Well, shit, here’s some damn good news for people who swear.
If you’re a potty mouth who can’t stop effing and blinding, scientists have discovered that swearing can be really fucking good for you.
So next time your mum tells you to wash your mouth out with soap, you can kindly inform her that your extensive array of crude vocabulary choices means you’re probably a child prodigy, reports Elite Daily.
In 2015, researchers from Marist College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts discovered that people with ‘swear word fluency’ typically scored higher on IQ tests than those who are conservative with their C-U-Next-Tuesdays.
Unsurprisingly they also found that people who regularly use colourful language have a wider vocabulary too; a fact we probably owe to the British tradition of making obscure and archaic words into profanities.
Not only does swearing make you smarter, it also makes you saner. Richard Stevens of Keele University conducted studies that found exclamations of the crude variety actually have a cathartic effect in stressful situations.
In other words, expressing your emotions in the form of explicit language can help you deal with stress, boost endorphin levels – which famously make you happy – and even calm you down.
Don’t believe me? There’s actually a medical term to describe the ’emotional discharge gained by uttering indecent or filthy words’. It’s called lalochezia, so add that to your blossoming vocabulary.
According to psychologist Dr. Jay, who wrote Why We Curse, swearing can actually make you seem funnier too.
People tend to warm to stories spattered with swear words because they elicit a strong emotional response and increased excitement due to the perceived taboo.
The theory is based on findings that show all human behaviour can be attributed to our adherence to ‘neurological control, psychological restraints and socio-cultural restrictions’.
Jay also believes swearing actually replaces more dangerous primal urges, such as violence:
You build up sort of an arousal level with whatever that emotion you’re feeling and then, when you release that by swearing, it vents that emotion, whatever that emotion is.
From an evolutionary point of view, it’s much better than resorting to some type of physical violence.
An F-bomb or a casual ‘fiddlesticks’ can also ease social situations, even in places where you’d assume swearing was off the table.
According to a recent study from Wrike, 67 per cent of women and 60 per cent of men admit to swearing in the office.
The study also found that out of its 1,512 participants, 40 per cent of women and nearly half of men prefer to work in environments where cursing is commonplace.
Perhaps most importantly, swearing can actually ease pain. A study published in the NeuroReport discovered a link between excessive profanity use and an increased tolerance to pain.
Submerging participants’ hands in ice cold water, the researchers had one group swear consistently while the other group were not allowed to express pain through profanity at all.
Apparently, cursing really seemed to help participants cope with pain. They actually had higher heart rates and lower perceived pain when they used swear words.
So next time you stub your toe, let rip and swear like a sailor.
It’s for your own fucking good.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.