruled.

It issued the ruling today after a complaint about the Radio Sport Farming Show on The Radio Network (TRN) in October last year.

The show's host referred to vegetarianism advocate Lord Johan Steyn as a "pommy git" during an interview.

David Foreman complained to TRN and the BSA, saying the comment breached standards of good taste, decency, fairness and discrimination and denigration. The combination of the words was derogatory and "clearly racist", he said.

TRN said the host used the term to show he disagreed with Lord Steyn's views on livestock farming, not to make a derogatory comment about his character.

The term was commonly used in New Zealand and Australia, it said.

The BSA found there was nothing derogatory or discriminatory about the expression.

Last month, The BSA surveyed 1500 people over the use of 31 swear words in 10 different scenarios on radio and television.

Fourteen of the words were found to be more acceptable now than in 2005.