Potty-mouthed people are happy as %@#!.

Swearing can make a person feel more persuasive, powerful, and socially connected — and often has a positive impact on relationships, according to new research.

“Swearing produces effects that are not observed with other forms of language use. Thus, swearing is powerful,” a group of scientists from universities in the UK determined.

“It generates a range of distinctive outcomes: physiological, cognitive, emotional, pain-relieving, interactional and rhetorical.”

For the study, researchers from Keele and Westminster Universities in London examined 100 academic papers to determine if there were benefits to dropping F-bombs.

They found that cursing to emphasize joy leads to “social bonding and solidarity” because it’s perceived as a sign of intimacy among friends — while people are more likely to be “polite” with acquaintances, according to the study, published last month in the journal Lingua.

A picture of a man holding a piece of cardboard in front of his mouth with a swear word on it.
New research says swearing can make a person feel more socially connected and have a positive impact on relationships.
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Folks who curse in text messages also “were judged as more believable or persuasive” than those who didn’t, according to another significant paper cited in the study.

And the researchers also found that swearing during painful experiences helps people feel better.

This overview of scientific papers on cursing confirms earlier work by the Keele researchers, who in 2020 had released the results of their own experiments.

A picture of a man talking angrily on the phone.
Researchers from Keele and Westminster Universities in London found that cursing to emphasize joy can be perceived as a sign of intimacy among friends.

A picture of a woman driving, yelling, and honking at other cars on the road.
Researchers also found that swearing during painful experiences helps people feel better.

In their study, they found that participants who swore were able to keep their hands in icy water longer — and experienced pain less acutely— than those who stayed mum, according to the study.

The researchers ultimately determined the biggest motivation for cussing is to release anger and frustration, including “cope[ing] with feelings of anger in stressful road situations.”

Ulster University in  Birmingham, England also contributed to the study.



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