• Corpus ID: 51788579

Swearing: A biopsychosocial perspective

  title={Swearing: A biopsychosocial perspective},
  author={Ad Vingerhoets and Lauren M. Bylsma and Cornelis de Vlam},
  journal={Psychological topics},
Swearing, also known as cursing, can be best described as a form of linguistic activity utilizing taboo words to convey the expression of strong emotions. Although swearing and cursing are frequently occurring behaviors, the actual functions of swearing remain largely unknown. Since swearing typically includes taboo words, these words can be more powerful than non-swear words. Therefore, people who swear are often judged negatively, because the uttered swearwords can shock and disturb others… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Swear Words among Males: The Social Functions and Pragmatic Meanings

Swearing at some stage is similar to cursing; a linguistic activity utilizing taboo words to express strong emotions. Traditionally, swear words contain taboo and offensive expressions. Thus, the

Frankly, we do give a damn: improving patient outcomes with swearing

Although the mechanism by which swearing is effective is unclear, swearing deserves attention in the physical therapy setting based on evidence indicating potential positive effects on patient outcomes.

An Analysis of Swear Words in “Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood” Film

Swear words are one of the linguistic choices which show cultural aspects. Found in both oral and written forms. Swear words represent emotions and convey powerful messages. Some people utter swear

On the use of profane language in psychotherapy and counseling: A brief summary of studies over the last six decades

ABSTRACT In this overview, the existing research on swearing, cussing, and cursing over the last six decades is surveyed in the context of mental health therapy and counselling-related pursuits.


The aim of the research was to explore the relationship between Psychological well-being and swearing. Psychological wellbeing is a construct that underlies human capacity to engage and function

Swear words for sale

Swearing has traditionally been associated with spoken language; however, swear words are appearing more often in print and, notably, explicitly featured in commercial products. In this paper, we

An Analysis of Swearing Words Used by Characters in Blood Father Movie

This study aims at identifying the types of swearing words used by all characters in Blood Father Movie and the factors contributing those swearing. It is a descriptive qualitative research which



The pragmatics of swearing

Abstract The main purpose of swearing is to express emotions, especially anger and frustration. Swear words are well suited to express emotion as their primary meanings are connotative. The emotional

Naturalistically observed swearing, emotional support, and depressive symptoms in women coping with illness.

One of the first studies to examine the role of swearing, a ubiquitous but understudied psychological phenomenon, in a medical context finds that swearing can sometimes repel emotional support at the expense of psychological adjustment.

The Utility and Ubiquity of Taboo Words

  • Timothy B. Jay
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2009
The uniquely human facility for swearing evolved and persists because taboo words can communicate emotion information more readily than nontaboo words, allowing speakers to achieve a variety of personal and social goals with them (utility).

Appearing credible? Swearing helps!

Abstract The use of swearwords has hardly been investigated scientifically. Virtually nothing is known about the efficacy of swearing. The present studies set out to investigate whether the inclusion

The anatomy of swearing

Linguistics is a field of science providing an alternative way for having an insight into the human brain and its processes. Swearing, being fundamental to human behaviour, is a very voluminous field

Adult Crying: A Model and Review of the Literature

Crying is one of the most powerfully compelling forms of human emotional expression, and yet, until recently, crying has received little attention from behavioral scientists. In this article, a model

Swearing as a response to pain

The observed pain-lessening (hypoalgesic) effect may occur because swearing induces a fight-or-flight response and nullifies the link between fear of pain and pain perception.

Memories of Punishment for Cursing

Researchers do not know how parents respond to children’s cursing or what effect parents’ responses have on children later in life. We conducted two studies with college students: a content analysis

Swearing: its prevalence in healthcare settings and impact on nursing practice.

The study failed to show significant differences in the frequency of swearing between mental health and paediatric settings, but did find gender-based differences in both frequency of use and offendedness.