Dec 16, 2015 I Paul Seaburn

Science Proves That Swearing Makes You #!$%ing Smarter

If you think that people who swear a lot do it because they’re ****ing stupid ***holes, think again. A new study found that people who have a large vocabulary of swear words have a large vocabulary in general and that’s a sign of intelligence. So shove that up your $%# you *$&#(!

… when it comes to taboo language, it is a common assumption that people who swear frequently are lazy, do not have an adequate vocabulary, lack education, or simply cannot control themselves.

According to their report in Languages Sciences journal, that’s the belief that psychologists Kristin Jay and Timothy Jay of Marist College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts set out to disprove. Their simple yet effective test consisted of asking a group of 18-to-22-year-old subjects to list as many swear words or phrases as they could in a minute, followed immediately by listing as many animal names as they could in the next minute.

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A very smart woman

As expected, some animal names showed up on both lists. What was unexpected was the correlation between the longer lists of swear words and higher intelligence. Those with longer lists often did it by getting creative in their swearing - doing things like combining multiple words into longer phrases and making up new curses, which are signs of a good command of vocabulary. They also knew more animal names, which possibly implied a better knowledge of biology and science.

For those of you who are saying to yourselves, “F&%$, I’m smart!” it gets better. Jay and Jay also found that those with longer swear word lists knew the difference between appropriate and inappropriate words and the proper situations for using them.

So, the next time someone complains about your language, first hit them with this quote from the report:

A voluminous taboo lexicon may better be considered an indicator of healthy verbal abilities rather than a cover for deficiencies.

Followed by:

Got that, &$#bag?

list 570x570
A list of swear words for the profanity-challenged

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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